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Susan Reimer: Food relief

Susan Reimer: Food relief

In the days when my husband the sportswriter traveled the country covering the NFL, my kids would often meet him at the door upon his return home.

"Mom's on the edge," Joe would say. "You gotta take us to the mall for dinner."

So you see, the expression "dining out" has never had the same meaning for me that it might have for others.

It never got the chance to mean soft lights, quiet conversation and excellent food for me. Dining out was something my husband and the kids did so I could decompress and we wouldn't make the 11 p.m. news.

As a result, I look at restaurant reviews and dining guides a little differently — opportunities for...