Shannon Stacey

A celebratory dinner

Once upon a time, back when the Short Kid was still in a highchair, they built an Uno Chicago Grill at the far end of our town. We’ve found that when a franchise first opens, they send people in from outside the community to run it and they hire only the prettiest people, so it all felt very slick and too hip for us.

Fast forward a decade. The squeaky wheel gets the grease is a phrase that’s so very true in elementary schools but, at the end of the year, SK’s school takes the kids who didn’t squeak all year out to a special lunch. This year they went to Uno’s, where the kids got to tour the kitchen and make their own personal pizzas and be the recipients of a “free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entree” coupons. After listening to him wax poetic about the place and nag about coupon, we returned to Uno’s for dinner.

Where I discovered a little piece of heaven called Deep Dish Macaroni and 3-Cheese. I wanted to marry that dish and I said so, out loud, during that dinner. The cheesiness! The butter crumb topping! My guys were also quite taken with the meals they ordered and the Short Kid requested that Uno’s be put on the dinner-out rotation. It’s a little pricier than our normal haunts, though, so I told him it would probably be a special treat now and then. And I told him if one of my books ever hit the New York Times list, we’d go back to Uno’s to celebrate so I could have that macaroni and cheese.

So my dinner out to celebrate Yours To Keep landing on both the NYT and the USA Today lists? Macaroni and cheese! (I also had a glass of wine, though, just to fancy it up a bit.)

What’s your go-to meal for celebrating? A steak on the grill? A fancy restaurant? Or is it all about the dessert? (We were too full for dessert, though we might have gone for it if they’d had cheesecake.)

6 comments to “A celebratory dinner”

  1. library addict
      · July 8th, 2011 at 12:39 pm · Link

    I take the teen to Outback Steakhouse when he has something to celebrate, including every year for his birthday.

    I usually go to Olive Garden if it’s something for me to celebrate.

    There’s not as big a choice of restaurants here in Indiana as there was when we lived in Las Vegas.

    Congrats again on the NYT and USA lists!

  2. E.D. Walker
      · July 8th, 2011 at 12:45 pm · Link

    I’ve been up in NorCal the last two years finishing up my degree, so I have no easy access to Islands burgers. (And I am a cheeseburger addict).That means whenever I visit the fam in SoCal our first trip is usually straight to an Islands for cheese fries and ranch and a burger. For some reason, you just can’t get good ranch in NorCal.

  3. Mo
      · July 8th, 2011 at 2:40 pm · Link

    I am not big on chains but I will have to swing by the local Uno’s and try their Mac and Cheese. There is a fantastic traditional Italian restaurant that has been our celebrate anything and everything place for the past 20 years, Florence’s in Merrimack NH. The original restaurant was in Boston run by the mother of the owner of the current one. “Mama” still cooks some on Sundays and she and the Florence make the rounds of the table and will sit and chat. They feel like family to those of us that are the regulars.
    Congrats on the sucess of your latest release. I love the Kowolskis and their NH adventures.

  4. Wendy S. Marcus
      · July 8th, 2011 at 7:31 pm · Link

    I just read your review on RT and hopped over to check you out! Major congratulations! Now to check out your book!

  5. Shellie
      · July 9th, 2011 at 11:31 pm · Link

    We visit Carraba’s for some of our celebrations. We let the girls pick when it is their thing, it varies between Olive Garden and a few of our mom and pop style places. We have a rule when we travel. No chain restaurants. Makes for interesting eating.

  6. Shannon
      · July 10th, 2011 at 2:07 pm · Link

    My original plan had always been Olive Garden. I went there once, many years ago, and (being a total carb whore) I’ve always wanted to go back. One thing that’s sorely lacking in my town is a decent alfredo dish.

    But Olive Garden’s “in the city” and since the only time we’re there is on the weekends, there’s always a line out the door and around the parking lot. So I planned to go there if I had awesome news to celebrate.

    But then I had one bite of Uno’s Deep Dish Macaroni and 3-Cheese and it all changed. :)

  • Get my latest news straight to your inbox!

    I'll only be sending newsletters when I have news to share, and I'll never share your information. You'll receive an email asking you confirm your subscription (so please check your spam box if you don't receive that). You can unsubscribe at anytime.


  • Affiliation

    Shannon Stacey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of

    If you purchase a book listed on the site from, she’ll earn a small commission. Thank you!