Even though I did tons of research before we left, emailing potential restaurants to suss out safe options, we didn't eat at even one of them! I had even went as far to print out the locations of several of the bigger chains where we intended to eat, including Wagamama and Browns.
The reality was though, once we were there, we rarely found ourselves in exactly the right spot when we wanted to eat, and there were so many restaurants to choose from we were always able to find something suitable.
Even the first night, when we set out for Covent Garden, we didn't make it to our intended destination - Browns. The restaurant had provided me with a confident reply to my questions, and assured me we would eat there safely. Still, as we wandered through the area, looking at our different options we ended up at the Salisbury pub, less than a two minute walk from Browns.
Several times, we saw a Wagamama location in passing and I would call it out. It sort of felt like the Big Ben/roundabout scene in National Lampoon's European vacation. Still, we never ate at one.
So was my research a waste of time? I don't think so. By having at least a dozen restaurants we could eat at, it gave us the confidence to leave our apartment in the morning knowing there were safe places to eat - whether we choose them or not.
By the way, several restaurants that I emailed never got back to me. I'll highlight them - including the lamest response ever - in another post later.