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Dining Alone


spanielking
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I too often dine alone when traveling. I usually don't take a book because I'm worried that sends the signal that I'll be taking up the space for far too long and will only order crackers and water. At least that's the signal it sent to me when I was a waitress many moons ago...

I will usually order a drink and an appetizer right off so the waiter won't worry that the tip will be small. I generally have an enjoyable time - after all I'm there for the food!

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I never think about dining alone I love to be with people but also adore eating by myself ..I like to choose a seat where I can see everything ..I dont read at the table ..(my dad used to yell at us not to while he read the paper during dinner so it is kind of one of those things from your childhood)

the only time I ever felt strange ..was one time I was seated..in a lovely place.... handed the menu and asked "are you alone tonight" when I said "yes thank you" the response was "I am so sorry I will be right with you"

all I could think was "wtf are they sorry for?"

it offended me so much I just had coffee ..thanked them and left ...

"sorry" I was eating alone? how strange to me!!!

Oh. I just assumed that they'd kept you waiting for the menu because they expected someone to join you, and the waiter was apologizing.

And my Dad did that "do as I say, not as I do" thing, too!

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There is a well known (and probably apocryphal) tale of how one night when Lucullus was dining alone at home a servant brought him a meal of simpe gruel. Lucullus was outraged and said: "But you should know that tonight Lucullus is dining with his most honored guest. Tonight Lucullus is dining with Lucullus"

Like that noble gastronome, I have no problem whatever when dining alone.

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A friend of my parents, who would spend extended periods in London alone for her historical research, described how to get respect as a woman dining alone:

She went to the local Italian restaurant in Hampsted where she had a flat and with her meal, ordered a very good bottle of wine that she consumed in its entirety.  The next time the staff fell all over themselves to take care of her.  As she explained, "It's not just knowing a good wine, but showing you know how to appreciate it."

a lone woman in an italian restauarant? Of course she got looked after well!

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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When one is single and travels about, eating alone is often (always?) the best option. Or, as one young thing said “Done leave, I want to be alone”. In Germany, if the restaurant is somewhat crowded you may find it is impossible to dine alone for long because they are usually not bashful about asking “is here free”, in which case you are stuck and then, make the most of it. They usually do not bother although I have had some rather interesting conservations. And some places will not seat you if they believe they can make more profit from holding out for at least a couple. Set where you have a view of the dining room , and then just observe, especially if families are there. Watching the group dynamics can be the best entertainment anywhere. I do think that it may be against the law in Naples, or at least deviate behavor.

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I used to travel a lot on business, and many times, most times actually, I'd travel alone.

Never had a problem eating alone when I was traveling. And I did it in some of the "foodiest" cities in the country, NYC, Washington DC, San Francisco. Never thought, never THOUGHT about taking a book with me, why when the floor shows were so excellent? Or a paper either. To me, that conveyed loneliness, and I was never lonely in those situations. I was enjoying the ambience, and enjoying my BEING in the ambience.

But, like others, I ordered well, early, to make a statement that the server was not going to get stiffed. And then I took my own good time to enjoy it all. And left a good tip.

I was there, it was usually on someone else's dime (at least part of the dinner was expensed........) and the trip was paid for, so why not enjoy it to the max?

Interestingly enough, I rarely go out solo at home, though I often think I should.....

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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