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Where Are You a Regular?


Chris Amirault
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I'm not a regular at any restaurant - although I usually do get pizza from Stella Pizzeria about once a month, but I am at John Yi Fish Market at the Reading Terminal Market. The same guy helps me every week (or so) and we always chat as I decide what I want.

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Sound's like a consistent order helps in becoming a regular, but isn't necessarily required.

At the local coffee shop where I used to live, I learned that we were all much happier when I went to a consistent mocha order that was the same as my wife's (she went there more often). That way I could just say, "two please" if I was bringing her one. If there was someone new taking my order it was really hard, "Um, I'd like a pretty big mocha with 2 decaf and 1 caf and a little extra chocolate. Oh, yeah skim milk." To which they would reply, "Oh, E's drink". If I wanted iced, I'd have to announce it as I walked in the door before they started making it.

The person working the drive-through would look down the line of cars and call out the names of the drivers so they could get the drinks started. The owner made a point of being open Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings so people could prepare themselves for the day.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Does it count if i am intending to be a regular? Once a week a friend of mine and I get together at Crixa Cakes for gossip, coffee, and a little slice of heaven. it is a recent tradition (since the new year) but they have started to recognize us and one even knows our names!! but i don't think I will ever have a regular order at this place... the assortment of hungarian and russian pastries and pleasures is always enough to suit any mood, but never too many to make choosing difficult. i have yet to eat anything less than amazing (rugelach, ginger cake, pear pie with rosewater cream, almond florio... believe me I could list every one!!) i am hoping for the day when i walk in and they can say "now HERE is something you haven't tried yet!"

If I still lived in Berkeley, I would TRY to be a regular there too. Looks wonderful.

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Does it count if i am intending to be a regular? Once a week a friend of mine and I get together at Crixa Cakes for gossip, coffee, and a little slice of heaven. it is a recent tradition (since the new year) but they have started to recognize us and one even knows our names!! but i don't think I will ever have a regular order at this place... the assortment of hungarian and russian pastries and pleasures is always enough to suit any mood, but never too many to make choosing difficult. i have yet to eat anything less than amazing (rugelach, ginger cake, pear pie with rosewater cream, almond florio... believe me I could list every one!!) i am hoping for the day when i walk in and they can say "now HERE is something you haven't tried yet!"

If I still lived in Berkeley, I would TRY to be a regular there too. Looks wonderful.

come back to visit sometime, and i'll join you! any excuse will do to get me through the door :smile:

Edited by rebecca (log)
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For a long time I was a regular at Gino Italian Cuisine on Lexington. Ithaka on Barrow St. Also Joe Jr.'s on 6th Ave. Sadly they are all no more :(

There aren't so many places I'm recognized these days. They would include:

- Gene's on 11th St. (by the bartender at any rate)

- El Parador on 34th St. (Alex is a true gentleman)

- The Palm (the original on the West side of Second Ave.)

- Tommaso's in Bensonhurst (not as often now that I don't make the trek out there so often)

- Kanoyama on Second Ave., at the sushi bar (the chef's name is Nobu, no relation)

- Taro Sushi on Dean St. in Park Slope (the chef's name is Yugi, formerly of Ise next to the Twin Towers, one of the sweetest & best sushi chefs in the city)

- Giorgione on Spring St. (right next to my office - so it's a regular place for lunch)

- Le Veau d'Or on 60th St. (love Robert)

No matter how many times I dine at the Four Seasons, they never seem to remember me. I guess once a year isn't enough!

Edited by patrickamory (log)
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Went to the superb Purple Yam in Ditmas Park for the first time last night... it's been years, but Romy remembered me from Cendrillon, which was certainly my favorite restaurant in Soho. Ditmas Park is a trek but the food was wonderful... goat roti with rice pancakes and mango chutney, excellent roast pork buns (featuring nice charred bits unlike Momofuku's - which I also love), chicken adobo, a lamb curry with okra, cherry sambal and pickled radish that was off the hook, nice whole fish & more.

It's a trek but definitely worth it.

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These days, most of the places I go to regularly are via a drive through. :unsure::hmmm:

But back when I traveled regularly to L.A., I was a regular at a few places. As has been suggested, being recognized or getting perks has A LOT to do with the staff being pretty consistent. In places where the staff was consistent, then it was pretty nice. There was a period when the staff at the Starbucks I would walk to every day would make up my drink for me as they saw me walking down the sidewalk towards the front door. There was a local Italian place that had a nice friendly waitress. Sometimes, we would get some cookies at the end of the meal. I was a regular at a local CPK, too. Always sat at the counter. I went though several different changes of staff. But everyone was alway friendly and nice. The BEST place for being a regular was at the hotel bar. I had a good number of drinks for free. :)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Went to the superb Purple Yam in Ditmas Park for the first time last night... it's been years, but Romy remembered me from Cendrillon, which was certainly my favorite restaurant in Soho. Ditmas Park is a trek but the food was wonderful... goat roti with rice pancakes and mango chutney, excellent roast pork buns (featuring nice charred bits unlike Momofuku's - which I also love), chicken adobo, a lamb curry with okra, cherry sambal and pickled radish that was off the hook, nice whole fish & more.

It's a trek but definitely worth it.

We were regulars at Cendrillon, and we're regulars at Purple Yam. It's a really great place that way, in that Romy and Amy have become good friends, and we've gotten to know some of the other regulars as well. Maybe we've met. Were you at the closing party at Cendrillon?--

http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/cendrillon/

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I guess I've become a regular at various sandwich joints for lunch around the Empire State building-Tina's where I almost always order the Cuban sandwich, No. 7 Sub on 29th & Broadway, 'witchcraft on Greeley Square. If I had more time for lunch, I'd try to be a regular at Les Halles

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The "Loading Chute" in Creston just East of Paso Robles. The Rib Eye cooked over an oak grill has to be my favorite. Two good grill guys who have been there for a few years. The wood fired pizza oven works nice too. Corkage is $10 or, not at all if you're a regular since Paso is loaded with wineries and vintners. A treat to be able to take in an unlabeled bottle. We try to do this 1X a week and more often for lunch. They put on a nice barn dance as well.

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a regular at my Local butcher. Bill the Butcher. I'm slowly working on getting them to carry some game for me and I sometimes get to sample new and interesting things. Its really nice going in and having them recognize you and start having them cater to your needs.

I'm also a regular at my local produce place and he always takes care of me whenever i have issues with stuff molding or quality not being up to par on some of the produce items. They are super friendly as well and always give me a heads up when something special is coming in soon.

I was a regular at a bunch of places in LA before I moved up to Seattle,

The Golden state where i'd go once or twice or a week. In terms of perks theyd always make sure that I could get a seat, got to try a bunch of stuff that wasn't on menu. In addition they frequently would save special items for me knowing that I would be in later that day. Also became friends with one of the owners who I talk to a bunch to this day.

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We're regulars at Restaurant 121 in the next town. The bartender knows what we drink and the drinks are in front of us the minute we sit down. We get whatever table we want and the manager usually throws us an appetizer or comps a drink. It's just a casual place but it's nice to feel special!!

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I guess I've become a regular at Locanda Vini e Olii. I've always loved this place, but our meal last Friday was absolutely killer. Greeted with a handshake, given a free plate of goat testa that was delicious.

Standouts besides the usual (charcuterie platter, sardines in saor and cheeses) included a perfect tagliatelle ragu of pork and beef with orange zest, the guitar strings in saffron with sardines, and an excellent salad... but then the rare bistecca fiorentina and the long-cooked berkshire pork were off the hook. Great wine suggestions too (bringing us down on price on one).

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I was a waitress at Friendly's in my youth.

The grill cook was so good, when she saw you pull into the parking lot, she'd put your order on.

I loved her.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Phat Burrito in Charlotte, even though I don't live there any more. (I pass through a lot because of work.) I've been going there for more than 10 years, first for work-day lunches. It then became my go-to place when I wasn't in the mood to cook dinner--I'd go through stages. A bad work week could see me there three times; and then I wouldn't go for weeks. It was a long walk from my apartment, but great with the dog on a nice evening or weekend.

Benefits? Food's good, and I always like the salsa. (They don't sell it separately; I asked before I moved, and they said they investigated, but it was going to be too much of a pain. They then told me about former Charlotteans who bring a cooler in to stock up on their way back to Charleston, so I'm not the only one who still returns.) But the best perk is the staff, some of whom have been around for longer than I've been going there. I always order the same thing (yes, for a decade, though it evolved a little over time), and if there's not a crowd, it's ready by the time I've paid. They don't have to ask my name to write out on the slip, which is a little thing but nice, and it was the only place where I wanted to walk my dog & eat when I needed to force myself to get food a few hours after my second dog died.

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Friends and I were frequenting an Indian place for lunch (buffet) so often that they would bring us out special small dishes of veggie and chicken korma if those weren't offered on the buffet that day. Unfortunately we have gotten out of the habit of going there.

The quickie chinese place recognizes me and occasionally will give me a free soda or an extra eggroll.

I have a good shot at becoming recognized at the yogurt bar (YoPop) as I am slightly obsessed with their original tart flavor.

My cousin and her family eat at the same Mexican place twice a week and at a local eatery once a week so they are definitely recognized as regulars. My cousin has her own special order at the Mexican restaurant that the owner calls the "number seventeen" (not on the menu). Once when I went with them to the local place and went to set down at "their" table one of the waitresses told me that the table was reserved and I had to mention them by name in order to be allowed to sit down.

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Pegu Club. Although one of the nice things about the tightly knit cocktailian community in NYC is that there are lots of places I can go where my friends work and I'm treated like a regular.

--

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...I usually avoid regular status...

Why?

Sorry I missed this reply.

I hate having a fuss made when I arrive. Like when Norm would walk in on Cheers.

I'd rather slide in quietly. Other aspects of regularness are nice though.

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When we sold our (Korean) restaurant to a Chinese restauranteur, one of our regular customers hired our cook and opened her own restaurant using our old menu. She knows me, saw my son grow up and knows his GF too. We are treated with respect and she seems happy to see us. We talk about old times and our current lives but there is no assumption that we will order anything every time and there is no price adjustment but sometimes she gave us a little extra rice if we had a doggie bag until I told her she didn't have to do it.

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Panda Country - spouse has been going there for >25 years, is recognized and greeted, always orders same three things. Perks? Being said hello to, having the munchkin have a spare 'grandma'. On occasion, Grandma Julie came to our table and fed the baby munchkin, who was and still is a sweetcorn soup monster.

Buffet across street - 7 years now, they recognize the munchkin mostly. She first went in her pram.

Opera Cafe for breakfast once a week. Manager recognizes me now whatever time and day I come in. Perqs? Again, mostly the greeting & updating each other on how life is going. She saves me an almond croissant in the am, if there's a run on them.

Used to be Samson's Deli in La Jolla: the waitstaff all knew my lunch order.

Aesop's Tables knew us, and knew we ordered something different every time.

Also Andiamo in Tierra Santa. Went monthly - got comped a dessert or two, special recommendations, had our drinks on the table before we sat down. They moved and we moved and its just too far now. Shame, that.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I only eat out a few times a year but, when I do, half the time it's probably at Moody's Diner. The food isn't all that special, but it's consistent. And... it's a Route 1 landmark in Maine. I'm sure Holly must have stopped there when he wasn't busy scoffing up Red's lobster rolls in Wiscasset. :cool:

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