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Dining on your own


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The one drawback is I can't justify ordering two desserts to try both and I can't try out my dining companions dessert if they're non-existent. Oh well, you can't win them all :rolleyes: ...

But nobody will judge you if you ordered two desserts and ate both! :laugh:

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Also, I tip very well. I know that the reputation of women dining alone is that we are wretched tippers, and I try hard to counteract that.

Me too. Also I like a place that has adequate light. At one local Mexican restaurant, most of the seating area is rather dim but they know me rather well and when I show up, they always take me to a rear booth that is usually saved for employees and family, where there is a light right above the table that is much brighter. The chef, one of the owners, often comes and chats with me. He used to live on my road, three houses away.

I don't really have to order, they know what I usually order and just ask if I want something different. If not, I get a selection of things they know I like.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Also, I tip very well. I know that the reputation of women dining alone is that we are wretched tippers, and I try hard to counteract that.

Me too. Also I like a place that has adequate light. At one local Mexican restaurant, most of the seating area is rather dim but they know me rather well and when I show up, they always take me to a rear booth that is usually saved for employees and family, where there is a light right above the table that is much brighter. The chef, one of the owners, often comes and chats with me. He used to live on my road, three houses away.

I don't really have to order, they know what I usually order and just ask if I want something different. If not, I get a selection of things they know I like.

One of these days, Andie, I'm going to slap on my sunglasses, hop into my coche, point it west on I-10, and join you in that back booth. Something tells me we'd get along brilliantly.

:cool:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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One of my all-time favourite dining stories from a similar thread:

Strategy for dining alone

I think this is (still) more of an issue for women than men, although that probably has changed with more women taking business trips.

I don't mind dining alone. I too prefer to have my back to the wall, to observe the action and so no one gets the drop on me.

I find a book helps, not so much because I feel uncomfortable with nothing to do as I wait for my food, but because it is good cover for the eavesdropping.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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In top restaurants I prefer to dine alone, that way I can immerse myself in the experience, without having to worry whether my dining partner is as into it as me.

I don't get bored or lonely, I love watching the service of a busy restaurant. For mine, that beats most coversations. Maybe I'm weird, but hey, I can live with it.

James.

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Interesting thread. I can't stand dining alone, and will avoid it whenever I can. On the rare occasions I do it, I try to ensure I have something to read, and I certainly won't go anywhere too nice. The idea of languishing over a multi-course meal alone in a fine dining setting fills me with dread.

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I actually like being away for work, or even just visiting somewhere alone so I have an excuse for dining alone! For some reason I would feel quite self concious doing it in my home town, or anywhere close.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I love dining alone. Not more or less than dining with someone, as I love that too, but as an alternative. I'm all about the food and the restaurant business (which is the business I'm in), and would much rather eat alone that with someone clueless and oblivious about being clueless. Like my fathers new mother in law who recently proclaimed both gnocchi and sage inedible for anyone.

I have a few friends with whom I like dining more than others, though. Their common denominator is that they are all foodies. I do have a lot of foodie friends, I've come to know quite a few of them through common interest in food, and my girlfriend and I have another couple who we dine with as often as possible. Whether at our or their home, or in restaurants.

Anyhow, I like eating along, and prefer fancy places to less fancy places if I'm alone. If an upscale place is out of the question for that particular night I'd rather eat take out. Also, I have a few places where I know the staff)and/or owner). I don't mind going there, for sure.

When I was a waiter myself both I and the other waiters loved the solitary diners, and in particular the ones that had the six course menu. We'd go out of our way to make their meal as good as possible.

- Searching for inspiration and knowledge -

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The one drawback is I can't justify ordering two desserts to try both and I can't try out my dining companions dessert if they're non-existent. Oh well, you can't win them all :rolleyes: ...

It's too bad more places don't have a sampler with one or two bites of their desserts. Applebee's has Dessert Shooters which are desserts served in a large shot glass. It's just a couple spoonfuls and is often enough to satisfy without taking you past the "thin mint stage"*.

*see Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life"

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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One of my all-time favourite dining stories from a similar thread:

Strategy for dining alone

I love dining alone, as I've said elsewhere. And can't imagine drinking an entire bottle of wine by myself and then driving myself home. Surely there are better "strategies for dining alone."

Like what I do... Go where you please. Sit where you please. Order what you please.

Tip well.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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In those days, it was considered really odd for a woman to dine alone. The general opinion was that there could be no good reason for it. Either she was scandalously brazen or pathetically lonely or, most likely, trying to cure the latter by being the former. But I was born with a wandering heart and an adventuresome spirit and wasn't about to grant someone else the power over me to decide whether or not I should eat at any particular restaurant just because I was alone, often having just blown into town solo earlier that day in my shiny red Austin Healey 3000 Mark III.

I just have to say, Jaymes, that's a fine piece of writing. Seriously, it sounds like the opening paragraph of a book I'd really, really like to read.

It's the reason I don't dine alone to this day. I tried it a few times years ago when my husband was travelling a lot on business and I just wanted to go out, but I got tired of (and angry about) the poor treatment I received. Maybe it's time to try again. Thanks!

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I remain sort of astonished that food-loving people continue to say that they're reluctant to dine alone in a restaurant. I love company, don't get me wrong, but when I am alone for whatever reason, I thoroughly enjoy dining out with myself for company. I really like it better than (most) communal tables. I just don't see this as an issue for my enjoyment of food.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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Surely there are better "strategies for dining alone."

Well, she did "appreciate" wine and wasn't driving.

When I was doing shift-work, if we had a slow night I liked to abandon my crew for a bit and go to the all-night restaurant. It was usually empty. I'd sit at the counter by the waiter who was studying his bible and have a heart-clogging breakfast. It was a time to gather my thoughts, or sometimes just to stop thinking. I'd pass a dollar or two to the cook on my way out and it seemed to really make his night.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I like to dine alone a least once or twice a month. Time permitting I'll purposely go without booking and the least busy time for them, usually I take some reading material with me for when the restaurant becomes busy and or the staff aren't in the mood to engage. No problem, I usually get to know the chef/proprietor/head waiter by asking them to recommend what's good today, once that happens and I've demonstrated trust in their judgement things usually go swimmingly.

When I see others dinning alone or on the odd occasion visit the cinema alone I think good for you, you have the strength of purpose to enjoy an activity for it's own sake without the need, desire or expectation to share the experience. Of course that last statement is false, lone dinners or cinema goers are rarely alone.

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I used to just refuse to dine alone, and would cobble together something from the fridge or pick up a to-go order somewhere rather than do it. But when I started traveling a good bit for work, some 15 years ago, I quickly learned to dine alone, after trying room service a couple of times and finding it lacking. Like many others, I take along reading material, much easier since the Kindle joined my purse essentials. I drink wine by the glass unless the restaurant is walking distance from the hotel, or if, as in some locales, you can leave a restaurant with a corked half-bottle of wine. I like to eat a nice restaurants alone, but I also enjoy diners, delis and dives, to borrow what's-his-name's schtick.

I usually don't object to nearby diners who wish to strike up a conversation, unless it's just really been a busy day or I'm mentally preparing myself for a busy one the next day, in which case I enjoy my solitude and will simply smile, answer as briefly as possible, and then look back to my reading material. Only one time have I ever had to put someone in his place who kept insisting on conversing; when he asked me "why is it that you're dining by youself?" I replied, "Because it's so much simpler than having to stab someone in the hand with my fork, and much less messy." He took the hint.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Only one time have I ever had to put someone in his place who kept insisting on conversing; when he asked me "why is it that you're dining by youself?" I replied, "Because it's so much simpler than having to stab someone in the hand with my fork, and much less messy." He took the hint.

Ha! Love it. I once had a woman approach me really cautiously, head cocked to the side and eyes full of sincere sympathy and reassurance, and essentially ask the same; why I 'had' to eat to alone, as if to say "what tragedy has befallen your life to find yourself in a such a woeful situation?". She wasn't kindly asking if I wanted to join her, really was just scoping out this alien life form of the solo diner. I just replied that I'd lost touch with many of my friends since getting out of prison, which made her scurry away quick smart! (I was joking, let me be clear.)

Apart from that the only other diners who ever speak to me while I've been dining alone are men, trying to..err..well, you know. While that can sometimes be entertaining too, I'll never forget the guy who tried to hit on me while his female companion had gone to the bathroom, and when I pointed out that I'd already noticed he was there with a woman so "WTF, dude?", he just grinned broadly and said "So for you to notice me and that I was with someone, I'd obviously caught your eye, eh?" and, encouraged, proceeded with the propositioning!! I had to laugh..the endearing eternal optimism of men. :biggrin:

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Only one time have I ever had to put someone in his place who kept insisting on conversing; when he asked me "why is it that you're dining by youself?" I replied, "Because it's so much simpler than having to stab someone in the hand with my fork, and much less messy." He took the hint.

Ha! Love it. I once had a woman approach me really cautiously, head cocked to the side and eyes full of sincere sympathy and reassurance, and essentially ask the same; why I 'had' to eat to alone, as if to say "what tragedy has befallen your life to find yourself in a such a woeful situation?". She wasn't kindly asking if I wanted to join her, really was just scoping out this alien life form of the solo diner. I just replied that I'd lost touch with many of my friends since getting out of prison, which made her scurry away quick smart! (I was joking, let me be clear.)

Apart from that the only other diners who ever speak to me while I've been dining alone are men, trying to..err..well, you know. While that can sometimes be entertaining too, I'll never forget the guy who tried to hit on me while his female companion had gone to the bathroom, and when I pointed out that I'd already noticed he was there with a woman so "WTF, dude?", he just grinned broadly and said "So for you to notice me and that I was with someone, I'd obviously caught your eye, eh?" and, encouraged, proceeded with the propositioning!! I had to laugh..the endearing eternal optimism of men. :biggrin:

He made you laugh...that's getting to first base in a pick up. Guy's got game.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

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Some of my best dining experiences have been solo, especially in Europe. With the exception of London. NEVER a good experience there, always given the worst table, ignored, etc.


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I eat alone all the time. I wish I had some sort of witty story about it, but it's really just eating. I've never even thought about it really. I work and do most of my socializing in a town 35 miles from home, so if I have plans later in in the evening after work, I go eat somewhere. I often take lunches at a different time than most of my coworkers, so I eat lunch on my own almost every day. I've never really thought it was something exceptional. I also see movies by myself a lot,too. Maybe I'm just a solitary person.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I'm going out by myself tomorrow evening. I've not decided where yet, but I deserve it, my husband's been out of town for 4 days leaving my with my three little ones 24 hrs a day. It'll just be nice to have a meal without anyone smooshing food in their hair or complaining about "green stuff" in their pasta sauce. Not to mention I can actually focus on the food instead of worrying about carrying on a conversation.

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I'm in the camp of "do it regularly when out of town, never when I'm on my home turf". When I traveled, it was my time to eat really, really well and treat myself. Plus explore the cuisine of the city I was visiting, and I had a LOT of incredible meals. Never an even semi-bad experience, and I never, ever took reading material. I was there for the ambiance, and the service and the atmosphere and all that.

I remember once, in Alexandria, VA when I was on a trip to DC, I got off the Metro after site-seeing on the Mall all day in 100-plus degree, 80% humidity weather. I was wearing shorts, sandals and a sleeveless, button-front, collared denim shirt. I got caught in an HORRIFIC thunderstorm on the walk back from the Metro to my hotel, and ducked into what looked to be a fairly elegant restaurant on the main drag of old Alexandria. I was starving, and the menu looked good, but I was afraid I surely wasn't dressed appropriately for a "white linen tablecloth" place. I spoke to the hostess, and asked if I could wait out the storm at the bar. She said absolutely, but she had tables available, would I like to dine? I said I didn't think I was dressed for the place...I looked like a drowned rat and the very picture of La Tourista.

She said, essentially, "nonsense" and seated me at one of the best tables in the restaurant, the service was superb, the martinis properly dry and tasty, and the soft shell crab probably the best I've ever eaten. It was a delightful meal where I got to watch the action in the restaurant, the increasingly dramatic weather outside, and enjoy some fabulous food.

Yes........I tipped VERY well. Including some for the hostess.

It was one of the best meals, for me, ever. And it seems, upon reflection, that I've had a similar experience in every city I've traveled to alone. You walk in with confidence, and with an air that you appreciate and respect what they have to offer, and if its a good establishment, they respond. If I won the Lotto tomorrow, I'd book the first flight to New York, and book a solo reservation at Le Bernadin and enjoy the hell out of it.

Why I don't dine out alone at home is a quandry I've thought about a lot. And I really should just get over myself and do it, because, well, I just 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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I'm heading out alone to what's touted as "Sydney's most expensice degustation" tonight at Bilson's. I'm looking forward to it, there's an El Bulli dish on the menu (labelled Polenta, Zucchini, Parmesan, Hazelnut from the 2007 season). Diego Munoz, the current head chef, worked there a few years ago.

James.

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i love to eat on my own. the first time i did it i felt very awkward but by the end of it i was thinking 'why dont i do this more often?'

ive been to small little vietnamese places, busy sushi places (although sushi is very easy to eat solo i find because of that comunal conveyor belt) 60 year old tradional french port restaurants and 2 michelin star places on my own.

i find u see the restaurant for it is alot more when youre on your own than in a big party or distracted by a loved one. maybe its the fact that you have to find something to do whilst waiting for the next course or what have you. i like to people watch and theres no better place than a restaurant so i find myself engaged in the food/wine when it comes and the actual restaurant when it goes.

if you havent eaten on your own, in a weird way your missing out.

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I do it all the time when I travel and more than occasionally at home, esp at lunch. A smartphone makes amusing myself easy and unobtrusive when people watching is deficient.

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