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Longest meal


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I just clocked in a four hour brunch. It was served buffet format. We got there as they opened and left an hour after the end of service. Brunch is really ideal for long meals as it is leisurely paced and one can have a number of drinks.

I wonder if it's possible to segue from brunch to afternoon tea and then to dinner.

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This is an interesting question. I'm curious to see other EG'ers answers. I've never had a meal that went beyond the general timeframe of an hour.

I don't think I'd want to be at the table much longer than that. For one thing, I imagine it promotes eating after you're full. In any case, I'd rather lounge in a chair, and have a less structured setting to chat with my fellow guests, than be in a formal dining setting for too long.

the tall drink of water...
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I pretty much did an all-day thing once several years ago when I still lived in Memphis. I met an old friend at the Peabody Hotel for their Sunday brunch at 11:00... and stayed all the way through until they were literally picking up chairs around us, at 3:00. Not willing to end our visit (we hadn't seen each other in years and years,) we walked the couple of blocks over to the river, fueled by much good food and champagne. When we began to feel peckish again around 6:00, we headed to the Rendezvous (NOT my favorite barbecue place in town, despite its fame... but it was within easy walking distance.) It was pushing 9:00 when we left there, walked *back* to the Peabody, and had a nightcap in the lobby bar before going our separate ways.

Needless to say, I had to call the ex to come pick me up, as I was unwilling to drive out of downtown Memphis and all the way to the other side of town to our house after an entiire day of eating & drinking! But it was a lot of fun.

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I met up with a coworker at a local chinese buffet that opened on Sunday at noon. The coworker ended up bringing some company 401k information and was thinking about enrolling in the program (I was already enrolled). By the time we were done talking about it, it was 5pm and we closed the place. We didn't eat the entire time we were there but it was odd to get there when they opened and to be there when they closed. Fortunately, they didn't get a huge crowd that day so we didn't feel guilty about taking up a table for that long of a time.

 

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It's nice when meals are long because of leisurely paced courses and pleasant company. I've had quite a few that have been long because the server disappeared for an extended period when it was time for dessert. . . That's when the minutes begin to crawl!

Rebecca Hassell

Cookin' in Brookland

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My parents lived in Holland for 5 years in the early 1980s. I had the opportunity to spend several Christmases there. One thing many Dutch people do on Christmas day is go to a lengthy multi course meal at a restaurant. Many restaurants are open to provide this service. The couple times I went they clocked in at between 4 and 5 hours with about a course an hour of food served and different appertifs, cocktails, wines, and coffee and tea. The whole thing was designed to be a leisurely family gathering.

It should be noted that Christmas Day in Holland reminded me of Thanksgiving Day in the USA, i.e. a day more for family gathering and meals than gift giving. Also, the Dutch version of Santa Claus (Sinterklaas) comes on Sinter Klaas Day, which is December 5th, so that's when more gift giving is done. Sinter Klaas and his helper Scwartze Piet (Black Pete) deliver gifts to the kids from a boat or a horse, no flying reindeer here.

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28 courses and six hours at the French Laundry. Loved every moment.

Ditto

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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Our annual Danish lunch is a 4-5 hour extravaganza - the more people who attend, the longer we stay at the table catching up on old times and quaffing the schnapps and beer and sampling the table. Some leave early, some stay late - we just stay! :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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The last dinner party I gave went for nine courses and 7 hours. No one really took stock of the time (admittedly most of us are students or just ex-students!) until someone looked at his watch and said 'Oh my God, it's 2am!'

The pacing of the course wasn't too slow (at least to me! But then, again, I was serving them!), but as we had to get through at least a bottle of wine per course on average, it was a pretty mellow time - even though I found it hard to focus on turning out my strawberry souffles after such a long haul...nevermind - at least they turned out well :biggrin:

And thank goodness we follow the English fashion and serve the cheese last....it allows me to fall asleep amidst the port in a semi-dignified fashion....

<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

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We often have 4-5 hour meals with certain of our friends that also enjoy long leisurely meals and good wine. On Sunday we went for a short hike first; then came back and had some nibbles while we finieshed up the prep, got the grill going etc. The leisurely pace does allow for many nice wines to be sampled, cheese course, dessert, coffee and liqueurs and good conversation. That is pretty much our standard approach with like-minded friends. I like to have meals like this on the weekend where we can start early.

I haven't had a tasting menu meal at a restaurant yet so the longest meal out would be probably be 3 hrs or so. We often take the later booking so we can have a more leisturely meal.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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When I was in college, I would typically have a Sunday dinner that lasted two or three hours, and that was with my girlfriend, her roommate, and four other friends who would spend hours a day with each other.

We would talk and eat and eat and talk. It was very pleasant. I would like to have meal companions like them again.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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At home, dinner with my family usually lasts 4+ hours. This tends to drain the uninitiated. :biggrin:

At about the four-hour mark, everyone has usually had the minimum amount of wine required for prolonged storytelling...

I always thought this was normal, and then I married and discovered it wasn't. :blink:

Or is it?

In what cultures is this normal, either at home or out at a restaurant?

Edited to clarify where exactly all this eating and drinking are going on...

Edited by Rehovot (log)
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Four hours at places with extended tasting menus is not uncommon.

I recall a couple of meals at the old Mainsonette that began at 6:30 and ended long after midnight.

The winners though are two or three meals at our home where guests sat around 7:30 and left the table after 2:00.

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D'Artagnan, Oslo, Norway. 6 hours. Meh. I would normally have put down my dissatisfaction due to my lack of experience with Michelin star rated fancypants joints, but the other member of the party who had the same main dish as I (lamb) was equally unimpressed. I enjoyed the in-between pallette-cleansing sorbets, and the cigar at the end the most.

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It would be nice if you could go for a stroll during the meal to help you to digest, but I think that would be unusual, perhaps even inappropriate, to do so at a restaurant. What has your experience been? Do you, um, ask for permission? I suppose it depends on the facility: leaving the grounds of a small restaurant may be worse than if the establishment was located in a large hotel and you asked to just stroll around the building.

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This is an interesting question. I'm curious to see other EG'ers answers. I've never had a meal that went beyond the general timeframe of an hour.

I don't think I'd want to be at the table much longer than that.

You are positively uncivilized. :wink: I don't even like to look at the menu until I'm half-way through a crisp martini, and I am coming to think that no dinner is complete without cheese and at least two desserts -- that's an hour right there without even counting the courses in between drinks and cheese. I am what they call in the trade a camper, though I do most of my camping in my own back yard.

I think my longest was a five-or six-hour brunch at my place, one where I left twice to do work and came back to find things still going strong.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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28 courses and six hours at the French Laundry. Loved every moment.

28 courses and six hours at the French Laundry. Loved every moment.

Ditto

28 courses and six hours at the French Laundry. Loved every moment.

Me too, me three. As my husband describes it, "French Laundry is Fabby's Pebble Beach."

How did you all manage to have 28-course meals at TFL? Inquiring minds (who have not yet been to TFL) want to know. :wink:

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A normal meal for me and my girl lasts 2-3 hours when we are out.. Last nights dinner was 3 1/2 hours.. A normal Sunday meal is from 430 pm to 9 pm.. or a meal when we entertain friends last from 6 pm until 11pm or midnight if its a work night.. On a weekend its more like 8 pm to 2-4 am..

My longest meal out in recent years was at Tru.. We were there for about 5 hours.. I left there more full then I have ever been.. Road trips included.. I was in actual pain, short of breath, it was horrible.. Completely not there fault, the food was just too good..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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