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Why we go out to eat

 
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: Why we go out to eat Reply with quote

For a lot of reasons......maybe the setting (picturing a waterfront restaurant that is perfect for lobsters or steamed crabs, or a small, intimate wine bar that has pages and pages of offerings and patrons who are seriously into wine), maybe the level of skill (like the 12-course tasting menu at Arun's, a Thai restaurant here in Chicago), maybe the inability to duplicate because of lack of equipment in our kitchens (shocking absence of Tandoori oven or gigantic rotisserie).
Sooo, what do people really like to go out for, and where are their favorites?
Here in Chicago, we find ourselves at the Chicago Brauhaus sometimes, not because the food is magnificent, but because they have wonderful German beer and a band. It's always fun. We always leave happier than when we walked in.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years ago I made a decision to never cook Thai food. By not cooking Thai style I would always have somewhere I could go that was different when I wanted to go out to eat.

When we do eat in other restaurants I find myself thinking how I could make this and how much it would cost and how much we are paying for it! In a Thai restaurant I just enjoy the experience.
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Dawna



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 125
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're right that people go out to eat for a lot of reasons, Chicago Bear. I have many reasons to dine out, and where I go is dictated by which of those reasons is prompting me out the door.

I have a "local" - a restaurant that is very homey, affordable, and familiar, where I like the food, know the staff and owner, and can just go and relax, chat, read the paper, get wine tips (from the owner), or watch the hockey game with a pitcher of beer. I go there when I just want to relax and not have to do anything in particular, or if I'm feeling lonely rattling around the house by myself (which doesn't happen often, but still...). It's a community thing: I go there to be a part of my community, get good food and service, and zero pressure.

I go to ethnic restaurants and devour the specialities that I don't know how to duplicate at home, or don't have the time to make, or cannot get the ingredients for. Sometimes, I go just to be temporarily enveloped in a different culture - the surroundings, the music, the food, the staff.

I go to fancy schmancy restaurants for birthdays and some other celebrations, although I'm happy to do these at home, too. It can be a pleasure to have expert, formal service, exquisite food that requires a level of skill or attention-span that I don't possess, or taste the new ideas of a great chef.

I dine out to reward myself. I dine out when I'm too exhausted to cook. I dine out when I want to get out into the world.

I live in a city that has an incredible variety of restaurants, and in a neighbourhood that is quite diverse. There are so many places that I can walk to, that all I really need to do is pick a cuisine and go.

Gosh, it sounds as though I eat out every night, doesn't it? We probably go out once a week, sometimes twice if circumstances dictate. Some weeks, we don't go out at all. Sometimes, I'll just pick a cuisine and get out my cookbooks...
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dawna wrote:
I dine out to reward myself. I dine out when I'm too exhausted to cook. I dine out when I want to get out into the world.


That's really well said, Dawna. Sometimes we feel a little guilty when we go out, say, three times in one week. But there might be at least three very good reasons to go out, and who made the rule that there's some limit on going out?
Barbara, I agree with you completely that some cuisines ought to be enjoyed where people who cook them know them and do them well and you can take pleasure in sharing what they offer. It makes me feel good to support people who are passionate about their cooking and run restaurants, not to get rich, but because they love what they're doing.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dining out breaks the normal routine, a split in the tedium of the quotidien. And unless it is a diner style meal--which we usually take with the kids 'cuz they are not as adventurous as we---I never order anything I think either Dick or myself could cook at home. It is an opportunity to get new ideas and experience new flavours. But mostly I like to dine out just as an alternative form of entertainment. Some people go to the theatre, the movies, a museum. Me, i want to go to a restaurant!
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't dine out very often since going into exile, the restaurants out where I live are aimed at tourists. I ventured to a Thai restaurant a few weeks ago and was sadly dissapointed the food had no flavor.

I love to eat out with my husband not only have a nice meal, it's easier to be all googley in a restaurant. Yes I am a dork.
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jenjen



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
Posts: 268
Location: Melbourne Australia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:26 am    Post subject: vue de monde Reply with quote

I was taken to this beautiful newly opened restaurant for lunch today www.vuedemonde.com.au - exquisite, exquisite, exquisite Smile
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Shanti



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Duluth, MN

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For myself, it is a break from providing for others and a way for me to take a small break from the kitchen. I love cooking, but every now and then again I just need a tiny respite.

Going out is also a way for me to socialize with folks I don't see very often so I may give them my full attention in the short time we have together.

I have my favorite restaurants, and each restaurant has a meal that I usually always order - most of the time it is something that I cannot duplicate at home so it's more like a treat.

And, gosh, just because it can be fun! New beers, new wines, new foods, new experiences... Very Happy
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have favorite kinds of foods, and if one of them is on the menu in a way that looks appealing, I'll always choose it. Grilled baby octopus always tops crabcakes. Sweetbreads always trump duck. Duck beats steak, but not always. If it looks like the chef has done something creative with the duck, it's a winner. But if the steak is, say, a really big T-bone, and I haven't had steak for a week or so, goodby duck. Seafood always beats meat if the restaurant is within sight of the ocean. It's like an elaborate game of rock/paper/scizzors, but everyone has their own rules. It's always funny when we're out to dinner with a couple, and one of them tries to get the other to play by their rules. Not happening, at least not in a marriage that is going to last more than another three months.
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Dawna



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 125
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweetbreads do trump duck, but only just! I love your game of culinary rock/paper/scissors!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chicago Bear wrote:
I have favorite kinds of foods, and if one of them is on the menu in a way that looks appealing, I'll always choose it.


Absolutely! That's very much how we do it (it has never occurred to me as 'trumping', or as a variant of that well known kids' game - I shall nick those idioms, if I may! Laughing ). And we always try not to order the same, so that we can see and taste the other offerings...
And as David has already said, we try to order something that we wouldn't necessarily cook ourselves, or wouldn't know how to, or couldn't be bothered to...
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kohuether



Joined: 07 Sep 2005
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dine out for ideas! I read menus like cookbooks and I read cookbooks like novels. It's fun to see different flavor combinations and sauces, and each chef has a signature. I store this information up in my brain and every now and then, something pops out of my head and surprises me while I am cooking dinner. Very Happy
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eileen



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 67
Location: antwerp, belgium

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmmmm......
besides all of the above...
maybe we eat out because we don't have to do the dishes? Shocked
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late yesterday afternoon was the end of a long, tedious day talking with expert witnesses in one of my cases about arcane statistics and stuff that made my head hurt. The only thing that kept me going was looking forward to sitting down at a white tablecloth restaurant, having a smiling server bring me an alcoholic beverage, and browsing through a menu looking for some creatively prepared offering. It was the expectation of being pampered and experiencing the pleasure of a good wine and food. Sure enough, my spirits immediately lifted with the first sip of my mojito. The restaurant was called Vermillion, and it styles itself as Indian/Latin fusion. Tamarind glazed baby back ribs on a bed of cilantro flavored corn, for example. It was really a wonderful escape.
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