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Eating out !!
Old 08-17-2009, 06:19 PM   #1
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Eating out !!

Is it just me or has eating out lost it's luster ? I remember years ago when eating out was always a treat but lately the food is bland and not worth the money .If the food is not better than I can cook it is not worth it to me . Granted I do not live in a food capital like New York or New Orleans but Sarasota is no slouch in the restaurant department .
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:21 PM   #2
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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Eating out has definitely lost its luster for me. Very few restaurants where I live that prepare better food than what I can prepare at home. I go out with friends for social reasons, not the food. I love really fresh seafood, pan Asian and Mexican....not exactly easy to come by in the Pittsburgh area(good I mean). There are a couple of places that I like, but I don't routinely feel like bucking traffic and ferreting out parking plus driving at least an hour each way.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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No problem finding good eats here in Chicago. But, especially if you enjoy a cocktail before dinner and a glass of wine or two with dinner, dining out is pretty darn pricey. We don't dine out too often but when we do I'd say we spend roughly 50% of our weekly grocery/booze/wine bill per occassion. Go out two times per week and we roughly doubled our food/alcohol expenditure as compared to eating all meals at home.

We tend to eat out at ethnic places and order food I have little hope of learning to prep at home.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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You guys are too rich for my blood! I spent $1350 eating out last year, and $400 of that was at the company cafeteria and another $200 was burrito places around work, so, no, eating out has not lost its luster for me. I just went for Japanese food yesterday, and it was delicious. I love the deep fried tofu and a sashimi dinner with a nice beer. Of course, if I can eat that well everyday, then eating out would have lost its luster a long time ago.

Next serious dining out experience will be at a seafood restaurant. I'm thinking raw oysters for appetizer followed by a medium-rare Salmon steak.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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We've slowed way down on our eating out, even on vacations and trips. When we do long trip by car now we are much more likely to make sandwiches for lunch and stop at the supermarket deli for a dinner salad in whatever town we find ourselves in. We've found it not only saves money, but saves a lot on the calories and weight gain that we've often experienced in the past. Sure we go out once in a while, but it has lost its luster.

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Old 08-17-2009, 06:43 PM   #7
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Since DH has retired, he's cooked a few times. For me that's like eating out because no two cooks cook the same. (yeah...most of it's been pretty good)

I enjoy eating out at least twice a month. It's nice to have someone serve me.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:45 PM   #8
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We do not eat out much while at home, but I enjoy researching and choosing restaurants when traveling. I usually do not get as much enjoyment out of the food as the ambience. When out-of-town, the different environment enhances the experience.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:47 PM   #9
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We have noticed that the restaurants near us have cut back on the quality of the food (e.g., the meat is stringier) or quantity (not as much leftovers). For that reason, we have marked off a few places.

I am sure that it is tied to the fact that a lot of people have cut back. We took a guy out for his going away lunch to a Mexican place near work. A few years ago it would have been backed but this time there were maybe 5 or 6 groups and 50 empty tables.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:48 PM   #10
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Eating out has definitely lost its luster for me. Very few restaurants where I live that prepare better food than what I can prepare at home.
Yeah, right. I just put a frozen beef chimichanga in the oven that I bought at Walmart.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:50 PM   #11
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Yeah, right. I just put a frozen beef chimichanga in the oven that I bought at Walmart.
I had no idea you were such a gourmet....
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:58 PM   #12
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It's a social thing for me. I'm not that adventurous of an eater so often it's more of a challenge for me to find something I'll like rather than it's worth while. But in a restaurant I get to spend good face to face time with my daughter or whoever I'm out with, with fewer distractions.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:03 PM   #13
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When we do long trip by car now we are much more likely to make sandwiches for lunch
Same here Rambler. When we do our 600+ mile drive from Chicago to northern Minnesota, I pack a small Coleman cooler with some good eats (smoked fish, cheese, crackers, gourmet sandwiches, fruit, etc.) and we stop at attractive state rest stop in northern Wisconsin for lunch. There's a picnic table under a huge, old elm tree we like. The view is fantastic, the food is good and it takes less time and costs no more than stopping at a Denny's or whatever. Leftovers make handy snacks at the motel that night.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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Is it just me or has eating out lost it's luster ? I remember years ago when eating out was always a treat but lately the food is bland and not worth the money .If the food is not better than I can cook it is not worth it to me . Granted I do not live in a food capital like New York or New Orleans but Sarasota is no slouch in the restaurant department .
DW and I rarely eat out. However, when we do it is someplace high end. We are fairly good cooks so we can do much better at home than most restaurants. I really enjoy cooking for others though.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:04 PM   #15
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Yeah, right. I just put a frozen beef chimichanga in the oven that I bought at Walmart.
Enjoy! Sounds at least as good as my low calorie soyburger...
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:05 PM   #16
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Yeah, right. I just put a frozen beef chimichanga in the oven that I bought at Walmart.
We "ate" at the Ruidoso WalMart for almost the entire week we were there. We had the dog with us and she has mild separation anxiety issues, so we didn't want to be away too long. So it seemed like we were running to the nearby WalMart every day for stuff -- drinks, snacks, meals...
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:12 PM   #17
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I go out with friends for social reasons, not the food. I love really fresh seafood,
I do enjoy the social aspect and we do have fresh seafood and Mexican but I really miss the Italian restaurants of NJ. I also miss reasonable portions . Is it me are portions getting bigger and bigger ?
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:15 PM   #18
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Is it me are portions getting bigger and bigger
They have been for a few years. One good thing about this craptastic economy and increased penny-pinching is that several restaurants -- eaven the sit-down type ones -- are bringing back smaller portion sizes on a "value menu" type menu, almost like opening up a kids menu or a senior menu to everyone. Instead of a typical large $10 entree some places offer the same in a smaller portion for, say, $6-7. That seems to be spreading.

Frankly, if I'm ordering something that makes good leftovers, I'll order the big one, eat half of it, and box up the other half for tomorrow's lunch. But if it's not good reheated, I'll opt for the smaller one.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:18 PM   #19
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I had no idea you were such a gourmet....
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:29 PM   #20
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For us, eating out has always been and still is reserved for special occasions (birthdays, anniversary, mother's day...). So it remains a treat.
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