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Old 09-09-2017, 07:29 PM   #21
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Most upscale steakhouses like Ruth's Chris, Fleming's, Morton's, or local non-chain restaurants now charge $50-60 for a steak without trimmings. A side dish of potato for $10-15 is the norm. The meat is good, but eating out like that every week costs a lot, plus it gets boring too. So, I do not do that often.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:07 PM   #22
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Most upscale steakhouses like Ruth's Chris, Fleming's, Morton's, or local non-chain restaurants now charge $50-60 for a steak without trimmings. A side dish of potato for $10-15 is the norm. The meat is good, but eating out like that every week costs a lot, plus it gets boring too. So, I do not do that often.
We received a gift card for Ruth's Chris once, and even though we LOVE their porterhouse for two, we never redeemed the gift card. The reason we didn't, was because most people here dress up a little bit to go there. We are lazy retirees who wear comfy retiree clothes that aren't quite up to Ruth's Chris level.

So that's another factor in choosing a restaurant. If we can't go there in shorts, sandals, and a polo shirt, or something along those lines, we will probably procrastinate forever before going there. It's not that we mind dressing up, it's just that we never seem to get around to it.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:13 PM   #23
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Food type, then location. So I'm usually up for steaks, Mexican, or Italian. Whatever we are in the mood for. Preferably within an hour drive of our location.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:22 PM   #24
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At home we eat out very seldom.

When traveling we eat out all the time.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:38 PM   #25
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Places like that are very nice, they do not offer good value. For those of us that arent used to spending exorbitant prices for a great steak, it is a shock to the system. Im glad the meal was good. Im scared to ask what they hosed you for a cocktail. Those are places that are for the special occasion or expense account folks.
What you should do is to go to an expensive steak house, and after dinner ask for a shot of Louis XIII Cognac to see if they have it. If they don't, you will say you have a bottle in your car, and for them just to bring a Cognac glass.

You still have that bottle, right? And if you have emptied it, just pour an XO into it. None will be the wiser.

PS. On eBay, people are selling empty bottles of Louis XIII for more than $200. I guess people buy them to refill.

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Old 09-09-2017, 08:46 PM   #26
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1) No bugs or rodents;

2) Clean utensils, glasses, plates, etc.

3) Comfortable seating;

4) Little or no wait;

5) Tasty food;

6) Decent prices;

7) Polite wait staff.

I have a vague recollection that when I was single I enjoyed going out to eat. Now, aml w$orking (a lot) and frankly am very tired and don't really look forward to going out to eat. It seems like a lot of work to me. Maybe when I retire I'll enjoy it more.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:53 PM   #27
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1) No bugs or rodents;
..snip..
Other than apps or entrees?
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:21 PM   #28
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Price is important to me because I want to brag, to anyone who will listen, about how much I paid for dinner and drinks. The more expensive, the better.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:42 PM   #29
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At the above steak houses, at least you get a steak for $50, albeit with no trimmings. It could be a lot worse.

My wife told me once a coworker of hers got a comp to stay at a luxury hotel in NYC. He made the mistake of having breakfast there. Once he sat down and opened the menu, he knew he was in trouble: there were no prices listed.

So, he ordered what he thought should be the least expensive. Still ended up paying $75 or something like that. And this was 20 years ago. That was quite a story to tell.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:47 PM   #30
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I asked my wife again. She remembers that incidence, but not what the guy ordered. Could be a simple sunny side up or something, and it was around $100. And she remembers the hotel: Four Seasons.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:03 AM   #31
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Type of food first. Do I want Italian? Chinese?
Quality next.
Value third.
Unless I'm traveling, then usually type the reviews.
+1. We also look at the "atmosphere" particularly when we are travelling. Does it have a view, rustic interior, charm factor etc. Now I am hungry and want to go on a trip.

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Old 09-10-2017, 03:14 AM   #32
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A run down hole in the wall is fine for us since we are usually paying more attention to each other and the food, than to our surroundings.
"hole in the wall", some of our favorite places! Now I want a Po boy! I don't think I can make "Mother's" for breakfast. I know, its for the tourists. But, hey I am a tourist when in NO.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:31 AM   #33
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Most upscale steakhouses like Ruth's Chris, Fleming's, Morton's, or local non-chain restaurants now charge $50-60 for a steak without trimmings. A side dish of potato for $10-15 is the norm. The meat is good, but eating out like that every week costs a lot, plus it gets boring too. So, I do not do that often.
It gets pricey at the steak houses. We went to one in Atlanta for an anniversary earlier this year. It was around $350 for 2 steaks, two apps, 1 side, a moderate bottle of wine, and tip. Definitely not a once a week place! At least not for us unless we decide to bump the SWR.

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Old 09-10-2017, 03:49 AM   #34
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We don't go out to eat at steakhouses because it's so easy to fix excellent steaks at home, and we've also got the sides down, and we have a great selection of wine in the cellar.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:19 AM   #35
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When you go out to eat how do you choose a restaurant to eat at? Is it because of one favorite dish or because the quality across the board? Food type (nationality)? Location? Parking? Value? Reviews? Special occasion?
Price? Perhaps this should be a poll, and I ask for help with this if so agreed.
All those factors plus service. We eat dinner out at least twice a week. Sometimes, quality is our top priority, other times value is a priority. We won't accept bad service twice from any place. We enjoy a lot of "food types" including seafood, steak, sushi, American, southern, burgers, breakfast, Chinese and Cajun, but Italian, Mexican and artisan neapolitan pizza are our overall favorites. I read a lot of reviews, but there are so many fake or unqualified reviews you have to take them all with a grain of salt. I always want to try every new restaurant and every dish while DW likes to go back to favorite dishes/restaurants - so that's a mix for us.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:29 AM   #36
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We don't go out to eat at steakhouses because it's so easy to fix excellent steaks at home, and we've also got the sides down, and we have a great selection of wine in the cellar.
Agreed. We get great steaks at Costco. Ours carries prime beef. But we rarely even get that. The meal out, that I mentioned above, can be prepared at home for around $60 including the better wine (the apps were both lobster). It was $350 out. Normally steak at home and a glass or two of the daily wine would run less than $20. Two of us can split 8 to 10 oz. of steak.

And, at home I get the choice, sear the steaks and finish in the oven or fire up the Big green Egg.

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Old 09-10-2017, 06:12 AM   #37
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"hole in the wall", some of our favorite places!
2006, Boston, Kentucky......serendipity brought us to Grandma's.....sign said closed, but the owner opened up for us, (then, when the phone rang a few times as we were eating, told other prospective patrons to "come on down").

I've stressed (incessantly?) that we are not Foodies and never eat out when we can eat in....but this was, without a doubt, the best food we have ever had.

So much so that, when we were in the area a couple years later, found the place unoccupied, and were advised by a local store owner that they had relocated, (we actually went around asking people), we drove twenty miles out of our way in pouring rain in an unsuccessful quest to find their new place.

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Old 09-10-2017, 06:45 AM   #38
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We don't go out to eat at steakhouses because it's so easy to fix excellent steaks at home, and we've also got the sides down, and we have a great selection of wine in the cellar.
+2.

DW and I are both fairly handy around the kitchen and don't see the fun factor of frequent dinners out. (BTW - learn to dry brine and reverse sear a steak [or a chop] and you'll never want to pay fine dining prices ever again).

We'll go to an upscale restaurant a few times a year for special occasions. Also, when travelling, we'll mix upscale and value.

On Saturdays, we often go to our local diner for breakfast. We like it there, and can get out (stuffed) for under $20 all in.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:54 AM   #39
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Fast and Cheap, but NOT fast food. Places that my wife and I gravitate to on regular outings would include:

Panera - where we usually split a pick two (usually a salad.)

A trendy Diner (comfort food w/ a level above a Cracker Barrel.)

First Watch - Fru fru healthy breakfasts

Hibachi - fresh and fast $6.95 chicken & Vegetables w/rice.

Special Occasins = Bonefish or a local Steakhouse.

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Old 09-10-2017, 07:07 AM   #40
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DW and I are both fairly handy around the kitchen and don't see the fun factor of frequent dinners out. (BTW - learn to dry brine and reverse sear a steak [or a chop] and you'll never want to pay fine dining prices ever again).

We'll go to an upscale restaurant a few times a year for special occasions. Also, when travelling, we'll mix upscale and value.

On Saturdays, we often go to our local diner for breakfast. We like it there, and can get out (stuffed) for under $20 all in.
We're also pretty adept cooking and baking, so admittedly we should follow your (and others) example, but preparing 3 good meals/day, 7 days a week gets really, really old (leftovers help). Maybe one day we'll conclude mid to fine dining is only warrranted on special occasions.

But there are places that can prepare reasonably healthy, flavorful meals at prices that are competitive with home cooking like Panera Bread, Noodles & Co, Corner Bakery, McAlister's Deli and several others locally. If you're careful there are healthy options at many fast food places, though not as tasty, so we only eat there in a pinch despite the lower prices.
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