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This has nothing to do with COVID but after reading the thread about eating out/in restaurants I'm curious to see if there are others who don't go out to eat? I was trying to think of how often we have eaten out in the last 15 years and I believe the number is around 12 and only 3 times with all of us. We took the dc to In 'n Out on Xmas Eve one year. Went to Red Robin the night I went into labor with #8 (my L&D nurse was also there that evening, ironically). I took one kid to Arby's one time. I went to a local place with a friend for her birthday.

I'm just not into going out to eat unless it's "free" pancake day at IHOP (we leave a hefty tip). I don't like seeing strangers eat (and what else is there to do than look around at a restaurant??). I find most restaurant environments to not be conducive to conversation due to the noise and there's always that one person or table whose volume fills the entire establishment. We seem to get the lucky table/booth next to them - never fails. I can't stand how fast food places smell. I don't like dinner food or most lunch foods so unless I can get breakfast fare I wouldn't order anything which makes it awkward to sit there drinking water while others are eating. I don't like lingering over a meal even at home. I don't like waiting to be seated, waiting to order, waiting for food to arrive, waiting for the bill. Just don't have time for that. I don't mind other people cooking for me, I just don't like paying for it.

I also know how much it costs me to feed each person in my family each day ($3.50/person/day). So going to even a less expensive restaurant means spending days' worth of our food budget on one meal. Maybe when my dc are all grown/gone I'll treat myself...as long as it's breakfast food. With no line to wait in. Or other people there.

Am I the lone one? Anyone else? Anyone???

Of course if we had a Cheesecake Factory nearby I'm sure the number of times I frequent the take-out option would exponentially increase. Mmmmmm.....

ETA: I envy those who enjoy going out to eat. One time I was with a bunch of ladies who were thoroughly enjoying (or seeming to) their time at Panera and I.was.going.nuts.inside. So bored, so over the experience about 5 minutes after sitting at the table. I know I'm missing out on some aspect of this eating out experience...

 

Edited by BakersDozen
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We don't eat out very often.

(All answers are assuming we are not in a pandemic.)

Sometimes the teens eat out with the church youth group.

When we are visiting family out of state we will eat out while we are travelling.

I will occasionally get Chick-Fil-A if I'm out and it's lunchtime.  This happens maybe 6 times a year.

Last year all 8 of us ate Christmas Eve dinner at Olive Garden.  It was the first time we had all eaten in a sit-down restaurant in years.  I can't even remember the last time (other than when we were travelling).  Maybe before dd10 was born?

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I never eat out with my kids. I get them Chikfila for my convenience only.  Why can’t I spell that? It is ridiculously expensive and I do it anyway. I think it is $54 for 6 of us. I used to go on a rainy day to give them something to do inside. 

I occasionally eat out with my husband but we have to get a babysitter and I feel guilty. Otherwise I love to go out to eat at a great restaurant.  I never watch anyone else eat. I don’t really notice anyone else. My husband is very handsome (beauty/beholder) and I look at him.

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My husband and I normally eat out or get takeout once per week, primarily ethnic food that I don’t know how to make. With the pandemic, we only do take out. There are certain things I have a very hard time paying for out and either never do or only do when on vacation, including breakfast food and pasta and most Mexican food with the exception of seafood tacos and excellent guacamole. We rarely ever eat at any chain restaurants and never when on vacation. We normally share a meal and only very rarely get appetizers or dessert. The only time we ever order alcohol is to share a margarita with the rare Mexican meal. We never go out for expensive American cuisine with maybe the exception of a steak on my husband’s birthday. When we eat out in non pandemic times, we usually linger for an hour or more as it’s a great time to really connect and talk.

Edited by Frances
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4 minutes ago, drjuliadc said:

I never eat out with my kids. I get them Chikfila for my convenience only.  Why can’t I spell that? It is ridiculously expensive and I do it anyway. I think it is $54 for 6 of us. I used to go on a rainy day to give them something to do inside. 

I occasionally eat out with my husband but we have to get a babysitter and I feel guilty. Otherwise I love to go out to eat at a great restaurant.  I never watch anyone else eat. I don’t really notice anyone else. My husband is very handsome (beauty/beholder) and I look at him.

This is the best thing I have read all day.  

p.s I have the same kind of husband.  

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As state above, in normal time I would eat about 1-2 times per week - generally fast food. My boyfriend is much more disciplined about eating at home. I've always had a small family, so at some point eating out is more efficient - depending upon the restaurant we'd  have leftovers. 

Also, pre-Covid I'd go to Panera once a week to sit and grade. I'd get there early, buy coffee and a bagel and leave before the lunch rush. It's a great place to be productive. 

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I like going out to eat for some of the reasons you don’t: it forces us to slow down because we have to wait for things. It forces us to talk to each other instead of scarfing down a meal at home and heading to our separate corners of the house.  🙂

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Generally, I don't eat food other people cooked unless I have no other option.  No dine-in, no takeout, no pizza delivery, no drive-thru.  Not even Starbucks.  About once a year I have a social obligation at a restaurant that I can't get out of, DH has to deal with work trips, and there are a few travel situations where we can't bring our own food, but other than that everything is prepared at home.  There are a lot of reasons:  DH has Celiac.  I have food allergies and chronic GI issues.  I'm paranoid about germs (we COMPLETELY stopped getting sick when we quit restaurants and potlucks).  Large food portions turn my stomach.  And I'm a cheapskate who doesn't want to pay 2-4x the cost of an at-home meal plus tip (and I have a pretty luxurious grocery budget!).

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When we had little kids at home, we rarely went out to eat.  Then it was mostly dh and I for an anniversary.  But occasionally for other occasions.

Now - I only have two at home - one of those is an adult who pays his own bills.  so I only have one dependent child. And dh's business is doing well after years of start-up and barely scrapping by where an ice cream cone at DQ was an extravagant splurge.   So we go out more, just us usually.  Sometimes with kids.  when I visit 2dd, I will pay for Texas BBQ when visiting . . . . (though it can also be a who-will-blink-first-glare-contest with my dsil who will whip out his cc to pay  . . .)

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When our kids were all home, we rarely ate out...  Maybe once/month?  Nothing fancy, maybe at a local cafe or pizza parlor.   As our kids got older, we enjoyed stopping for coffee during long car rides.

Now, my dh and I really enjoy eating out.  Pre-covid, we probably ate out once/week.  (Not counting our coffee stops.  :))  It always feels special, and we take our time.  I look forward to doing that again!

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I like to eat out. I have limited stamina. Eating out allows me to “provide food “ for my family without cooking every day. We have a smaller family (empty nest now) and we have the money. There are some challenges due to celiac disease (gluten free) and also needing to be dairy free. Our favorite Thai restaurant delights in making meals for me not on the menu. (The waiter often tells me that the cooking staff are aware that we have come and wondered if they could surprise me with something new). I have never been disappointed. 

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I hate to cook.

Me too! Which means I should really like eating out...but I still don't. Unless it's Cheesecake Factory (which I would not make at home).

 

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Last year all 8 of us ate Christmas Eve dinner at Olive Garden. 

We went to OG in 2005. I remember there were yummy breadsticks...

 

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I'd rather do take out and bring it home. 

Yep!

 

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I used to go on a rainy day to give them something to do inside. 

I did this when my older ones were little - McDs, $1 menu with $5 max spent, Play Place (until it got too gross to go)...rainy/super hot day distraction.

 

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My husband and I normally eat out or get takeout once per week, primarily ethnic food that I don’t know how to make.

Ah, there's my problem (well, one of many) - I can't stand ethnic foods. I like bland and boring. In-laws dropped a bunch of money at a restaurant years and years ago...ethnic food...nope. My taste buds never developed enough, I guess.

 

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It forces us to talk to each other instead of scarfing down a meal at home and heading to our separate corners of the house.  

Do you do meal prep together or is meal time when everyone converges? Your post made me pause and think through our meal times from prep to clean up...it's constant talking and interaction. So by the time we get to the table the conversation just continues from prep then continues on through clean up. I guess we hang out at the table sometimes if there's a particularly interesting/intriguing topic of conversation...but I'm done after about 20 minutes. 🙂

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I like eating out. Dh and I, pre Covid, would leave early almost every Saturday morning and go downtown to have breakfast. We have several places we enjoy and would rotate. We then would usually spend a few hours walking around. We also would often eat lunch out during the week, again just the two of us. We have still been eating out here and there but only if it’s outdoors so our options are more limited. We do go as a family to our fav ice cream place often, even during Covid, and we all hang out in the car. 
 

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I MISS dining out. The four of us have completely different activity interests, but we all love food. We can easily spend 1-2 hours at the table at home. (We do control ourselves at a restaurant so they can turn over the table.) Once we were eating lunch outside with friends and stayed long enough to order dinner. 🤣
 

I can cook, but we like so many different ethnic foods that I’m not going to master them all and it’s nice to go out.  We’ve eliminated dining out and have severely cut back on take out from twice a week to once or twice a month. 
 

I REALLY miss dining with friends at home or in a restaurant. That was a great joy and I tend to love people with food. I miss my friends. I’ve patented a sleeping bag and double chair method for staying warm at a firepit, but that’s a rare occurrence and just not the same as sharing a table. 

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In normal times we eat out maybe three times a year. Both Husband and I  are good cooks, so at cheaper restaurants that are reachable locally, the food is usually disappointingly not as good as we would produce.  When we eat out, it's somewhere really good.

ETA: we buy veg, fruit and meat directly from the producers and fish on ice from a van that drives half an hour from the fishing port.  This is a prime agricultural area with diverse produce, so we can do some great home cooking.  Husband gave up eating, for example, steak in restaurants years ago because they are always too thin to be cookable as he likes them (he doesn't eat a big steak but he likes it done right).

Edited by Laura Corin
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When my kids go for dual enrollment classes prior to COVID19 taking all classes online, we would have lunch on campus before taking public transport home. When my kids go for tennis lessons weekly, we used to go to Panda Express or other Chinese food places to have dinner before going home.

We don’t really want to do takeout if eating at the place is possible. Firstly, our dining table is used as a study table so we actually have a more proper sit down meal at a restaurant (even the Panda Express kind). Secondly we like Korean hotpot and BBQ which is messy to do at home so we pay up a few times a year. I like to try new buffet spreads so we go to buffets maybe once or twice a year. My teens are happy to get to try different items at buffets without worrying about the bill. Thirdly, it’s kind of pampering to have someone else be cooking and washing dishes, and to be in the boisterous atmosphere of the big dining halls of Chinese or Korean restaurants.

I enjoy taking two hours to have lunch. Since there is only four of us, the bill comes out to about a hundred before tips for lunch. If I have six kids like some of my aunts, I would think twice about eating out so often. 
 

If I am eating out with my family and relatives, the bigger Chinese restaurants  typically have private rooms so that we could talk with some privacy. 
 

I grew up attending Chinese wedding dinners that are 12 course meals and about 4 hours long. I think my husband and I are used to long drawn sit down meals with waiters and waitresses serving.

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The kids usually get to pick a place to eat on their birthdays but sometimes choose take out, and I spent a couple of years having LOTS of lunch meetings, but that’s the bulk of it. Dh and I (in normal times) will go out to dinner with friends, but it’s maybe once or twice a year. We don’t always go out for our anniversary, but we did last year.  When my dds worked in a breakfast place, we took the younger boys a few times.  There’s usually a Christmas party at a nice restaurant.  To me, that all seems like a lot, because it’s way more than we did 5-15 years ago.

I don’t know that I particularly enjoy eating out, but I adore not cooking and cleaning, or even not having someone else cook and clean in the house.  And I like eating fancier food than I’m willing to make.  I’m not great with fish and seafood recipes, so I like to lean that way when we are out.

On top of the budget issue, mid-priced restaurants are at least a half hour away, so there’s another hour or more of time involved. Going out is never really a last minute option because of that, unless we want to spend a whole bunch on our only two closer options.

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I like eating out, although I agree with you on all the bad aspects of eating out!  They just don't bother me to the point of not wanting to go out.  

I really, really like food.  And I enjoy eating something that is hard to make at home- deep-fried things, pizza cooked in a real pizza oven, complicated things with many obscure ingredients like various ethnic cuisines, etc.  I do not enjoy going out to eat and then eating something I could have cooked at home.  

I don't think there is anything wrong with not enjoying restaurants!!!  Don't change yourself.  🙂  

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I miss it for sure!  We used to eat out 1-2 times a week as a family and I would usually one other time a week with friends.  I don't find almost any of the local restaurants have food that is better than what I can make at home and it is for sure a waste of money but I liked having a couple meals each week that I did not have to plan, cook, and clean up after.  We do take-out once a week now, mostly just so I only have to deal with 20 meals a week instead of 21 and to support our local businesses.  Take out is even less appetizing than eating at the restaurant so it is not a "treat" really.  I live in an area with few restaurants and almost all are on the bland side.  We are vegetarian in a meat-and-potatoes kind of town so that further complicates things.

When I go to a city, however, I often plan half of my trip around restaurants.  We love love LOVE trying new ethnic foods.  And it is very exciting to open a menu and find more than the two token vegetarian dishes listed.  Some of my most memorable travel experiences have involved food.  There is a food truck in Switzerland somewhere that I can still taste if I concentrate hard enough.

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When we moved to the country, I began eating out with dc as a matter of convenience during the ‘in the car all the time’ years...but that was subway or Chick fil A or other fast food.  By the time we got home, I did not want to venture out, and our closest town did not have the wonderful restaurant choices of our former city.  I learned to cook.  Well, I always knew how to cook, but I learned to make things taste like good restaurant food.  Now, although the food at a restaurant is not always as good to me as in the past (d/t liking my own cooking), they have more choices on hand, we have the money to eat out together/time to venture around.  I travel with DH a lot on business, and that is the best aspect, the eating out.  He enjoys it, too, surprisingly, even though he is a homebody.  We like being around people & seeing them, although not really watching them eat, I guess, haha!

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We usually eat out once a week, with friends, Mexican. I'm actually glad that habit has been broken, because it was getting more expensive as the kids get older. It used to be that we could split 2 meals and feed the four of us, but not anymore. It just adds up, doing it weekly. I enjoyed it simply because I didn't have to think about food. I get so tired of figuring out food! But I like saving $ more, most of the time. If we had a larger family, we would eat out very rarely.

I don't mind restaurants, and usually enjoy them. I think it's primarily because we almost never ate out when I was growing up. We kids really felt like we were missing out, because it was something all our friends did, but we would always head home. (As an adult, I realized there was no way we could have afforded it.) The magic wore off years ago, but the feeling of doing something special still lingers.

I don't like loud, crowded, indoor places. I hate not being able to hear anyone. The exception to this is places where there is live music, because then I'd rather listen to the music than people. Either way I end up overstimulated though.

Dh doesn't like eating anywhere that serves only food that is the same as at home. We still laugh about the time we were at a buffet and he said he didn't enjoy it because it was "the same mediocre food I eat at home." 😂 Gee, thanks, honey. Lol He meant it's not any kind of special ethnic food that I don't know how to make, it's just regular (to us) food.

 

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We don't eat out normally.  First it was when the kids were young, it was much harder to eat out.  As our family grew it was just so expensive.  Now, we could do it, but don't really want to.  Dh is a good cook and when we do eat out, we all think dh could have made this at home for so much cheaper.  Honestly the only time I can think of us going out to eat in the last year or two was on vacation.  But even that is rare.  We do the hotel breakfast or maybe one or two meals out to get authentic food when we are overseas.  I just don't really enjoy being in a restaurant either.   Yuck.  I used to work in a restaurant in college.  Lots of unsanitary things.  

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We rarely eat out. We started taking the kids for ice cream after TKD belt testing, that is a few times a year. Sometimes we just buy Sunday fixings for home. Otherwise usually only if we are out if town and even then I often pack food. On our trip to England, Italy, and Ireland, we only ate at restaurant once a day at most most if the trip. We bought groceries and cooked breakfast and dinner, had lunch out or just grabbed sandwiches/salads at the grocery store. 

I don't like paying so much for a meal I can cook better for a fraction of the cost.  I used to occasionally take the kids for fast food dollar menu when they were younger but it is now too much money to fill everyone up on not great food. For special occasions I'll buy more specialty ingredients(steak, seafood, ethnic food) and make something myself. If I eat at home I can dress in comfy clothes and have peace. 

I let the kids pick out the menu for their bday. Ds had lobster thus year. Dd3 wanted junk food like chicken nugget(bought frozen from the store), ds2 wants shrimp. I can't remember dd1. 

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I like eating out, but we live in a very small town in a rural area where people are not very adventurous with food. The restaurants that are around pretty much all serve the same things, so even pre-Covid we didn’t go out much here. That is one of the things I muss the most about living in The Big City - all the food choices. 

It is more difficult and expensive to go out with a large family. When my kids were little, I could tell you all the restaurants that had a kid-eat-free night. I also knew all the restaurants in our area that had playgrounds or other entertainment for kids 

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We have very rarely eaten out.  I just don't like it and neither does my teen.   Take out is much more fun for us, especially if my husband is the one going to get it.    It is just too loud, too crowded, too expensive, and overall too much to eat in restaurants.

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We didn't much when the kids were little -- the hassle in working around activity schedules, the sprint to get home in time for bed, the squirmies while we waited, the limitations on what places worked.

But we all (kids included, now that they're old) really like trying different types of food and atmosphere; and we also all (kids included, now that they're old) like to go to theater/museum exhibits/concerts in New York or New Haven -- which sort of necessitates eating out before or after the scheduled event; and we all (kids included now that they're old) like to travel, in the US and abroad -- which definitely necessitates eating out.  We also have a number of friends whom we invite to our house for dinner, but they don't themselves cook, so they reciprocate by inviting us out.  So in the Beforetimes, when the kids were mostly-fledged, my husband and I went out ~1-2x/week alone or with friends when we were home, and we traveled (with 0,1,2 or 3 kids, as their schedules allowed) regularly and ate (dinner at least) out then as well.

Very rarely in chain establishments -- the whole point for me is to absorb flavors and tastes, music and aromas, enjoy an atmosphere, we can't produce at home. 

 

Early on in COVID I missed restaurants a LOT.  I *can* cook, but don't particularly enjoy it... and in the early days I was very stressed by the provisioning challenges of adapting to deliveries and shortages, and my suddenly-full-again household was very bored and restless by the monotony of what I was able to conjure up at home.

By this point I'm accustomed to the routines involved in deliveries and cooking at home: what I miss is seeing friends (I don't care WHERE), changes in scenery, and traveling.

Sigh. But, good vaccine news again today, this time from Pfizer: between this effort and Moderna's, God willing these clouds will lift by summer.

 

 

Edited by Pam in CT
clouds will "lift," not "life," lol
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The places you mention aren’t particularly known for their ambience. I am not surprised that you didn’t enjoy being there.

I tend to eat out (in normal times) for things I wouldn’t go to the effort to make at home. I also tend to go out for date night with Dh with the kids at home. They are content to have time away from us and we are content to leave them for a few hours. 🙂 

I am curious, OP, are there things that you do find yourself relaxing into and able to sit still for and enjoy? Because your description rang bells for me as being similar to how ds described life before adhd meds. He could not just sit and relax...

 

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We like to eat out but also do so because of convenience. For example, church gets out at 12:30 and it takes us 45 min to get home. We usually get lunch before heading home because we're hungry and we still have to pick up groceries on the way. Waiting until 2:00pm for lunch is annoying and packing lunch sucks. So even without trying, that's once a week eating out.

 

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I am curious, OP, are there things that you do find yourself relaxing into and able to sit still for and enjoy? Because your description rang bells for me as being similar to how ds described life before adhd meds. He could not just sit and relax...

Lol, I promise I am not ADD/ADHD. I am one who both enjoys and needs to be busy/productive. If I watch a movie then I am also exercising. My idea of a date night is to get grocery shopping done. When I was forced to stay in a hotel for a week (waiting for VBAC in city 1.5 hours away) I was pacing the room after just an hour - no laundry, no cleaning up, no kids around. I just cannot stand sitting and doing nothing. I know making small talk while sitting at a restaurant isn't exactly doing nothing but I can just as easily make that small talk while pushing a grocery cart up and down aisles or wiping down my kitchen. I can't stand being idle. Now if I have to then I can be idle...but I don't enjoy the feeling.

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Long ago, we ate out probably twice a week. I have enjoyed cooking since I was living on my own in my 20s but I also loved going out to eat. 

As finances became more of an issue and as my cooking skills increased, eating out has become less desirable. I want a lot more bang for the buck of eating out.

So, I can cook a lot of Indian dishes well enough for my family, but going out for a meal at a restaurant exposes us to more different things. But, the current 'best' Indian restaurant in our area (current meaning recently pre-Covid) is a very quiet, sedate place. The food is excellent! But the atmosphere is so uncomfortable. I feel like we have to whisper. I don't like super loud restaurants, but I don't like a hushed atmosphere either. So we didn't go very often.

Now I do crave Red Robin (fast casual chain featuring burgers) now and then. Sure, we can make burgers at home, but it's just better there. I don't have to assemble all the things that make the perfect burger. My vegetarian daughter loves the mac and cheese, and it's a big portion so there's leftovers for home. Plus it's a fun place unless it's Friday or Saturday night.

We have a Pho place we go to once per year, kid's birthday request. I cannot make pho anywhere as good as this place. The atmosphere is just crowded/noisy enough. There aren't any tempting desserts so birthday cake at home is welcome. It's relatively inexpensive. 

Since Covid we have done a couple of takeouts, and have eaten lunch at an outdoor restaurant for our 25th wedding anniversary. That's it for us. Will we go back to more restaurant eating?  I doubt it. Once a meal is decided upon, I'm happy to cook it. It's the eternal question of what to eat that gets me.

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We ate out quite a bit pre-COVID.  At different stages of our marriage, eating out has looked different, depending on kid's ages, work situations, and finances.  I am not one to go to a big chain restaurant and wait in a crowded area until the buzzer goes off, to then be seated at a table in a noisy area, to be rushed through a meal with a waiter asking if I have "saved room for dessert" about two bites into my meal.  But, I enjoy everything from an afternoon latte with a delicious pastry in a local coffee shop, to a hamburger joint with picnic-style tables, to a leisurely dinner in a quiet restaurant with a bottle of wine and good conversation.  There are certain things that I enjoy cooking, such as gumbo and lasagna, that I will never go to a restaurant and order.  There are other things, like fried chicken, that I am just not going to make at home because I can get better at Popeye's than I can make without all of the mess.  

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I actually do not love eating out.  However, I am only 20% of the vote in this house, and everyone else likes it.  So I go along ... similar to how I will watch a chick flick or animated movie though I borderline can't stand them.  😛

At least it cuts down on the housework.

[To be honest, I don't like food in general.  I think I will start a thread about this to find out how common it is.]

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Pre-covid we ate out a lot.  Some of it was convivence grabbing for teens (which is usually chipotle, blaze pizza, panera, subway, noodles & co or along these lines - we don't do greasy take out).   My husband and I were really enjoying our gourmet local food truck/tap room/brew house scene before covid.  

Now all that said, I have embraced cooking at home much more since covid.  And we do get take out, but dang ever more picky on food quality now and we were kind of bad before.  When you start doing crazy stuff like baking bread a few days a week, making pizza sauce from scratch, rolling your own pasta noodles, marinating chicken overnight for burritos, really playing with CSA veggie boxes, etc some of those more reasonable price point restaurants don't taste as great any more.  

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Pre Covid I would have lunch out with my DIL twice a month. We tried to keep it up after things started opening but it became too difficult. She and my son are presently under going  infertility treatment and we don't want to take any chances with them getting Covid. I do miss it though. 

DH prefers to order in so that's usually what we do. Nothing major...usually Chinese.

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16 hours ago, BakersDozen said:

Do you do meal prep together or is meal time when everyone converges? Your post made me pause and think through our meal times from prep to clean up...it's constant talking and interaction. So by the time we get to the table the conversation just continues from prep then continues on through clean up. I guess we hang out at the table sometimes if there's a particularly interesting/intriguing topic of conversation...but I'm done after about 20 minutes. 🙂

This is a great question!  I have a tiny kitchen. Like, less than 4 feet of counter space.  It’s not practical for all of us to be in there. So, at most, only two of us are there preparing at the same time.  

However, we have family friends who love to cook. They have a large kitchen. When we visit them, we all fit easily around their kitchen and we prepare the food together.

And I hate it.  HATE it. 

The conversation is stilted and constantly interrupted with, “Grab that spoon for me, will you?” or “Hang on, we need to get that chicken in the oven and set the timer for x minutes.”  The conversation never gets beyond small talk until the food is done being prepared.

When I’m making a meal at home, I’m always having to pause and consider what step I’m on and what needs to be done next. I don’t like being distracted by small talk.

My love language is quality time—uninterrupted quality time. I love time together focused on the person I’m with. Not focused on when I need to add the corn starch and is that pot boiling over and can you grab those plates for me? 

But, I do understand that going out to eat is not your thing at all. I get it! And I understand the idea that you’re all hanging out together and chatting and preparing meals together and that works for you. My husband loves it when we get together with our friends and all cook the meal together. He thinks it’s just great (but his love language isn’t quality time.)  It just doesn’t work that way for me. 🙂

 

Edited by Garga
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I eat out more often than you do, @BakersDozen, but less often than the vast majority of people I know. One thing we never do is leave our house as a family and drive to a restaurant for dinner. I don't think we have done that a single time, unless it was when others were with us (like cousins) and that is what they wanted to do. When we go, the whole family, out to eat somewhere, it has almost always been while traveling/on the road. 

Dh and I go out to eat together maybe 2 or 3 times a year, if that. I *do* think we should do it monthly, though. 

I do go out to eat with other groups of people and I enjoy it. It's funny you say only breakfast is what you like to eat out because breakfast is the one thing I really dislike paying for. I eat tiny breakfasts most days - a yogurt, a piece of fruit, an egg. When I go to a restaurant, I really want a delicious dinner that is either something I can't normally make myself, or something others in my family don't like, so I don't make it at home. Ex.: I like lamb chops, but dh does not, so that is one thing I like to get if we go out. 

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One of the things I loved in America when I moved here as a young adult was the variety of cuisines. I was not a good cook then and I loved to travel. So lacking the budget to travel to countries, I "travelled" the world by sampling the cuisines of the countries I wanted to visit someday. 

I am a much better cook now and I have used the food to introduce my culture to others. I use the same conceptof seeing the world on a plate.

Pre-plague we used to eat out every Saturday, picked out a restaurant of different cuisines. We usually frequented hole in the walls or immigrant run  restaurants or food trucks. We became so frequent in many restaurants that we were known by the owners who greeted us with a 'namaste' and we learned to say thank you and hello in their language. We rarely patronize chain restaurants, even pizza.

I have cooked many cuisines around the world, but it is not the same. The Pho I make does not have the density of the broth from a Vietnamese restaurant and I would not even dare attempt Sushi.

We cannot always travel to as many countries as we can so I always saw the world through food, DH joined me in it and we share it now with our kids. 

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We rarely eat out at a restaurant to sit down. We'll get take-out about once a month. My dc and I go to a fancy steak restaurant once a year for our anniversary. We use gift cards from VISA points.  It's not in our budget or interest to eat in restaurants. We have 4 dc very close in age. Taking them to a restaurant was not fun when they were young. It wasn't always fun at home, but at least it was cheaper. 😉 

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If I were the cook in the family, we'd eat out a lot more.  When I was married to ex, we ate out almost every night.   But dh is an amazing cook and does all our daily cooking as well, so we don't eat out too often.  

Except when traveling: 

For dh and I, we'll go out for our anniversary and maybe our birthdays, although now that the kids are older we sometimes just stay home and he makes an amazing meal here. 

As a whole family, we used to go out maybe once a month but probably less.  Ds is an extremely picky eater (super taster, SPD) so options are limited and we're only willing to have him eat french fries so many times a month.  He does like Olive Garden so we'll go there if we're going out for some reason.

I used to go to lunch with my mom or oldest dd about once every 3-4 months to someplace like Cheesecake Factory.  

We have just about every possible chain restaurant and food option within a reasonable distance so it's not lack of choices. 

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Eating out / getting take out is a treat. We do it as often as we can, up to 3x/month. I like to talk to my family, look at my adorable kids & handsome husband, and enjoy the atmosphere. Very blessed to have the means to be able to do this. I also enjoy tring new places & types of food although since we live in a rural area, we have to drive to the Big City to be able to do this. I love dd#1's college city because there is a lot of variety in eat out places.

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3 hours ago, RootAnn said:

@BakersDozenWhat food do you like at The Cheesecake Factory? The main dishes or the desserts?

I'm not BakersDozen, but I have a total of one dish I like at CF.  It's the shrimp with angel hair pasta.

My kids like their wings.

Edited by SKL
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I used to eat out twice a month, occasionally three times. Once was with my book club, once a regular date night with dh. That was plenty, or as I said maybe one more time.

I enjoy eating out on a limited basis and think of it as a treat. Too often and it's not a treat. One thing I absolutely don't like is going out to eat on Mother's Day or my birthday. On those days I want someone to cook for me at home. Plan, shop for, cook, and clean up. IOW, everything I would normally do. Taking me out is the easy way. I want dh and/or ds to do it the hard way lol. 

We probably order out more than we eat out, and we did that even before the pandemic. Really, I like eating at home, regardless of who made the food.

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