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Sep 9, 2006 02:16 AM

Two types of foodies?

Are there two types of foodies? I recently decided I could die happy if I never had a 5 (or three depending on rating system) star meal, but I loathe the thought that I might never have another croissant from Patisserie Valerie in London's Soho. Though I wouldn't mind a dish decorated with spots of sauce, I'd much much prefer an authentic slice. So are there two and which are you? Are you always on the lookout for the finest or for the best -berto's tacqueria?

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  1. I'm with Jim Leff as he put it in the FAQ: "Chowhounds go way out of their way to find good food at any price. They’re savvy enough to appreciate value. Why buy rugelach at Balducci's when it’s available at the baker's outlet in Brooklyn at a fraction of the cost? But they also know certain pleasures come at a price -- foie gras ain't cheap, and Chateau Margaux is one terrific drink. No pleasure is gladly missed."

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Exactly - while there may be different types of foodies ;) To me, a Chowhound is all about the FOOD - high-end, low-end, hidden secrets, famous restaurants. If you love food, why would you want to limit yourself in either way - only eating at high-end places, or only eating at holes-in-the wall? I wouldn't be able to die happy if I ruled out any sort of meal. :)

      As the Big Dog himself puts it -
      "What is a Chowhound?
      A Chowhound is someone who spends nearly every waking moment planning her or his next meal. Whether eating in a white-tablecloth restaurant or grabbing takeout on the way to work.."

      1. re: Rubee

        Well I'm glad to hear that living for the next meal isn't a disorder.

    2. Oh, our flat next month is not far from Patisserie Valerie. I plan to send my Dh out on his walk each AM to bring me back PV cafe au lait and either a crossiant or thier pain au chocolat. Heaven!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        What is the big deal about Patisserie Valerie? Now that they are all over London (as are Maison Blanc, Fresh & Wild, etc), not to mention "& Clarke's" and places like Fabouche, PV isn't the only place to get a good pasty in London.


        1. re: TexasToast

          I've never had a croissant so flakey and chewy at the same time. My MB croissant didn't floor me, but still better than what I find around here. I assume the main difference is just freshness because of turnover.

        2. re: Candy

          Your dh? designated hitter? well, no matter what, you're killing me. can I come visit? I've been on a mad search to either perfect the croissant in my kitchen (butter gets expensive after so many trials) or find a place that matches theirs. Nothing has come close yet... but I guess that just gives something to look forward to.

          1. re: amkirkland

            I think that's "dear[est] husband in ChowSpeak!


            1. re: TexasToast

              My fiancee is a regular poster on Pricescope (a diamond website that has a pretty large forum mainly consisting of women) and when she would show me posts with DH I instantly thought of designated hitter as well.

              1. re: TexasToast

                Well in my case it is dearest husband but in some other cases it is damned husband. But if he'll go out for his AM walk and bring back the PV goodies he certainly rates in the dearest category.

              2. re: amkirkland

                I thought it meant divorced husband.

                You know you're old when all your friends get married and have kids. You REALLY know you're old when they start getting divorced.

            2. Yes, I believe there are two "types" of foodies. There are those who enjoy the experience of fine dining: the dressing up, the ambiance of a well-appointed restaurant, excellent service, and the "latest" in food---especially if prepared by a celebrated chef. For the rest of us, it's just about the chow! My husband and I LOVE seeking out inexpensive, humble (or even gritty) places with awesome FOOD. We don't want to have to dress to impress, and we really don't care what the place looks like (as long as it is relatively clean), or who places the food in front of us. We'd much rather have 10 delicious and memorable meals at 10 different places (counter service and food carts included) than one meal at "the best" restaurant in a given city.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Anne

                This reminds me of what a chowish restaurant guide said about our favorite Indian restaurant in Chicago about 30 years ago-- The food was fabulous, so it wasn't "squalid, dropped from coverage" or "squalid, stay away" but rather "squalid, best for carry-out." I suppose now days we wouldn't go back to a place where we saw mice and cockroaches, but the food was great and the price was right.

                1. re: Anne H

                  I've gone back to places where we found a cockroach in the food. All depends on how they handle it when we point it out.

              2. Anne's comments say it all in a nutshell. In fact, as a die-hard "gourmand" aka "foodie", I HATE having to get dressed up for dinner. Wearing a jacket and tie makes me CHOKE, and then its hard to eat.

                As a "foodie" part of me appreciates the whole "ambience/atmosphere", also I am a stickler for good service, but I'm not overly impressed by "trendy, latest" or god-forbid "avant-garde" but the key part of a meal for me is THE FOOD. As someone quoted above, a foodie spends his entire day planning for the next meal, wherever, etc.

                Finally, to me its also about.... THE CRAVING. Sometimes, I crave something simple; sometimes I want something strange; sometimes I want something fancy, sometimes I want something ethnic; et cetera. As a "chow hound" I pride myself on knowing WHERE to get THE BEST version of whatever I am craving (or search here for recommendations LOL) and for finding quality places to eat.
                Does that make me a two-part chowhound? I dunno.. but sometimes I even want two portions!!!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Sethboy

                  I liked Anne's comment as well. But I don't think the two types of foodies are mutually exclusive. I love fine dining, and gritty places as well. (Hell, you can find me in one of Boston's nastiest dives most every evening).

                  I just want great food. Sometimes that's an expensive, dress-up-and-choke-on-your-tie place, sometimes it's a burger joint. I love 'em all.

                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                    "I just want great food. Sometimes that's an expensive, dress-up-and-choke-on-your-tie place, sometimes it's a burger joint. I love 'em all."

                    Amen - you said it better than I did.

                  2. Don't want to speak for others, but based on the recent explosion of activity on the Boston board regarding the opening of a new sandwich shop, I'd say quite a few of us reside in the second camp...