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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...

                    1. Well, it IS nice to find someplace cheap, not too well known, and the food is good. The problem with that is-- the word spreads and pretty soon you are fighting a crowd... then you have to get over there early or late and on weeknights.

                      1. Def. both for me. Quality brings a smile, great eats for cheap brings a grin but its def about finding the holy grail of crowd pleasing, word of mouth eateries.

                        1. Part of the fun is the pleasure of the hunt. So I get a bigger chowish kick out of a new off-the-beaten-track storefront discovery than a pleasant evening with white tablecloths-- not that I don't like the white tablecloth food, because I do-- but finding fancy food is not a hunt through the city, it's only a search of the bank account, which is a lot less fun.

                          1. Agree with the love 'em all camp.

                            I am just as happy at a road side BBQ stand in Virginia as I am dressed in a suit at a *** restaurant in Paris.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: tbear

                              I prefer BBQ to haute cuisine, but I'm much happier in Paris than in Virginia.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                So heaven is a perfect pulled pork sandwich near Monmartre?

                                1. re: tbear

                                  No, just have to make do with andouillette, rilettes, and confit.

                            2. Chili cheese dog from Pink's Good.

                              All food good.

                              Sometimes can of beans heated up Good.

                              Bad food not good.

                              Sometimes like spend hundreds of dollars on food Good.

                              Like stuff, I do.

                              1 Reply
                              1. I have to add one thing that makes me unpopular in my house (and something I'm working on). I love to cook 'cause I'm in control and I'm pretty good at it. However - in a very non-chowish way- I often am more willing to try many things at one great restaurant than try a new place because I HATE BAD FOOD. I find it horribly disappointing and am sometimes timid about going to an unknown place for that reason.

                                But I like both the fancy schmancy and the dive.

                                1. I found that recently I've changed my tastes for the type of places we go to eat. For the last few years I just absolutely loved going to expensive restaurants with the atmosphere, good service, good food etc. A few months ago for reasons I can't figure out, I've become bored with the more expensive places. I now find more excitment finding a great inexpensive Mexican, Thai, Indian, Burger, Pizza, etc. place. our last few trips to Vegas we did several dinners and lunches at the high end places and I was just in heaven. Now planning our trip back to Vegas I have Delmonico for lunch as the only high end restaurant on the itinerary. I'm more excited to find some non tourist spots.

                                  Am I the only one or has anyone else had this change in preference happen? I used to really look forward to and really enjoy the high end places, now I'd rather hit a great little Mexican joint.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Rick

                                    You're not alone, Rick. I won't go so far as to say I'm bored with expensive dining, but I'm often more excited finding out-of-the-way bargains, listening to the locals, or trying Chowhound recs that I might otherwise have looked down on.

                                    Case in point: We recently spent a week at a Santa Fe, N.M., timeshare. Normally, we would have splurged nightly at places like The Compound or Geronimo's, but we actually tried some humbler venues where we found incredibly delicious eats. I'd like to thank every 'hound, for instance, who mentioned Tesuque Village Market, where I had a fantastic lunch after hiking one morning.

                                    That being said, you should still enjoy your lunch at Delmonico's when you're in Vegas -- and be sure to order a side of the truffle potato chips. :-)

                                  2. Already had the truffle potato chips, they are great. Their lunch specials are such a good deal there, most under $30 for a complete meal versus more than that for just a steak at dinner. The one lunch entree I repeatedly order there comes with a horseradish baked potato and it's the reason I keep coming back. Yes the steak is great, but that potato is just heaven.

                                    It's probably not fair to say I'm bored with fine dining, it just doesn't excite me as much as it once did.