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Oct 6, 2006 09:58 PM

Do you doggie bag?

There was a recent online WSJ article about taking leftover food home from restaurants and it contrasted the different attitudes between American and Euros.

I'm curious, amongst chowhounds ... do you doggie bag?

I almost always do, unless (1) I am travelling and staying at a hotel or (2) I have plans afterwards, e.g. theatre, movie, etc.

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  1. ALWAYS... unless it's something silly and a waste of packaging like three bites of a dish or a salad... but I am the queen of take out and left overs. :)


    1. Generally, I have the server bag it and then I end up leaving it on the table. I wonder how often that happens or I'm the only forgetful one.

      4 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        We have done it too or worse, leave it in the car when we get home.

        1. re: Candy

          LOL, the hardest thing is trying to remember where I might have left it! I have left chinese food overnight in the car in the summer--not pleasant.

          1. re: Candy

            I once stopped into a store on the walk home and left a big container of Indian food in one of the dressing rooms. The store must have hated me. But in response to the OP, I love leftovers!

          2. re: chowser

            I accidentally leave my bag 90% of the time. Last time I did that was in Macaroni Grill after watching an 80 year-old walk off and forget his own doggie bag but saw him walk back just seconds after. I did worse than him and I'm under 30.

          3. Definitely...servings at most American restaurants seem to serve two (or more!). It's not at all like that in Europe which is why they don't typically doggie bag at all over there.

            Of course there are a few things that don't doggie bag well. Nachos (if it's mostly chips)comes to mind. If it has heavy meat/beans it works out ok, but of course it won't be as good as freshly served.

            A tip my friend taught me - if you are going to order a creamy dish - like an alfredo pasta - and plan to take 1/2 home to reheat, try requesting that the sauce be made w/o butter. Less chance of it separating when reheated.

            Some day maybe more restaurants will offer 1/2 portions so the need for all those take home containers will lessen. These days you have to ask - and very few places will agree to do it. Until then, I will enjoy my little take home presents to enjoy later. :)

            3 Replies
            1. re: debrolex

              Agree on the 1/2 portions.

              Maybe you could order a dish and just tell the server ahead time "why, don't you just serve me half of it now and bag up the rest for me to take home ..."

              Wonder what kind of looks one would get ...

              1. re: ipsedixit

                >>Maybe you could order a dish and just tell the server ahead time "why, don't you just serve me half of it now and bag up the rest for me to take home ..."<<

                This is actually a standard tip given at Weight Watchers -- when your food is served, split it in two portions, and ask for a take-away container before you even start eating.

                1. re: DanaB

                  Yes, an old WW person here. I always do it at an Italian place, cut in half and take the rest home. Although I have never asked for it to be boxed until I'm done.

            2. Is this a rhetorical question? LOL! ABSOLUTELY! Except, as you say, if I'm headed to an event. And I do so without shame. In fact, I've even been known to ask for other diners' leftovers. Twice a year I'm invited to join friends when they take out clients to top drawer NYC steakhouses. The clients are headed back to hotels and don't want to take their leftover steak or rib roast, and more importantly, the attached bones, with them. I say, pack it up. It's MINE!

              3 Replies
              1. re: JoanN

                Old thread, I know, but I just had to comment.

                That REALLY grosses me out!!!

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    *exceedingly tacky* for a business dinner, too...

                1. No. Almost never. I hate taking food home.