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Apr 3, 2007 09:55 PM

Patron or explorer: restaurant habits

Some friends of mine habituate certain favorite restaurants, but I enjoy exploring holes in the walls, only occasionally retracing my steps. They get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the menu, what times of day are best, etc. I get to go to new places, taste new dishes, meet new people. I go with my friends when I want more company, they come with me to be challenged.

How do you treat the people who feed you?

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  1. I don't understand the question 100%.

    Treat the staff at places I explore, or treat the people who take me to their favorite "go-back-again" restaurants?

    I'm an explorer, but there are holes-in-the-wall I return to repeatedly - and at all of them I tip generously (usually I'm welcomed back very warmly).

    When friends invite me to one of their homes-away-from-home, I can:

    1) Accept and understand that I won't be getting anything exciting, but I can live with an ordinary meal

    2) Accept and in advance do a little research about the restaurant's more interesting or best-prepared offerings

    3) Accept and eat lightly (nothing wrong with a dinner of bread, wine, salad, etc.)

    4) Decline.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wayne keyser

      Sorry for the confusion. What I meant to ask was 'do you like to find favorites and patronize them, or are you always trying new places?' Meaning, how do you treat the restaurants that you find?

    2. If I find a place that I love, I will go more often and tell my friends and try to get them to go. Often, they end up becoming regulars with me. And I always try and get to know the names of the bartenders and servers. I get better service that way. I also love to try new things. I'm not one to go to a new restaurant in the first month it's open (too many times disappointed), but I am often among the more adventurous.

      1. I am extremely selective when it comes to deciding to become a "regular". And usually it has to be a place in my neighbourhood (for practicality and in solidifying a sense of community). If I do decide to patronize a particular place, I treat the staff the same as I would any other place; with respect. And I expect the same in return. My loyalties are stronger with butchers/patisseries/cheese shops/local food artisans than with restaurants.

        1. We eat out very often and the vast majority of the time we go to one of 4 or 5 places where we are regulars. We add new places when they open or change hands but like the experience and perks (and IMO there are many) to being a regular.

          1. a definite explorer.
            I attempt to try one new place per week (be it market, restaurant, bar, etc.). I love trying new restaurants and different ethnic foods!
            While I definitely go back to places more than once, it is generally only every few months that I would do so. Unless, of course, I was invited by friends to go, or if it is a place close to the apartment (especially take-out).