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Patron or explorer: restaurant habits

Leucadian Apr 3, 2007 09:55 PM

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?

  1. l
    Lucia Apr 5, 2007 09:37 AM

    It depends. For weekday, workday lunch, I almost always go to the same place because it's cheap and quick. For weekend brunch, I'm often tired and too lazy to go far from the beaten path, so I return to the same places. But I can only afford to go out for a nice dinner about once a week, and with that meal, I spread the wealth and explore different places. I live in NYC and there are too many places to go to that I wouldn't get to if I became a regular at my weekly meal.

    1. f
      food.fiend Apr 5, 2007 08:57 AM

      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).

      1. j
        Janet from Richmond Apr 5, 2007 08:17 AM

        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. Splendid Wine Snob Apr 5, 2007 07:26 AM

          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. m
            mojoeater Apr 4, 2007 09:38 PM

            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. w
              wayne keyser Apr 4, 2007 06:42 PM

              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
                Leucadian Apr 4, 2007 09:30 PM

                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?

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