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Carrying the aroma/stench of a restaurant home with you

Maybe it's just me--or maybe it's that a growing number of places seem to have open kitchens?--but more and more often I walk out of a restaurant and find that my clothes/jacket/hair/etc smell of said restaurant. And not in a pleasant way, in my opinion. I don't find "eau de short order grill" to be a pleasant perfume, and it seems to be cropping up even in finer establishments. For instance Nopa in SF--I like their food and have eaten there several times, but I'm always dismayed at the smell permeating my clothes when I leave.

Green Chile Kitchen in SF is another (big) offender; I even find it hard to breathe when I first walk in there, as if they are truly lacking in ventilation.

Is it just me? Am I just more bothered by this as I get older? Or is it actually more common these days for some reason? Anybody else mildly peeved by kitchen odors on your clothes after a meal out?

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  1. Doesn't bother me at all, but then I easily remember many times walking out of a place reeking of cigarettes. Anything is better than that, whether it's turmeric, garlic, or hamburgers.

    5 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        double amen....
        i would rather smell like food than cigarettes any day...

        1. re: srsone

          Triple amen! I'd rather smell like fried fish than tobacco smoke.

        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Oog! – I remember in the early '70s when the previous Mrs. O was hostessing at the local Red Lobster and the long plaid skirt she had to wear would reek badly enough to stink up our tiny house … and WE were still smoking!

          There were two restaurants in Nashville then that left the odors of their cooking very heavily on their customers' clothing: a Japanese steakhouse featuring on-the-table cooking, and Captain Paulo's, a seafood place that served crab and lobster steamed, but everything else was fried. We were doing our wash at a laundromat then, and the proprietress would comment, "Oh, Captain Paulo's again?"

      2. Well, my answer is "No".

        But to your example of Nopa. I've been there and have not left smelling like "eau de short order grill" or even "eau de French Laundry". Part of your problem with Nopa might be its open kitchen coupled with the wood burning oven.

        Perhaps you should avoid restaurants with open kitchen setups? That might alleviate the problem.

        1. I find this is a bigger issue at home (I have a studio apartment) than any restaurant I've ever been in. I did sit by a fireplace once and had that smell slightly on me, but I love that smell, so all was good.

          1. I've found this most common with some Mexican restaurants, but when doing laundry, discovered that I'd spilled salsa on whatever I was wearing, which accounted for the oder that lingered!

            1. I do find that whenever I make many Indian curries (but not all; working on exactly what ingredient does it) at home, the next a.m. I come downstairs to find the smell still there.