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Dining-In vs Take-Out

We never have take-out meals. My spouse is just not interested. So many hounds get take out, either pick-up or delivered. What am I missing, if anything?

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  1. The convenience of not having to shower and get dressed to eat, a break from cooking while eating in the comfort of your own home, saving money, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: viperlush

      yes, yes, yes, and yes. and i don't mind doing pick-up either - my house is about 0.5 mile from a town center and it's nice to walk down (in my comfy clothes) and get some fresh air before i eat my meal.

      but nothing beats restaurant quality food eaten with my boyfriend, using my own plates (or my fingers!), drinking my non-marked-up wine and on the comfort of my couch.

      not to say that i don't also love going to restaurants and eating there too though!

    2. i can't remember the last time i had food delivered. i would rather just go out and let somebody else clean up. or cook, because dinner can be ready by the time the delivery guy arrives.

      i also don't like how the food just gets soggy and steamy before it gets to me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Ditto. The last time I had food delivered was 15 years ago when we were renovating a house and had no kitchen. Ordered pizza, it was good because we were hungry.

      2. It's convenient. If you have a family it's often easier to have takeaways or deliveries rather than round up everone into a car and head somewhere, wait for a table, place the order and wait for the food. There are times when it's nice to have an evening out but there are also times when you simply want to curl up on the sofa with some takeaway and a movie on the tv.

        Call the restaurant, pick up the food and it's on the table in 15-20 minutes from the time of pickup. When it comes to Indian, Thai or Chinese food I've never had issues with the food getting soggy and if it's cooled too much, well, that's what a microwave is for.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Roland Parker

          assuming you have a microwave, which i do not.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Leftover pizza heated up in the oven, rather than the microwave, is the sort of thing we college students would kill for. ;)

        2. My husband often would rather get takeout from our local favorite Italian place. I'd rather eat at the bar there. It runs about 60-40 in my favor. Take is less of a pain than cooking of course, but is more work than eating at the bar and I find most dishes suffer a bit or not more in the process.

          1. I grew up with parents who liked to cook, order in AND eat out. I've always liked to order in - when I can get good food that way; I'm not willing to order mediocre food. I tend to over-order with the intent of having leftovers for future meals (love pizza for breakfast...) so that may be part of the appeal. I make pizza at home but I can't make 3 large pies for a crowd all ready at once. With Chinese or Indian, say, sure I can make a curry or stirfry and rice quickly, but not 3-4 different dishes (did I mention I over-order?)

            Take-out I don't find as appealing. Not all foods travel well - which is why I figure there isn't a huge business in delivery burgers and fries. With the wait time, I'd just as soon eat in the restaurant and not have the packaging garbage to contend with at home. There's always exceptions depending on where I live and what's available. If the food is good and the ambiance is not I will get take out. I have friends who will pick up a curry (no decent Indian places deliver around us) and plan a date night in with a DVD, when they don't want to get a babysitter and go out.

            I do have young kids but realistically I did just as much take out and delivery before. It's even more convenient now for the reasons listed in other posts, but I have less disposable income. I eat out WAY less often than I used to however.

            1. I like take out/delivery. The bf likes to eat out. So we mix it up, usually eating out more. For take out/delivery I like not having to dress up. If I want to wear my ripped up cargo shorts and a t-shirt and flip flops it's just fine. I also like saving money on drinking from my own beverages instead of buying them at the restaurant.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Firegoat

                This a great point... love red wine and pizza, don't want to pay $30 a bottle.

                1. re: julesrules

                  Ohh! Plus 1 for delivery of pizza + my own bottle of red wine = nice in-home DVD evening:)

                2. re: Firegoat

                  I'll second that. Especially if we want to drink, it's a lot easier to bring the food to us while everyone's still sober than to worry about how we're going to get home if we ended up (oops) finishing the wine bottle.

                3. Where I live, the only places that deliver are Domino's, Papa John's and a no-so-good hoagie shop. Therefore, we order only when desperate, about once a year.

                  We will occasionally get take-out from the one Chinese place but if we are already at home and comfy, we are too lazy to get in the car and drive to pick it up, I can put something on the table faster.

                  If we lived in an area where there were appealing take out options, we would probably do it more often.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cleobeach

                    That is a good point about location. I should have mentioned in my post that when I lived in NJ we didn't get any delivery (no one delivered) and rarely got take out (15-30 min drive for ok chinese or KFC) other than pizza. It was just easier/quicker for my mom to cook. When we moved to NoVa we discovered delivery. Still didn't get it that often because although there are options, there was nothing great. But, take out was easier because more options in the 15 min range. Indian, thai, korean fried chicken, sushi, etc. In Baltimore we got takeout a couple nights a week (BF would pick up on way home), but rarely delivery (occasional chinese). Here in Cambridge we have even more options for delivery and take out. If we are tired and feeling really lazy we will order delivery, but rarely do because takeout is cheaper and quicker. We can easily walk down the street for thai, tibetan, indian, sushi, chinese, etc and get home with the food still warm and the fried items still crispy. All things that I like to eat, but not to cook.

                    1. re: viperlush

                      Viperlush, envy you - would love to live just a little closer to a neighborhood center so that I could walk to get delish take-out and back in time to home with my happy cartons so that the food is still hot, good quality, and I can eat it on my singleton evenings in my comfy home, with glass of wine in hand - NOT in a small, less-than-ideal dining area with everyone else in couples and families.

                      THAT is what take-out is for:). Not much decent delivery here, except for a good pie from an interesting shop when needed. Tho, the cost is very dear so rare. Perhaps should start a thread on the price of Pizza these days....

                  2. We live in the literal middle of nowhere, so no delivery option available for us. When we do take-out, it's usually because we've both gotten home late from work and long commutes, between 8-9 pm, I just want to take my shoes off and eat something good to great that I didn't have to cook. For example, I can pick up our favorite Chinese 15 min from work, but then I have to drive about an hour. A quick run through the microwave works for it. Pizza's about 20 min away, but it's a great thin crust that reheats and crisps wonderfully in a 400F oven.

                    1. Children. Very small children who cannot sit still in a restaurant, who scream and throw things. This is 100% the reason we almost always get takeout. Our in-dining experiences are carefully planned and only when we have the highest maximum likelihood of having as smooth and quick a dining experience as possible, and we have had to abandon ship and abort mission halfway through more than once.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rockandroller1

                        This was the one time we did have delivery, when we would visit family in NYC, and all our kids were little.

                      2. Also takeout is WAY cheaper as you don't pay tax and (at least in our case) don't tip.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: rockandroller1

                          This is typically the reason if we decide do takeout. We cook at home a lot, but sometimes we don't feel like it. I can call in a to-go order and bring it home, and save quite a bit over eating there. Besides the tax and tip, we also save on beverages and any "oh, ok, I'll have that, too" additions like a spur-of-the-moment appetizer or dessert. (Although, I do tip a few bucks on carry-out from "sit-down" type places, but no where near the 20%+ I'd leave if eating at the table.)

                          That being said, we do eat out a fair amount, too.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              I don't think that she is talking about delivery, only take out. Or at least that's the way I read it.

                              We usually don't tip for take out, but do tip on delivery.

                              1. re: viperlush

                                Correct. Takeout or takeaway is not delivery. As viperlush, I tip on delivery. Not on takout.

                              2. re: hotoynoodle

                                takeout means picking up the food at the restaurant, not to be confused with "delivery", which is having the food brought to your home.

                                I tip for delivery but not on takeout

                              3. re: rockandroller1

                                You dont' have tax on take-out? We do here in CT.... damn Connecticut!

                              4. Empty-nesters here - this is eaisier to decide since it's now only the two of us.

                                It's mostly about how we want to spend our time. At the end of an eventful day, we love to sit in a restaurant and talk, and let someone else tke care of avery thing else. But on some busy days when there's not time to cook and no handy leftovers, we pick up and go home to catch up on the backlog on the DVR.

                                1. We are getting take-out tonight from a Greek place that has excellent food but atrocious service.

                                  1. We do sometimes get takeout or delivery if we need the convenience. But we do notice a decline in quality after being closed up. I tend to prefer takeout over delivery, as the food gets eater sooner after it is cooked that way.

                                    1. Ambiance. I've spent many thousands of dollars creating an environment composed of warm woods, fine leather-bound books, musical technology and rare jazz and classical recordings, not to mention candle-lit restroom with soft towels and comforting amenities. Whereas the take-out joint spent a few hundred bucks at IKEA for chairs that stack well together, and if your lucky, a restroom equiped with toilet paper that hasn't been tossed on the ground or fallen into the unflushed bowl. I love my place, and my dining companions - as with my amenities - are there by dint of my own choosing. Makes even ho-hum take-out, that much better...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: silence9

                                        With your ambiance I'd almost never eat out! Well, less often :)

                                      2. Where you live will have an impact on choices. We like to eat out and cook in. Wife and I both work and there are many evenings where we don't get home until after 8. No energy to cook and we need to get dinner on the table for the family. Living in NYC, we must have 50 places within a mile that deliver. There is a drawer in the kitchen that is stuffed full of menus. Italian, thai, chinese, japanese, mexican, spanish, french, on and on. Makes its easy to have a proper meal. Then there are those evenings when its not that late, but we still want sushi or pad thai but as others have pointed out, we don't want to leave the comfort of home and its great to have someone show up at your door with dinner.

                                        1. The joy of watching Law & Order while sitting on the couch in your pj's AND eating a dinner you didn't have to prepare...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. I get takeout or delivery at least once or twice a week. I don't usually get home from work until 7 or later, so sometimes I don't feel like cooking, getting dressed, being social, or frankly, getting off the couch. Tonight I'll get Thai delivered and eat it in my pajamas while watching a movie and drinking non-marked up wine. Bliss!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: LeoLioness

                                              Wow, I really love reading all your remarks! The only time we did have take out was in NYC, and I can see it is quite viable. LeoLioness, you have me convinced. When the spouse is out of town, I'm going for it!

                                              1. re: LeoLioness


                                                For a long time Manhattanite that someone would even post this question seems bizarre! It is just such a part of our lives.

                                                And with services like delivery.com, seamlessweb and Grub Hub, the variety and ease is great.

                                                Eating dan dan noodles and ma po tofu right now from my Szechuan order from yesterday!

                                                1. re: thegforceny

                                                  Oh you NYC'ers... just making the rest of us jealous. Love that you have all that delish' stuff that can be DELIVERED to your door. Density makes certain options available.

                                                  I like my 1/8 acre, but it doesn't come with a lot of delivery of good, quickly delivered (read; still edible and not wilty/steamed to death) choices.

                                                  I love to dine out, but mostly when I feel like dressing for it, and when it is a place that I know the food/service is worth it. The Frenchman and I do that a few times a month; sometimes when work keeps us late, and sometimes to try to eat at a place we have heard about, or for just the food and experience and a nice night out. We both cook well, and think about food alot, so eating at home and doing it ourselves is not a challenge, but a fun adventure too.

                                                  Tho, there are some nights, you just-want-to-eat- well-in-your-jammies-and-not-cook!

                                              2. Convenience and environment. Some days, you just don't want to deal with talking to waiters, wearing decent clothes, waiting for checks, etc. It's nice to just pick something up or have it delivered and just sit on the couch. If we order food, we don't have to worry about coming up with a menu or balanced meal ourselves, even if it would likely be cheaper or quicker.

                                                We'll often eat takeout/delivery while watching some DVDs or catching up on Hulu shows. We can make sure we always have a full water glass, some of our awesome tea, and our cute bunnies to keep us company.

                                                1. Hockey is on and it's a great game, dinner is supposed to be in an hour and there's nothing in the fridge, I'm sick and don't feel like cooking or going out, I have a taste for Thai food from our local Thai place but I have total yoga hair and can't be bothered to shower get dressed and put my face on, there's a horrible winter storm and I don't feel like driving, it's late and I'm hungry and if I order now it'll be here by the time I get out of the shower and into my jammies, I'm in an "I hate people" mood and don't want to wait in line to be seated, it's the end of the month and I can squeeze out the money for pizza which will last 3 meals so I need the leftovers but can't squeeze out the money for a full service tip, DH is out of town and its just me and I don't feel like dining in a full service establishment at a table for one....the list goes on and on...:)

                                                  2 Replies
                                                    1. re: freia

                                                      +1 on the winter storm. That's when you see all the delivery drivers out on the road. I sometimes feel guilty about making some poor pizza dude go out in the mess, but not so guilty that I refrain from ordering.

                                                    2. You must not have teenagers. They never want to go out to dinner ("I'm too tired." "I have too much homework." "We ate there last week."), but will happily eat whatever takeout you serve them, even if they have to do the dishes afterward.

                                                      I love eating takeout in the comfort of my own home.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                        Substitute "I worked late" for "homework" and those are pretty much the same reasons I get meals delivered or pick up takeout.

                                                        1. re: Isolda

                                                          Ah, but I did have a teenager. He always wanted to go out, and particularly looked forward to when his dad was out of town, so we could go have Asian food with no grumbling!

                                                          I did get takeout Friday, now that they're both way. The food was delicious. The weather was cooperative, seeing as to get to the place you need to walk a bit, as it's hard to get a parking spot. I had food at home, but wasn't in the mood to cook for myself.

                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                            Reminds me of Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) in "The Middle" when she walks in the house, plomps down two large bags of burgers and fries, and announces "I made dinner!"

                                                          2. We pretty much never get delivery. It's faster for us to call in the order and pick it up ourselves. But even that is rare for us. When we do takeout, it's almost always Thai or Indian which we don't cook at home.

                                                            On weekends we usually cook extras so weekday dinners are just reheating or putting something together. I just don't have the energy to cook after 9+ hours at work and a trip to the gym.

                                                            1. I get delivery or pick-up if I don't feel like changing out of comfy clothes, or paying the mark up on booze or I want to watch TV and eat or if the kind of food I want (chinese, indian, pizza) is served in a less than cozy, comfortable atmosphere. I prefer pick-up unless the location is so far that my food will get cold/hot on the walk home or if the weather is really bad. I rarely ate take-out when I grew up in the suburbs but living in NYC it's so convenient to order food from the hole-in-the-wall around the corner at the spur of the moment.

                                                              1. Most of the time I cook Almost never do take out. But for delivery we have two local restuarants that deliver a good pizza place and better wings and a great thai. Pizza I order for game nights. The thai restuant i order from when I know that I will be having a no cook weekend with lots of errands or trips to moms nursing home. I will order two appetizers and one or two entrees. The appetizers are the first meal since they don't reheat well. The entres are dinners for the rest of the weekend.