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May 20, 2012 11:05 AM

How You Like It - Home Vs Dining Out

Does anyone make things at home differently than when they order out? I am only talking about things you are clearly capable of making like they do in restaurants.

Home - hamburger (almost never cheese)
Out - always a cheeseburger - usually bleu

Home - hot sauce on almost everything I eat
Out - never ask for hot sauce unless it's bland chili or a breakfast burrito

Home - chicken & pork - medium rare.
Out - I don't normally state a preference unless asked.

Home - regular grilled cheese closed
Out - almost always open face if they can

Home - never ever drink alcohol with meals
Out - almost always have a drink while eating.

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  1. I feel like I'm almost opposite of you in most of these (except chicken and pork -- I cook chicken until it's done because... um... I dislike food poisoning ;) but I do cook pork less than most restos, and grilled cheese I never, ever order out because it's never as good as mine)!! Booze especially -- it's so expensive out and so much cheaper from the liquor store! And I like having beer or wine with food generally.

    This has me thinking, though -- I typically go out for stuff it would be tricky or prohibitive to make at home. That definitely includes a great burger with fun fixins, since it's hardly practical to buy special buns and sharp cheddar and green tomatoes to fry and all the ingredients for beer-BBQ sauce just so I can make the (incredible) burger at a friend's pub. I'm always interested in people's eating preferences -- thanks for the head scratcher! :D

    1 Reply
    1. re: LauraGrace

      I'm with you on food choices on dining out. I almost always order fish or something complex. I live in a studio apartment, so cooking certain fish isn't a great way to leave the apartment. Those Febreeze commercials lie, haha.

    2. I very seldom do burgers at home; when I do, it's usually a quickie for lunch, and I'll probably do two little ones - with cheese, always - and put them on English muffins. We go out mostly to socialize and/or eat what I don't cook much at home, such as Chinese or Mexican food. At home I drink wine almost exclusively, with maybe a martini or some Scotch once a week or so; margaritas are what we have at our favorite cheesy Mexican place, but we stick with tea at most Asian places. When we do go to a non-ethnic place for dinner I'll have wine, perhaps with a cocktail to start, and I'll order either what I know they do well or something I haven't tried before, depending on whether we're there for the first or second time or frequent patrons.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        Funny. I always make burgers and put them on English Muffins at home, but I hate when places try and mix it up with anything other than a good hamburger bun. I don't want Muffins, bread, brioche rolls or wedge rolls. If it's burger time, I want a nice sesame seed bun.

      2. Home - boneless chicken breast
        Out - skin-on, bone-in chicken

        Home - poached fish
        Out - grilled fish

        Home - tuna cooked medium
        Out - rare tuna

        2 Replies
        1. re: jamieeats

          Just wondering about the tuna. I love to cook tuna rare at home...usually have it raw out

          1. re: jhopp217

            i would cook it rare, but i am never 100% sure about the grocery store quality. if i do go to a store that has sushi-grade quality, i definitely cook it rare..

        2. Home - usually no alcohol with dinner, but later on when snuggled up on the couch.
          Out - rarely a meal out without alcohol unless it's lunch and I have to go back to work.

          Home - hot sauce on most dishes.
          Out - only when it's already on the table, like in Asian or Mexican restaurants.

          1. Home-fresh ground black pepper is rarely out of reach; I use it on everything!
            Out-I hate the pre-ground stuff offered in most restaurants

            Home-the usual protein cast of characters
            Out-proteins I cannot buy easily or prepare in my kitchen

            Home-cocktails I can prepare in 5 mins or less
            Out-cocktails prepared by my favorite 'tenders

            Home-daily prepared baked goods
            Out-purchased mostly for research

            As a rule tho, I order out what I can't prepare at home.

            2 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              This is a fascinating list -- lots of stuff I didn't think of like pepper and unusual proteins and cocktails, all of which are similar to my practices.

              1. re: LauraGrace

                I found your comments interesting as well, LauraGrace.

                Reflecting that sometimes the "curse" of being a chowhound (use of label only for reference here) is that every bite I place in my mouth has the "how you like it" tends to matter (more) to me than say my hubby...and working in the food biz def. changes my perspective at times. So, my list is just the tip of the iceberg (lol) if I'm being honest but those above came to mind immediately.