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Aug 9, 2012 04:40 PM

Do You Doggie Bag?

I am almost embarrassed to admit that my hubby and I very frequently bring our dining out leftovers home in carry out containers. It's not that we over order, but are weight and health conscious. We like to take our leftovers home and perhaps snack later or the next day. Is this an etiquette faux pas? I disdain wasting food and the leftovers are a wonderful treat when I have the appetite to enjoy them versus being too full and barely able to eat the portions. FoiGras

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  1. Always! No embarrassment here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: randyjl

      Thanks for yor support. Phew--was beginning to think that I was being too cheap or less then appropos (spelling) in bringing home leftovers. FoiGras

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Absolutely. I bought it, I'll either eat it or take it home. Who benefits from throwing it out? No shame here.

        1. I actually feel worse when I dine out while on business and have no place to keep the leftovers. I hate to see food go to waste. It is normally not practical to travel with a cooler and most motel rooms I stay in don't have fridges.

          17 Replies
          1. re: al b. darned

            Psst, al: Quart size ziplocs buried into ice bucket. If nothing else saved, at least a protein boost for breakfast. :)

            Foi, we often order with leftovers in mind, for a couple more meals. I'd be ashamed if the food went to waste. I'm an expert at food resuscitation. Don't let anyone make you feel like you should waste food, or that you shouldn't get full value for your money.

            1. re: al b. darned

              For many years I traveled extensively--about every other week for a week or so at a time. I dined out every night and obviously couldn't take any leftovers back to the hotel room, despite the fact that there was a courtesy mini refrigerator. I learned to order a small salad and an appetizer--that seemed to solve the issue with leftovers.

              I don't travel much at this time, so I order what seems appealing at local restaurants and bring home the leftovers. Now, that I see from other Chowhounders that it isn't declasse, I will continue to do so. FoiGras

              1. re: FoiGras

                "obviously couldn't take any leftovers back to the hotel room, despite the fact that there was a courtesy mini refrigerator"

                So you weren't sleeping in the car and you had a refrigerator in which to store food safely and properly. Nope can't figure it out. What is the obvious reason you could not take food back to hotel room?

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  FrankJBN--my reason for not taking any leftovers back to the hotel room is that I wouldn't have eaten the food later that night--I don't eat much during the daytime and knew that the next evening I'd be dining out at a different restaurant with friends and/or business associates--and, there were no utensils in the hotel room. Although, that is an easy remedy, room service could provide the silverware or I could have bought plastic utensils.


                  1. re: FoiGras

                    Yeah, I can see that while travelling. You go back to the hotel, and you don't have any utensils or dishes, or a microwave or stove to heat things up. So you're going to be eating cold whatever it was out of a foam tray, possibly with your fingers. For some foods that works, others not so much.

                    I'm not really a breakfast eater, and on a business trip I usually leave the hotel early in the morning, and don't get back at lunch. So the odds of something getting eating are pretty small.

                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                      Hi tastesgoodwhatisit--you definitely got what I meant with regards to travel and leftovers. Good to know that others feel the way I do with the food overload travel issue.

                      Love your "moniker." Quite original. FoiGras

                      1. re: FoiGras

                        FoiGras, I have the same problem with leftovers when travelling, in particular when I really enjoy the food. I feel so guilty for leaving the leftovers. Ordering just a salad or an app sometimes do not make sense because I have to order similar meals as my dining partners (app, entree, dessert - all eaten at about the same pace) and I, of course, do not want to miss out on some potentially delicious entree. To top it all off, after a few days of eating really rich food, my appetite typically shrinks - leaving even more leftovers!

                2. re: FoiGras

                  I can remember clearly at this moment eating fabulous cold leftovers in my hotel room for breakfast probably 15 years ago.

                  Having dogs I cook for has gotten me in the (I believe very good) habit of not wasting anything. The only things that could potentially get wasted in my kitchen are things they can't eat--but I try to chop and freeze extra onion (for example) before that can happen.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    Ah, the dogs FOR the "doggie bags." Our Bulldogs are on special diets, so that does not work for them, BUT we often dine out with great friends, when we ARE home, and their pup usually gets any leftovers from us. Let's just say that Bo eats well, and we often contribute.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      BillHunt-The Captain and Tennille bought a prized bulldog pup from my parents who bred them. But...The Capt and his Mrs. informed my folks they be on strict diets eating only what vegetarians eat-no exceptions. The folks balked big time thinking these pups are meat eaters but finally relented when huge asking price cash was paid for puppy.
                      Your story reminded me of beautiful English bulldogs-great memories and flatulent little buggers they sure were ;:-/

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        Somewhere, I have an album (think vinyl) with their two Bulldogs. Seems that one was named Elizabeth, but it HAS been a very long time. I cannot recall the name of the other one, but both were lovely Bullies.

                        Since our first English Bulldog, 40 years ago, their diets have been very restricted. The pet sitters resist, but I persist - nothing BUT their strict diets.

                        Having Bulldogs might be one reason that we do not do as many doggie bags (real doggie bags), as others. Our great friends, with whom we dine often, when we are all in Phoenix, have a Black Lab, who can eat anything. If we (wife and I) have leftovers, we ask if Bo can eat THAT. Usually, the answer is "yes," so Bo gets our doggie bag.

                        About three weeks back, we all did a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. With the apps. etc., wife and I had two filet halves. She wanted to bring those home. The other couple had split a large Delmonico. The doggie bags came, and we left. A couple of days later, we opened ours - a Delmonico bone! I drove it over to them, and found out that Bo had already eaten our Dry Aged Tenderloins. Such is life, and it seems good for Bo. Now, he DID love his Delmonico bone.

                        In there case, I know that a doggie bag IS a doggie bag, and the husband does NOT eat any leftovers. Everything IS for the doggie. [Grin]


                        1. re: iL Divo

                          My dogs are basically pescetarians ... I buy eggs, yogurt, fish, oatmeal, and frozen veggies for them, and then they eat my meat, veggie, fruit, etc. leftovers if any (this week, Thai chicken, noodles, and veggies from a doggie bag, and pork noodles from a delivery order that wasn't up to standard). I'm always surprised when I explain what they eat, and people ask, What about PROTEIN? Well what do you think eggs, yogurt, and fish are? :)

                          As far as digestion, theirs is generally perfect, no doubt better than mine. If I would just eat as well as they do ...

                      2. re: foiegras

                        I love cold leftovers for breakfast in hotel rooms.

                        1. re: Rilke

                          Not THAT long ago, I did that. Even cold (no oven in that hotel room), the flavors were surprisingly good. That was about the only hotel leftovers, that I can recall (other than little dessert thingies) in about 10 years.


                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            I often eat leftovers cold, even if there's a microwave. White pizza, pad Thai, red sauce Italian, Chipotle burrito bowls . . . My most recent hotel leftovers were Middle Eastern food: eggplant stew, sauteed butternut squash, spinach, yogurt sauce, basmati rice with raisins. I wasn't sure it would work, but I was quite happy.

                            I know I am not alone in my appreciation of cold leftovers. . . .

                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Interesting...when I'm not traveling, I almost always bring home leftovers (if they're good)...except for wine which I always leave for the staff. But when traveling, I never even think of taking leftovers. The thought of cold pizza, pasta or almost anything other than a good strong coffee and perhaps a good pastry or croissant first thing in the morning makes me feel ill. Now after a coffee or two, a nice hot breakfast or perhaps some fruit is perfectly fine...but cold pasta...

                    2. Absolutely, and as much as possible. We paid for it. We get some weird looks. But we paid for it.

                      Many decades ago, I treated my grandmother to lunch at what was, at the time, a premier 'small chain' in Southern California. I was so proud that I could do this. We enjoyed great food, and then she proceeded to try to stuff everything that was left on the table into her oversized purse. The silverware, salt and pepper shakers, and tablecloth probably would have gone in if there was room.

                      I was mortified.

                      We now, as we are make sure the cooler is in the car, with the 'freeeze stuff,' getting to-go boxes, utilizing the quart ziplocs [yes Duchess!], say 'Thank you for the terrific tip, Grandma!'

                      We ate out tonight.We have 4 lunches worth of "brought-home food" in the fridge.
                      Restaurant portions are obscene. Please don't waste food.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: nikkihwood

                        "We get some weird looks"

                        For taking food out of restaurants? Who gives you weird looks?

                        I ask because this is something I have seen for my entire life. People leaving restaurants with little white bags and now often little styro trays. I wouldn't think one could dine out too often not seeing this. That's why I wonder who gives weird looks at this perfectly accepted and mundane practice?

                        1. re: nikkihwood

                          "We get some weird looks." Really? I dine out very often (Lunches with Mom) and we always take our leftovers with us. Never saw a raised eyebrow.

                          I have seen some servers take great pride in packaging the leftovers in creative ways like Foil Swans.

                          But I am glad, that you plan for and do not waste food.

                          1. re: Quine

                            Weird looks sometimes from young servers. It is probably because of what is going in the boxes - let's just say that we won't have to make french fries [which, we try not to eat that much anymore] for the rest of the year. There are plenty of 'dogged' bags in the freezer.

                            Foil swans are definitely a point of pride in some establishments.