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People who like everything

jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 12:49 AM

While I realize posting on CH comes with a little heir of snobbery, I'm sick and tired of going out to eat with people, who no matter how good or how bad, tell the waiter everything was great and tell their fellow diners "mine was terrific." These people seem to always fall into one category....parents who are out without their kids. How is it possible that every meal they have without their kids is so amazing? I just went away with friends and we had the "best" fries, burgers, pasta, pretzels, oysters, clams, chowder, breakfast and beers they've ever had. Which is amazing, because I thought the LAST time we went away we had the best of all of these.

Maybe it's just that I consider myself more knowledgable or maybe I'm a snob, but I love hearing honest opinions about food after a meal and it seems more times than not everyone "loves" their meal and I'm just saying "meh." I guess it is better than my one friend who hates everything and everywhere he goes that he doesn't suggest.

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  1. hill food RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 01:08 AM

    it's because they're out without their kids so consider the context. no parental vigilance, no being 'the bad guy', no protests of "this is pukey" or "it's touching", no tantrums when service is a bit slow or the sandwich is cut wrong. they get to go anywhere without caring if there's a kids menu. AND they didn't have to make it themselves.

    24 Replies
    1. re: hill food
      jhopp217 RE: hill food Jun 12, 2013 10:08 AM

      Better parenting might cure that, My parents took me everywhere and I was eating escargot at 6 and I don't think I've ever said something was pukey or touching. If you give your kids chicken nuggets every night, you have to deal with that kind of behavior. My parents and most of my childhood friend's parents didn't have to deal with that.

      1. re: jhopp217
        512window RE: jhopp217 Jun 12, 2013 10:10 AM

        If possible, check in with your parents on that.

        My kids were good eaters and not too bad on the yucky comments. But it was always a pleasure to get a chance to dine without them because you were always on duty with them.

        1. re: 512window
          Firegoat RE: 512window Jun 12, 2013 10:21 AM

          Okay this made me laugh. In a good way. My memory says I was a good kid to eat out with... but then again my parents didn't take us out to restaurants until ... 3rd or 4th grade I think. And I have firmly fused into my mind the maybe 5 times my dad was ever angry at me as a child. But I bet if you asked them I was a PITA and they loved going out alone and not being "on duty."

          1. re: 512window
            jhopp217 RE: 512window Jun 15, 2013 12:05 PM

            Actually, I don't have to. The stories of me dining out were hilarious. I was eating escargot at six and giving the waiters grief when they tried to explain to me that they werre snails. I once sent back a clam dish at seven at Gage & Tollner's in Brooklyn and the waiter refused to accept the dish was bad, because of my age and the chef came out to apologize, said he tasted it and priased my taste buds and made me something special. My parents were always interested in investigating cuisines and rarely left me at home. Today's parents and children aren't the way it used to be and definitely not for the better. My friend's kids are impossible out and there is nobody to blame but the parents.

            1. re: jhopp217
              latindancer RE: jhopp217 Jun 21, 2013 07:23 AM

              <Today's parents and children aren't the way it used to be and definitely not for the better>

              Extreme exaggeration, at the very least. Your palate may be precise, from age 6?, but your analysis of contemporary
              children and their parents could use a little work.
              Once a person has children views on parenting, and the intense 24/7 work it requires, tend to mellow out even the most critical scrutinizer.
              Gotta walk in those shoes.

              1. re: jhopp217
                chowser RE: jhopp217 Jul 13, 2013 12:38 PM

                There are parents who helicopter and are never w/out their children and think everything their kids do in restaurants is precious. And there are parents who want adult conversation on occasion and realize their child isn't the world. The key is raising children who aren't into their preciousness, even into adulthood.

            2. re: jhopp217
              Roland Parker RE: jhopp217 Jun 13, 2013 04:27 AM

              Wait till you have a child of your own.

              That's all I will say.

              1. re: jhopp217
                Gastronomos RE: jhopp217 Jun 13, 2013 05:01 AM

                "If you give your kids chicken nuggets every night, you have to deal with that kind of behavior."

                agreed. that's why I don't on either.

                BUT, most do and if you become a parent the odds are that you will as well.

                1. re: Gastronomos
                  jhopp217 RE: Gastronomos Jun 15, 2013 12:07 PM

                  Why would you say that? If they never know they exist, why would they expect them. I never had mac and cheese until I was in my 20's. Never had a TV dinner until 16. My parents didn't own a microwave until I was nearly 30 and I use my microwave about once a month now. It's all how you are taught. To this day, the only microwave/toaster oven food I ever buy is pizza for those times I'm in a rush

                  1. re: jhopp217
                    foodieX2 RE: jhopp217 Jun 15, 2013 12:14 PM

                    When I hear other parents bemoan the fact their kids only eat nuggets, fries and plain pasta with butter I usually ask them who introduced it and who keeps serving it? These kids aren't grocery shopping for themselves.

                    1. re: foodieX2
                      jhopp217 RE: foodieX2 Jun 20, 2013 06:55 AM

                      I'm a single guy, 42, and I ran into my buddy, same age at the supermarket last year. Not one thing in his cart couldn't be made in a toaster over or microwave. Other than fluids, I literally mean, not one thing. Meanwhile, my cart was filled with veggies, steaks, chicken, pork, etc. He was so embarrassed and I tried, without being a jerk, to explain that was the reason his kids were so "picky"

                      1. re: jhopp217
                        Firegoat RE: jhopp217 Jun 20, 2013 07:08 AM

                        I can see your point of view on that, however it isn't necessarily the cause. My mother cooked food from scratch every day for us when we were kids. We lived on a farm and had a huge garden. I was a crazy picky eater. My sister was a normal eater.

                        1. re: Firegoat
                          Gastronomos RE: Firegoat Jun 20, 2013 07:58 AM

                          your older sister?

                        2. re: jhopp217
                          scubadoo97 RE: jhopp217 Jun 20, 2013 02:02 PM

                          I have two very picky eaters and I cooked most everything from scratch at the drop of a hat. My problem was if they didn't like what me and my wife were eating I'd make them something that they liked on demand. No doubt I created the monsters.

                          1. re: jhopp217
                            westsidegal RE: jhopp217 Jul 19, 2013 11:19 PM

                            if your assertion was true, i'd expect that all the kids who live in the same household and eat the same food would have similar food preferences and have similar levels of "pickiness."

                            i've not observed that to be true at all.
                            rather, it seems to me that there are wide variations in food preferences and pickiness between the siblings in the same nuclear families that eat the same foods prepared (usually) by the same mother.

                            one family in my circle of friends contains one kid that will only eat bland food while her sibling will happily munch on raw red onions and likes to insert sliced jalepenos into her cheese sandwich. go figure.

                            your speculation about cause and effect isn't supported by my observations.

                            1. re: westsidegal
                              sunshine842 RE: westsidegal Jul 20, 2013 06:41 AM

                              Westsidegal is absolutely correct.

                              I've also seen families where 1 kid is "normal" (whatever that means) eating pretty much whatever is put in front of them by omnivore parents, and the other one is insufferably picky. Why is that second child picky? Same parents, same gene pool, same environment, same food on the table every single day.

                              And then you get the ones who go from eating pretty much everything to being incredibly picky overnight....nothing's changed from the parent/food standpoint...

                              And then the most fun -- the ones whose "pickies" vary over time.

                        3. re: jhopp217
                          Gastronomos RE: jhopp217 Jun 15, 2013 12:15 PM

                          I agree. I still don't own a microwave and I don't feed my kids mystery chicken nuggets. but most do. odds are, like I stated above, most will continue to.
                          you and I are a rare breed.

                          1. re: Gastronomos
                            Jimonthebeach RE: Gastronomos Jun 16, 2013 09:24 AM

                            I know. Even David Chang and Thomas Keller use microwaves. How déclassé.

                            1. re: Jimonthebeach
                              Firegoat RE: Jimonthebeach Jun 16, 2013 09:33 AM

                              Oh, they are such hacks!

                          2. re: jhopp217
                            ChefJune RE: jhopp217 Jun 22, 2013 02:04 AM

                            Do you have kids?

                            1. re: ChefJune
                              chowser RE: ChefJune Jul 13, 2013 12:32 PM

                              Isn't it obvious? The more a person thinks he has all the answers on child rearing, the more removed he is from kids.

                              1. re: chowser
                                westsidegal RE: chowser Jul 19, 2013 11:28 PM

                                you are so right chowser.
                                a girlfriend of mine has raised seven kids.
                                she once told me this:
                                "before i had kids, since i came from a large family, i thought i knew all about raising kids.
                                now that i've successfully raised seven kids of my own, i realize that i really knew nothing about raising kids then and that i don't have all the child-rearing answers even now"

                        4. re: jhopp217
                          latindancer RE: jhopp217 Jun 13, 2013 07:39 AM

                          My kids were eating escargot, and everything else we did, at an early age also. It didn't preclude the fact they were *children* who were self-centered, oftentimes tired and not very patient.
                          We were loving, patient and understanding, for the most part, and they *still* went through the normal and very healthy adolescence period.
                          We took them everywhere, also, but boy was it nice to have some free time from all that's *children* so we could focus on the *adult* that's not expected from them.

                          1. re: latindancer
                            girloftheworld RE: latindancer Jun 13, 2013 09:36 AM

                            true just because we ate escargot with the parental units we still had to be taught not to take the shells and make them "crawl;" across the table and talk to each other. I am sure it was exhusting for mom to be "on gaurd" at all times to catch any behavior before it happened ( almost like Sylvia Brown) . So off the would go on a " Grown up only evening" promising to bring me a take away bag :(

                      2. c
                        cresyd RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 02:48 AM

                        In addition to having a night away from their kids - I think for a lot of people it's probably more under the category of politeness than genuinely thinking everything is terrific.

                        If a friend suggests we go to X restaurant because it's their absolute favorite place for Y item - and we go, and it's nice - not amazing but nice, maybe a minor complaint here or there - it's easier socially to just say "this is quite lovely - what a nice recommendation". For a lot of people being critical feels like being rude or impolite, so it's just a knee jerk reaction to be overly complimentary.

                        I think it takes finding a very special group of friends (or just one friend) who like food and are open with being a bit critical without it feeling like being a Debbie Downer or overly negative.

                        1. h
                          Hobbert RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 05:01 AM

                          My mom does this. Hey, if she's happy about everything she eats, then good for her. I can usually come up with something nice to say about a restaurant and she doesn't pick horrendous places. And she lives 900 miles away so it's not an ongoing thing. Not everybody is really into food and that's fine.

                          1. i
                            Isolda RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 05:07 AM

                            Not everyone is brought up to give an honest opinion about everything. My mother would never tell friends her meal was nasty, although she might do so later to family once she got home. So maybe your friends were brought up similarly?

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: Isolda
                              INDIANRIVERFL RE: Isolda Jun 11, 2013 05:39 AM

                              Many people in this culture do not want to knowingly criticize other peoples choices, especially when a guest. And how many want to hear the truth?

                              "Does this dress make me look fat?"

                              Internal response, bite my tongue, "Search for one that will make you look thin."

                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                hotoynoodle RE: INDIANRIVERFL Jun 12, 2013 03:36 PM

                                "no. you are fat."

                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                  ricepad RE: hotoynoodle Jun 12, 2013 08:19 PM

                                  "No, sweetheart. It's the size of your ass that makes you look fat."

                                  1. re: ricepad
                                    girloftheworld RE: ricepad Jun 12, 2013 08:27 PM

                                    no honey youre not fat it is just you married a minature asshole of a man who has a napolean complex and has to put you down to feed his ego in order to feel big and make up for his own shortcomings

                                    1. re: girloftheworld
                                      ricepad RE: girloftheworld Jun 12, 2013 08:28 PM

                                      Wait....can you see me???

                                      1. re: ricepad
                                        girloftheworld RE: ricepad Jun 12, 2013 09:36 PM

                                        scary huh ;)

                                      2. re: girloftheworld
                                        PotatoHouse RE: girloftheworld Jun 16, 2013 08:46 AM

                                        "No honey, you look like Chris Farley in a speedo, but just to make you happy I'm going to lie to you and tell you that tube top and pair of daisy dukes looks great with your muffin top and cottage cheese thighs and not give a second thought to the people laughing at you as you walk down the street and THEIR effect on your self esteem. Just so long as I don't hurt your feelings."

                                        1. re: PotatoHouse
                                          MGZ RE: PotatoHouse Jun 16, 2013 08:54 AM

                                          "It's late, I'm drunk, and you're not THAT fat."

                                          1. re: MGZ
                                            Gastronomos RE: MGZ Jun 16, 2013 09:07 AM

                                            She's a "2" at 10 and a "10" at 2...

                                            1. re: Gastronomos
                                              MGZ RE: Gastronomos Jun 16, 2013 09:08 AM

                                              I think I know her.

                                          2. re: PotatoHouse
                                            linguafood RE: PotatoHouse Jun 16, 2013 01:43 PM

                                            Well, at least women ask. Men parade their keg-like bellies around like it's an achievement.

                                            1. re: linguafood
                                              Gastronomos RE: linguafood Jun 16, 2013 01:46 PM


                                  2. re: Isolda
                                    jhopp217 RE: Isolda Jun 12, 2013 10:09 AM

                                    I never meant to imply people should do this at someone's house...ever

                                  3. j
                                    jpc8015 RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 05:43 AM

                                    You are right in that it is far better than the guy who hates everything. I would much rather spend a meal with a person who has a positive disposition as their default.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: jpc8015
                                      MGZ RE: jpc8015 Jun 11, 2013 06:00 AM

                                      Agreed. I'm a really shitty food dick sometimes. I have actually conceded to my wife that I will not talk about anything I've cooked for us until she has finished eating. That way she can enjoy the food before I start the "I shouldda taken the steak off the grill forty-five seconds earlier . . . ."

                                      That bein' said. If I go to dinner and my guests rave about the food. I see no reason to take it in any way but positive.

                                      I mean, if you wake up in the morning next to a beautiful, naked lady and the first thing she says is "Last night was FANTASTIC." Revel in the moment.

                                      1. re: MGZ
                                        HillJ RE: MGZ Jun 11, 2013 06:07 AM

                                        Revel in the moment-I think that's the take away. Period.

                                        1. re: MGZ
                                          cresyd RE: MGZ Jun 11, 2013 06:12 AM

                                          I think another thing that probably relates to being critical of food (whether our own or someone else's) is how much someone likes to cook. I love cooking as an activity separate from eating, so if I've spent x amount of time cooking and it turns out really bad, it's a bummer - but it doesn't make me think that I've wasted the time cooking. It's just an unfortunate law of averages where every now and then I'll stumble. So for cases of "45 seconds less on the steak" - that's more of a mental note for me to maximize enjoying cooking along with enjoying eating a better meal.

                                          However, my grandmother hated cooking. Any meal not made by her would always taste infinitely better to her than anything she made. So every time she would eat out, it was the best meal ever because it was that escape from cooking which she ultimately did not enjoy - no matter how the results tasted.

                                          1. re: MGZ
                                            MGZ RE: MGZ Jun 11, 2013 06:12 AM

                                            Yeah, well, if she says "Last night night was the best ever." Jump up and down on the bed and pound your chest. Oh, and call her later that night.

                                            1. re: MGZ
                                              Gastronomos RE: MGZ Jun 11, 2013 06:21 AM

                                              no need to snob our chowhoundedness down everyones throat I guess. most don't care. and those very few that do are on these boards and with very differing opinions.

                                              MGZ: " I'm a really shitty food dick sometimes. I have actually agreed with my wife that I will not talk about anything I've cooked for us until she has finished eating. That way she can enjoy the food before I start the "I shouldda taken the steak off the grill forty-five seconds earlier . . . ."

                                              yep. same here. except I forget often and still talk too much about it all during breakfast lunch and dinner. I guess that's also why I end up doing most all of the cooking ... despite I am NOT the only good cook in the house.

                                              as for out without kids. well, if you get to actually sit in peace and eat. your. food. in peace it tastes so much better. anything but "I gotta go potty" JUST as the food comes to the table. and any other distractions from your eating and enjoying any food stuff at all...

                                              "meh" is over 99% of the time what I find to eat out. even in the "best places". even without the kids. many friends and family don't suggest places to eat out anymore. CPK was the last straw for me as everyone enjoyed their salads and I left all my food on the plate and went hungry.

                                              So I cook at home. and it intimidates all my guests so they are often worried about "cooking for me".

                                              it's difficult as a chowhound to please everyone. especially yourself.

                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                jhopp217 RE: MGZ Jun 12, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                While I wasn't talking about home cooked meals, I am just like you. If I cook for myself (not married), I beat myself up over what I could have done....but I brag like a 3-star chef when it comes out the way I want.

                                            2. Firegoat RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 06:07 AM

                                              Depends on who I was dining with. I have maybe two friends that like to critique and pick apart food and I'd have no qualms making negative comments about food with them. Anyone else, particularly if they selected the restaurant or cooked the meal I would tend to be positive and appreciative unless something just hugely major was wrong. I'm also much more critical of my own cooking than anyone else's.

                                              1. h
                                                HillJ RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                Ever hear the tv ad with the tagline: "don't hate me because I'm beautiful." Well, that's my view.

                                                If the people in your life look at food experiences with joy, consider yourself blessed.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  L.Nightshade RE: HillJ Jul 12, 2013 10:14 PM

                                                  Very well said HillJ!

                                                2. hyacinthgirl RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 06:38 AM

                                                  I'm with everyone else here who's said it's nice to be around positive people.
                                                  That said, I do understand that it can be a bit lonely if you want to have a serious food conversation following a meal and everyone else is sitting bug-eyed and nodding "it was allllllllll greeeeeaaaaatttttt." I had to slowly train my husband to have food discussions with me and luckily he did take to it, but there were lots of meals that ended with "ok, yeah, it was a good burger, but would you say it was BETTER or WORSE than the one you loved at that other place last week? No, REALLY think about it... if you could only have ONE of those two for the rest of your life, which one would you have? Ok... and why?"

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                    MGZ RE: hyacinthgirl Jun 11, 2013 06:50 AM

                                                    Hell, I can wax about a meal with a post dinner Scotch for hours.

                                                    "Wow, I eally liked how they used the tarragon with the scallops and fois. I mean, I might have gone with the fresh herb, but I think the dried really added somethin'. Oh, and, I'm sorry I suggested the hake. It was great last time we were here, but it fell a bit flat tonight. . . . ."

                                                    But, if I'm pickin' up a tab and my guests say, "That was the best chili cheese dog burrito we've ever had." I'm gonna call 'em back. Sometimes the food is only one of the dimensions of the meal. Fun, frolick, food, friends, I'm good with that any time. And, if everybody leaves full and happy . . . .

                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                      hyacinthgirl RE: MGZ Jun 11, 2013 06:57 AM

                                                      I'm on board with that! Just wanted to let the OP know I had a bit of sympathy for his situation as well. If you never get to discuss a meal, it can be lonely.
                                                      But in the long run, I'll take a bunch of friends having a good time over intellectual food discourse any day.

                                                      1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                        MGZ RE: hyacinthgirl Jun 11, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                        Yep, intellectual food discourse is sometimes best saved for the pack of 'hounds we run with on this Site. Hat's off!

                                                  2. b
                                                    bonoeuf RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                    I understand your frustration, food discussion can be enjoyable. Maybe they just arent as interested in food as we might be.
                                                    Because you mentioned that it's most often parents with kids, I wonder if they are trying to model cheerful good manners for their children?
                                                    Or perhaps the parents are so thoroughly enjoying the happy time (and food prepared by someone else) that everything really does seem wonderful. Those content "ahhh, life is good!" times. :)

                                                    1. Googs RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                      Like all other hedonistic pursuits, eating is best enjoyed when relaxed. I'd guess parents who don't have to mind their children while dining are more likely to notice the nuances along with the louder notes. My advice, and shoot me if you will, is try to relax. If your friends seem to be having a better time than you, join them. Don't let knowledge shackle you.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Googs
                                                        bonoeuf RE: Googs Jun 11, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                        Love "don't let knowledge shackle you", Googs!
                                                        Excellent thought!

                                                        1. re: Googs
                                                          wekick RE: Googs Jul 17, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                          Along those lines, paraphrasing Chris Rock "Ignorance is bliss and to know the difference is its own kind of hell"

                                                        2. hyacinthgirl RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                          One other thought, given that you said it tends to be parents who are out without their kids...
                                                          When we were childless, we ate out all the time. The more we ate out, the more comparisons and observations we made.
                                                          Now that we have a kid, a tighter budget and a tighter schedule, we eat out a lot less. Therefore, when we go out, we're probably more forgiving of the food, because we didn't just have a superior version of this dish 3 days ago at that other place. In fact, we may not have had this particular dish in weeks/months because it's too much of a pain to make at home or the kid wouldn't eat it or etc... so we're just more appreciative of finally getting, say, mushroom risotto, than we are critical of how it stacks up.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                            Googs RE: hyacinthgirl Jun 11, 2013 07:07 AM


                                                            1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                              DGresh RE: hyacinthgirl Jun 11, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                              we don't eat out much, because I like to cook and it *is* expensive. When we do go out, I want to enjoy it, not feel like I just wasted $100 on a "so so" meal. So unless something was really unpleasant, I'm not going to spend time and energy picking apart what I ate.

                                                              1. re: DGresh
                                                                jhopp217 RE: DGresh Jun 12, 2013 10:15 AM

                                                                Actually your answer is exactly why I'm critical. I like to cook to and don't go out often, so if I'm spending $100, I want it to be something I can't make better at home.

                                                                1. re: jhopp217
                                                                  scubadoo97 RE: jhopp217 Jun 12, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                                  <I want it to be something I can't make better at home.>

                                                                  It's getting harder to find

                                                                  For me it's Oriental food. I just can't turn it out as well as they can, even though my pantry is stocked with the right ingredients.

                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                    fldhkybnva RE: scubadoo97 Jun 12, 2013 02:32 PM

                                                                    Asian food is actually the only cuisine I don't really attempt at home other than stir fries but the rest seems to be improved in my own kitchen.

                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                      jpc8015 RE: fldhkybnva Jun 12, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                                      My wife and I are exactly the same way. We are both pretty accomplished home cooks so I have a hard time spending $30 on a plate of something I could make at home that will turn out just as good, if not better.

                                                                      There are some exceptions. If we want great pizza we order it. We don't even try Asian food at home. We just don't have the pantry or the equipment for it. With Mexican food we can go either way, there are several things I make at home that are great but for the most part we go out for Mexican.

                                                                      1. re: jpc8015
                                                                        sunshine842 RE: jpc8015 Jun 13, 2013 03:47 AM

                                                                        it's a little frustrating, though -- there are times I really want to go out to eat (especially out here in suburb-chain hell) but I know darned well that it's not going to be as good as what I could make. (and I'm tired, and I really want someone else to do the work)

                                                                        and this is the only place on earth I can say that without someone thinking I'm a snob.

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                                          jpc8015 RE: sunshine842 Jun 13, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                                          Believe me, I know the feeling. I often end up paying good money for inferior meals just because neither my wife nor I feel like cooking.

                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                            MelMM RE: sunshine842 Jun 13, 2013 07:44 AM

                                                                            I can relate, as I cook better than most restaurants. I'm sure many on this board do. If you are a competent cook, you have the ability to get your food exactly as you like it, so you really have a big advantage over a restaurant, which is just trying to get it so most people like it.

                                                                            That said, I still like to go out, and find it worth the expense, just to have a night out. The food doesn't have to be as good as it is at home. It can still be good, and I can enjoy sitting there with a bottle of wine (also more expensive and not as good what I have at home), and be waited on. I also enjoy eating at friends' houses. They usually don't cook as well as I do (or, more accurately, cook to my taste as well as I do), but that really isn't the point. The food is still enjoyable, and the companionship even better.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                              juliejulez RE: sunshine842 Jun 13, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                                              I'm in a similar situation, I live in chain restaurant hell. But, sometimes not wanting to cook/clean up trumps me feeling like I can make something better at home.

                                                                              2 weeks ago my mom visited, and her flight got in lateish... we didn't leave the airport til 730. Stopped by the house to drop off her stuff, and I just really didn't feel like cooking. So we just went to one of the nearby chains, Chili's. I had a grilled chicken sandwich with cheese, bacon, and honey mustard on it, and fries. Was it mind blowing, and something I couldn't make just as good or better at home? Absolutely not, but it was perfectly good. And, it sure was nice to just order it and sit there and enjoy chatting with my mom, instead of having to spend time in the kitchen both preparing and cleaning up.

                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                jhopp217 RE: sunshine842 Jun 15, 2013 12:12 PM

                                                                                Do you, like I, find yourself doctoring take-out at times? Then I usually say to myself...with the time I put into making this edible, I could have made it myself!

                                                                                1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: jhopp217 Jun 15, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                  no, because usually by the time I wave the white flag and go for takeout, I've passed the point of no return in terms of health/energy/givadam and it's now simply fuel.

                                                                          2. re: scubadoo97
                                                                            Savour RE: scubadoo97 Jul 17, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                                            Is it getting harder because of the restaurants or are you just getting to be a better cook?

                                                                            I'm a good enough cook that unless we are eating a cuisine I don't tend to cook or paying a lot of money, most food I get in restaurants isn't better than I could make. I'm just appreciative if tastes good and I don't have to do the dishes.

                                                                            1. re: Savour
                                                                              scubadoo97 RE: Savour Jul 20, 2013 06:51 AM

                                                                              The latter

                                                                    2. a
                                                                      acssss RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                      It's all in the question :)
                                                                      It's like when you ask your kids "How was school?" - you will get a "fine", "good", "terrific" - but if you ask something specific, they will be more inclined to go into detail.
                                                                      If you ask your fellow diners "How was it?" - a very general question, they are going to give you a general answer in return. "Everything was amazing/good/terrific". If you want specifics/details - ask a specific question.

                                                                      1. Aramek RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                                        I like you. <3

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          HillJ RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                                          Sometimes short answers are more comfortable for folks. Great, sure, yes, okay...not exactly conversation boosters.

                                                                          So when I rec' a one word or lacking response (to my ears) I take that as a sign that the person really isn't into talking in great detail about their meal...but enjoyed it for what is was.

                                                                          And-how about the folks who can't stop complaining down to the last detail about the meal you just shared--how long on the ride home do you want to rehash the "horror"....

                                                                          People who prefer short answers over a drama have my vote. But when a real food lover wants to talk...well then I'm all ears.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                            MGZ RE: HillJ Jun 11, 2013 08:01 AM

                                                                            “[H]ow long on the ride home do you want to rehash the ‘horror’....”

                                                                            “Can you believe how awful that waitress was? She was so rude when I asked to return my pork chop. It was totally still pink inside. That’s SOOOO dangerous.
                                                                            “She was such a Bitch, she called me ‘Ma’am’ That’s just rude. And my White Zin really wasn’t cold enough. And, she had a tattoo!
                                                                            “I’m glad that your friend, the manager, gave us those free deserts, but I’m NEVER goin’ back there!”

                                                                            “You’re right, Judy . . . .”
                                                                            Worst parts are that I just dropped a coupla hundred bucks at a place I’m known at, will have to wait a bit to go back to and walk in, tail between my legs, and apologize with some kinda awkward joke, and, worst of all, get a text from my buddy that reads, “I’m so sorry that she was such a pain in the ass last night. . . . .”

                                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                                              ElsieDee RE: MGZ Jun 12, 2013 09:51 PM

                                                                              Happened to us a couple of weeks ago. Out with potential business partner and his paramour, both self-described "foodies" who unknowingly chose one of our more regular places. Proceeded to complain about food, ambiance, service, prices ... both had too much to drink and ended up yelling at the chef. I sent flowers and an apology note the next day, because we like the place and would like to return.

                                                                          2. b
                                                                            Bkeats RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 08:09 AM

                                                                            "These people seem to always fall into one category....parents who are out without their kids"

                                                                            jhopp, do you have any heirs? (couldn't avoid the wordplay) Like hyacinthgirl said, life pre and post kids is very different.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Bkeats
                                                                              jhopp217 RE: Bkeats Jun 12, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                                              HAHA! No, but I oddly enough, the person I mentioned who hates everything used to bring his kid everywhere (she's an adult now) and she never complained and ate everything. I think parenting is a key when it comes to enjoying time out at restaurants, both with and without the kids.

                                                                            2. j
                                                                              julesrules RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                              Interesting. I have young kids. I rarely go out and cook at home a lot for my kids. But the result is that when I go out without the kids the food had better be really good. I know my girlfriends that I eat out with frequently feel the same, especially so the more they cook at home.

                                                                              With the kids, I just want the experience to be relaxing, because the main benefit is that I don't have to cook and clean. And my standards aren't very high for the type of restaurants I bring my kids to. I wish there were more convenient restaurants that fit my needs *and* theirs foodwise and were family friendly but those are pretty rare. And I don't complain about the food if my expectations aren't there to begin with, other than really glaring things like undercooked chicken.

                                                                              1. juliejulez RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                                                I think I'm one of those people, and I don't have kids. I don't eat out that often either, so maybe I'm just easy to please, and not a snob about food. I'm just as happy eating a burger at the bar as I am at a 5 star restaurant.

                                                                                I can only thing of maybe a handful of times where I didn't really like what I was eating. I've never sent food back though, but that's my "people pleaser" personality shining through. Also, chances are, if I don't return to a restaurant, it's more because of service issues than food. If I didn't like the food on one visit, I just eat something else the next time. If that isn't good either, then I might not return unless someone else suggests it.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                  acssss RE: juliejulez Jun 11, 2013 10:55 AM

                                                                                  I'm with ya, juliejulez! It has nothing to do with knowledge, but with personality. There are people who feel better about themselves when they complain about the food constantly and can make hours and hours and hours of conversation about differences in two glasses of wine... but then, I could never tell the difference between a CD and a cassette when I listened to music either :)

                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                    jhopp217 RE: juliejulez Jun 12, 2013 10:19 AM

                                                                                    I'm with you on the burger at the bar is equal at times to a great restaurant, but my point is...season it right, cook it right and serve it right (hot/cold/etc). As far as service, I can't eat service, so as long as my food i good, I'm happy

                                                                                  2. monavano RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                    Happy, polite people suck. Miscreant misanthropes, they are.

                                                                                    1. g
                                                                                      gfr1111 RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                      Well, I lie a lot. Often, a restaurant manager will come up to us at the end of the meal and ask how everything was. I would love to give him or her an honest answer, being a Chowhound after all, but usually I do not. I just tell the manager that everything was good and the manager moves on.

                                                                                      My experience when I do criticize something is that this entails offers of getting me a different appetizer (or whatever), offering to take the food I did not like off the bill, several return trips of the waiter to make sure that everything is now okay, etc.

                                                                                      They are bending over backwards to try and please me. I appreciate that. However, I hate making a scene and it is rarely worth the hassle to me of what comes afterward. Furthermore, I always feel like I am some sort of con artist because usually I ate the whole dish and I should pay for it, but now they want to take it off the bill. So I usually just lie and say everything was good.

                                                                                      I understand that feedback can be important to a restaurant, but it is rarely worth the hassle.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: gfr1111
                                                                                        jhopp217 RE: gfr1111 Jun 12, 2013 10:22 AM

                                                                                        I rarely complain during a meal and almost never send anything back, unless I fear dysentary. I once had a manager ask me if something was good and I pulled him aside and told him it was awful. I didn't let the others at the table hear it. He apologized and walked off. Returned two minutes later and said he had taken it off the bill and told me he had tasted it, blasted his cooks for not tasting it before it was sent out and explained that they had put the wrong ingredient in.

                                                                                        Every once in a while honesty actually saves a place from an epic disaster

                                                                                      2. l
                                                                                        latindancer RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 11:31 AM

                                                                                        I'm one of those 'people who like everything'. I have good manners and I'm grateful for the food in front of me.

                                                                                        I think it comes from being around those 'people who hate everything, pain-in-the-ass, complaining narcissists'.
                                                                                        The world revolves around their pretentious, name-dropping, know-it-all personalities. I don't want to be like them.

                                                                                        Go out with me, enjoy your meal, and if you don't like it, don't let me know.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: latindancer
                                                                                          jhopp217 RE: latindancer Jun 12, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                          Correlating good manners and being grateful for food with enjoying food is a somewhat silly thing to do. I have great manners and not only am I grateful, but if i know I'm not going to eat some part of the dish, I plead with them not to waste the food, but I expect a certain level of satisfaction. I am paying for it.

                                                                                          Sorry to hear you surround yourself with such awful people that anything seems good to you. I'd distance myself from those people.

                                                                                          1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                            Firegoat RE: jhopp217 Jun 12, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                            I don't think she said she surrounded herself with them.... but sometimes you have to be around horrible people because those are the cards life deals you. It's how you deal with it that makes you who you are.

                                                                                            1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                              latindancer RE: jhopp217 Jun 12, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                              <but if I know I'm not going to eat some part of the dish, I plead with them not to waste the food, but I expect a certain level of satisfaction. I am paying for it.>

                                                                                              I'm not understanding what you're talking about.

                                                                                              Also, I don't 'surround' myself with awful people where anything seems good to me. You've completely misunderstood the entirety of my post.

                                                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                jhopp217 RE: latindancer Jun 15, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                                                                You said <I'm one of those 'people who like everything'. I have good manners and I'm grateful for the food in front of me. I think it comes from being around those 'people who hate everything, pain-in-the-ass, complaining narcissists'.
                                                                                                The world revolves around their pretentious, name-dropping, know-it-all personalities. I don't want to be like them.>

                                                                                                I took from that paragraph that you are the way you are in an attempt not to be like the people you are around. I don't think I misunderstood what you wrote, I think you didn't get your point across.

                                                                                          2. Will Owen RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                            One possibility we seem to be missing here is that most people in this wide land of ours have just two opinions about their food: it was good or it was inedible. They may have favorite foods that they seek out, but they typically have certain dislikes that they'll never order; furthermore, they are often averse to trying anything with which they are unfamiliar, unless friends or family have tried and recommended it. I have a brother-in-law who spent two tours in Italy with his family, and tried his best to eat nothing Italian except pasta, pizza and prosciutto and cheese sandwiches, and clearly disapproved of my sister's and our interest in local fare. Many years later, during a visit back in the states, he shocked me no end by asking for a glass of the wine we were drinking … I guess he figured that he was safe on home turf.

                                                                                            This is why the great majority of people might become gluttons, or compulsive dieters, or vegetarians or something, but they'll never be chowhounds or gourmands or anything of that sort. Eating is something they have to do, and they may or may not enjoy it, but they'll never bother to think much about it. So, to be brief about it, "That was great!" can easily mean "I didn't hate it," and mean it in all sincerety.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                              jhopp217 RE: Will Owen Jun 12, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                              Well said. I'm shocked by all the responses to my post, but you get it. I should also add that at a table of six, I was almost always the last to finish, enjoying (or not) all there was to be had and savoring it when possible, whereas my fellow diners felt it more of a necessecity than a treat.

                                                                                              The majority of my friends are Italian and wouldn't know good Italian (from Italy) food if it hit them in the head.

                                                                                            2. r
                                                                                              ricepad RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                              Usually, when I tell the server/owner/MOD that everything is fine, that means the nits are not worth complaining about. I try not to sweat the small stuff, lest it ruin my evening. OTOH, I don't say anything is terrific unless it really is.

                                                                                              1. girloftheworld RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                                                Some people dont know what to say.. I know very little about currling...it looks boring as hell to me... but my Canadinan friends were here during the Olympics and and they were screaming " EH. gawwg can the man not sweep? " and realllllly into it. I think it is the same with non"foodies" they here "foodies " talk and it like hearing Charlie Browns teacher,

                                                                                                1. Caroline1 RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                                                  hmmmm... Maybe you can find something to do with those friends that's a lot more enjoyable for all of you and that doesn't involve eating? '-)

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                    MGZ RE: Caroline1 Jun 11, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                                                                    Sex, booze, and weed are the only things that come to mind and each seems to wind up with me overtippin' a delivery guy at some point of the night.

                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                      monavano RE: MGZ Jun 11, 2013 03:15 PM

                                                                                                      ... unless paranoia ensues

                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                        Caroline1 RE: MGZ Jun 11, 2013 03:18 PM

                                                                                                        Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll? Your age is showing! '-)

                                                                                                      2. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                        jhopp217 RE: Caroline1 Jun 12, 2013 10:30 AM

                                                                                                        That's the funny thing...they love to go out to eat, but as someone put it more eloquently than I can...it's more for survival, not for enjoyment. When I'm away, I want to enjoy it.

                                                                                                      3. inaplasticcup RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                                                        I'm generally with the *consider your audience* crowd. I like to have critical discussions about food in the company of other people who'll appreciate and enjoy that kind of discussion.

                                                                                                        On the other hand, if I'm at Outback because someone's invited me there and the server asks me how the food was, I'll say it's great so my host feels that I appreciate their generosity and hospitality.

                                                                                                        Growing up in a very food focused family, my kids are also developing their own strong ideas about how food should be prepared and taste, but we remind them that there's a time and place to appraise their food critically.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                          Firegoat RE: inaplasticcup Jun 12, 2013 05:40 AM

                                                                                                          Totally agree with this. Luckily at home my usual food consuming partner is my BF who has no filter when it comes to voicing his opinions on my cooking so I can get pretty honest opinions. I was thrilled to get stone ground local wheat at the farmer's market last week... and promptly made some bread. I KNEW when I took it out it wasn't good. Not sure if my yeast was bad, my ratios were off or what but it was bad. I cut us some warm slices with butter. We took one bite. He wondered if I could put it in the suet block holders for the birds. (it got trashed...after I put a couple of slicesin the freezer for bread crumbs later). On the flip side he made a framed certificate for me for making "Best Short Ribs Ever" But in a restaurant I don't think even he would say much unless it was like raw chicken or something.

                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                            jhopp217 RE: inaplasticcup Jun 12, 2013 10:31 AM

                                                                                                            When you say host, you're implying someone else is paying. I would never bash a meal someone else has paid for, unless they asked me to be completely honest afterwards.

                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                              latindancer RE: inaplasticcup Jun 13, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                                                              Perfectly stated.
                                                                                                              Thank you.

                                                                                                            2. foodieX2 RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                                                              I put this in the category of first world problems.

                                                                                                              I have a number of friends who I adore and love to spend time with any chance we get. Being that its hard to coordinate sitters etc we take what we can get. I honestly don't care if they say the meals "was the best" . It just nice to spend time with them and I often think that what makes it the "best". If ever time I went out for meals I had to approach them like a food critic would take away from the meal. Dining with friends and family is so much more than what we are eating.

                                                                                                              On the other hand I have culinary friends where our whole point of going out is try the newest places, the hidden favorites, the most talked about chefs, etc. We will pick apart our meals, share dishes, try to figure out the recipe etc. Those meals are just as fun but they are what they are: food focused.

                                                                                                              Maybe you need to adjust your expectations? Either that or drop these folks and find some like-minded friends.

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                jhopp217 RE: foodieX2 Jun 12, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                Commenting on Chowhound is a first world problem, isn't it?

                                                                                                                1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                  foodieX2 RE: jhopp217 Jun 14, 2013 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                  Not a first world problem for me at all. Its a first world privilege.

                                                                                                                  Seriously if one doesn't like their friends why hang out with them or keep up the friendship? If its just their dinner behavior than stop or limit going out to meals with them. It's the OP's problem to solve, not hs/her friends

                                                                                                                  I find that there is barely enough time in the day to spend with the people I love, never mind like. Why waste time on people who irritate you?

                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                    jhopp217 RE: foodieX2 Jun 15, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                    There are times when the people you love are the people who do this. There are also times when you find yourself dining with whoever you're with, because it's meal time. Not all people in our lives are perfect, at least not in my world.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                      foodieX2 RE: jhopp217 Jun 15, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                      Then why complain about them behind their backs?

                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                        jhopp217 RE: foodieX2 Jun 20, 2013 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                        Who said I was complaining about them behind their backs?

                                                                                                                2. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                  yumyum RE: foodieX2 Jun 18, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                  I feel this way completely. Sometimes I'm going out with a bunch of civilians (non chowhounds) and I'm happy to end up at a place we all enjoy. Because the conversation and company is the main event.

                                                                                                                  Sometimes I go out with hounds and we pick apart the dishes and decipher the ingredients and have a great time.

                                                                                                                  Both are lovely. I feel lucky.

                                                                                                                3. a
                                                                                                                  acssss RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                  I once saw a show about a guy who got his steak, complained, sent it back, got a new steak, complained, sent it back and when he got his new steak - he enjoyed it. HOWEVER, he didn't know that the waiters in the back were playing with his steak like a hockey puck on the floor!!! They were all laughing at his enjoying the steak. I would rather not complain and just not go back thank you very much!

                                                                                                                  1. fldhkybnva RE: jhopp217 Jun 11, 2013 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                    I think loving everything is far better than the alternative "hates everything and everywhere he goes that he doesn't suggest." I don't get this and I know people that hate even the places they do suggest.

                                                                                                                    1. scubadoo97 RE: jhopp217 Jun 12, 2013 04:14 AM

                                                                                                                      I'm pretty critical of my own cooking although I like and am very happy with most of the meals I prepare ;)

                                                                                                                      I tend to be more critical about restaurant meals since I'm just a home cook and feel they should be able to at least meet my abilities not being a professional. I often walk away feeling I could have done better

                                                                                                                      Now for friends that don't cook as much or are not as obsessed as I am, I see where going out exceeds their average home meal experience

                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                        Gastronomos RE: scubadoo97 Jun 12, 2013 04:53 AM

                                                                                                                        "I often walk away feeling I could have done better"

                                                                                                                        all too often for me...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                          fldhkybnva RE: Gastronomos Jun 12, 2013 05:22 AM

                                                                                                                          I feel the same way which is why I rarely go out for meals much anymore.

                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                            Gastronomos RE: fldhkybnva Jun 12, 2013 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                            the past couple of years has brought my career on the road again... looking for lunch has turned fruitless. I still gotta eat out sometimes, but it'll be simple like a slice of pizza or something like that. My chowhounding days are coming to a near end here where I live.
                                                                                                                            I cook at home for a fraction of the cost and infinite better taste and quality.
                                                                                                                            Out the other night for dinner and the most simple stuff came to the table. little skill in the kitchen. expensive and not worth it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                              MGZ RE: Gastronomos Jun 12, 2013 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                              The less you eat out, the more you can afford to spend when you do.

                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                                                Gastronomos RE: MGZ Jun 12, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                true. that's why I try to save it for "special places". but around these parts, there are none:-(
                                                                                                                                (unless I travel to NYC :-)

                                                                                                                      2. Motosport RE: jhopp217 Jun 12, 2013 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                        My mother in law, a wonderful human being, likes everything and everyone.
                                                                                                                        I could give her bread and butter and invite Saddam Husein to lunch and she would say it was a wonderful gourmet lunch.
                                                                                                                        On the other hand, I am fairly opinionated. Before her last visit I asked her to make a list of 5 people and things she did not like. No list!!
                                                                                                                        Go figure?

                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                          HillJ RE: Motosport Jun 12, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                          Moto, if you want someone a bit more on the confrontational side to chat with, I'll trade your MIL for mine right now.

                                                                                                                          My dear MIL can't find the good in many things anymore and she's managed to turn off even my extremely kind, patient and unassuming FIL so much that he hides in the yard to avoid listening to her bitch and moan.

                                                                                                                          So, you're MIL is welcome at the HillJ ranch anytime.

                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                            Firegoat RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                            I will send you my sister if I can afford enough Vodka to get her to that point.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                              Motosport RE: Firegoat Jun 12, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                              I would not trade her for the world. My MIL and FIL are amazing and delightful.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                HillJ RE: Motosport Jun 12, 2013 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                Moto, I can still check with my FIL to see if my MIL could be ready in say 30 mins or so to head over?

                                                                                                                                We could all use a break from her hate everything ways.

                                                                                                                                What times dinner?

                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                  Motosport RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                  I am going to guess that your MIL is never, ever ready in 30 minutes!!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                    HillJ RE: Motosport Jun 12, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                    Oh I think a quick phone call from me and my FIL could have her dressed, packed and ready to greet you at the door :)

                                                                                                                                    It's all about motivation, Motos!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                      Motosport RE: HillJ Jun 12, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                      Linguini Puttanesca tonight. Heavy on the garlic!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: Motosport Jun 12, 2013 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                        Save a plate!

                                                                                                                          2. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                            jhopp217 RE: Motosport Jun 15, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                            That reminds me of the old joke about someone's mom seeing good in everyone. So the son says "What about Ed Gein, he chopped up people and buried them under his house....what do you have to say about him?' The mother pauses and says, "Well, he's a homeowner."

                                                                                                                            1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                              westsidegal RE: Motosport Jul 19, 2013 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                              it sounds like you have the best mother in law in the world.

                                                                                                                            2. westsidegal RE: jhopp217 Jun 12, 2013 11:28 PM

                                                                                                                              have you raised any young kids?
                                                                                                                              just having a meal where you don't need to stay vigilant about supervising/tracking them makes the food taste better. you can actually pay attention to YOUR food.

                                                                                                                              the first week that i brought my newborn home from the hospital, a friend brought me a sandwich made by the local chain grocery. it was made with turkey roll, something i would normally think of as trash, and white bread (another thing i would normally discardand something that tasted like weird mayonaise based gook), but let me tell you that was the BEST sandwich ever.
                                                                                                                              my friend held my kid and i could focus for a minute on what was in my mouth.
                                                                                                                              all the really good food that came before and would come after was not relevant at that moment.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: westsidegal Jun 13, 2013 03:51 AM

                                                                                                                                been there, done that!

                                                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                  hyacinthgirl RE: westsidegal Jun 13, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                  I have never had a deli turkey sandwich as good as the one I ate the day I was home from the hospital with my son. Something about hospital food and no sleep and physical trauma and screaming and no nitrates for 9 months makes a simple sliced turkey sandwich seem DEVINE.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                                                                    Savour RE: hyacinthgirl Jul 17, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                    Ha! I had congee in the hospital when I had my son! First solid meal post-surgery and it was one of the best things I have ever tasted.

                                                                                                                                    Don't discount circumstance, is what I'm saying.

                                                                                                                                2. KaimukiMan RE: jhopp217 Jun 14, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                  They are blessed with short memories so that each experience is new and wonderful (having kids can do that to you.) And yes, a lot of people aren't as particular as they should be/could be and it was great to them. Keep in mind that the people you are with make a big difference to most people on how the food was experienced, so consider it a compliment and move on.

                                                                                                                                  1. Gastronomos RE: jhopp217 Jun 14, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                    here in New York even bad pizza is good. we gots some good pizza so if we end up at a place that ain't all that good, it's still good pizza.
                                                                                                                                    but that might come with the experience of having had tried chain pizzerias in other places that ain't got good pizza.

                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                                      jhopp217 RE: Gastronomos Jun 15, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                      Where in NY did you grow up? Just asking because this is a big debate with me. Anyone who grew up in NY anywhere other than Brooklyn or Queens believes what you believe. It couldn't be further from the truth. Brooklyn pizza absolutely blows the rest of the state away and Queens has some incredible places. Sure you'll find the occasional masterpiece in the Bronx and Manhattan, but rarely. I live in Westchester Co right now and the Pizza is awful absolutely everywhere I go

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                                        Gastronomos RE: jhopp217 Jun 15, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                        I grew up on Long Island. There are good pizza places around here.There are many bad pizza places around here as well. There must be 50 pizza joints within walking distance of here. We take it for granted.
                                                                                                                                        Brooklyn pizza is a myth, save for DiFara and L&B and Queens is a place where pizza ranges from great to mysterious to frozen and reheated.
                                                                                                                                        Back in the early 1990's I was on a job in the Bronx and from the top apartment looking south I could see the Jerome reservoir. Going to grab a slice for lunch we walked a few blocks found two old Italian guys that didn't speak English inside a hole in the wall pizzeria and ordered one slice each and one white slice each. Eating this on the sidewalk back to the job we stopped and looked at each other and agreed that this was the best pizza we had ever eaten. I never returned and never found anything about the place on the internet. I've had ok pizza in Manhattan.

                                                                                                                                        Westchester? I can't say.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                                                          jhopp217 RE: Gastronomos Jun 20, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                                          I'm going to assume you're a youngin. Brooklyn pizza a myth? Not sure where you've been eating pizza and just so you know, there is one line that comes from the mouths of every single true Brooklynite when DiFara's is mention and it's "Where is that?" Brooklyn Pizza was, is and will always be a step above. The best now isn't even found in pizzerias, but actual restaurants

                                                                                                                                          If you're in the Bronx anytime soon, try Louie & Ernie's on Crosley Ave. Order the sausage pie. Probably the best pie I've had outside of Brooklyn. Other than that Rose & Joe's Bakery in Astoria and Broaday Joe's in Riverdale are probably the three best i've had outside of Bklyn.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                                            Gastronomos RE: jhopp217 Jun 20, 2013 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                            my wife is from Brooklyn, born and raised, and during all the time I was courting her we ate pizza all over Brooklyn. I will admit I liked some and I also found a lot of very bland pizza as well. But, as you say, "The best now isn't even found in pizzerias, but actual restaurants." I guess the corner pizzerias was where I was eating and based my comment on those.
                                                                                                                                            There ARE good pizzerias in Brooklyn and very good restaurants as well. Just that with so many pizzerias the proportion of good to bad is skewed not in favor of the Brooklyn pizza. And my mention of L&B above did not come with a comment of 'they add sugar to the tomatoes and it's very sweet". And order only a 'square'.

                                                                                                                                            Chowhounding before Jim Leff and this site I did find a few places, like up in the Bronx I mentioned, but your rec's are very welcome!

                                                                                                                                            You are also correct about Difara's. 100%. Every single born and bred Brooklynite I have ever met asks that question. Without fail. And, yet, it isn't your typical NY slice that they serve or are now famous for. So we can remove that from the list? or does Difara's make a pizza like so many of these 'coal oven' and 'brick oven' places do now and everyone is going crazy for?

                                                                                                                                            As for my being a "youngin" I will concede that maybe back before I met my wife in 1990 and made trips into Brooklyn, the pizza was much better than it has become in the corner pizzerias.

                                                                                                                                            And my Original post above does state, "here in New York even bad pizza is good. we gots some good pizza so if we end up at a place that ain't all that good, it's still good pizza."

                                                                                                                                        2. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                                          JMF RE: jhopp217 Jun 19, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                          jhopp have you been to Gino's Pizza lately? Pondfield Rd. West in Yonkers next to Bronxville. I grew up on Brooklyn pizza, and I find it some of the best NYC style in Westchester lately.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                            jhopp217 RE: JMF Jun 20, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                            Gino's was up and down....the old man came back from what I heard. I know someone who works there and the pizza has always been one of the better in Westchester. I've never had a bad slice there, but it's varied from good to really good.

                                                                                                                                            And what I liked about their slices is that it felt like an old school NYC slice, not paper thin with sauce and cheese falling off

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                                              JMF RE: jhopp217 Jun 20, 2013 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                              I think that the guy making the pies the past six months is doing a very good job.

                                                                                                                                      2. d
                                                                                                                                        Dirtywextraolives RE: jhopp217 Jun 20, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                        Let me guess.....

                                                                                                                                        You don't have kids. Perhaps the lack of constantly teaching and monitoring their children at the table prevents them from actually enjoying their food.....until they are able to go out and actually FOCUS on the meal & company, instead of Johnny's elbows on the table and Suzy holding her fork like a Neanderthal......

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                                                                          MGZ RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 20, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                          I don't have kids. I only put my elbows on the table to settle things. And the last time a Suzy called me a Neanderthal, she got up early the next mornin' to get me breakfast.

                                                                                                                                        2. monfrancisco RE: jhopp217 Jun 22, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                          People with kids might be just a sub-set of some people in general. My mom was one of those "This Is the Best Ever" types, and when I was a kid I loved it (we're getting something special!). When I was in my teens and twenties, it drove me batshit (Mom, how can every movie you've ever seen be the best movie ever?), and then I just appreciated it. Kind of cool to get so much enjoyment so often.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: monfrancisco
                                                                                                                                            hill food RE: monfrancisco Jun 22, 2013 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                            it is sort of cool in a zen-like fresh brain sort of way. but then it's also kinda how my dogs think. I mean for some reason they are ALWAYS happy to see me. ME?!?!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                              monfrancisco RE: hill food Jun 23, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                              I really did just laugh out loud. Still am. Thanks! And throw the pups some treats.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: monfrancisco
                                                                                                                                                hill food RE: monfrancisco Jun 23, 2013 11:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                I always do. I'll try to express your thoughts but doubt they'll register.

                                                                                                                                                they'll still be happy.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                Googs RE: hill food Jun 23, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                Bingo! Sometimes just allowing it to be so makes it the best moment of your life.

                                                                                                                                            2. g
                                                                                                                                              givemecarbs RE: jhopp217 Jun 22, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                              I used to believe my friend John when he said a restaurant was great. Now I check first before going with him to see who paid.
                                                                                                                                              John is pretty spot on in his opinion of the place if he paid. But if someone else paid, usually his dad, then everything was amazing and perfect.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                Gastronomos RE: givemecarbs Jun 22, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                It always tastes better when someone else pays...

                                                                                                                                              2. Gastronomos RE: jhopp217 Jun 22, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                I've replied to some posts below, but will add, with kids our options are limited. Our kids are generally well behaved, but kids don't usually appreciate a 2 hour long dinner in a white table cloth restaurant.
                                                                                                                                                I don't want to sit at 8pm on a Saturday night with kids, mine or yours at a neighboring table while trying to peacefully enjoy a glass or bottle of fine wine and a plate of food that isn't commercially / factory made.
                                                                                                                                                TGIF, Applebee's, etc yes, but that isn't the food your OP is referring to.
                                                                                                                                                And I avoid even taking the kids to such places at that hour. Instead opting for "early dinner" "off hours" at actual restaurants and hoping to eat and leave, sans alcohol, without incident when out with other families at a restaurant other than a chain or NE style diner. There are many posts on these boards requesting 'fine dining' type places that are 'kid friendly'. These chow hounds are looking for something beyond chains and burger joints for the family(and mostly for themselves:-)
                                                                                                                                                Going to an "adult" restaurant, you may enjoy my knowledge and picking apart every simple thing the cook made, until I become a "snob" and a real dick about it and overshadow your knowledge and snobbery. It may just come to that. But at least I sated your desire to state that it wasn't the best meal I ever had.

                                                                                                                                                I also happen to agree with your OP and find the same frustration when out with other adults sans kids. They do seem to be satisfied with whatever comes to the table, not wanting to discuss it at all. Especially not giving it a "meh" after so many kids meals in chains and finally being served "adult" food, no matter how "meh" it really was.

                                                                                                                                                And your one friend "who hates everything everywhere he goes he doesn't suggest" should dine alone in his favorite place.

                                                                                                                                                1. ritabwh RE: jhopp217 Jun 22, 2013 11:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                  this reminds me of being asked "how are you?". the person asking really does not care how i am, but it is what you say to be polite and one replies in kind saying "i am fine, thank you". at most places i don't think the server cares how the meal is, and i reply in kind with "it's fine thank you".

                                                                                                                                                  and if i was invited to dinner and my meal was paid for, i would most certainly state the meal was "great, thank you" unless my host decided otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ritabwh
                                                                                                                                                    INDIANRIVERFL RE: ritabwh Jun 23, 2013 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I loved former FIL's response. "Not bad after 3 strokes."

                                                                                                                                                  2. L.Nightshade RE: jhopp217 Jul 12, 2013 10:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I'm not sure what "heir of snobbery" means, but I do think I understand your quote here:
                                                                                                                                                    "...I consider myself more knowledgable or maybe I'm a snob..."

                                                                                                                                                    Perhaps you are more knowledgable, and perhaps you are a snob. But I think you are also lucky. I am probably a huge snob when it comes to food, but I can also delight in another person's pleasure with a meal, even if I don't think it's the best food I've ever eaten. I've been out with people taking their first break from kids and quickly home-cooked meals. I've been out with people taking a long-overdue break from care of sick and dependent family members. I've been out with people who are just plain-old appreciative and not that critical about food.

                                                                                                                                                    Take a break from your food-snob self and revel in the pleasure of your friends enjoying a meal with you and appreciating their food, however mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                    1. p
                                                                                                                                                      POAndrea RE: jhopp217 Jul 13, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I'm not sure I understand how other diners' enjoyment of a meal offends you. Are these total strangers, or friends of yours?

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: POAndrea
                                                                                                                                                        Midknight RE: POAndrea Jul 17, 2013 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you, POAndrea. I don't understand how that would offend someone either, whether it be strangers, friends, OR family.

                                                                                                                                                      2. d
                                                                                                                                                        DatatheAndroid RE: jhopp217 Jul 16, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Every meal that is eaten without children present is terrific. :D

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DatatheAndroid
                                                                                                                                                          Firegoat RE: DatatheAndroid Jul 17, 2013 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I have one friend who has a 9 year old that is pretty fun to eat with. He's super picky tho' so that can be annoying. The great thing is I can walk away later and mom has to take care of the kid. :D However, I know the mom is happy to have some adult conversation and go out to eat somewhere decent.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                            DatatheAndroid RE: Firegoat Jul 17, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Picky kids can be VERY annoying. My Godbrother Alex would only eat a few things when he was a kid. My Godmother would have to chase him around the house and beg him to eat. Personally, I find all children annoying, so I avoid them when I can. They're just not for me. :)

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: DatatheAndroid
                                                                                                                                                            westsidegal RE: DatatheAndroid Jul 19, 2013 11:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                            add to that,
                                                                                                                                                            every meal eaten at the "senior facility" with my aging aunt is also wonderful.
                                                                                                                                                            dunno that i could gag down that food in any other setting, but being with my aunt makes everything wonderful (i've always felt that way about her) and the only way to share a meal with her any more is to go to her facility .

                                                                                                                                                          3. Firegoat RE: jhopp217 Jul 17, 2013 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I would like to report I haven't received my little heir of snobbery in the mail yet. I've made him up a nice bed and can't wait for him to arrive.

                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                              ricepad RE: Firegoat Jul 17, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I think my daughter is a little heiress of snobbery...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                Hobbert RE: Firegoat Jul 17, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                It's just as well. He'd probably turn up his nose at it...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                  girloftheworld RE: Firegoat Jul 17, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  :) I am naming mine Tarquin

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: girloftheworld
                                                                                                                                                                    Firegoat RE: girloftheworld Jul 17, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Dammit did yours come in? I made mine a splendid velvet bed :(

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                      girloftheworld RE: Firegoat Jul 17, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      not yet... just preparing..can't be too prepared, you know. Things to embroider, monogram silverspoons and such.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: girloftheworld
                                                                                                                                                                        Firegoat RE: girloftheworld Jul 17, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        oh the embroidery...... sigh.... at least the etched glassware should be in soon.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: girloftheworld
                                                                                                                                                                      Firegoat RE: girloftheworld Jul 17, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Are you allowed to name them? I assumed they'd come with some sort of dynastic six to seven name assortment

                                                                                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                                                                                    mastercooker RE: jhopp217 Jul 20, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    My parents would say everything is fine even though it's not. They don't like to complain

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