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Jun 15, 2013 05:45 PM

outside dining

how often do you eat outside at home? do you have an outdoor entertaining area?

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  1. i have an outside entertaining area, but i don't use it for dining since, personally, i much prefer dining inside.

    4 Replies
    1. re: westsidegal

      Me too, I always am on edge when dining outside - either the weather or the bugs

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        See I se all these beautiful houses and these shows where they set the tables outside and all I can think is bugggggggs.

        we have a lovely back yard and i eat breakfast out there a lot and we entertain there a alto but dad always has a guy come spray two hours before the party and then it is like a count down hoping it lasts.....

        1. re: girloftheworld

          I seem to be a magnet for mosquitos especially. They attack me and everyone else walks away unscathed wondering why I keep complaining about bugs :)

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            bugs, AND
            somehow, the food temperature of meals taken/served outside is never right.
            hot food quickly gets too.
            cold food quickly gets warm.

    2. I'm an apartment dweller, so my outdoor dining space is covered by the balcony upstairs (rather helpful if a light rain pops up). It is, quite frankly, one of the happiest places on earth as far as I am concerned. I love dining or having a drink surrounded by my little container garden.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Wahooty

        saw a special on English gardens and how some of them were on tiny flat balconies.... it was magical

        1. re: girloftheworld

          Yep, gardening on balconies is fairly common here. I've seen TV mentions of ones exclusively used for food production.

      2. almost never.............
        My mom was the promoter of cook out, eat in. No bugs, and air conditioning.
        That said, we have an outdoor kitchen and dining area off our main kitchen, and a second concrete area with grill, table and chairs within our swimming pool fence. our kids and their friends will eat outside.Wife and I will serve drinks, fruit, apps outside and around the pool.

        That said, we do host a couple of yearlybbqs/parties where the guests are served outside, but I tend to do my actual eating in the house.

        9 Replies
        1. re: bagelman01

          We have a similar setup in our new place here except no fence around the pool. We will serve snacks outside but most adults are more comfortable eating inside. The kids will eat anywhere.

          1. re: mucho gordo

            "we have an outdoor kitchen and dining area off our main kitchen"

            Ohh how nice.. does it include grills and range top?

            so many people have beautiful "outdoor living rooms here and necer use them..

            1. re: girloftheworld

              don't know about Mucho's setup, but our outdoor kitchen, has both gas and charcoal grills, a 4 burner range top, a gas oven, a brick pizza oven, 2 Thermador warming drawers, under counter fridge, freezer and icemaker.

              That said, Yes I live in New England, but I grill outdoors all year round, even in the snow.l We have 4 dogs who eat fresh meat off the grill and don't like it cooked inside on the stove or in the oven.
              Tonight, we had pizza for supper and I grilled boneless turkey thighs for the dogs all made outdoors. No heating up the house and driving up the air conditioning costs.

              1. re: bagelman01

                Ours isn't that elaborate. Does your outdoor kitchen have some sort of overhang or enclosure to keep it dry and somewhat warm?

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  No overhang. Local zoning officials won't let us have an overhang over 'live' cooking UNLESS we install vent hoods and fans-ridiculous.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    That seems odd. If there were walls, there'd be an overhang or roof and, yes, venting would be required. However, since there are no walls, smoke and whatever can't accumulate. An overhang shouldn't be a problem for that reason. You're an attorney; file suit and get the law changed or amended. So, how do you keep everything dry and warm, especially in winter?

                    1. re: mucho gordo

                      Zoning is arbitrary and a bastion of local power. The only sucessful suits involve claims of discrimination. Zoning laws don't have to make sense.

                      When we had a condo (villa) in Boynton Beach there was a slider off the kitchen to a concrete pad for a bbq grill. The slider and back of the garage wall made an ell and the other two sides of the pad were open to the lawn. After one year wqe got a cease and desist letter from Palm Beach County (this was actually an unincorporated area at the time). Seems that two walls equal a "room" and zoning doesn't permit using a bbq in a room.

                      I don't keep everything dry and warm, I stand out there in rain, ice and snow, grilling.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        You give new meaning to the phrase "grillin' and chillin' ". The elements can't be that good for the equipment.

                        1. re: mucho gordo

                          We do turn off the refrigearator, ice maker and freezer November 1 and drain the lines. I have stainless steel cover that bolt on to cover and protect them from the winter elements. It's not an issue with the grills and warming draweres and the cooktop has a sheet metal cover which is always closed when not in use. Already in use 7 years and no repairs needed.

        2. As much as the English weather will allow.
          Which is not much!

          1 Reply
          1. Floridians have it figured out. These screened areas are common in the Sunshine State.

            2 Replies
            1. re: PotatoHouse

              We stole the name for them from Hawai'i. Lanai. And some have complete cooking facilities, not just a grill.

              1. re: PotatoHouse

                I've seen those. They must be expensive to install, though, even though real estate is relatively cheap in FL. I do think a big screen like that would look weird here in New England and probably the neighbors would protest, so I guess I'll just risk West Nile, EEE, Lyme disease, babesiosis, and whatever new bug-borne illness crops up this year.