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Jan 10, 2014 03:53 PM

Secret Chowhound buttons or signal

Everytime i go out to eat, i imagine there's another CH'er there.
The other day i saw someone eating at China Blue. I say to myself, hmmmm , "is that Kathryn?",, Last time I was at Fukurou, I say " is that Simon or Kosmose" ,,,, so I'm thinking some kind of secret button or signal, like Carol Burnette pulling her ear.( maybe before your time).
I don't want restaurants necessarily to know i'm a CH'er, because sometimes they are friends and I give them bad reviews, But it would be cool to see what members are eating when you are , at the same place. Tonite it will be sushi. Im not sure where yet. I'll be wearing a brown shirt ,,haha

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  1. just read chowhound on your phone.. i actually met a ch'er that way at the scarpetta bar

    6 Replies
      1. re: MarieLuncheonette

        I met one CH'er but it was planned thru email. It was great.
        Years ago I did "meetups" for dinner, some of those were fun, but those were complete strangers. Here on CH you kind of know some people thru their posts. However we don't know them that well, as some that I thought were women are men and vice versa lol.
        In any case, the luncheon Monica put together sounded like fun. ( i couldn't attend). But I still like the idea of figuring out how to recognize a Chowhounder when you're out eating. I ended up at Blue Ribbon Izakaya tonite.

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          I know what you mean about knowing the fellow CH but not really knowing them....I thought BigSal (cookbook of the month discussions) was a guy for a long time until someone referred to "her". what? blew my mental picture. lol

          A special hand signal would not work because you would have to be throwing your special hand signal throughout the meal as guests came and went! something to wear? A distinctive tie for the men and a scarf for the ladies? instead of CC for coco Chanel we could have CH.
          I don't think there are many CH in my area but would love to know if there are.

          1. re: foodcompletesme

            Or a tie for the women and a scarf for the men!

            1. re: foodcompletesme

              One way we used to able to tell was with the CH button. I have one of those and one of those translation cards somewhere...

        2. way back before Chowhound was a multi-national concern (in the days when the opening screen explained why Chowhounds are not "foodies"), there were periodic meet up dinners at various bars where we brought pot luck dishes, homemade or from our local secret favorites. it was a great way to get face recognition down, and I met some great folks at an early one at No Idea.

          3 Replies
          1. re: debinqueens

            Yes, that was terrific. SO much good food!

            1. re: Pat Hammond

              I remember a couple of those... That one time at the beer garden was a blast.

              1. re: JMF

                Yes, I brought my family to that one, along with my cashew brittle.

          2. There is a hand shake, I would show you but then I would have know the drill.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jrvedivici

              If you were a member of Skull and Bones, and you heard a certain word spoken aloud in a room, you would be required to leave.

                1. re: Veggo

                  but then there are also some loser wannabes in New Haven who would leave the room (and were most likely NOT S+B) I think it's the same rule for the Seven at UVA.

                  it's like claiming you're Thomas Pynchon at a cocktail party, his photograph has never been made public...

                2. On the DISBoards (internet site for Disney fans), interested folks wear lime green to the parks so they will recognize each other. It isn't perfect as a surprising number of people where lime green to theme parks, but still it has lead to many meetings and greetings that otherwise would not happen.

                  1. There are only a few of us on the PA board and I always want to say, hey let me know if you are going somewhere and we could meet up but I am a big chicken about things like that even if I did meet my husband online.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: melpy

                      You can always offer to organize a Chowdown at a popular restaurant. I did this once - not hard. First speak to the proprietors and ask if they'd be willing. One of the draws of a Chowdown is that the kitchen will probably make something for the group that is not on the regular menu. Food will probably be served family style. Come to an understanding with them as to how much the meal will cost per person, including tip. Require that everyone bring cash to pay, to simplify things for the restaurant. If alcohol is involved, I suggest that not be included in the prix fixe, so everyone pays for their own. You'll need to establish a date, time, and party size with the restaurant, too. Then post the details on your local board, and tell people to RSVP, including their phone number, by a given date to your profile's e-mail address. When they do, e-mail to confirm, and give them your phone number in case of last-minute cancellation.

                      Another thought is to suggest a meet-up at a fair or other public invent involving food. In either case, there's really no pressure on the organizer. You're not cooking for them, nor are you responsible for how people get along. Most of the group will not know one another, either. Nothing to be afraid of....and I say this as a lifelong Shy Person.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Perhaps I am incorrect in this however I thought I remember from organizing my first (and only) Chow get together that I was told NOT to mention Chow to the establishment when organizing my "event".

                        I would swear the Mods told me not to use the Chow name in organizing anything as they have had problems with Chow members shaking places down for discounts etc. when organizing events.

                        Am I off my rocker?

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          I never said one mentions Chow or Chowhound to the restaurant. Of course, if the owner recognizes people as they arrive as customers who've previously told him they heard about his place on CH, and it's obvious that the organizer does NOT know these people's faces, he doesn't have to be Sherlock to figure it out.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            "One of the draws of a Chowdown is that the kitchen will probably make something for the group that is not on the regular menu."

                            Sorry that line confused me, I read it as if you were identifying yourself as a group from Chow and as a result there was a likely hood the kitchen would make something special.

                            My bad.

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              Since no one ever seems to know what/who CH is when I mention it, I doubt it would make any difference.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I've had the same experience. Though I once got my knuckles rapped by the mods when I posted about my first visit to a local place and said that when the owner asked how I'd heard about it, I told him that it was discussed on CH. (He'd never heard of either, by the way.)

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  That's how I came to find out. By mentioning it to people in the biz. I think they would rather we post on TripAdvisor or Yelp, which I keep considering.

                                2. re: c oliver

                                  i strongly disagree--- every restaurant owner/ server i know reads chowhound/yelp/opentable / twitter feeds /reviews of their place.(& take it very seriously)
                                  although a small speciality grocery near me hasnt heard of it-
                                  the world is a diff place with instant review at a guests fingertips.

                                  1. re: kewpie

                                    You're certainly entitled to your opinion obviously based on your experience. Mine is the opposite.