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Ever been recognized on the street by a fellow Chowhound you never met before?

Today a fellow Chowhound introduced themselves to me in an Asian market (H-Mart), saying they recognized my photo from my avatar photo here on CH. We had a nice conversation and then went about our shopping, then ran into each other again at the food court and shared lunch together.

A few years ago in New Orleans at the Tales of the Cocktail conference a fellow Chowhound asked if I was JMF and we talked booze and cocktails for awhile.

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  1. Never. Ever tell somebody you don't know that " I post messages on Chowhound ". See how their eyes cross with that puzzled look on their face." WTF is that ", they ask.

    1 Reply
    1. re: emglow101

      >>Ever tell somebody you don't know that " I post messages on Chowhound ". See how their eyes cross with that puzzled look on their face." WTF is that ", they ask.<<

      That is my experience in the world at large. In the world of US foodies, food writers, and food pros, it's more like "Oh, yes, I've heard of that. Sort of."

          1. re: treb

            Me neither, but my cat has.

        1. Not another Hound, but years ago when I had a pic of me in my profile, I was recognized by our server at a restaurant.

          1. Not from this site but from a sports message board that I’ve belonged to for a about 10 years or so. Most of the posters there have been on for at least that long, some dating back to 2001. Lots of the posters there are into food and the subject comes up a lot, especially barbecue and Mexican food. I’d posted about a Mexican place a couple times, other posters had too. I walked in one Saturday morning, ordered 3 or 4 tacos and the guy at the table next to me points at me and says, “You’re chileheadmike”. My avatar is not my picture there, I have no idea how he knew. When asked he just said he knew it was me. Good guy, and not at all like I’d imagined him from his avatar and online persona. Crazy experience.

            1. Oh, the person in New Orleans must have recognized me from a name tag, not a picture.

              1. I wasn't recognized, but my dog was. Not the avatar (who passed away 6 years ago), but my white American Bulldog/Dalmation mix.
                I had posted a picture of him standing in his hind legs at a pizza takeout window and also have written about his 10PM trips to McDs for a vanilla Cone.
                Last week, I had him on a leash outside a McDs in a neighboring town and he was enjoying a Vanilla Cone. There was a couple seated at the picnic table and the women asked the male: 'I wonder if that's Bagelman from CH. I know he lives near here and takes his dog for the Cones?" I gave her a smile and told her that she was correct.

                4 Replies
                1. re: bagelman01

                  This is funny. This past weekend, I went to the Stratford banh mi place you said your daughter had recommended. The lady asks, "How did you hear of this place?" I say, "Oh, my friend's daughter recommends it." Then she goes on to say where does she live? [Right, you're my friend, where do you live, of course I would know this...] In Trumbull, I say. Actually, she may still be in school, I'm not sure...FUNNY STUFF, these imaginary friends of ours. :D

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    Reminds me of a Blondie cartoon I read in the papers some 50 years ago.
                    The phone rings, Dagwood answers and quickly hangs up. Blondie asks: 'who was that dear?'
                    Dagwood replies: 'It was only a wrong number.'
                    Blondie answers: 'some of my best friends started out as wrong numbers.'

                    Those of us on CH have many 'friends' with whom we have only an electronic relationship. Some of us eventually meet. I'm glad you let the owners know that you came because a friend's daughter recommended the restaurant.

                    In the next couple of months we shall actually manage a meal in person.

                  2. re: bagelman01

                    Just popping in (OT) to say I have an American bulldog/dalmation mix too. She is a real sweetie! I'll have to treat her to a cone! :)

                  3. In the final days of a beloved taco stand ("Las Ruinas" in Pasadena), local chowhounds started making their last visits before they closed. I ate there maybe 3 times in their last week. One of those nights, a fellow looked over at me and said "Chowhound?" I nodded in solidarity. He tilted his head towards another woman nearby and said "that's...xxx" - a handle I recognized but have since forgotten. I guess we all had the same expression of sadness, because there wasn't an official meetup and I didn't have my picture in my profile. I'm sorry now I didn't properly introduce myself to my fellow 'hounds that night.

                    1. No. How could they given that there is no picture of me anywhere on this site???
                      Also, unless I'm not seeing something others can see, how could anyone recognize you from such a tiny picture? Even when I hover over your avatar, your face is so small. I wouldn't recognize my own mother in that picture! lol

                      1. I'm asked if I'm related to Clark Gable all the time. :)

                        4 Replies
                        1. Since my pic is not posted, no. But Philly area Hounds have had two really nice gatherings since 2009 and we all get along famously. We are planning a third when our "best kept secret" resto reopens next month.

                              1. re: gaffk

                                Well, mine and I both have green eyes...

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    We shared an eye color when she was a cute blue-eyed kitten, but then her eyes turned green.

                                  2. re: gaffk

                                    Nor do I. Definitely packing a few more pounds than my avatar.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              No one's gonna huff and puff and blow your heart down. :)

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                it's bacon. it was a photo I found online of a bacon-wrapped heart.

                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                  Is that a way into a man's (male) heart?

                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                      I didn't know women also love bacon. :P

                                                        1. re: petek

                                                          "She" keeps getting all the attention here! LOL.

                                                          1. re: petek

                                                            Ummmmm......Hello! I'm Jr so very nice to make your acquaintance.

                                                            ( I would have NEVER guessed you were a gal. Bonus points if your avi is you. Do tell !!! )

                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                              Sorry jr.. hate to disappoint but I'm 100% pure Canadian man meat. But I do love bacon! :D

                                                              1. re: petek

                                                                Uuugggghhh eeeeekkkkk !!!!!! What was your response to CK all about? Ewwwwww I gotta take a shower now.

                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                  The arrows were pointing to my avatar. She obviously loves bacon.
                                                                  P.S make sure that shower is ICE cold!

                                                                  1. re: petek

                                                                    Or she likes to say things which men want to hear. :)

                                                                    Like women who claim to love to play video games or love football or love bacon.


                                                                    Don't get me wrong, some women like bacon, but none LOVE bacon.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                      <Don't get me wrong, some women like bacon, but none LOVE bacon.>

                                                                      .Sounds like you're stereotyping there Chem.I know plenty that LOVE bacon.

                                                                      1. re: petek

                                                                        Well, that will certainly makes these women very attractive to me. :)

                                                                        (I have only heard about these beauties, but have never seen them in person. Do they really exist on planet Earth?)

                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                          "Those who'll tell don't know.
                                                                          Those who know won't tell."

                                                                          --your friend and fellow bacon lover

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            <Do they really exist on planet Earth?)>

                                                                            Yes Chem the really do exist! Meeting one is like finding a magical unicorn! :D

                                                                            1. re: petek

                                                                              Any man claiming they have not met a woman who loves bacon is, in fact, a boy who has not yet worked up the nerve to talk to a girl.

                                                                              1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                Or lives in observant Jewish or Muslim community where pork is not generally consumed.

                                                                                  1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                    I couldn't resist.....
                                                                                    Loads of discussion on the Kosher Board about Lamb Belly Bacon, but 99%+ of Jews and Muslims have never had the product.

                                                                                1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                  Clearly someone here is confusing like with love.

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    Honey, I ain't confused 'bout nuthin'.

                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                  I couldn't agree more with this statement.

                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              'Scuse me? I don't just "like" bacon.
                                                                              I <3 LOVE <3 bacon!

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                puh-LEEZE. I ADORE bacon. more than my BF does. two weeks ago I polished off 8 pieces of chocolate-covered bacon in one sitting that I meant to share with the BF. and I don't even CARE about chocolate. I just ordered some bacon from Allen Benton in Tennessee on the strength of an episode of Mind of a Chef! who cares what men want to hear!

                                                                                for the record, I hate football and I don't know a thing about video games. except pacman. and not MS. pacman.

                                                                                and you definitely need to get out more, ck. there is a whole universe of women out there that don't fit into this mindset!

                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                  Ms. Pacman, not MS. pacman. I had sad visions of a very handicapped little pacman trying to navigate the maze. It was very sad indeed.

                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                    hah - I was just accentuating the fact it was a female.

                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  I love bacon! Lots of my girlfriends love it too!! AND football!!

                                                                                  1. re: mtngirlnv

                                                                                    I too love bacon and football (and have female friends who feel the same). Video games? Eh, we leave them to the guys.

                                                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                                                      I could give a rat's ass about video games, but the folks I share walls with in the fall will vouch for my football obsession. Otherwise, they must think I have an oddly seasonal variety of Tourette's.

                                                                                      Regardless, I prefer to watch it without the company of men because I get tired of them asking stupid questions. While eating bacon.

                                                                                      1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                        The guys are too busy with fantasy football and video games to actually watch football.

                                                                                3. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                  Don't "eeeekkkk". Canadian men are attractive too. They are just not nearly as attractive as Canadian women. Ha :D

                                                    2. I once saw Will Owen from the Los Angeles board in a store. I saw him but couldn't place the name and the face. It was one of those times where a lot was going on and I actually had to think. Was it a vendor from work? A guy that worked at a store? hmmm...then I logged on to CH and put the face together!

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                        So nice--what a lucky meeting! Isn't that the worst when you can't place a face, tho'? My most memorable example of that was seeing the mailman out of uniform. You know, like I half expected him to dress like that even when he wasn't working. HA HA!

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                          i actually didn't get a chance to say anything as I was late for preschool pick up and I don't think I ever brought it up to him either in a thread. uniform people out of uniform are the worst! there was a guy i used to see in a uniform and in normal clothes just looked so different it was weird.

                                                          1. re: trolley

                                                            Aww, too bad. But totally with you with uniformed folk in street clothes--it'll getcha every time!

                                                          2. re: kattyeyes

                                                            I ran into my mailman on a cruise. Almost didn't recognize him but when he called me "Mrs" instead of my normal name that was a good clue!

                                                        2. Had a fellow @ a bahn mi place in the OC ask me how I found his place, this was say 2001 or so. I was about to say and he said, Chowhound!

                                                            1. I guess this whole thread hinges on whether you want to recognize/be recognized as well. While I love coming here and chatting, giving advice and occasionally debating a hot topic, I really do not want to ever meet anyone here. That's just me. And except for a few people who have extremely recognizable avatars or screen names that are truly memorable, I really never know who is saying what.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                i never really thought i necessarily "wanted" to, but i have and now i'm glad i did.

                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                  I did do a real-life meet of a person from an online group back in the newsgroup days. Of course, the interesting, talkative, insightful individual turned out to be quite the bore in real life. And this was back when online dating or meeting someone you randomly met online had quite a bit of stigma attached. Everyone asked afterward if I still had possession of my vital organs.

                                                                  And plus I've got enough offline friends and I don't spend enough time with them as it is.

                                                                  1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                    "And plus I've got enough offline friends and I don't spend enough time with them as it is."

                                                                    Exactly! Couldn't agree more.

                                                                    Also, I have been with my husband for 20 years now. The last time I dated there were no online dating services. I am just not wired to meet people I only know from interacting with online. Never did the personal ads in the newspapers either back in the day.

                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                      On occasion I've used these lines from the film "Charade", or words to that effect: "Haven't we met?" "I'm sure we haven't, and I already know so many people that until one of them dies, I couldn't possibly meet anyone else."

                                                                2. Never in person (my "avatar" is just the default M) but I have occasionally crossed paths with fellow CH'ers on TripAdvisor forums. I've recognized them from the same or similar handles on both sites and that their travel inquiries on TA paralleled food inquiries on CH. Since TA allows you to private message other members, I've sent messages to them commenting on their TA inquiries, with my CH identity.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: masha

                                                                    I've been outed a few times on TA as a CHer. Probably because all my trip reports evolve around food. Angkor Wat? I'm looking for that noodle stall around there though...

                                                                    1. re: masha

                                                                      I've had that happen although not with chowhound that I can remember. But I ran into a woman I knew on a figure skating forum on Usenet on a Television Without Pity forum and we eventually figured it out.

                                                                      The classic story on Chowhound is the twin sisters who independently started posting on chowhound but who didn't immediately recognize each other's screen names. The really funny thing was that they had created their screen names in a similar way, with their first name and the city where they lived.

                                                                      I've never really gotten used to meeting someone and having them say "oh, I read your posts on such-and-such forum."

                                                                    2. My avatar photo is a few years old so.......

                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                      1. re: petek

                                                                        So "your" ass is a little bigger now?!

                                                                        1. re: petek

                                                                          I keep looking for your avatar photo!

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                I'll pray for you and your perverse tendencies. May the Lord Almighty's hand touch upon our brother CK and cure him of his perverted way's dear Lord, cleanse Ck's eye's and mind to more pure, clean and honest thought's and ways.

                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                  <I'll pray for you and your perverse tendencies>

                                                                                  Didn't you say "I keep looking for your avatar photo?"

                                                                                  Why only cure me? Are you trying to cure me to get rid of your competition?

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    Do as I say, not as I do Ck. I am a proud sinner Ck, I am trying to save you.......help me help you.

                                                                        2. We had a couple of Delray Beach CH chowdowns about 5 years ago, with a dozen or so CHers, then I joined a new motorcycle group last year. After a couple of rides one of the guys said he'd met me before but he couldn't remember where and nor could I. The next time we rode he remembered it was from the CH dinner we'd gone to.

                                                                          1. Yes. Twice. Once by a chef in a place I like. Once by a fellow Chow poster. Not exactly on the street, but both times by people who knew it was me because they had read my posts.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: AdinaA

                                                                              May I ask how someone can recognize you in public just from your posts? Am I missing something? I'm not being sarcastic; I am truly curious.

                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                The chef of a kosher restaurant who follows Chow recognized me the third or fourth time I ate there by my adventurous ordering pattern - I order his edgy dishes - he does such wonderful creative things.

                                                                                A fellow Chowhounder who often posts on the same threads I do guessed who I might be by reading my posts and wrote to me at my professional email address.

                                                                                I had thought that I was posting anonymously, and was slightly shaken to be recognized. I got over it. Nothing in life in truly anonymous anymore.

                                                                                Remember that we all leave footprints on our posts. If you read another Chowhounder, you can probably figure out where s/he lives, grew up, travels on business, and stuff like the ethnicity of his/her childhood kitchen. Someone who is part of the same ethnic, geographical or professional world might well recognize you or be able to track you down just from things you write in your posts.

                                                                                1. re: AdinaA

                                                                                  Thank you for responding. I appreciate it.
                                                                                  While I do know "nothing in life is truly anonymous anymore" and realized this way before many came to this realization, what does surprise me is how closely some people follow others here. Like I said earlier on in this thread, I barely ever take notice of who I am reading. Case in point, I am not looking at my computer screen right now (I'm not the world's best typist) and I have no idea what your screen name is or what your avatar looks like. I just hope I am boring enough in my posts that others don't try to seek me out! lol :)

                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                    Some of us who frequent certain boards have established groups on other social media which allows us direct contact/email with each other, and even sometimes to meet.
                                                                                    This is not the same as unplanned on the street meeting as the OP suggests.

                                                                                    Earlier this week a Ch who frequents my local board went to a restaurant in this area, about an hour drive from her home. The owner asked how she heard about it and she said the daughter of a friend (me, who she's never met) recommended it. She knows the youngest Ms. B is Chinese, while I am not. Last night I was in the restaurant with my daughter and the owner told my daughter a new customer was in based on her recommendation. Seems my daughter is the only 17 yo Chinese young woman who comes into this small restaurant with a Caucasian father. There is no staying anonymous anymore. Not that it bothers us in this case. In fact I expect to have lunch with the other CH in the next few months.

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                      "There is no staying anonymous anymore."
                                                                                      As I stated previously, I fully realize this. I'm just am amazed at how involved in each others lives all of your are! lol

                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                        GET OUT OF HERE!!! Holy smokes! That is freakin' amazing. WOW!

                                                                                      2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                        i once was asked at a professional meeting where i lived by someone that went to the same professional school as i did
                                                                                        he then asked me, "are you macsak?"
                                                                                        i had to ask "on which board?"
                                                                                        i participate in a local shooting sports board and most every sunday post weather reports because i live near the range and am usually up early
                                                                                        i sometimes sign my posts with my first name, and some other posters know what i do, so they give me a hard time about it sometimes, so he put 2 and 2 together

                                                                                2. The owner of a restaurant we frequent put 2 and 2 together and from the name on my credit card and a review I wrote on CH of a meal I had there, surmised it had to be me. After he approached me about it, he then introduced me to 2 other CH's in the restaurant at the same time. How funny is that?

                                                                                  1. It use to happen frequently so now I only go out in disguise.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                      You really need to have your own cable show. .
                                                                                      Love love love your demented sense of humor JR!

                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                        It's not a joke, I'm not really 6'4" and 310lbs, it's one of those fat suit's like Oprah and Rossie O'Donnell wear. They are wearing fat suit's aren't they?

                                                                                    2. It was happening so much that when I go out in public, I now wear a big letter Z to throw everyone off.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                        That's not a Z, you bought it at the defect store, it's a sideways N. Shesh !!!

                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                          That's even(z) better. N(Z)o on(z)e will ever recogn(z)iz(n)e me n(z)ow

                                                                                      2. Only when I'm packin' my battle-ax.

                                                                                          1. I am not nearly this animated in person most days. However, even if I were, I don't post frequently enough to show up on many peoples' radar. Even when I had an active local board, my first time introducing myself to other Chowhounds was often met with a blank stare.

                                                                                            If I bumped into you in a cocktail context, I like to think I would recognize you and say hi, but if I saw you in a random market, I'd probably think to myself, "huh..that guy kinda looks like JMF. Funny."

                                                                                            I assure you, I'd do the same if I passed Matt Damon on the street.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                              It's funny how different celebrities look in real life!

                                                                                              1. No, but then I don't look much like a capital D.

                                                                                                1 Reply