Make that to go

Rand Simberg is probably not going out to eat tonight:

I don’t go out to eat, generally, unless there is some compelling reason, because I don’t intrinsically enjoy it. I think that restaurants are intrinsically overpriced (not relative to their costs of doing business, but relative to their value to me compared to cooking at home), I don’t know for sure what’s in the food, and can’t get it exactly the way I like it, the portions are too large, particularly on the carbs (again, for economic reasons), and I really don’t enjoy other people serving or waiting on me, particularly when a tip is expected. I really prefer to do it myself (I have the same annoyance with luggage in hotels).

To me the only reasons to go out to eat are a) to eat something that I couldn’t make myself due to lack of time or ingredients (which is why I almost never go to a steak house), b) as a social occasion with others or c) I’m travelling away from home and have no other choice. But it’s not something about which I ever think, “Boy, I’d sure like to go out to eat in some fancy restaurant.”

I’m definitely a b and/or c type myself, albeit closer to c: I pretty much have to eat out when I’m on the road, but I have few social occasions otherwise. (The best of both worlds, of course, is to meet up with someone for a meal while I’m on the road, but this is not the most common of events.)

Along such lines, I said back in ought-six:

Of course, you’re paying for expertise and atmosphere; I can grill up a sixteen-ounce ribeye for $11 and eat it at the breakfast bar, or I can go someplace nice and pay three or four times as much. As a practical matter, though, I’m not going to worry until the Wendy’s Classic Double hits $5.

Last ribeye I bought, come to think of it, was $10.99 a pound.


  1. fillyjonk »

    2 February 2010 · 2:30 pm

    I wonder if he’s married/otherwise coupled and has a spouse/SO to shoulder (at least some of) the cooking and cleanup duties.

    I will admit to eating out – or at least getting a pizza where I can eat it out of the box like a Neandertal – at times when it was just a little much to face the idea of cooking something, then having to wash the pan, and then having to wash the dishes I ate on. (This is also why I eat cereal for dinner more frequently than is probably normal or healthy for an adult woman).

    Really, part of the reason I like to eat out is that I can ask someone for what I want to eat, have it brought to me, and then, when I’m done, have the dishes taken away. I’m sure liking to be waited on now and then says something not very nice about my personality, but there you are.

  2. unimpressed »

    2 February 2010 · 3:10 pm

    I eat out for variety. I’m, at best, a survival-level cook in that I can live on it; but it isn’t a “fun” meal, ever. The majority of the time when I eat out, I have something that I can’t make or because “another” whatever-it-may-be is almost nauseating. Not having anything to wash up is just a bonus.

  3. sya »

    2 February 2010 · 4:21 pm

    I am also the type of person who only eats out for social and/or traveling reasons. Otherwise, I really hate eating out as I always feel like waiters view me as if I am dirt underneath their shoes.

    I don’t think I’m a particularly good cook, but I enjoy doing it. Especially since it’s the only socially acceptable outlet for using a knife to vent your frustrations.

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