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.