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Eating at new places vs eating at familiar places?


Razors Edge
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@Kirby's travel thread probably has a similar question about where you eat when you go out locally (or traveling).

Do you prefer the places you have tried and liked in the past, or do you try to mix it up and go to new places?

We generally - near home - have our six or so goto places for sushi, Mexican, Ethiopian, pizza, Thai, etc., and mostly use them in a regular rotation.  We do like to try other places but probably at a 5:1 or 10:1 ratio to the regular spots.

When traveling, it's a mix - trying local food, but also sometimes, just trying to find something "familiar".  Usually lean towards the local stuff, but sometimes a coffee is what I want and it may not be a local drink.

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1 minute ago, Randomguy said:

I like to discover new places, but it is hard not to go back to a really good place. 

When I go back to a regular place, I will almost always get the thing there that I love every time.  I have a fear of missing out on my regular meal that is so good when trying something else on the menu.  Most restaurants don't do everything well, you have to pick your spots.

^This.  Each place has a special.  Finding new places though often means finding new specials to go back for.

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I’m afraid to try new places when on a date. You never know what you are getting into and I want the dates to go perfect. Once we get to know each other better we will try new things. I went over two years never eating in a restaurant or ordering takeout. Now I am eating in restaurants about every day. 

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When we are driving the motorhome it's truck stops and places with parking for motorhomes with trailers. On the motorcycle, in car it's back roads mom and pop restaurants/bar and grills.

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When I was stationed at Great Lakes, our band of sailors ("shipmates") were always on the prowl for new and interesting places to eat. I would also wander the back roads of Wisconsin looking for little local diners. 

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7 minutes ago, donkpow said:

When I was stationed at Great Lakes, our band of sailors ("shipmates") were always on the prowl for new and interesting places to eat. I would also wander the back roads of Wisconsin looking for little local diners. 

When I was at Great Lakes we weren't allowed outside the fence to eat.  ;)  I was very happy to be out of there.

 

For those who don't know, Great Lakes Naval Station was boot camp for me.

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2 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

When I was at Great Lakes we weren't allowed outside the fence to eat.  ;)  I was very happy to be out of there.

 

For those who don't know, Great Lakes Naval Station was boot camp for me.

Well the other side of the street is the training command. I was stationed there during and after my schooling. I went to boot camp there, too but they only gave us thirty seconds to eat. Not enough time to go through the drive through. 

For those that don't know, the recruits would eat in a large cafeteria and the lines were quite long with company after company of men lining up to eat. We would stand in line "nut to butt" fashion. When the last man from our company had his tray filled with food, our company was ordered to get up and form ranks outside, quickly. It was not good to be the last man in line. He had to eat while walking back to the company going out the door. He looked like a chipmunk. :lol:

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49 minutes ago, jsharrwick said:

I like to try new places, but in a familiar category, like Mexican, or Asian.  I do not like to try new stuff, like Ethiopian.   I am a creature of habit.

Ethiopian food is really good, though.  I would definitely try to find a restaurant and take the family (except the dogs).  It is fun and the food, IIRC, is awesome.

Here is a video that shows how to eat Ethiopian food.  Doesn't really matter who the funny looking people are or the particular restaurant.  It is kind of cool, you pretty much share all things from a big-ass plate, and you don't use silverware.  you should go to one in Dallas, everyone will say how good and how fun it is.

 

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Around home we have our tried & true places we like and don’t explore much.  Most of my wife’s vacation time is spent visiting family so we go to where we are taken.  Some familiar some new.  We don’t travel a whole lot just for us. 

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40 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

I’m afraid to try new places when on a date. You never know what you are getting into and I want the dates to go perfect.

WRONG!  You have to see how your date reacts to the unfamiliar or when things don't go quite right. 

I think a date is all about the company, and seeing how a person adapts to a situation of minor setback is gonna be important if you want to see how continually dateable someone is.  Getting stuck with someone who can't roll with things is no bueno in the long term.  Plus, a date is a good excuse to try someone new and different, it becomes more of a shared experience to do something new together.

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9 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

We have to keep ourselves in check or we would have it every week.  It is easily at the top or tied with sushi.

I haven't had it in a long time, and now I really want to go to an Ethiopian place!

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Travel trip: if the place you’re going to has a newspaper with a Metropolitan desk, call ahead of time and ask them for suggestions on places to eat. If not, we’ve received good results talking to mail persons or cops on the street. They’re usually very helpful as they like promoting where they live.

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14 minutes ago, Old No. 7 said:

, we’ve received good results talking to mail persons or cops on the street. They’re usually very helpful as they like promoting where they live

We were on the motorcycle somewhere in some state and I stopped to ask a guy cutting his grass on where is a good place to eat. He recommended a family restaurant downtown the street. Then I asked him but where do you go to eat after your done cutting the grass and he said Dave's Bar so Wo46 and I went to Dave's. 

It was a good small town burger and a beer joint. 

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It depends what city/town  I am in. When one takes transit, bikes or walks but doesn't have a car,  that can  put a focus on certain accessible neighbourhoods instead of a place that's too far out/isolated by itself.  

However in any big city I've lived in or was a tourist, there always has been good choice of cuisines near major alternative transportation routes. In any city I've lived in for a number of years. it's a blend of a few  choice regular places where one knows quality, yet some creativity in food. For me it's  tended to be: Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese dominate. I seem to try Malayasian, Singaporean, Indonesian every few years), Italian/fusion, South Asian, Mexican, Middleastern and toss-up between French, Greek, German and  East European.  I enjoy Carribbean but only Toronto has widest range and choice of places in  Canada.  Of course there's the whatever the heck all fusion / 3 different cuisine dishes on 1 menu.

Surprisingly when I lived in toronto and Vancouver we didn't try an incredible range of different restaurants even though those 2 cities offer a dizzying amount of choice and good pricing. Seemed to be split between 70% familiar places vs. unfamiliar to try places.  

When visiting a city/town where I don't live, then it is trying something where pricing, quality and service "looks" good based on reviews, vibe of place and menu offerings.  If I know a place is in a region that's strong in  particular food  dishes  because of local harvested availability, I will try to find a place that has dishes to offer...ie. coastal areas, I aim for seafood, etc. 

When I live and eat in same city, I very rarely went with friends or dearie to hamburger/fish'n chip places. Myself and other person really didn 't want eat something that could be made at home...the purpose was to eat dishes that we  ourselves wouldn't prepare/rarely would make at home. 

I genuinely view eating in restaurants that way  --to experience food dishes I never make/rarely make myself.  To me that's  the whole point of eating out. Even when too lazy to cook:  to order something I wouldn't/rarely cook at home.

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When I am a tourist in a foreign country ,I will  consciously avoid if possible to eat a minority ethnic cuisine dish. For instance, in Copenhagen we were  disappointed we ended up eating pizza. We just didn't have  time to find unique cuisine restaurants in that city.  We learned nothing about Danish food dishes. 

Similarily in Japan, I avoided any Chinese/Vietnamese/other Asian  cuisines. What was I going to learn by eating other alternate ethnic cuisines ?  Besides I know I can get good quality Chinese, etc. dishes in CAnada's big cities!  I  realize other Chinese, especially from mainland China,  may gravitate to only their cuisine...but really I don't want to be like that--narrow in perspective and unwilling to try.  (Another reason why my sisters all tried to raise their children to have broad, exploratory palates, starting early in life.)

For sure, we had a range  of restaurant experiences of Japanese dishes, some good, others middling. Dessert was actually fantastic... I knew higher grade sashimi and sushi would be expensive so that's why we went to the famous Tsijikii Fish Market  in Tokyo where luncheon sushi/sashimi is incredibly fresh...straight from the vendors across the row. And hence, would be cheaper meal.

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I tend to favor my "usual" restaurants because they have a nice combo of comfort and food.  But it can be fun when you discover a new favorite.

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12 hours ago, Longjohn said:

I’m afraid to try new places when on a date. You never know what you are getting into and I want the dates to go perfect. Once we get to know each other better we will try new things. I went over two years never eating in a restaurant or ordering takeout. Now I am eating in restaurants about every day. 

So have your dates  only want to eat certain types of foods?  I  wouldn't mind it was for health reasons, a person would like to avoid certain dishes. But if  it's just ew, I won't try it just because how  a dish looks, etc....sorry, that's well, childish. I'm sorry when I see folks my age STILL like that, a little sad.  In 15 yrs. I hope not to become so rigid not to try something new and it's reasonably healthy / not blast apart my diet, etc.

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Before we moved, we had a handful of favorites that we would rotate through. When the food and staff are both great, you live to go back. We would try to find a new place about once per month. Some made it into the regular rotation. 
Since we moved, we are exploring a lot of places and some styles we just couldn’t find at the old home. We’ve found some good places, but nothing that’s an “aha” moment in our town. We have had a few moments as we expand our circle, but we are just getting started!

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On 3/16/2022 at 9:47 AM, Razors Edge said:

@Kirby's travel thread probably has a similar question about where you eat when you go out locally (or traveling).

Do you prefer the places you have tried and liked in the past, or do you try to mix it up and go to new places?

We generally - near home - have our six or so goto places for sushi, Mexican, Ethiopian, pizza, Thai, etc., and mostly use them in a regular rotation.  We do like to try other places but probably at a 5:1 or 10:1 ratio to the regular spots.

When traveling, it's a mix - trying local food, but also sometimes, just trying to find something "familiar".  Usually lean towards the local stuff, but sometimes a coffee is what I want and it may not be a local drink.

Every so often, it's fun to be adventurous and try something new.

If it's a special occasion where we've got a lot of people, we like a tried-and-true place. The same if I'm taking my nephews somewhere for the day and I want them and me to get a good, full breakfast I know they'll like (Denny's, IHOP) so we can do a lot before lunch or even get to suppertime with just a candy bar in between if we're having too much fun to stop - like at the Smithsonian in D.C.

Otherwise, old or new is fun.

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