I was in Nashville alone, for work, for a week, this time last year. I had the same feelings. I used to eat out alone all the time, many years ago, when I was single and living and working in Boston. Somehow, it seemed harder as a middle-aged, married, lady. I brought a book with me (just in case there was no one to talk to or some weirdo tried to talk to me) and it worked out. Even at my advanced age, a couple of guys did try to pick me up, but "No" is an easy word for me . I ended up eating with a middle-aged, freezer salesman from the Netherlands, who was harmless, a 20 something girl, who was also alone another night, a couple of relative "kids" from our Nashville office one night and by myself, with my book, one time.
I travel alone quite a bit and I eat out alone as well. No biggie. I have a kindle and I have the kindle app on my phone so a lot of times I read or I go to a food place with TVs and I watch sports when I eat. I almost never drink when I go to get dinner alone. I maybe have a glass on wine or one beer and that is it.
I make conversation with people, especially when I sit at the bar, which I try to do when I sit alone. Sometimes I just sit and think about the worlds problems.
I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.
I absolutely love it... one of those rare times I indulge myself in my anti social ways! I read a book on my kindle, COTH on my phone, whatever and just enjoy myself. I cannot understand the need for company while eating out, for me its about the food!
I will admit I do eavesdrop on other diners... I haven't heard anything great yet but I do do it lol.
Depends on the restaurant. Much like going to a movie, I have no problem going alone but I usually want to be able to talk about my experience with someone. I'm a little bit of a foodie and love splitting dishes with a dining companion and tjen being able to talk about it. I feel like that's a big part of my experience that I miss when I'm alone.
Have YOU ever looked into the eyes of a rich white child who has just lost a jumping competition?
LOVE going out alone. Mostly I bring reading material of some sort, but sometimes I just try for a corner table and people-watch. Or bring my ipod and listen to a book while watching the room and enjoying having someone else cook, serve and clear away.
I actually get annoyed by managers/waitstaff who see me eating alone & reading, and feel like they need to come chat. Thanks, I'm fine, food's great, I've got all I need for now... (now go away!!)
I go out 2-4 times a month by myself. I rarely bring a book. I don't plan on striking up conversations. I enjoy eating something different, not cooking, some light people watching. Sometimes I eat at the bar, sometimes not. Depends on the wait.
I have had some absolutely horrible service going out by myself. Usually the same - they just ignore you after seating, no menu, no water, no service. That's usually when I leave. If my business is worth that little to you, I can take a hint. If that happens, I try to make a point and tell someone on my way out why I'm leaving (and probably won't ever be back).
I travel for business about 6 times per year and eat out most dinners by myself. I eat at the bar or a table depending on how social I am feeling at that moment. I bring my Nook when I sit at a table.
If you are still traveling to Houston I love to go to Papadeaux when I am there. Pappa BBQ is pretty good too. I try to eat local restaurants or what I call local chains, such as Pappas. Something I can't get around home.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
Life is too short and there is too much good food out there to have any issues with eating alone.
I have dined alone at all sorts of restaurants - dives, mid-range, and fancy joints, in big cities and small towns in several countries. I cook the vast majority of my own meals at home and it's a fantastic treat to get served great food by someone else.
If I even think twice about someone eating alone - and I rarely think about it at all - I just figure they're on business. Hell, they could be a food critic dining solo for all I know!
About the only time I had an issue with eating alone was when I was on a solo vacation over a long weekend in Zanzibar. The other people staying at the resort whom I'd met earlier in the day at the beach were so friendly that they'd invite me over to join them each night.
It was really nice but I recall one night where I just wanted to read and dine solo so I did just order in room service that night.
I love it, but don't do it very often. Plus, locally, I have a few places where I can tuck myself in a corner, have a glass of wine or pitcher of sake, read or write. Some places I wouldn't go though, places that were clearly "date locations."
I also like to travel alone, so going out to eat alone makes me feel like I am on an adventure-even if it is just down the street from my house!
One of the coolest nights of my life was when I was traveling alone through the Bay area of California. It was my last night, I had just gotten back into San Francisco, was settling into my hotel room (I had barely taken my shoes off!), when the fire alarm went off and the hotel was evacuated!!! I had enough sense to grab a sweater and my wallet when I left.
When it became apparent we'd be waiting awhile, I took off for a wander. Found some hole in the wall playing live music. Sat down at the bar, drank some great local beer, talked to some very interesting people from all over, ate some decent pub food, and had a fantastic time. I'd been alone all week, and had loved it, so sitting down at a bar with some very friendly people on my last night was kind of awesome and a refreshing way to get back into being social.
I try not to let being alone stop me. I also make a point that if I'm eating somewhere decent by myself that I DON'T bring in reading material! It is very easy for me to hide behind my Nook (I am shy unless well, um, watered ), so it is a nice challenge for myself to sit AT A TABLE (easy to hide at the bar, too), and try and make myself put off an air of "What? Girl's gotta eat, and I'm confident enough in myself to sit here and eat this good food."
All that being said, I often go up to the local pub during the nicer months with my dog, sit outside, people watch, chat with people I run into (small town), read my book, and just relax.