Eating Out

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 02, 2013 2:08 AM GMT
    Personally I don't really get it.

    Cons:
    1. You don't get to control your macronutrient distribution.
    2. You aren't in control of the ingredients and preparation (most food service establishments think they're trans fat free but they aren't because of a labeling loophole).
    3. You don't know if you'll like it or not.
    4. It is always WAY more expensive than buying your own ingredients and cooking by markups of at least 5x the price to pay for labor, electricity, location, etc., at a food service establishment or restaurant.
    5. You don't know who is preparing your food and where he/she/they have been and how closely they follow sanitation/HACCP/health inspection rules.
    6. You don't know where the food came from unless you research it and have control of that when planning the eat out.

    Pros:
    1. You don't have to cook (but I really don't mind and like it actually).
    2. It can be faster and/or convenient when traveling or if you planned your life to be too hectic to cook.
    3. It is society's form of socializing. People don't say "let's go for a walk/run" or some other activity with random people. It's always about eating. Personally, I think it's a mark of a sedentary society to base everything around eating.

    I grew up and eating out was a norm at least 2x/week because my parents were busy or didn't like to cook and could afford it. They also like eating at ridiculously expensive restaurants for special occasions (except my birthday, we eat in because I say so). I hate those special occasions because it takes like 2-3 hours to eat a fucking meal that's smaller and usually not good for you for what they give you. All that for a garnished plate. Oh and then you have to pay the upscale waiter a higher tip.

    Edit: 5:00P Central US, 6/5/13:
    Another point I would like to add is this: how many people would eat out alone at a sit down restaurant? I did that in college once and the waiter lady thought I was some pitiful weirdo. That's because society uses it as a social experience. It isn't about the food. The food gets shoved in and is a decision that isn't a conscious nutritional or palliative decision honestly. It's all about the social experience when eating out. Exception for fast food.

    Thoughts?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 02, 2013 3:42 AM GMT
    Can't beat the dollar menu. Fuck pricey restaurants.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 02, 2013 6:31 PM GMT
    If you choose good restaurants, then you won't have a problem. Though I think it also has to do with where you live. Here in Los Angeles (or any major city) you will have thousands of places to choose from.

    Go for the restaurants that use locally-sourced ingredients, avoid sauces and skip dessert.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 02, 2013 6:37 PM GMT
    I have to disagree with the notion that it's cheaper to buy the ingredients.

    I can go to Wendy's and buy a salad much cheaper than if I bought the same ingredients and made the salad myself.

    Especially ingredients like fresh fruits and veggies. If I had to buy the ingredients, it would be more than I needed and some ingredients do not freeze well and will not keep until they can all be used.

    If you do research, you can find things that are still healthy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:37 AM GMT
    TheQuest saidI have to disagree with the notion that it's cheaper to buy the ingredients.

    I can go to Wendy's and buy a salad much cheaper than if I bought the same ingredients and made the salad myself.

    Especially ingredients like fresh fruits and veggies. If I had to buy the ingredients, it would be more than I needed and some ingredients do not freeze well and will not keep until they can all be used.

    If you do research, you can find things that are still healthy.


    +1

    When I go to Whole Foods, I can created a salad for about $5. I choose items that are healthy and I think it's affordable/convenient.
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Jun 04, 2013 9:55 AM GMT
    totally was expecting something else icon_wink.gif
  • O5vx

    Posts: 3154

    Jun 04, 2013 10:08 AM GMT
    I don't eat out at all. It's been a tradition in our family that we make every meal together at home. I do realize that some people don't have time for cooking but it's a great way to strengthen the bond that exists within the family I find. While we are cooking, we have an opportunity to converse and just find out what as been happening in other people in our family's life.

    Secondly, I hate, hate, hate eating at restaurants! It's absolutely despicable what some people do while making meal. The thought of not having control over what goes into my body scares me. My brother seems to have changed since he's moved to university, but I doubt that change will ever occur in me. I would much rather starve than eat out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 11:06 AM GMT
    As a corp chef I have a completly different take on the notion of eating out. I will say there is nothing like MOM's cooking. Then there are ppl who are professionally trained and really have a unique sense of herbs and flavors as chefs and are able to incorporate and blend a variety of cultures into one dish and that my friend is worth breaking bread w/ ppl you appreciate and company you enjoy.
    A great example of that was Asia de Cuba a restaurant that blended asian and cuban flavors. Once a month me and my college friends and a few frm high school meet for dinner or when I go fishing out east for the weekend, the night before we all meet out for dinner. It's another form of a social experience paired w/ goods eats by well crafted chefs hopefully.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 11:14 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidPersonally I don't really get it.

    Cons:
    1. You don't get to control your macronutrient distribution.
    2. You aren't in control of the ingredients and preparation (most food service establishments think they're trans fat free but they aren't because of a labeling loophole).
    3. You don't know if you'll like it or not.
    4. It is always WAY more expensive than buying your own ingredients and cooking by markups of at least 5x the price to pay for labor, electricity, location, etc., at a food service establishment or restaurant.
    5. You don't know who is preparing your food and where he/she/they have been and how closely they follow sanitation/HACCP/health inspection rules.
    6. You don't know where the food came from unless you research it and have control of that when planning the eat out.

    Pros:
    1. You don't have to cook (but I really don't mind and like it actually).
    2. It can be faster and/or convenient when traveling or if you planned your life to be too hectic to cook.
    3. It is society's form of socializing. People don't say "let's go for a walk/run" or some other activity with random people. It's always about eating. Personally, I think it's a mark of a sedentary society to base everything around eating.

    I grew up and eating out was a norm at least 2x/week because my parents were busy or didn't like to cook and could afford it. They also like eating at ridiculously expensive restaurants for special occasions (except my birthday, we eat in because I say so). I hate those special occasions because it takes like 2-3 hours to eat a fucking meal that's smaller and usually not good for you for what they give you. All that for a garnished plate. Oh and then you have to pay the upscale waiter a higher tip.

    Thoughts?


    For the most part, I make most of my own meals for the week on Sunday. This ensures I always have something in the house to eat, helps me make smarter choices with meals, and keeps me from being able to use the 'I'm too lazy to cook' excuse.

    Having said that, I enjoy ethnic foods like Thai, Indian, and Sushi, so I usually allow myself to eat out once a week as a 'cheat meal'. I could try making those things at home, but the cost and complexity to make those recipes on your own are easily washed out by the convenience--not to mention the fact that it doesn't taste the same. While I agree with you for the most part, there are certain things we can't duplicate at home.

    I agree with you on 90% of this, but sometimes, you have to allow yourself to live a little bit.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 3:14 PM GMT
    Erik101 said
    TheQuest saidI have to disagree with the notion that it's cheaper to buy the ingredients.

    I can go to Wendy's and buy a salad much cheaper than if I bought the same ingredients and made the salad myself.

    Especially ingredients like fresh fruits and veggies. If I had to buy the ingredients, it would be more than I needed and some ingredients do not freeze well and will not keep until they can all be used.

    If you do research, you can find things that are still healthy.


    +1

    When I go to Whole Foods, I can created a salad for about $5. I choose items that are healthy and I think it's affordable/convenient.


    I don't think you've been to a grocery store that isn't Whole Foods in a while. I can buy a ton of vegetables for under $5 and they are ingredients for the week.

    I spent $7.11 on vegetables for the rest of the week yesterday: broccoli crowns (3), avocado (1), onion (1), Jalapenos (.4 lbs), Bananas (3), Roma tomatoes (4), and I had red pepper, carrots, and portabellas already in stock.

    Granted, this week is a short week and I plan to shop again on Friday or Saturday, but that's like 4 days worth of meals for $7.11.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 7:00 PM GMT
    bluey2223 said
    Erik101 said
    TheQuest saidI have to disagree with the notion that it's cheaper to buy the ingredients.

    I can go to Wendy's and buy a salad much cheaper than if I bought the same ingredients and made the salad myself.

    Especially ingredients like fresh fruits and veggies. If I had to buy the ingredients, it would be more than I needed and some ingredients do not freeze well and will not keep until they can all be used.

    If you do research, you can find things that are still healthy.


    +1

    When I go to Whole Foods, I can created a salad for about $5. I choose items that are healthy and I think it's affordable/convenient.


    I don't think you've been to a grocery store that isn't Whole Foods in a while. I can buy a ton of vegetables for under $5 and they are ingredients for the week.

    I spent $7.11 on vegetables for the rest of the week yesterday: broccoli crowns (3), avocado (1), onion (1), Jalapenos (.4 lbs), Bananas (3), Roma tomatoes (4), and I had red pepper, carrots, and portabellas already in stock.

    Granted, this week is a short week and I plan to shop again on Friday or Saturday, but that's like 4 days worth of meals for $7.11.


    That's awesome! Good for you!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 7:14 PM GMT
    One summer, back in high school, working at a sub shop, I mashed a dead fly into someone's XXXtra hot peppers...never heard any complaints.
  • NMGUY505

    Posts: 145

    Jun 04, 2013 7:21 PM GMT
    when your on a college student budget, crazy class and work schedule i didn't really care what i ate as long as it was cheap and fast icon_lol.gif taco bell and mcdonalds dollar menus were all i knew
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:09 PM GMT
    If one wants to be very careful with their diet macros then cooking your own food is the best idea. I do all my food prep for the week on the weekend and pack it into lunch boxes for the week. The entire process takes ~4hours right from start to putting the dishes away.

    However I would still eat out but as a cheat meal only. There are plenty of dishes that I like that I cant be bothered to book for one person (too much trouble). And there are plenty of dishes I like that dont taste as good as a restaurant because of the lack of kitchen equipment and/or skill required.

    So eating out me is fine. And when I do so I usually get something that I rarely have or not able to make or never tried before. I just make sure that I don't have a huge meal with a few glasses of wine and half a cheesecake in one sitting.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:17 PM GMT
    The older I get, the less often I eat out.

    A truly great meal that someone else cooks (which can be had in any price range) can be a real pleasure.

    However, the vast majority of restaurant meals are much worse than something I can throw together in a half hour or 45 minutes. Plus you have to sit there, wait for service, wait for the check, etc.

    Best place for veggies? Your local Asian market, hands down, for a much wider variety and better prices than the retail chains. Here in the DC area, I like Great Wall, H-Mart and Grand Mart. I shop at Giant and Safeway because they're convenient, but try to get to one of the bigger Asian markets at least every couple of weeks to stock up.

    Whole Foods? Almost never, only when I need something really specific that I can't get somewhere else.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:23 PM GMT
    showme saidThe older I get, the less often I eat out.

    A truly great meal that someone else cooks (which can be had in any price range) can be a real pleasure.

    However, the vast majority of restaurant meals are much worse than something I can throw together in a half hour or 45 minutes. Plus you have to sit there, wait for service, wait for the check, etc.

    Best place for veggies? Your local Asian market, hands down, for a much wider variety and better prices than the retail chains. Here in the DC area, I like Great Wall, H-Mart and Grand Mart. I shop at Giant and Safeway because they're convenient, but try to get to one of the bigger Asian markets at least every couple of weeks to stock up.

    Whole Foods? Almost never, only when I need something really specific that I can't get somewhere else.


    This is all great advice. I have no Asian Markets and no Whole Foods. I have Wal-Mart and Harps. In fact, I can't even find flatleaf parsley in my grocery stores. #smalltownproblems

    icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:25 PM GMT
    TheQuest said
    showme saidThe older I get, the less often I eat out.

    A truly great meal that someone else cooks (which can be had in any price range) can be a real pleasure.

    However, the vast majority of restaurant meals are much worse than something I can throw together in a half hour or 45 minutes. Plus you have to sit there, wait for service, wait for the check, etc.

    Best place for veggies? Your local Asian market, hands down, for a much wider variety and better prices than the retail chains. Here in the DC area, I like Great Wall, H-Mart and Grand Mart. I shop at Giant and Safeway because they're convenient, but try to get to one of the bigger Asian markets at least every couple of weeks to stock up.

    Whole Foods? Almost never, only when I need something really specific that I can't get somewhere else.


    This is all great advice. I have no Asian Markets and no Whole Foods. I have Wal-Mart and Harps. In fact, I can't even find flatleaf parsley in my grocery stores. #smalltownproblems

    icon_lol.gif


    Lol, I guess cilantro is out of the question. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:30 PM GMT
    Big cities are an exception, but on the whole I don't think America has as healthy an approach to food as the rest of the developed world.

    I get the impression there are far fewer independent food stores and restaurants as there are in Britain, for example.

    Bristol, my home town, is especially foody, with the focus being on locally sourced, fresh produce. America doesn't seem to have your local green grocer, which sells locally farmed seasonal fresh vegetables, fruit, local butchers selling local farner's produce, etc. The restaurants source the same food stock, usually directly from local farms and producers.

    Most Americans only have access to chain supermarkets selling pre-prepared foods, preserved foods, etc. I hear whole foods mentioned a lot by Americans who are health conscious - it seems to be the only place to buy fresh produce. For example, I've been in American supermarkets looking for rice; and I could not find plain, wholegrain rice; just packets of Uncle Ben's and microwavable rice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:31 PM GMT
    TheQuest said
    This is all great advice. I have no Asian Markets and no Whole Foods. I have Wal-Mart and Harps. In fact, I can't even find flatleaf parsley in my grocery stores. #smalltownproblems


    case in point.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:36 PM GMT
    showme said

    Lol, I guess cilantro is out of the question. icon_lol.gif


    On occasion, if it's in season, I can get cilantro, rosemary, and maybe basil - in small packages that is literally a few springs and costs between $3-5 - for those few springs. I will buy it if I have a specific recipe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:37 PM GMT
    gayinterest saidBig cities are an exception, but on the whole I don't think America has as healthy an approach to food as the rest of the developed world.

    I get the impression there are far fewer independent food stores and restaurants as there are in Britain, for example.

    Bristol, my home town, is especially foody, with the focus being on locally sourced, fresh produce. America doesn't seem to have your local green grocer, which sells locally farmed seasonal fresh vegetables, fruit, local butchers selling local farner's produce, etc. The restaurants source the same food stock, usually directly from local farms and producers.

    Most Americans only have access to chain supermarkets selling pre-prepared foods, preserved foods, etc. I hear whole foods mentioned a lot by Americans who are health conscious - it seems to be the only place to buy fresh produce. For example, I've been in American supermarkets looking for rice; and I could not find plain, wholegrain rice; just packets of Uncle Ben's and microwavable rice.


    Locally sourced, fresh produce is available all over the USA. Not so much in the winter. We call them "farmer's markets." icon_wink.gif
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Jun 04, 2013 9:41 PM GMT
    If you live in a city with great grocery stores, much of what you say applies. But I respect a good chef in a good restaurant and appreciate his art. I'm very good at cooking some stuff and better than most restaurants but when I go out, I get things that are their specialty, not mine. And I experiment with new flavor profiles. I like variety. I like the atmosphere of new restaurants and the festive feeling of going out with friends or relatives. You only go around once. Why not take the best of the best?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:42 PM GMT
    gayinterest saidBig cities are an exception, but on the whole I don't think America has as healthy an approach to food as the rest of the developed world.

    I get the impression there are far fewer independent food stores and restaurants as there are in Britain, for example.

    Bristol, my home town, is especially foody, with the focus being on locally sourced, fresh produce. America doesn't seem to have your local green grocer, which sells locally farmed seasonal fresh vegetables, fruit, local butchers selling local farner's produce, etc. The restaurants source the same food stock, usually directly from local farms and producers.

    Most Americans only have access to chain supermarkets selling pre-prepared foods, preserved foods, etc. I hear whole foods mentioned a lot by Americans who are health conscious - it seems to be the only place to buy fresh produce. For example, I've been in American supermarkets looking for rice; and I could not find plain, wholegrain rice; just packets of Uncle Ben's and microwavable rice.


    Yes, America (USA) is a horrible place. We are all overweight, fat, slob, couch potatoes that only eat fast and processed food. When oh when will the rest of the developed world air lift us care packages of the wholesome, healthy goodies they are consuming?

    I've seen the British on television shows; you guys look no more svelte than the typical American.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:46 PM GMT
    Yes. Here in the south, you can go to farmer's markets in the summer and even the grocery stores have fresh local produce.

    In the winter, I rely on frozen veggies when I cook at home. The problem for me is literally that the lack of fresh seasonal vegetables means that the prices go a little high - especially compared to the cost of living in this area.

    I bought a fresh butternut squash in the winter. It was $9. That's pretty high for one vegetable. A bag of grapes right now runs about $6. I bought a bundle of asparagus a couple of days ago - $8. - For me, a single person, I can go out and eat a salad for less money than it would take to buy the ingredients and put it together and then throw out what's left over because not all of that freezes well and it spoils too quickly. In fact, I threw out some salad greens today.

    I think my point is - we all do what we can.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 04, 2013 9:53 PM GMT
    gayinterest said
    Most Americans only have access to chain supermarkets selling pre-prepared foods, preserved foods, etc. I hear whole foods mentioned a lot by Americans who are health conscious - it seems to be the only place to buy fresh produce. For example, I've been in American supermarkets looking for rice; and I could not find plain, wholegrain rice; just packets of Uncle Ben's and microwavable rice.


    It's not THAT bad.

    While most places rely on chains (especially small towns), bigger cities will have multiple generic grocery store chains competing for business, as well as Asian markets, Latino markets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, as well as the discount stores like WalMart and Target, and farmers' markets. All of them will have fresh produce. It likely is not going to all be local (other than the farmers' markets), but it's far from nonexistent.

    I don't know what kind of store you went into that didn't hafve plain rice. While a small grocery chain store might not have a lot of varieties, I've never been in a store that didn't have any rice at all.