Hey, I Love Eating Alone in Public

There are few things I enjoy more when I am on the road alone or even at home with my family gone for some reason than going to a nice restaurant, sitting at the bar, and having a few drinks and dinner.  All by myself (OK, maybe with my Kindle too).

My favorite right now is the bar at Eddie V's steakhouse.

As a weird aside which I cannot explain, I am a pretty severe introvert who finds it almost impossible to make conversation with strangers at cocktail parties or at nearly any other venue.  This week my wife and I were walking up Canyon Road in Santa Fe looking at art galleries and I just plain stopped going in because I didn't want to deal with the way every gallery salesperson tends to immediately overwhelm one with small talk.  I worked long and hard to find a hair cutter and a dental hygenist that didn't insist on trying to have a conversation while they did their work on me.   But despite all this, I can comfortably meet and interact with people while sitting at bars.  Not sure why.

  • Justin

    Agreed. I also like gas station hot dogs.

  • Pete Chiarizio

    Dunno 'bout you, but I tend to interact at the bar during dinner easily with others as there's no self-interest, just one random anonymous patron gabbing with another with nothing to gain or lose. Ran into a younger guy a few months ago at the bar of a steak joint. His wife had just filed for divorce and he was bumming. I told him that where I come from, we call the first one "practice wife". He chuckled and seemed to have a better perspective afterwards. There was nothing to be gained, I was just empathetic I guess.

  • frankensteingovernment
  • Seattle Steve

    Now you just made me hungry. I'll have to try it more often when in similar situations. Several friends seem to enjoy this, too.

  • http://sigmadog.com Steve Merryman

    Odd, The wife and I were seldom bothered while roaming galleries on Canyon Road. I guess we looked poor.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    Alcohol lowers your inhibitions.

  • Mondak

    Get out of my head!

  • paul

    i don't travel so much for business (especially on expenses) any more, but I think I had room service exactly once when I arrived at a hotel in Singapore at 4am. And we are talking about over 30 years. But my favorite is to sit at the bar. It is totally acceptable to talk to other people at the bar in a way that is, perhaps, a bit weird at a table in the restaurant. I could never understand the people who wanted to watch TV in their room (I never do that either, ok, i'm weird) and eat a room service hamburger rather than going out to find somehwere.

  • Mercury

    The last word on this subject:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=entbOKnijPw

  • kidmugsy

    Ancient Greek Wisdom:

    Q: How would you like your hair cut, Sir?

    A: In silence.

  • kidmugsy

    More precisely "attributed by Plutarch to the fifth-century BC Macedonian king, Archelaus". Thanks be to Google.

  • NJConservative

    "I drink to make other people more interesting." -- Ernest Hemingway

  • marque2

    Room service in Asian nations can mean interesting things.

  • roxpublius

    I travel fairly frequently, and regularly spend a half hour looking for the restaurant bar that has closest to half of the seats occupied. Seemingly the best dynamic for dinnertime bar interactions. Actual food options are a secondary consideration.

  • Granja

    Your experience with salespeople, barbers and hygienists leads to expecting insipid conversations. Result is self-confirming.

    On the other hand, expense account bars, like Eddie V's, you've previously found interesting people- perhaps, due to their education levels, varied occupations, both you and they being from out-of-town, or serendipitous surprises.

  • obloodyhell

    Headphones. Get yourself a suitable pair of headphones -- visible and comfortable -- and hook them up to some music or audio book you'd like to listen to. Salespeople get that message quite clearly when you "ignore" them. If they're talking to you, just smile and point at the headphones, then turn back to what ever you're looking at. They will walk away and stop wasting your time.

    I use them all the time when walking through malls when I don't want to be bothered. Even if you do hear them (often due to a lull in the music) you don't have to answer -- they can't tell what you can hear. And the fact that you aren't removing the headphones says "I don't need your assistance, thanks." quite effectively.

    Salespeople Get The Message.

  • obloodyhell

    I was thinking this, too.

  • obloodyhell

    Costco/Sam's Club.

    Short of Coney Island, there's no better deal/flavor.

  • HoratiusZappa

    "Word".

  • Dan Wendlick

    There is a very different dynamic involved in conversing shoulder-to-shoulder than there is in conversing face-to-face. At some level, I think in shoulder-to-shoulder both speakers have the same sight line, so there can be less need express empathy or point-of-view; more can be taken for granted. Face-to-face, there is no simple way to put the other person out of your sight line, and can seem to be more intrusive or even confrontational.