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[When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:32 pm
by Alexa9
[Thread updated, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

We cook a lot so we don't go out to eat much both to save money and because we can cook most things better than cheap restaurants with better quality ingredients and more time spent preparing it carefully. When we do rarely go out we prefer nicer restaurants that make things that are difficult or different than we would make at home. Also, ethnic restaurants that we don't normally cook like Thai or Sushi. Fast food or diner type restaurants are a last resort unless on road trips because they are consistent. Highly rated dives on Yelp are an exception and a place I like to try like new food carts with interesting menus.
I would imagine that some healthier better ingredient fast food restaurants I could eat at every day if I had to like Chipotle. Their burrito bowl uses good ingredients and is good for two meals. For the most part, it is very easy to make something similar at home though. I can make a better burger than any fast food joint and a better steak (the way I like) than any fancy steak joint. It is a dilemma and we do get tired of cooking sometimes. I do find it a waste of money most of the time to go out but it is fun.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
by Dottie57
Is there a question.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
by Pajamas
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
Is there a question.
There is now. . . . :D

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:42 pm
by livesoft
Here's a question: How many meals is a Chipotle burrito bowl for you?

For me: 3

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:43 pm
by Dottie57
livesoft wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:42 pm
Here's a question: How many meals is a Chipotle burrito bowl for you?

For me: 3
I don't go to Chipotle...

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:45 pm
by Alexa9
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
Is there a question?
When do you pick a restaurant over cooking?

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:46 pm
by airborne
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:43 pm
livesoft wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:42 pm
Here's a question: How many meals is a Chipotle burrito bowl for you?

For me: 3
I don't go to Chipotle...
Neither do I. Too many cases of food-borne illnesses associated with their restaurants.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:46 pm
by abner kravitz
livesoft wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:42 pm
Here's a question: How many meals is a Chipotle burrito bowl for you?

For me: 3
Write your own joke here....

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:49 pm
by airborne
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:45 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
Is there a question?
When do you pick a restaurant over cooking?
I usually travel four to five days per week for work. Typically I'll have a handful of home-prepared meals each month, but I find it's hard to grocery shop for so few meals at home without the perishable items going bad. Plus, when I'm actually home I tend to be social and eat out with friends for most meals. Long story short, for me restaurants are the default choice over cooking although it does become expensive.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:51 pm
by Dottie57
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:45 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
Is there a question?
When do you pick a restaurant over cooking?
When working a stressful job, most of time I pick takeout.

Now retired I have been mostly cooking.

So it depends on time.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:53 pm
by Mr.BB
Pajamas wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:41 pm
Is there a question.
There is now. . . . :D
LOL

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:56 pm
by Good Listener
I rarely eat out and never in the Chipotle types. Even though the ingredients in the fast casual places can be fine, the meals are always loaded with salt, frighteningly so.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:59 pm
by GCD
In my single days I ate out a lot because it was hard for me to get through fresh food before a chunk of it spoiled. You gotta eat a lot of sandwiches as a single guy to get through a loaf of bread before it dries out. I calculated it was actually cheaper to eat out. I also wasn't a skilled cook that could mix and match and make something out of a weird combination of ingredients.

Now with 2 teenagers we don't have any problem using up food before it spoils. So I eat in more.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:11 pm
by Sandman62
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:45 pm
When do you pick a restaurant over cooking?
I prefer to never have a restaurant I frequent over cook my meal. :P

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:23 pm
by golfCaddy
If you want a dry-aged USDA prime steak, you're not going to be able to buy that at your local supermarket. If you order online from any of the top places, by the time you include the overnight shipping, you're paying almost restaurant prices.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:42 pm
by quantAndHold
golfCaddy wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:23 pm
If you want a dry-aged USDA prime steak, you're not going to be able to buy that at your local supermarket. If you order online from any of the top places, by the time you include the overnight shipping, you're paying almost restaurant prices.
The supermarket won’t have that, but there are three butcher shops in my zip code that sell dry-aged beef. Most cities still have a butcher shop or two. You can get any ingredients local chefs get, you just have to shop at the same places they do.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:54 pm
by Jack FFR1846
I worked at both a Burger Chef and a very fancy country club in high school. Although I did see the boss once dump over a basket of uncooked fries on the floor, pick em up and put them in the fryer, the things done at the country club were by far worse. Food that wasn't eaten taken off plates coming in the kitchen for dish washing being put onto another dish, warmed and served to the next people. Us dishwashers would attempt to dump over incoming dishes to prevent the practice. To this day, if I'm not finishing a dinner, I'll ask for a container and put it in it myself at the table.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:56 pm
by LadyGeek
This thread has run its course and is locked (not personal nor actionable). General comment threads are off topic in the forums with "Personal" in the title. See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT
- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

- It must be actionable. You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation.
If you have a specific question, please ask directly and provide sufficient information for members to supply appropriate advice.

Update: See below.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:28 pm
by LadyGeek
The thread was originally locked because there was no focus to the discussion ("not actionable"). Via PM, the OP has clarified the intent, which is "When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?". I have retitled the thread.

This thread is now reopened to continue the discussion.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:54 pm
by SR II
"When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?"
A. When I don't feel like cooking.
B. When I don't have anything in the fridge to make a meal.
C. When I'm not at home to cook.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:04 pm
by Alexa9
SR II wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:54 pm
"When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?"
A. When I don't feel like cooking.
B. When I don't have anything in the fridge to make a meal.
C. When I'm not at home to cook.
The obvious answers of course. But I think some people tend to go out to eat much more than others. Do they just not know how to cook? Hate doing dishes? Prefer the variety and ease of restaurants (at a significant cost)?

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:17 pm
by triceratop
No one has mentioned dates yet?

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:28 pm
by peppers
When my executive chef at home says, " I am not cooking tonight", usually on weekends, I know it's game on.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:36 pm
by gator15
I rarely go out anymore because of the expense. Food and drinks generally equal $100 or more and then you have to throw in a 20% tip. If we go out it's generally for special occasions. I generally try to avoid chain restaurants at all costs. I'm a decent cook and can generally cook just as good as them.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:37 pm
by KlingKlang
"When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?"
A. When it makes my wife happy.
B. When I can try something new that we really don't have the equipment/ingredients/knowhow to make at home.
C. Goto A

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:41 pm
by golfCaddy
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:04 pm
The obvious answers of course. But I think some people tend to go out to eat much more than others. Do they just not know how to cook? Hate doing dishes? Prefer the variety and ease of restaurants (at a significant cost)?
All the above and I'll add one more: if you're single, most recipes are designed for more than 1 person.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:11 pm
by stan1
BLUF: We happily spend some money to buy back time.

1. We like eating different things that are time consuming to cook on our own
2. We don't particularly enjoy cooking or washing dishes
3. We don't enjoy grocery shopping (usually requires multiple stops -- store with low prices has bad meat and vegetables)

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:41 pm
by Mr.BB
peppers wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:28 pm
When my executive chef at home says, " I am not cooking tonight", usually on weekends, I know it's game on.
My executive chef says "What's for dinner tonight?" That is when I know it's game on.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:50 pm
by GerryL
GCD wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:59 pm
In my single days I ate out a lot because it was hard for me to get through fresh food before a chunk of it spoiled. You gotta eat a lot of sandwiches as a single guy to get through a loaf of bread before it dries out. I calculated it was actually cheaper to eat out.
All my days have been single days. There is this thing called a "freezer." I often buy several loaves of fresh-baked bread at once, cut them into 1/3 or 1/4 and freeze them. Bread freezes well; just don't put it in the fridge.
Last week on the way to the Coast stopped at the Otis Café and picked up 2 loaves of dark molasses bread. Yum!

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:56 pm
by GCD
GerryL wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:50 pm
GCD wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:59 pm
In my single days I ate out a lot because it was hard for me to get through fresh food before a chunk of it spoiled. You gotta eat a lot of sandwiches as a single guy to get through a loaf of bread before it dries out. I calculated it was actually cheaper to eat out.
All my days have been single days. There is this thing called a "freezer." I often buy several loaves of fresh-baked bread at once, cut them into 1/3 or 1/4 and freeze them. Bread freezes well; just don't put it in the fridge.
Last week on the way to the Coast stopped at the Otis Café and picked up 2 loaves of dark molasses bread. Yum!
Ha yeah. I've learned a lot of stuff like that since I got married. Never learned it from mom. Oh well...

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:59 pm
by Greaterunderstanding
I ate a $16 elk burger today. Worth it.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:50 pm
by jabberwockOG
We go to high end places socially with friends a few times a year but mostly do our own cooking. Fortunately we both love to cook and we like shopping for quality foods so for us most regular restaurant food is a terrible value. Also absolutely no chains or fast food places are patronized - that food is industrial and mostly disgusting. When we do go out casually to eat it is always at various mom and pop run ethnic places that produce very authentic Indian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, or Latino foods (not the bland, weird Americanized versions).

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:00 am
by rosylenm
golfCaddy wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:23 pm
If you want a dry-aged USDA prime steak, you're not going to be able to buy that at your local supermarket. If you order online from any of the top places, by the time you include the overnight shipping, you're paying almost restaurant prices.
You can dry age steak at home. I’ve done it several times and it’s fairly easy to do. With some planning and America’s Test Kitchen’s Caesar salad with homemade garlic croutons, you won’t need a steakhouse restaurant ever again.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:38 am
by Glasgow
rosylenm wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:00 am

You can dry age steak at home. I’ve done it several times and it’s fairly easy to do...
Could you tell us the procedure to dry-age the steak?

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:43 am
by harrychan
Main driver is time. With two kids involved with sports, on nights we have practice and weekend games we eat out or grab food to go. We do sneak in the occasional entertainment dine-outs for date night.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:12 am
by golfCaddy
rosylenm wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:00 am
golfCaddy wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:23 pm
If you want a dry-aged USDA prime steak, you're not going to be able to buy that at your local supermarket. If you order online from any of the top places, by the time you include the overnight shipping, you're paying almost restaurant prices.
You can dry age steak at home. I’ve done it several times and it’s fairly easy to do.
I would be careful about dry aging at home. Without precise humidity and temperature control, beef that's been home aged can be at best off tasting and at worst make you sick. Then, the flavor changes start to be significant around 3 weeks of dry aging.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:08 am
by lthenderson
We mostly eat out occasionally for food that we don't like to prepare like sushi or various ethnic cuisines. We rarely eat out at "American" type restaurants.

However lately when we do go out, we have been eating at places that serve multiple courses and pair each course with wine. It had definitely broadened our knowledge of wine pairing. It has also been good inspiration for spicing up our home meals both in taste and presentation.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:22 am
by beardsworth
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:45 pm
When do you pick a restaurant over cooking?
Sometimes we'll do go out for something reasonably healthy and not very expensive, e.g., Chipotle or Panera (the soup and salad, not the sweets).

Otherwise, I can't even remember the last time we were in a true "restaurant" with wait staff. We just have no enthusiasm for it.

Reasons:

•There's going to be a waiter, probably named Justin, who's going to begin by telling us (because management requires him to do so) that his name is Justin and he'll be our waiter. During the meal itself, while we're in the middle of conversation, he's going to return several times (because management requires him to do so), and interrupt that conversation as if it's not even occurring, in order to ask "How is everything?" . . . We're not curmudgeons, but one of the reasons we lost enthusiasm for restaurant meals is that we don't feel like dealing with Justin.

•We have some food allergies. If we go out, we have to gently but very specifically interrogate the wait staff about ingredients, so that we can prevent a "medical incident." Decades ago we gave up on eating in authentic "ethnic" restaurants where English may not be a first language, because staff couldn't understand (and we couldn't explain in their native language) our allergy issues. But we also backed away from eating out in general, because thoughts about "what's in this food?" contributed to a certain low-level background uneasiness that sapped pleasure from the meal. When we cook at home we know exactly "what's in the food," and what's been kept out.

•Our home cooking is, for our tastes and food styles, better than most restaurants. Not fancier, just good-tasting and more wholesome.

•At the grocery and farmer's market, we buy mostly organic, which is still not possible in most restaurants.

•We found that the pleasure we got from a restaurant meal was very temporary and almost never worth the cost, compared to our enjoyment of more durable things we could have bought with the same money.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:01 am
by rosylenm
Yes, GolfCaddy is right that temperature and humidity control are very important. Having said that....

I can't find the article I thought I saved on my desktop, but found nine copies of this

http://www.beefissuesquarterly.com/CMDo ... f_Beef.pdf

The Food Lab tested dry aging

https://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/the ... -home.html

The Spruce also tested dry aging

https://www.thespruce.com/dry-aging-beef-331496

What I did:

--Bought prime rib roasts from Costco (boneless; no bone-in ones when I went)
--Dried roast with paper towels
--Wrapped in white washclothes and put on a plate in the back of the refrigerator
--Each day for up to 28 days, replaced the washclothes with clean washclothes
--After 21/28 days, cut the dried crusty outer scab that formed on the roast and sliced into individual steaks (there is a lot of waste because you can't eat the crusty bits)

We did one for 21 days and another for 28 days. We didn't do a taste test, but they were both buttery, tender deliciousness when cooked for a very short time in a very hot pan (cook time drastically reduced because less moisture in steaks).

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:17 am
by mgullo
I would say that we don't eat out very often. For us, it is more financially responsible and healthier to prepare meals at home.

We will dine out or order in, though, when we want an experience, whether it is with the food or the company. In our city there are restaurants owned and operated by people of cultures from all around the world and we love trying different authentic ethnic foods. Our city also has what are considered some of the best restaurants in the nation and a few that are world-renowned. The meals served there, often in various courses, are a form of art: the order the courses are served, the ingredients chosen for them, the presentation of the plates/items, and the flavor components of each item.

We also eat away from home, order delivery, or take-out when it's too difficult to prepare, eat, and clean at home. There are many reasons when that makes sense.

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:54 am
by quantAndHold
Glasgow wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:38 am
rosylenm wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:00 am

You can dry age steak at home. I’ve done it several times and it’s fairly easy to do...
Could you tell us the procedure to dry-age the steak?
https://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/good- ... ouse-rules

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:06 am
by bertilak
I go when I feel like being pampered.

This is why I don't see the point in going to a buffet -- you are giving up a big part of that pampering. Peel me a grape!

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:18 am
by RudyS
peppers wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:28 pm
When my executive chef at home says, " I am not cooking tonight", usually on weekends, I know it's game on.
Amen!

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:27 am
by golfCaddy
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:54 pm
I worked at both a Burger Chef and a very fancy country club in high school. Although I did see the boss once dump over a basket of uncooked fries on the floor, pick em up and put them in the fryer, the things done at the country club were by far worse. Food that wasn't eaten taken off plates coming in the kitchen for dish washing being put onto another dish, warmed and served to the next people. Us dishwashers would attempt to dump over incoming dishes to prevent the practice. To this day, if I'm not finishing a dinner, I'll ask for a container and put it in it myself at the table.
Wow, just wow. Where was management when all this went on?

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:45 am
by ClevrChico
- Usually when we're short on time or just exhausted from work. Ordering take-out on a mobile app and picking it up is fantastic.

- When it's close to grocery day and we're nearly out of food.

- When we have guests on short notice.

I'd much prefer home cooking. Restaurants are expensive, the food is generally unhealthy, and cleanliness questionable at times. :-)

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:47 am
by HueyLD
I go to restaurants because I want to have certain dishes that I have no idea how to make.

I also like to go for stuff that may take a lot of time to prepare.

And it is nice to try something new.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:54 am
by Natsdoc
It's worth it to us to celebrate surviving another workweek and because we are usually too exhausted to cook on Friday and are tired of leftovers. We cook extra on the weekends and freeze for during the week.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:11 pm
by Hayden
I go out to dinner every night. I do alot of things that other people would never dream of doing themselves (e.g., my S Corp tax return). Everyone is different in their decisions about what to do in house and what to outsource. Personally, I enjoy paperwork and hate to cook.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:16 pm
by JoeRetire
Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:32 pm
I do find it a waste of money most of the time to go out but it is fun.
So when your "fun" tank starts to run dry, then it's worth it to go to a restaurant. Otherwise don't waste the money.

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:22 pm
by user5027
- For a celebration
- When it is Restaurant Week
- When we have a coupon, Living Social or Groupon
- When someone else is buying :D