For majority of September I was forced to dine solo (read here if you don’t know why) and while at first I wasn’t too happy about it, I quite enjoyed it after all. The hardest part was feeling awkward – What do I do while I wait for food? or how people will react when I say Table for one please.
@mattertaste Should never feel awkward. People who judge you for being by yourself are too scared themselves.
— known as B (@birgit_w) August 23, 2014
As someone who’s always going out with Hubby or a group of friends, at first I felt really weird. So I spent my first solo dinner staring at my phone… Later I got better, had some interesting conversation with staff and did what I like to do when I’m somewhere new – people watching! Picking a good place to seat is crucial, you can’t let anyone put you in a dark corner, where anyone can see you (the loner) and where you can’t see anything but people walking past you to a toilet or storage space. Picking a seat by the window worked best for me, there is always something interesting to look at.
In regards to food, when I’m alone I tend to pick hearty food that makes me warm and fuzzy inside (with lots of carbohydrates). Feeling sleepy and calm afterwards guaranteed.
So here’s a list of my solo dining aka finding comfort in food aka I need a hug kind of places (yes, they’re all comfort food):
Give me Alfredo’s gnocchi any day. Not only when I’m lonely and miserable, and you’ll see a very happy Aga. Norm’s knockout gnocchi – wood mushrooms, truffle creme, parmesan and fresh parsley. Happiness for $27.90. Seating with the street view is good too, lots of interesting people walking by in that area.
Tuesday evening, quite early for dinner, quiet and empty inside. One couple seated by the window (so I couldn’t get the best spot in the restaurant). They seat there holding hands and look all romantic and happy. I tried really hard to sit where I wouldn’t see them, but it was impossible. They were distracting and reminding me I’m all alone in the world (yes, I know, I’m exaggerating). To make myself feel better I ordered 2 dishes. And 2 beers. Mission accomplished – Aga happy. I didn’t even care that group of friends was standing right next to me, having drinks and nice conversation. I was stuffing my face, fine by me.
Happiness bought with korean fried cauliflower (yuzu red dragon sauce & sesame seeds $13.90) & charcoal grilled lamb ribs (pickled ginger, soy & chilli dressing $15.90) + 2 Singha beers.
Some familiar Polish flavours were a sure thing to make me feel much better. Pierogi (stuffed with ricotta and potatoes) and a bottle of beer (Pszeniczniak – not only delicious beer but also pretty bottle). $19 later I was quite content. If I wasn’t there’s always vodka, and believe me there’s lots of vodkas to choose from in the Polish Club, instant happiness!
One of those nights, I didn’t want to have any people interactions, Grill’d take away solved the problem. Baa Baa Burger ($12.90) as always for me, plus some ciders I found in my fridge and trashy tv show made my evening. It was also camping style by then, having sold my table, desk and all chairs.
I generally don’t like pork. And I absolutely LOVE these pork sliders from The Charming Squire. Smokey BBQ slow braised pork, apple sauce and coleslaw… I’m having a serious case of drooling right now. Match that with The Chancer Golden Ale and you get my favourite meal of all my solo dining ventures. Happiness for less than $30 ($18 for sliders + can’t remember exactly the price of beer). Lots and lots of seating options, many good vantage points. Aaaah, by the way, when you’re there go check out the bathroom upstairs, funky and cool taps 🙂