My partner does not like to dine out.
I do not like to dine out alone.
Thus, when my friend Bob C. asked me if I would like to join his "Friday Night Dining Group", I eagerly accepted.
Tonight was the first night I dined out with the group. Our only criteria is that we dine at a cheap restaurant. Good food, cheap food. The Cracker Barrel fit the bill.
I have a good friend who also likes to dine out. His name is Larry and he and his wife Lois like to "fine dine." While I like fine dining too, I don't like the price that goes along with fine dining. I ate with Larry and Lois once. We at at The Buttery in Lewes and we did indeed have a fine dining experience. We also had a fine dining bill for the three of us for $169, and that was before the tip.
My friend Lar's goal is a bit different than mine. Our dining experience is more about camaraderie and friendship than experiencing the latest cuisine.
Everyone in our Friday Night Dining Group are male and gay. You don't have to be gay to belong to our group but that is the way it has worked out. This group is a good way for single gay men to dine out with a group of friends instead of sitting at home or dining out alone.
My friend Carole T. (a former high school classmate) in Pennsylvania belongs to a similar group called "hy Dine Alone?" This group consists mainly of single older women. It makes sense because most of these women like to dine out occasionally but they don't feel comfortable dining alone. Carole asked me once to join the group for dinner one night. I was all set to go but at the last minuted I asked how many women would be in the group. She told me "about thirty." I asked her how many men. She told me "You would be the second one." Ah ha. I asked her about the other guy. She said "He's 80 years old." Hell, he was probably having the time of his life surrounding by all those widows and single women. As a gay man, dining with thirty women who I'm sure are all delightful, wasn't particularly appealing to me. What would be talk about? Now, dining with thirty other gay men, talking would not be a problem.
Tonight at the Cracker Barrel, there were eleven in our group. It was a good mix. Conversation was not a problem. Hey, you get a group of gay guys together and conversation is rarely a problem. It certainly wasn't tonight.
Another plus is you meet new friends. I did meet and make new friends tonight. One can never have too many friend, especially in this cold and indifferent world of today.
I ordered meatloaf, steak fries, corn and string beans (which were cooked to a pulp.) For dessert I had a concoction called Strawberry Icebox Cake. The meatloaf was delicious and the dessert delightful. Even better was the modest check. No $28 prix fixe "special" dinner a la The Buttery.
But the best part of the night was meeting and making new friends. Thank you Bob for inviting me to join your group.