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Dining Out Alone Experiment

After being inspired by the book “The Art Of Nonconformity” by Chris Guillebeau, I decided to venture out and go to a nice restaurant by myself.

I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy skipping out on the rest of the guy to go to a restaurant by myself, taking only a book to read.  But I thought it would build character.  After driving around for over 20 minutes, I finally decided to stop at a restaurant called “Ginger House” restaurant.  Luckily, the restaurant only have 3 tables of people at them.  I was lucky because the place looked very nice:

Ginger Cafe


I was a very pleasant experience with a very great waitress.  I ordered “Pad Thai” and a coke, and it was a great meal.

Now you might be wondering why I decided to go out by myself, instead of taking along with the rest of the folks I’m working with in CA.  Well, I wanted to go something entirely by myself while I was out there, so it was a personal challenge, or training for the future.  I figure if I every do travel some day, it would be good to develop the comfort levels to be able to go out to a restaurant by myself.

While I was there, I forced myself to read 3 pages of the book I’m currently reading (yeah, I’m starting out small).

Surprisingly, it was hard for me to focus, but I mucked through it anyway. 

While this exercise wasn’t earth shattering, it was still a good experiment and comfort level builder.



18 Responses to Dining Out Alone Experiment

  1. Interesting that you would actually conduct an experiment like this. I occasionally find myself dining alone and usually have a magazine with me. I can get quite a bit read during that time. I am surprised you only got three pages read, but I guess if you were not focused I can understand.

    • Actually, I felt kind of bad reading taking up the waitresses table, so during the waiting periods, I read the few pages.

      Even though I had dinner alone, I ended up meeting the work peers then we went out drinking at a bar. It turned out to be a partial success. I was looking forward to down time after dinner and reading a book that I brought out.

    • I eat a lone, but it’s at lunch and in the car driving to the local library closest to work.

      I like to people watch though, so I would like to go other places like the mall to eat, but at this point I just don’t have time. Now that it’s summer though, I might revisit that idea since the mall may have wireless access.

  2. I am curious, what did you learn? In my former life, I traveled a lot and occasionally had to eat alone. Personally, I did not enjoy it. If I wanted a quiet moment, I would buy food to take out and go to a nice location like the beach or my hotel room balcony.

    • Part of my experiment was to learn how to handle traveling more often. I think I like your idea better, or perhaps I’ll buy some food, stock my fridge and prepare my own food next time.

      I eat alone at fast food, but at a sit down restaurant that’s classy, it was an unusual experience saying “Table for 1”. I looked around and noticed I was the only table where just one person was eating alone.

      So my goal was to become comfortable enough to get such a table and to be able to read a few pages from a book with the same level of focus that I would reading in my reading chair at home.

      I did okay, but I kept it short.

  3. MR- I’ve had to do that a few times when I used to travel alot….it’s quite an awkward feeling, but a little alcohol goes a long way.

    Have you ever tried going to see a movie by yourself while on the road? Now that’s a weird feeling too!

    • I went to see a movie one by myself during my college years (during mantinee times). It was very awkward, and I haven’t done that since. But I know exactly what you are talking about.

      If I have to travel more and more, I would need to overcome this low hurdles, and with degree of comfort.

  4. I can safely say that I have not eat alone more than 3 or 4 times in a restaurant. I feel awkward as hell.

    That is on my soon to read list I have a copy at home

    • The book is a easy read, but very interesting! Surprisingly, I agree with a good portion that they author states, not 100%, but at least 75%.

      After reading Krantcent’s comments, I think I would order it to take home or prepare the food myself. I need to brush up on my cooking skills anyway.

    • Dinner was very awkward, but I survived it, and I think I could do it again if I needed too.

      I was luck in that it was during a weekday, so it wasn’t too crowded in the restaurant. If it was a weekend day, I think I would have ordered pickup.

  5. You mean a big spotlight didn’t shine down on you when you told the waitress table for 1, like in the jerk?

    I eat alone all the time as I travel a lot. It’s no biggie.

    • I would someday like to get to the same level that you are at. I think in someways that can be a skill in and of itself. It’s very empowering to go where others are uncomfortable, and with confidence.

  6. Interesting experiment… LOL at Sandy’s comment. I can imagine a spotlight shining down,but maybe it does build character. Kudos to you for being willing to swim against the tide a bit.