I used to hate to dine out alone. As a woman who traveled for work when I was in my 30’s and 40’s, I would choose not to eat if I couldn’t meet a friend or associate, get fast food or order room service. Now, I love dining alone while on the road.
What changed? A couple of things. First, I choose to dine with my Kindle, iPad or iPhone. I can read a book, magazine or newspaper while enjoying sushi or even a long-distance conversation with a buddy via ear-buds. Once I spent an hour on the phone at The Crab Trap, a fabulous outdoor restaurant on the beach in Destin, FL (pictured here), talking on the phone with a girlfriend in Dana Point, CA. I ordered crab and sat gazing out on the perfect white sand of Destin and a gorgeous gulf sunset on the horizon. Second, I got older and figured out that if you miss out on a great dining experience because you are alone, then you lose. It was that simple.
One of the most fun ways I enjoy dining alone in a restaurant is to sit at the bar with all the other folks who are alone. At the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC last year, I went to Harry’s Pub off the lobby and ordered a hamburger and green salad at the bar. The young guy seated next to me was having a steak. We struck up a conversation and it turned out he was a sound specialist from Colorado who was there to break down a huge convention stage. What a fun dinner that turned out to be.
No more room service for this Boomer. When I travel now, my heart belongs to great restaurants in wonderful towns.