No one likes to eat alone, or at least that is what most folks will tell you. I know from personal experience it's not always the funnest thing in the world. I mean it is nice to have a fellow conspirator to enjoy (or complain) about the food or restaurant you are trying. It can make the evening go by faster and sometimes it can influence how you though about a certain dish by having a different take or set of tastebuds weigh in. But in this crazy busy, time compressed world we live in, sometimes it's hard to mesh schedules with cohorts and SO's in order to have dining companionship. For all the places I've eaten, there is a large majority I ended up going to alone and it is something I've gotten "used to" and actually don't mind it. Plus, long before I had an SO I had quite a number of single years and spent many a night eating out by myself, just because I wanted to get out of the house and more importantly, because I could. It's not a sad thing and I don't think it should be stigmatized, in short it really should be empowering and of course you kind of have to like yourself enough to do it. Isn't that what all those self-help books say--in order to like others you have to like yourself first--or something empowering like that. I mean in this day and age when ever we go out to grab a bite we are seemingly still connected to people and things with all the technology of phones, laptops, etc, it's like we are never really alone (or unplugged) are we?

But when we don't want to lug all those accessories around and don't want to sit around the house or order in pizza/Chinese, people tense up and get nervous about striking out to nosh and experience the thrill(?) of enjoying food and yourself by yourself. I've thought about this a lot as I've dined out over the years and I found I wasn't the only one. You should check out this column on Munchies by Nell Frizzell, it's kind of funny and spot on--without all the sads.

I feel like I can offer some informed opinions in the single dining area as I've done more than my fair share of it over the years and continue to do so this day. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not, but always with the best intentions. San Francisco in itself is a city full of single folks and sometimes it can be hard in this town. It's not as easy to just meet and talk to folks and occasionally you find yourself alone and my first thing to say would be that's okay and my second would be, don't sit around the house lamenting the fact all your other friends have plans and your partner, SO or whatever is working late or out of town on business. I say take this as an opportunity to get out and try a new place you've really wanted to go to that maybe your friends and others weren't totally keen on. I mean think about how hard it was last time you all got together to figure out where to go while juggling everyone's dietary restrictions--this ones vegan, this ones gluten intolerant, this one hates Mexican, this one is allergic to shellfish--ugh, it's like everyone has a thing these days and sometimes you just want to go to that place on the corner you've always wanted to try. And I say do it. Forget everybody else and do something for yourself, it's not selfish or rude and every now and then we all need a little me time. 

And with that I wanted to start a new weekly feature I'm going to call Table For One where I'll espouse upon the joys of dining alone and the places where it can be worthwhile, fun, not so bad, maybe slightly enjoyable or at the very least not a totally unpleasant situation. Not so much a review of a place as more of a how to at types of places. I'll start small and work my way up and next week I'll open with coffee shops, which sounds simple enough but, you never know.