Eating Alone

Just the other day a friend told me she had taken herself out for a nice lunch and a glass of wine, and enjoyed them while reading a book.  All alone.  It sounded wonderful and relaxing.  And a little brave.

I don’t know that I have ever gone out for a real meal on my own.  And I’m not sure why not. Now that I think about it, there’s something irresistible about the idea.

A table for one or a solo seat at the bar in a nice restaurant.  Gleaming cutlery and sparkling glassware.  A cloth napkin in your lap.  Familiar restaurant sounds.  The pleasure of choosing from a menu.  The routine of drinks and food appearing at effortless intervals.  Your book propped in front of you.  The occasional glance around the busy room, then back to the unhurried enjoyment of both food and literature.

I have never sat in a restaurant as part of a snug group and looked pityingly upon a happy, intentional solo diner.  That embarrassed feeling at the prospect of asking for a table for one?  I’m pretty sure it’s a waste of energy.  Who’s looking, anyway?

Yes, I firmly believe in shared meals and the importance of community.  But must we always sing for our supper?  Sometimes I want to be a community of one, alone with my own thoughts and enjoying my own company.

Why don’t we all treat ourselves to the luxury of a solo meal more often?

Warm Salad

Of course, I eat plenty of peaceful, utilitarian solo dinners at home after work.  Lately I’ve been obsessed with warm salads and have been eating them every night.  The basic formula I’ve been following is this:

  • A big pile of hearty salad greens
  • A medium pile of warm roasted root vegetables (leftovers work great)
  • A hot sliced sausage, or shreds of duck meat, or leftover hamburger or steak or…
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • ½ tomato, diced

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sherry vinegar.  Salt lightly and pepper generously.  Toss to coat with dressing.  The greens will wilt just a bit, comfortingly, and the whole meal is indescribably satisfying.


10 thoughts on “Eating Alone

  1. Monet

    One of my dearest friends does this too…and I have always wanted to give it a try. Now if only I could find a place to serve me a warm salad like yours! Thank you for sharing another delicious and beautiful post. I hope you have a lovely Sunday full of relaxation and good food!

  2. Rose

    I have done a bit of solo traveling in unfamiliar places. I usually enjoy eating alone so I can indulge in serious eavesdropping. I like to pick up snippets of life that I have no other context for. It gets my creative juices going and provides fun local color.

    Also I love hearty salads like you described. They are so satisfying.

  3. Hannah

    Dining alone is indeed luxurious and such a lovely way to spend quiet time with yourself. Your warm salad sounds marvelous! And your winter salsa was a hit last weekend – thanks again for sharing.

  4. Jody and Ken

    Nothing wrong with flying solo in a restaurant. I’d also like to think that we’re past the days when a single woman dining alone was given the table nearest the restrooms or the entrance to the kitchen. When I’m travelling, I often like eating in an environment with other people, but not having to interact with them. Ken


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