Are You a Restaurant Regular or a Hopper?

April 30 2009, 11:45 AM

moesWhen it comes to food, my job requires me to be constantly on the lookout for whatever is new. New restaurants, new menus, new markets, new fruits in the produce aisle. I've become so conditioned to finding the latest thing that unless I'm working on a review (which requires me to eat three times at one restaurant), I rarely head back to the same spot with any regularity. I like to think that this frenzied method of dining has made me an adventurer. I begin Saturday mornings with dim sum, cushion the afternoon with sweet potato fries, and finish the evening with boba tea. But sometimes I wonder if all of it has simply made me a rootless diner. That thought is more likely to occur when I happen upon a spot at which I'd like to become a regular. A place where the service so jibes with the food that I can envision myself spending every Saturday at the same table.

Table 6 is one of those spots. Months ago, a good friend and I declared we'd make it a weekly date. I've also had visions of returning to Fat Sully's at the Atomic Cowboy every Sunday to eat long, crispy slices of pizza and play board games. Or hitting up Moe's Bowling and BBQ regularly for old-school lanes and pulled-pork sandwiches. And yet I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to each of those places. Three fingers represent Table 6. The other two, Atomic Cowboy and Moe's (pictured). Sure, I'll go back to those places, but to call myself a regular would be to ignore the fact that my friends have been to Moe's three times this month. So no matter how much I wish I were I regular, shaping the stool of a bar, like Norm on Cheers, doesn't appear to be in my immediate future. And honestly, I'm not sure, even if I were in another profession, that I would be capable of becoming a regular. Restaurant-hopping appears to be my M.O. But I admire the diners who head to Masterpiece Deli each day for lunch. Or hit up Nine75 weekly for cocktails and apps. And although I admit there's probably something missing in my very mobile dining routine, rootless I shall be. Are you a regular or a hopper?

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