If finding the time or the money to dine out as much as you'd like isn't so much a problem as finding dining companions, the Internet has a solution for you. It's called Grubwithus, and it's a Chicago-based startup (kind of like Groupon!), which was designed by two guys who had just moved to the Windy City and wanted to meet awesome new people while trying great food at new restaurants.
How it works: Members of the site sign up and then scroll through a list of dinners or brunches in their cities and buy tickets, typically costing about $25. Then before the event, they can chat online about themselves with their dining buddies, which is kind of the site's way of allowing you to pre-screen/break the ice.
Kind of like group online dating for foodies. Brilliant!
As the entrepreneurs put it:
Post college it becomes more and more difficult to expand your friends. As you get older, your friends get married, move away, start hanging out with other people, or you just stop connecting with them altogether. Whatever the case may be, it's super hard meeting people you want to be friends with!
It's totally true! Even if you haven't grown apart from old friends, or your current friends can't find time in their busy schedules to get together, foodies who have just moved to a new city would probably benefit a lot from Grubwithus. In fact, hey, one of my close friends who is a total wino just moved to Seattle to start a new job yesterday; I'd bet he'd LOVE this!
And even if you've lived in your city forever (or just since college), who wouldn't want to meet some cool new, perhaps like-minded people? Network? (For instance, a current meet-up for NYC says it features some guy from Wired.com. Interesting!) Or just get a sweet deal on a gourmet meal?
Personally, I am a huge fan of dining out, and while I love sharing a meal with my BF, I know it's beneficial for us to socialize within a larger group sometimes. And it can be frustrating when the couples we usually hang out with are busy, are out of town, or don't feel like going out. I'll admit it may feel a little odd at first to dine with total strangers, but if you think about it like you're attending a "tasting event," it's not that strange! Plus, if you can come away from the experience having eaten delicious food and having made new friends -- then it's definitely a win-win.
Would you try Grubwithus?
Image via Grubwithus