Why Eat At The Bar?

I've never quite understood why some people choose to eat dinner at the bar.

Not talking about finger foods here, but full meals: steak, burgers, burritos or whatever, depending on the restaurant. Yeah, I understand the feeling of self-consciousness suffered by guests sitting alone in a crowded dining room. Is it any better in the bar area, though?

The last time I was in Bob's on Lemmon, a solo guy worked away at one of the restaurant's expensive steaks while all around him (and occasionally bumping into him), diners-to-be jostled and yapped noisily. Pretty much everyone swirling around the bar noticed the gentleman and his loneliness. Under the circumstances, it's hard to believe he fully appreciated the hunk of prime beef--or the Diggler farms carrot, for that matter--or truly enjoyed the high-end steakhouse experience.

Houston's in North Dallas (or is it Addison?) is notorious for this sort of thing. At times half the bar  will be filled with guys hitting on nearby women between bites of their double cut pork chops. Few things could be less appealing.

Unless tables are full and you've no time to wait around, the impulse to choose the bar over a two-top doesn't make sense. Instead of comfort and a measure of anonymity you sit in a kind of amphitheater, you're progress followed by those jammed in close proximity. And if you're hoping for some bar action at Houston's, that plate of half-eaten scraps pretty much kills any interest.

Maybe the dining room is barren while the bar stocks two or three flatscreens. I don't know, but it almost seems better to do without TV for 45 minutes and enjoy the dining experience.

But that's me.

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