I am tired of going out with friends to have great company and horrible food!
Most of my friends don't care all that much about food; when we go out in a group, I'm not always the one to pick them restaurant, or if I do pick one, they complain that it's too expensive (even though when you count the bottles bad wine that they drink at the bad restaurants we go to, $/head is usually double a 3-course at the quality bistrots I choose).
The worst of this is that I live in a city where you could be dropped out of an airplane and land in front of a great starred restaurant or a wonderful neighborhood bistrot, and somehow people still manage to find the rare unpalatable place.
Yes, going out with friends is more about spending time than eating food, but life is just too short to eat bad food AND pay for it. If a meal lasts 4 hours and the bill for me+DH is $150, that's $37.50/hour; in which case I might as well pay the friends for their time--seems like money better spent. A cheaper ticket to a Cirque du Soleil show costs only about that much!
So I made a new end-of-year resolution: I shall no longer passively say yes to dinners at restaurants that I am 90% sure will be bad, and instead, to suggest other ways of hanging out, such as picnicking (once it is no longer snowing and raining at the same time), hosting dinner parties, and doing non-food activities. But what about birthdays? I'd rather spend the money in their gift than in the food that I'll hate!
Is anyone else faced with the same issue? Do your friends drag you to bad restaurants? How do you deal with this and not be distant or impolite?