Table for One: Adventures of a Port City Foodie Dining Alone

Table for One: Adventures of a Port City Foodie Dining Alone

Hey, any of you who are a Port City foodie dining alone, and a “Seinfeld” fan, remember the episode where Elaine pretends that a janitor’s closet is her apartment just to get Chinese food delivered?

If you don’t know the story, Elaine is craving the “Supreme Flounder” from China Panda. After placing her order she learns that they cannot deliver to her apartment building because her side of the street is not in their delivery zone. However, the building across the street from hers is in the zone. To beat China Panda at their own game, Elaine finds a janitorial closet in that building, duck tapes the apartment number “1Q” on the closet door, and waits inside for her food.

Upon learning of her charade, Jerry asks incredulously, “You’re pretending to live in a janitor’s closet just to get this flounder?”

To which Elaine replies, “It’s better than eating it alone in the restaurant like some loser!”


Hopefully none of us single people would go to such extremes to avoid eating alone in a restaurant, or would consider ourselves losers if we did. But Elaine knows, and most single folks would agree, that there is a certain stigma attached to dining out alone. Lunch alone isn’t a problem. Nor is sitting alone in a booth with your laptop at a free wifi cafe. But when it comes to dinner, especially at a full service restaurant, we hesitate, reluctant to enter an environment that seems to advertise our oneness in a sea of couples.

Ok, so you say dining out with another person or a group is just more fun. Yes, I prefer it  too. But the question I ask myself is this, do I let my singleness keep me from exploring all of the delicious dining experiences to be had in our area?

Not long ago I took my dog out for an early evening walk on The Loop at Wrightsville Beach. I passed by Poe’s Tavern at 212 Causeway Drive and decided to stop for dinner, as I had always thought it looked like a charming place from the outside. (I am also a sucker for anything with an Edgar Allen Poe theme.) Because I had Chuckles with me I was relegated to the outside patio.

As the hostess escorted me to a table that could easily have seated 8-10 people I thought, “I know I’m single, why must you emphasize it?”

While sitting there staring down my expanse of empty table, waiting for my fish tacos to arrive, it occurred to me that I should write about my experience. Maybe it would resonate with readers. I soon realized that I could turn my solo dining into a kind of field research project over the next several months and share my stories; the good, the bad, and the funny, with all of you Cape Fear Foodies.

I’m hoping that I might inspire anyone who is a Port City Foodie dining alone to do the same and I hope you will in turn share your stories with me.

Add your comments and experiences as a solo diner below!

Penny Pierce contributorAbout the contributor:

Penny Pierce is a blogger, song-writer, musician and reluctant performer living in Wilmington. An independent, single woman who appreciates good food, Penny does not shy away from dining out solo. She encourages singles to put away the take-out menus and take themselves out instead. You can read about her upcoming debut cd and see what’s trending in her life at The Bohemian Freethinker.




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