Where Do You Stand on Outdoor Dining?

Sidewalk Dining in Paso Robles, California, © B. Radisavljevic

I have a friend from Ireland who loves to eat outside. When we go to her house, unless the weather is extreme, she serves us on her lovely patio. The view is wonderful. The food is always of excellent quality. The company is congenial. I wouldn’t miss these get-togethers for anything. But I am not fond of eating outside.

If I am going to eat outside, I’d rather do it in style at a table on the patio of a friend or at a sidewalk café rather than on a blanket in a park, , but if given a choice, I’d rather eat inside. That’s why I’m not a great fan of picnics. Here’s why.

When one is outside, one always has weather to deal with. Even on a nice day with a moderate temperature, there can be wind and one can get sunburned or have sun in one’s eyes. I’m very sensitive to the sun.

The other reason I’m not fond of eating outside is the number of insects that want to join me. There are jokes about ants marching to picnics, but they mostly bother those on blankets or on the ground. Flies and yellow jackets bother you anywhere outside. You can be at an elegantly set outside table and in the daytime one obnoxious fly can keep you swatting him away during the entire meal.

Should you be unlucky enough to be near yellow jackets when you are drinking anything sweet, you have another dilemma. How do you enjoy your drink without getting stung? Swatting a yellow jacket away isn’t too smart.

When I enjoy a meal with friends, I like to concentrate on the conversation. That’s hard to do when you are guarding your meal from six-legged pests or you are being blinded by the sun in your eyes. That’s why if asked, I will always choose indoor eating.

Do you prefer indoor or outdoor dining? If you prefer eating outdoors, as many fine people do, why?

For more photos of downtown Paso Robles, see Downtown Paso Robles: An Intimate View and my blog about Paso Robles, Paso Robles Daily Photos.