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When I first moved to NYC 2 years ago, I was here alone. Bryan was not arriving for 2 months, and I did not know anyone. I was living in Harlem with 2 roommates I found on Craigslist. I was so lonely at first. I wanted to get out, but I only had myself to hangout with. After about 2 weeks of moping around, I decided enough was enough. I was going to get out and explore the city even if it was by myself. I’ve had to continue this sometimes with Bryan’s hectic medical student schedule. Once I got over myself and stopped worrying about what other people think, I have found that sometimes I actually enjoy being out by myself. I think it gives you a different perspective and it allows you to appreciate the experience in a different way.

Since Bryan was on call all day at the hospital Sunday, I decided to take myself out. I’ve had some cravings I wanted to indulge, so why not?! I headed down the the East Village to Cafe Orlin. This is a cute little place on St. Marks Street with outdoor seating, and tons of indoor seating. It was pretty busy, but since I only needed a table for 1, I was sat immediately. The atmosphere is laid back and really comfortable. A definite plus for dining alone. I ordered an americano to start and got settled.

I bought Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants, on my iPad. I love going out and relaxing with a good book/magazine. It also gives me something to do during the wait time. I here on a mission though. I came for the Millet Pancakes. Confession – I have a pancake dance. This is not a joke. 

The millet pancakes come with 3 pancakes, a good size portion of beet and goat cheese salad and 3 pieces homemade chicken sausage. This dish was just as good as I’ve heard. Definitely worth a solo dining experience. The pancakes were fluffy and crumbly at the same time, which I kind of enjoyed. I think they would be difficult to make at home. I wonder how exactly they do it. They were were slightly salty, with a corn mealy type taste to them, so with a little bit of the syrup the combo of sweet and salty was really good. Side note – When adding syrup I just dip my fork in the syrup and then run the fork over the pancake to spread it around. I find this enough to get the flavor and just a little sweetness. I had been craving beets all week so I was glad this came as a side. I was also pleasantly surprised by the chicken sausage. There were pieces of veggies mixed in and it had just enough spice. They were also sliced into triangles with was a nice touch.

I ate slowly and enjoyed each bite. Did some people watching in restaurant and really enjoyed laid back atmosphere. They do not rush you at all here, even with the brunch line waiting outside. The girls next to me stayed and finished their drinks and chatted for about 15 minutes after they paid.Overall, this was a really tasty and unique dish. I ate 1 1/2 pancakes, 1 piece of the sausage, and all the beets 🙂 I was a happy bruncher. I took the left overs home for Bryan to try.

After, I did some window shopping around the village and stopped at Stogo on my way back home for one last indulgence.This is a really good, non-dairy ice cream place in the village. They have soy, hemp, and coconut based flavors. My favorite is the blueberries and cream, which they did not have today. Sad face.

I ordered a small with 2 coconut based flavors: strawberry and vanilla chip.

Kind of traditional vanilla, chocolate, strawberry. But so good.

The indulgences ended there though. I had to get home and clean the bathroom. Blahh.

I used to be a very insecure person, so if I can dine alone so can you. I had an awesome afternoon taking myself out.

Here are my tips for dining out alone:

1. Be comfortable/relaxed – If you are all worked up over what people will be thinking than it is not going to back for a pleasurable experience. Everyone else is wrapped up in themselves anyway. Be relaxed and confident. If anything people may be jealous that you are so comfortable with yourself to be eating out alone. Like I said, I used to be very insecure. Dining out alone as helped me to be more comfortable in my own skin and confident in my self.

2. Don’t rush yourself –  Eat slowly and really taste your what you are eating. Savor the food since that is way you are there anyway.

3. Read/People watch during down time – I really like to bring something to do. Reading is something I do not have time for much and I like to do it during the down time either waiting for a table, waiting on my food, or between bites. People watching, esp in nyc is always great. Sometimes it was an impromptu decision and I do not have a book. People watching has always proved entertaining. I just do like constantly be on/checking my phone. That is what I used to do when I was nervous and uncomfortable being alone.

4. Enjoy it! – Remember this is a treat and there is no reason not to enjoy it. You would not be out if it were not something you wanted, either to try the restaurant or the a dish.
Do you eat out, or do any other activities alone? Love it or hate? I also enjoy going to the movies and grocery shopping alone sometimes.

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