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Feedback Needed on dr.com Events


DonRocks
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I receive drips and drabs of feedback from people regarding the events (the expensive dinners, TMB, $20 Tuesdays, etc.)

First of all, I want to thank walrus for all the hard work she is doing - she really is spending a lot of time organizing these events, and everyone should buy her a drink when they see her!

Nothing is set in stone here. We can do super low-end things, ultra high-end things, a mix of both, or whatever everyone wants.

So what DOES everyone want? Chime in here, please, and let's get some feedback.

At your service,

Rocks.

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Thanks for the kind words :)

Just to add some more info from my end, I've been trying to do a mix of less expensive ($50-$80), medium expensive ($80-$100), and expensive ($100-...) events. We had two events -- one planned by me and one by the inimitable Escoffier, hostessed by goodeats -- in September for under $100 per person, including food, wine, tax, tip, and a private room. This doesn't include Dim Sum or $20 Tuesdays. In October, I'd scheduled our expensive dinner at Eve and ended up with folks on the wait list, so when RJ at Vidalia asked me about doing the bird dinner, I thought there might be room for it.

In case anyone is wondering, we are getting a nice discount at each and every one of these dinners, so we're in a win-win situation -- the restaurant is getting to feature their fabulousness for people who care about food and dining, and we're getting to eat at some of the best restaurants in the region for less than we'd spend on our own. Plus, who could beat the company?! :lol:

I haven't been planning even less expensive ($20) dinners, as I understood that there were already a couple people -- such as DanielK -- planning those events. I'm trying to keep my planning to one dinner a month, so as to leave room for other meals as well as to give schedules and pocketbooks a break.

I do think it's worth noting that anyone can plan a DR.com event -- and I'd be happy to share what little I've learned about doing it with anyone who asks.

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Here here!

As soon as I get a better handle on my new job, I am happy to plan some more $20 dollar Tuesdays. I know we want to visit some tried and true (A&J, JNH, China Bistro, etc.) but have my eye on a couple of new ones. Maybe we can also get a couple of Korean Dinners in as well (hint hint Grover).

To be honest, the days where we filled up a couple of resturants seem to be over, and now we focus on smaller venues.

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I do think it's worth noting that anyone can plan a DR.com event -- and I'd be happy to share what little I've learned about doing it with anyone who asks.
I think this is the most important thing to emphasize - event organizing isn't limited to a select few.

$20 Tuesdays (or whatever day they're on) are a great opportunity for low-cost events and anybody who has a location in mind should feel free to come forward, post an idea and get a date/group organized. They can be as small as 5-6 people and may be as large at 15-20.

The bigger (and usually pricier) events take a bit more organizing and Walrus has done a great job keeping them coming on a regular basis - thanks! I guess we'll have to see how the economy and the busy holiday season shape up, but the next few months may be a good time for some of those smaller, less expensive gatherings.

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I have a full time job now and 1. my schedule can be a little wonky, 2. I prefer to spend most nights/weekends with kids/husband now that I am gone 8am-6:30pm, and 3. the economy sucks big time. We'd love some more $20 Tuesdays, but I am not in a position to plan anything right now. I do appreciate Walrus's attempt to keep the ball rolling. :lol:

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Right now the idea of going to a $150pp dinner just isn't going to work for me.
What would be a better price point for you? $55 (without wine) like the Dino dinner? $20 like Dim Sum and the Tuesdays? $85-110 like the Oval Room dinner?

ETA: Sorry -- didn't mean it to come across as defensive! I really am interested in what sort of price point people are looking for...

Thanks!

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You list $50-$80 as "less expensive", but I'm sure I'm not the only one here who can only blow that on dinner once every few months. Especially these days - $100+ is not in the budget for a long while.

We need more opportunities above $20 Tuesday, but below $50.

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I second, third the above thoughts. I just don't have the budget to blow $100+ for a dinner, even if it is a "good deal." As for other events, such as $20 Tuesdays, Metro accessible would be a huge plus, even more so if the restaurant is in the district. Another reason I tend to avoid such events is food allergies... I wouldn't want to show up to a set menu event and drive the chef crazy creating something just for me... plus then I'd miss out on the true essence of the evening. (This is also the reason I can't do dim sum sundays, as great as they sound- chinese food (soy) spells death for me.)

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What would be a better price point for you? $55 (without wine) like the Dino dinner? $20 like Dim Sum and the Tuesdays? $85-110 like the Oval Room dinner?

ETA: Sorry -- didn't mean it to come across as defensive! I really am interested in what sort of price point people are looking for...

Thanks!

Tuesday are hard for me (have kids) but a good price point these days would be 40-50pp.

Not taken as defensive - I understand it is confusing these days.

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For me I am far more intrigued by the fancier dinners. I can do $40-$50 per person any night with my wife, and those are the types of dinners that she likes to do. I like higher-end dining that she might like once a month or even less often, and for those types of events I have found that when they are planned for a larger group they are generally better. I should add that by larger I mean 20 to 25 people at the most.

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Having just read through this thread, let me throw out some brainstorm-suggestions, off the top of my head, and see what people think:

1a. A comparison of both types of wings at Bon Chon Chicken, Annandale - figure $10 a person

1b. Comparing Bon Chon with the new Korean Chicken place down the street in a movable feast - $15 a person

2. Falafel at Max's Kosher Cafe - $8 a person

3. Vegan dinner at Sunflower, Seven Corners - $15 a person

4. Burgers at Angles Billiards Bar on a discount night - $8 a person

5. Daniel Bortnick's pastrami at Firefly - maybe as a dr.com dinner special? $20 a person

6. Mama Ayesha's - $20 a person

7. Roll tasting at Sushi Ko - $25 a person

8. Happy Hour with the new bar menu at Corduroy - $20 a person

9. Ray's Hell Burger with Michael displaying his meat - $10 a person (blindfolds $2 extra)

10. Famous Luigi's - $15 a person

I guess it all boils down to whether or not people want to spend their free time socializing with one-another here. Maybe the answer is no, except for truly special events such as the Wagyu tasting at Vidalia. I'm HAPPY to use this website as a clearing house / meeting house for folks to get together, even if it's only mini-events with 3-4 people gathering. What I don't want is to hammer things down people's throats that nobody has any interest in at all.

This is wide-open terrain, and I have to think that our huge base of readers have enough in common to make get-togethers work in various forms. I really wish people participated more actively in person, but it is what it is.

That having been said, I am going to make a "pledge-drive" type of request in the next day or so ... but breathe easy: I won't be asking for any money.

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1a. A comparison of both types of wings at Bon Chon Chicken, Annandale - figure $10 a person

1b. Comparing Bon Chon with the new Korean Chicken place down the street in a movable feast - $15 a person

probably closer to $15 per person but still an excellent bargain. I haven't noticed a new chicken place there but I wouldn't be surprised if there is. There is also an excellent one on Evergreen by the Baptist college. Only problem is driving with chicken goodness on your fingers.

Almost any Korean restaurant can feed you for under $25 to the point of total satiation.

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1a. A comparison of both types of wings at Bon Chon Chicken, Annandale - figure $10 a person

1b. Comparing Bon Chon with the new Korean Chicken place down the street in a movable feast - $15 a person

Bon Chon Chicken's large special plate costs $17.95 and medium is $10.95. Cheogajip's popcorn chicken is $8.99 (good for 2 person) and whole chicken is about $15.00. I haven't been there for a while so I don't know whether there is price changes or not. However, $10 per person at either place would work if you don't go wild for drinks. For Cheogajip, it is basically a take-out place so there are only 3 tables, which can hole maximum 10-12 people I assume. Bon Chon has no problem to have a party for 20-30 people.

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I guess it all boils down to whether or not people want to spend their free time socializing with one-another here. Maybe the answer is no, except for truly special events such as the Wagyu tasting at Vidalia. I'm HAPPY to use this website as a clearing house / meeting house for folks to get together, even if it's only mini-events with 3-4 people gathering. What I don't want is to hammer things down people's throats that nobody has any interest in at all.

We have interest, it's just difficult for us to commit to things too far in advance because of our work. Sometimes Mr. lperry finds out today that he needs to get on a plane tomorrow. Top that off with my Tuesday evenings taken up with track, and there may be the appearance of no interest, when it is really all scheduling issues. Or mostly all. I'll take some blame for being reluctant to head into the District or Maryland at rush hour. That said, we eat out quite a bit, and I should probably be posting it on the "impromptu" thread.

I would be interested in more get-togethers in Virginia at ethnic eateries. I like the idea of Sunflower (#3), and will suggest Meaza. I'll even volunteer to put something together if others are lurking out there in the NOVA burbs.

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I enjoy socializing with Rockwellians, but largely avoid the more upscale events out of a deep suspicion that even the finest chefs are not at their finest when serving dinner for 20 (and many of the less fine chefs get thrown when a crowd drops in). YMMV.

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I enjoy socializing with Rockwellians, but largely avoid the more upscale events out of a deep suspicion that even the finest chefs are not at their finest when serving dinner for 20 (and many of the less fine chefs get thrown when a crowd drops in). YMMV.
Although I can't speak for anyone else, when I'm planning an event, I try to give the chefs about a month to prepare for us, and in my personal experience, rather than getting lower-quality food in a DR.com group, we seem to get not just the best they're doing but usually a little extra :lol: I have yet to be disappointed at a DR.com dinner.

I can add that although I haven't been to many of the $20 events, as they are usually held far from where I can comfortably travel for dinner, I can say that at dim sum, they seem to have no problem keeping up with us! Bacon-wrapped shrimp anyone?

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I would be interested in more get-togethers in Virginia at ethnic eateries. I like the idea of Sunflower (#3), and will suggest Meaza. I'll even volunteer to put something together if others are lurking out there in the NOVA burbs.

We live out in Tysons and I love ethnic foods (just not too sure what to try) and offal. Plan something and people will come, I think.

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So can someone lay out the basic rules, regulations, or lack thereof on how we can schedule or arrange something?

This entire forum is devoted to people getting together. There's plenty of space on the server! I don't pretend to know what will work and what won't, but I see a HUGE number of like-minded people here that I think would get along famously, if only their bubble-headed moderator (that would be me) could figure out how to pull it off.

If you have an idea, no matter how daffy it seems, start a thread and see if it takes off. Try it and let's see what happens. :lol:

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if only their bubble-headed moderator (that would be me) could figure out how to pull it off.

How about a dinner with a cone of silence (OK, not hard to make happen for deaf bastard like me). That way people who really prefer food over camaraderie can enjoy a nice dinner? Sorry... having an anti-social moment.

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This entire forum is devoted to people getting together. There's plenty of space on the server! I don't pretend to know what will work and what won't, but I see a HUGE number of like-minded people here that I think would get along famously, if only their bubble-headed moderator (that would be me) could figure out how to pull it off.

Tell them to come to the picnic on 10/19 at Ft Hunt Park! I will add a link to the thread later today, and try to get the list of picnic-goers and contributions organized.

(If anyone else has a little time to spare and would like to help out, that would be great. I can't really spend a lot of time on dr.com from work)

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Tell them to come to the picnic on 10/19 at Ft Hunt Park!

Unfortunately, I will be in San Juan. OK, it isn't really unfortunate, although I would like to attend since I missed the last one as well.

If people do meet up and start organizing, I would be happy to be part of or even head up a biweekly or so fairly inexpensive outing to an ethnic eatery that doesn't require me to cross the 14th street bridge. If there are other like-minded Virginia dwellers, or those who don't mind heading south, I think it would be fun and logistically much less stressful for us. Something along the lines of, hey let's meet up at Meaza in Bailey's Crossroads next Wednesday at 6. Sound reasonable?

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Perhaps also defining a bit more what the intention of the event helps, too.

"This is intended to be a loud, raucous, fun social event with good food and drinks"

"We're hoping to do this quietly, concentrating on the food"

Something like that? So people can have the right expectations?

I haven't been to a ton of stuff but when work moves me back out to Ashburn it'll be more difficult for me to reach some of the weekday events. I personally like seeing the "hey, let's go hit a few places" kind of events, especially with people who know their way around.

I don't, but that isn't stopping Marshall and I from harassing people into joining us Friday night! :lol: (And the added bonus of then harassing Justin!) :)

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Am I the only one that gets really annoyed when event details are posted in both the event thread and the restaurant thread?
No - the questions that are asked and answered in one thread don't always get transferred to the other, so there's always going to be duplication and/or omission. If it's a special event, there should be one thread for it in Events and all the discussion before the event should happen there - that way the people who just want to look at the restaurant thread don't have to wade through multiple postings about the event.
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Am I the only one that gets really annoyed when event details are posted in both the event thread and the restaurant thread?
No

Agreed we don't need two watches, but this is my fault because I've never even mentioned it to walrus before. From this point forward, we should only do the announcements in the Events and Gatherings forum (and I'll delete the other ones as I come across them over time).

NB If you're annoyed it's okay, but if you're really annoyed then you need to drink more. :lol:

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My question--what is the usual turnaround to see these events updated on the calendar? I noticed a few more dinners being posted, so I thought I'd look at the calendar to see if any of the dates would work for me, but the only dinner on the calendar right now is the one at Eve. The picnic and RPLC events also appear...

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My question--what is the usual turnaround to see these events updated on the calendar? I noticed a few more dinners being posted, so I thought I'd look at the calendar to see if any of the dates would work for me, but the only dinner on the calendar right now is the one at Eve. The picnic and RPLC events also appear...

There's asynchronous communication between the Events forum and monavano - she updates the calendar when she notices things, but there's never been any formal process. To institute one, I'd have to raise her salary 1000% from $0 to $0. :lol:

BTW, a brief word of THANKS to monavano for doing the calendar work - she never asks for anything; she just does it. Sometimes I get so busy that I don't take enough time to thank people for what they do here.

Also, I appreciate these posts of feedback. This whole website has been winged from day one, and I never know what's working and what isn't unless people tell me (Spanish Classifieds notwithstanding).

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Just a quick note -- anyone who's interested in a lower-priced affair should check out the DR.com dinner at The Liberty Tavern -- just $65 per person, including food, wine, tax, and tip. Plus, it's what, a block from the Metro? Come join us!

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Just a quick note -- anyone who's interested in a lower-priced affair should check out the DR.com dinner at The Liberty Tavern -- just $65 per person, including food, wine, tax, and tip. Plus, it's what, a block from the Metro? Come join us!

I had been looking forward to this one but the timing doesn't work for me, unfortunately. :lol:

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Just a quick note -- anyone who's interested in a lower-priced affair should check out the DR.com dinner at The Liberty Tavern -- just $65 per person, including food, wine, tax, and tip. Plus, it's what, a block from the Metro? Come join us!

Not saying it's not a good value, and it's certainly lower than the $100+ dinners, but still not in my price range for other than special occasions.

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I think a simple solution would be one post in the thread " DR Dinner please see thread XXX" and then the event is crosslinked to the thread.

Agreed we don't need two watches, but this is my fault because I've never even mentioned it to walrus before. From this point forward, we should only do the announcements in the Events and Gatherings forum (and I'll delete the other ones as I come across them over time).

NB If you're annoyed it's okay, but if you're really annoyed then you need to drink more. :lol:

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Not saying it's not a good value, and it's certainly lower than the $100+ dinners, but still not in my price range for other than special occasions.
Ahhh -- see, I think of these DR.com dinners as special occasions :lol:

(Plus -- not to be difficult, but Tripewriter and I spent $114 at Thirsty Bernie's tonight for a meal that we both certainly enjoyed tremendously. So that's $57 per person for hors d'oeuvres, three excellent courses, and two fine beers each -- a good deal! And not far off from the $65 per person for hors d'oeuvres and five courses with wine pairings for The Liberty Tavern.)

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For many people, even those who six months ago felt financially secure, this is the worst economic period of their lives. The stock market went down 10% this week, even as Tuesday was the biggest election day rally in history. Companies are announcing lay offs at an unprecedented rate. People are literally worried about how they are going to pay for necessities much less minor luxuries, like eating out. Families with college aged children who had saved for college tuition for years have watched their college savings accounts evaporate over night.

Washington is not immune to this economic disaster as defense and government contractors have realized. Plus, lobbyists will not have the same clout that they have had traditionally in President Elect Obama's administration.

Further evidence that things are not good in the economy, nobody is shopping!

So, I think for many people eating out is not a priority in this incredibly difficult economic period. And yes, I know, it is a vicious cycle... if we don't spend money the economy won't recover. Well, it looks like for a little while our economy is going to shrink. But it will recover at some point... when that time arrives I suspect our spending habits will look much more like my parents (Depression Era babies) than they have the last twenty years.

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It would be nice to help our friends in the industry, but our retirement is wiped out, our daughter needs braces soon, our heating/electric bills have skyrocketed, we need a second car, and $114 is over a third of my weekly grocery budget for four people. We've had our special dinners out this year, and have to cool it if we want to be able to save anything. I am sure we not the only ones on this board facing tough choices.

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I can see -- and completely understand -- your fears and worries. I share them with you. I would never encourage anyone to attend an event that they felt they couldn't afford. In this instance, I was responding to those who had requested less expensive meals with information about a $65 all-inclusive meal. As there were 24 people at the DR.com event at Thirsty Bernie's last night, it seems that at least at this time, there are still a number of people here who are going to continue eating out and who remain interested in attending DR.com dinners. So for now, I will continue to plan them, to attend those others have planned, and to post about them.

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Let's not invent problems. There is no one person who coordinates events; any member here can organize one, at any price-point. And it doesn't matter if 50 people attend, or if 4 people attend. walrus has stepped up and organized several events, but there's no reason others can't do the same. All I ask is that you coordinate dates and times through a central person (and I guess that would be me) so there aren't any obvious conflicts, and so we can get them on the calendar. That said, there's no reason we couldn't have little neighborhood get-togethers on the same day e.g. a four-top at Cafe Taj and three people having beer at Franklin's. Or, if someone wants to organize a $500 truffle dinner, then that's okay too.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I think the last few posts point out that we all have different perspectives on costs, special occasions, etc. To me the $45-$65 range events carry roughly the same sort of financial considerations.

It's great that there have been some really nice, varied events planned over the last several months and I've been lucky/happy to attend a few of them. My only thought/impression is that they've been happening at a pretty steady clip. Perhaps they could be spaced out a bit more, say every 6 weeks or 2 months. Maybe this would allow more people to participate. The holiday season may give a natural break in the action too.

We've had fewer $20 Tuesdays lately - it would seem that economic realities might make them much more desirable to everyone. I'm on the road for the next few weeks, so can't step up to plan one in the near future, but will plan to do so when I get back in town.

ETA: It would be nice if there were always two price options available and provided with the initial event information - one with pairings and one without. In my opinion, there should always be an option for those who would prefer to forgo wine/alcohol for whatever reason (and there are many, and all of them are valid).

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Feedback from the ventworm gallery-we hit our first DR dinner last night at Thirsty Bernie, whole family in tow. We've attended a couple of picnics(which have been super), & have visited other places, thanks to info from the group. I wish we could go to more events & I sincerely thank those of you who plan these outings & those who attend, & write about it afterwards, so I can be there vicariously. I think everyone has problems w/ scheduling, commute/traffic issues, & disposable income to indulge in our love of good food & good company...I just hope that the organizers of events & the restauranteurs don't feel badly when a huge crowd doesn't show up-alot of us would, if the fates permit it... I think y'all are doing a great job & I look forward to more DR events...

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Don't stop having events now. I've been stuck in Iraq the last 7 months and can't wait to get back and participate. Reading DR has helped to keep me sane and given me something to look forward to. The lack of good food and wine here is slowly killing my soul.

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Don't stop having events now. I've been stuck in Iraq the last 7 months and can't wait to get back and participate. Reading DR has helped to keep me sane and given me something to look forward to. The lack of good food and wine here is slowly killing my soul.

When are you coming home?

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This is a tough crowd, and as a result, I think some of your words have hurt someone's (or multiple people's) feelings. Perhaps we should all take a step back and review: the complaint at one point on this board was that there was NOT enough events, and then at some point, it was that the time wasn't suitable to people; then costs, and now too many events.

Boy, I feel like telling you all what I told my son this afternoon: take a time-out.

We are all adults; thus we should be responsible for our actions and our choices. If you choose to not partake or to, then it's your choice. The small chain of rants reminds of me of the airline fuel crisis: why did only one airline (Southwest) hedge fuel funds and estimated for their increases while the others did not? So, why did you not save $5 on that slice of pizza or latte and build up for a 5-course wine pairing for $65? That was certainly what I had to do to make up for my dinner at Thirsty Bernie's, and it was my choice. And I'm sure I am just as much in the hole as some of you.

As stated in by the incoming Administration, this is a time of change - so make those changes!! IF you don't like the events, coordinate your own, as suggested above. What happened to the $20 Pete's APizza suggestion? Or maybe we can have a potluck if someone's willing to host? But take the *proactive* road, and not sit and type like I am doing here.

In other words, take your own advice and eat it too. Make something of it. Don't gripe about how the economy failed you-- remember the "Core" of the events & gatherings: a place for community and enjoyment of the people and the food. Take responsibility or take charge. Just don't whine. I have enough of that at home, and I'm sure you all do too.

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In other words, take your own advice and eat it too. Make something of it. Don't gripe about how the economy failed you-- remember the "Core" of the events & gatherings: a place for community and enjoyment of the people and the food. Take responsibility or take charge. Just don't whine. I have enough of that at home, and I'm sure you all do too.
Thanks, but I don't consider my post "whining." . I was attempting to explain why, as a longtime member and one who usually attends these dinners, these events aren't appealing to me right now.

As I pointed out in this post, I very much appreciate Anne's attempts to keep the ball rolling as far as events go. I would be than happy with a potluck, in fact, I believe I organized one last month. :lol:

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Despite some of the acidic posts above, I think feedback should be on events that have actually occurred- the good, the bad, the ugly. If you can't attend an event, but would like to, maybe state why.. If you attended, what was great? What didn't you like? I don't understand the attacks on other board members....

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This is a tough crowd, and as a result, I think some of your words have hurt someone's (or multiple people's) feelings. Perhaps we should all take a step back and review: the complaint at one point on this board was that there was NOT enough events, and then at some point, it was that the time wasn't suitable to people; then costs, and now too many events.

Boy, I feel like telling you all what I told my son this afternoon: take a time-out.

We are all adults; thus we should be responsible for our actions and our choices. If you choose to not partake or to, then it's your choice. The small chain of rants reminds of me of the airline fuel crisis: why did only one airline (Southwest) hedge fuel funds and estimated for their increases while the others did not? So, why did you not save $5 on that slice of pizza or latte and build up for a 5-course wine pairing for $65? That was certainly what I had to do to make up for my dinner at Thirsty Bernie's, and it was my choice. And I'm sure I am just as much in the hole as some of you.

As stated in by the incoming Administration, this is a time of change - so make those changes!! IF you don't like the events, coordinate your own, as suggested above. What happened to the $20 Pete's APizza suggestion? Or maybe we can have a potluck if someone's willing to host? But take the *proactive* road, and not sit and type like I am doing here.

In other words, take your own advice and eat it too. Make something of it. Don't gripe about how the economy failed you-- remember the "Core" of the events & gatherings: a place for community and enjoyment of the people and the food. Take responsibility or take charge. Just don't whine. I have enough of that at home, and I'm sure you all do too.

I did not consider my post a whine. It was an observation on the state of the economy, and its impact on dining out. My original concern, a month ago, was that sometimes the dr.com events board felt like a throwback to the "let them eat cake" comment that led to the French revolution. (and yes, I know, her comment wasn't about cake and I have presented the overly simplistic version of history.)

Golden Ticket's observation puts it perfectly "My only thought/impression is that they've been happening at a pretty steady clip. Perhaps they could be spaced out a bit more, say every 6 weeks or 2 months. Maybe this would allow more people to participate."

I think it is awesome that people take the time to plan events. I commend them for their efforts and do not mean to detract from them. I know how difficult it is. And as Goodeats refers I haven't delivered the pizza event yet. I ran into timing issues finding a date for the event between existing dr.com events, the High Holidays, work travels and campaigning. The manager of the restaurant's card is on my desk so that I can revisit it after the election (which is now).

Suggesting that people save money to spend on an expensive meal misses the point of my comment. Starbucks and independent coffee chains are feeling the effect of the economy because people aren't buying fancy coffees anymore, for many families ordering pizza has become a luxury. And so what if I eat every meal in, buying groceries has not become less expensive during the downturn. In fact groceries are more expensive now than in recent years. Even the well off among us are feeling the pinch, notice Berkshire Hathaway's incredible decrease in revenue announced today. Governments and companies across the country are taking drastic measures to stave off not just a recession but insolvency.

My point is that during this economic crisis I suspect for many people eating out is not a priority. That is the only point of my comment.

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