Imagine visiting a complete strangers house, they cook you dinner, provide you drinks, and you get to dine among some really interesting and unique people. Well I did this Monday night and thanks to something called “social dining” more and more people are having this experience.
I was a little apprehensive about this concept since you are going into a home and being fed and entertained by someone you have never met. But I also thought this could be a really great way to not only meet new people but also experience food cultures. I signed up for a Puerto Rican dinner through Bookalokal; one of many social dining sites like feastly, EatWith and Cookening. Once I signed up through the site I paid the cost of the meal (they can range depending on host, meal, location, etc.) and I received my confirmation and her address. A few days later I was knocking on the door and as soon as the door opened I knew I made a great decision. My hostess ended up being a food and travel blogger and she welcomed me in and the house smelled like deliciousness. On a Monday night I sat with eight strangers and we laughed and ate and talked over homemade meat and crab empanadas, plantains, mojitos with fresh mint from the garden, salad with a guava dressing, arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), guava glazed pork loin, and a pumpkin flan. Needless to say it was an awesome meal and even better company.
To top off the great evening I was even more excited to hear that the proceeds from the dinner were going to fund a student from Ballou High School in DC (she actually dined with us) as she travels to the Dominican Republic in the spring to do a service project as a part of the Ballou International program.
I’m actually considering hosting a few dinners after this experience. I think it’s a great way to meet people and do my passions of cooking and entertaining. It can also serve as a great fundraising platform to donate proceeds to great causes. I’m looking forward to my next dining experience.
Sorry there are no pictures of the food. I was too busy eating it and being engaged in great convo #LiveInTheMoment