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Welcome to WFAEats — a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and interesting in the Charlotte food scene. We want to share stories, recipes and culinary escapades and hear about yours!

In Good Taste: When To Go The Extra Mile


Dear Etta Kate: I try to keep in touch regularly with an old friend in the next town by meeting him monthly for breakfast. My problem is he always wants to go to the same restaurant, which is in his town. He loves his restaurant but there is very little I can eat there. I’m happy to go there on occasion, but not every time, so I’ve suggested other restaurants and rotating between towns. When he agrees to drive to my town or meet at another restaurant in his, which is rare, he doesn’t show up. When I call, he claims he forgot we had plans. Sincerely, Stuck in Status Quoville

Dear Stuck: It is hard when a friend makes it clear that they are unwilling to compromise – and in your case he literally won’t meet you halfway.

You have a choice. You can choose to enjoy your friend, resist the urge to ask yourself (or him) why you constantly have to go the extra mile, and work on finding something you can enjoy at his favorite restaurant. Or, you can ask your friend in a quiet manner about his choice of restaurant and why he won’t meet you at least halfway every so often. If he cannot give you a reason, it might be worth exploring what is limiting him.

Is he getting lost when he goes to unfamiliar places? If so, he might be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and trying to stay within his comfort zone. If not, he might have another health or personal challenge. Or it could be he is just selfish or stubborn.

If your compromise is sufficiently rewarded by the payoff of his company, then relent, go with the “quo flow” and don’t waste your energy worrying about things that you cannot change. If his unfair restaurant fare sticks in your craw too much for you to continue to be the sole compromiser, perhaps you can suggest the two of you meet every other month, then treat yourself to breakfast with different friends on the alternate months at a bistro you do enjoy. However you decide to resolve this, remember: A breakfast with friends should be “over easy” and never turn into a “hard-boiled” experience.

Etta Kate is the nom de plume of a business consultant who maintains anonymity to protect her clients’ privacy. If you have a question about food and dining etiquette, Etta Kate will be happy to help. You can post your messages in the comments section of this page.