What are you bringing to eat at Gen Con this year?
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Posted by fethbone brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
As an update for myself--if Gencon happens (please universe, give us a break), I'll be on a tighter budget this year, but I will be thinking about actually trying to get to restaurants a little more now. That industry is getting hit hard. If I can afford it, throwing some money at the servers and cooks and bus people for good food might be part of my plan.
Of course, maybe I can use some of that sweet #republicanhandout money I'll be getting :)  (Just a joke, please, only having a little fun at Mitch McConnell being the one talking about sending money directly to people--the universe is ironic, at the least.)

Not sure if you mean trying to go to restaurants as opposed to bringing food or as opposed to eating at the ICC/Food Trucks, but if it’s the latter, you can definitely find table-service meals that aren’t Steak and Shake that are comparable cost or not much more, especially if you get an extra lunch special and save it for dinner. I also find that most of the time -with the exception of Mikado and The Ram- there is little-to-no wait to get a table, as opposed to waiting in line forever at ICC/food trucks* (standing in the blazing sun optional). 

PF Changs, Bdubs, Loughmillers’s, and Kilroy’s all have meals around the $10-13 mark, and I’m sure there are more places I just haven’t been to. And you get free water, AC, and no scouting for somewhere to sit.

*I do understand that food trucks are hurting too and have to hustle just as hard to make ends meets, but I  personally prefer to eat at a traditional restaurant for the reasons mentioned in my post. 

Posted by monkeydragon

We (my friend and I) usually stay off site and do a combination of mall food court and fast sit-down for lunch and dinner, so the food we bring is for breakfast and snacks.

Snacks, I make a pan of cookie bars and load them with oatmeal and peanut butter to make them more energy dense.  Last year I went hog wild on the trail mix, since I'm not super fond of raisins, peanuts, or plain M&Ms.  so I went to the bulk food store and got a little bit of everything I like.  We take munchies and such for the car ride, and because cheetos are good.  We usually bring some clementines, too, to stave of the scurvy.

Breakfast is the big plan, though, and the secret is an electric kettle!  It makes oatmeal, good pour over coffee, and can boil an egg.  Fixins for oatmeal to make it tastier and more filling (dab of butter, brown sugar, peanut butter) are easy to pack and keep.

Posted by vemlyon

My tastes tend to change rapidly, so in addition to some trail mix and some unsalted nuts (probably cashews, almonds, maybe peanuts), I'll probably bring some dried fruit, and the usual chocolate bits.  I tend to eat meals at the various restaurants / food trucks.

Although, now that you've mentioned oatmeal, maybe some oatmeal raisin or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, too...

Posted by brotherbock fethbone

fethbone wrote:
brotherbock wrote:
As an update for myself--if Gencon happens (please universe, give us a break), I'll be on a tighter budget this year, but I will be thinking about actually trying to get to restaurants a little more now. That industry is getting hit hard. If I can afford it, throwing some money at the servers and cooks and bus people for good food might be part of my plan.
Of course, maybe I can use some of that sweet #republicanhandout money I'll be getting :)  (Just a joke, please, only having a little fun at Mitch McConnell being the one talking about sending money directly to people--the universe is ironic, at the least.)

Not sure if you mean trying to go to restaurants as opposed to bringing food or as opposed to eating at the ICC/Food Trucks, but if it’s the latter, you can definitely find table-service meals that aren’t Steak and Shake that are comparable cost or not much more, especially if you get an extra lunch special and save it for dinner. I also find that most of the time -with the exception of Mikado and The Ram- there is little-to-no wait to get a table, as opposed to waiting in line forever at ICC/food trucks* (standing in the blazing sun optional). PF Changs, Bdubs, Loughmillers’s, and Kilroy’s all have meals around the $10-13 mark, and I’m sure there are more places I just haven’t been to. And you get free water, AC, and no scouting for somewhere to sit.
*I do understand that food trucks are hurting too and have to hustle just as hard to make ends meets, but I  personally prefer to eat at a traditional restaurant for the reasons mentioned in my post. 

No, I meant that my budget will be limited, so I was originally planning (as I sometimes have to do) a year of bringing a lot of my own food. Sometimes I'm able to splurge more and just go to restaurants/food trucks. My post was saying that, even though my budget will be limited, I may be going to more restaurants anyway, to help put some money into food service people's pockets. (I worked food service in the past, I feel a sense of camaraderie.)

But I appreciate the info on cheaper meals, and I agree that finding good food for good prices is a priority.

Posted by rfsullivan

Last year, my group got a lot of mileage out of bring our own cold brew coffee from home, along with the appropriate fixings to set up a little coffee bar in our room. As we are very heavy coffee drinkers, this saved us quite a bit of money. We also brought sandwich materials for breakfast and dinner, a 24 pack of Coke, and an assortment of candy and small snacks. 

This year, I wonder if we're going to see an uptick in individually wrapped snack items (like Starbursts and mints that come with individual wrappers, or sandwiches with paper around them) versus "loose" items (M&Ms, bags of chips and the like), where you have something else between your hand (or someone else's hand, if snacks are being shared) and the food as an extra layer of protection from accidentally ingesting something that got on a hand between washings. 

Posted by brotherbock rfsullivan

rfsullivan wrote:
Last year, my group got a lot of mileage out of bring our own cold brew coffee from home, along with the appropriate fixings to set up a little coffee bar in our room. As we are very heavy coffee drinkers, this saved us quite a bit of money. We also brought sandwich materials for breakfast and dinner, a 24 pack of Coke, and an assortment of candy and small snacks. 
This year, I wonder if we're going to see an uptick in individually wrapped snack items (like Starbursts and mints that come with individual wrappers, or sandwiches with paper around them) versus "loose" items (M&Ms, bags of chips and the like), where you have something else between your hand (or someone else's hand, if snacks are being shared) and the food as an extra layer of protection from accidentally ingesting something that got on a hand between washings. 

Good point on the snacks. COVID is really helping us do a number on environmental issues--even more stuff in plastic :/

Posted by tinabear81

More plastic, yes. But on the other hand, Less fuel emissions because people aren't driving as much...probably less water usage because people seem to be showering less now that they aren't going out every day if one believes the memes.

Please, no one add a smell-0-vision feature to online meeting platforms.

Posted by brotherbock tinabear81

tinabear81 wrote:
More plastic, yes. But on the other hand, Less fuel emissions because people aren't driving as much...probably less water usage because people seem to be showering less now that they aren't going out every day if one believes the memes.
Please, no one add a smell-0-vision feature to online meeting platforms.

Fair point, although I'd be interested to see actual emissions data. The ramped up power usage from everyone online all hours of the day means higher output from power plants, which means increased emissions there--it would be interesting to see the numbers between that and reduction in driving. The stat that I've heard is something along the lines of 'Driving the average car every day for 40 years' = '15 minutes of a coal plant in operation'.

Posted by fethbone rfsullivan

rfsullivan wrote:
Last year, my group got a lot of mileage out of bring our own cold brew coffee from home, along with the appropriate fixings to set up a little coffee bar in our room. As we are very heavy coffee drinkers, this saved us quite a bit of money. We also brought sandwich materials for breakfast and dinner, a 24 pack of Coke, and an assortment of candy and small snacks. 
This year, I wonder if we're going to see an uptick in individually wrapped snack items (like Starbursts and mints that come with individual wrappers, or sandwiches with paper around them) versus "loose" items (M&Ms, bags of chips and the like), where you have something else between your hand (or someone else's hand, if snacks are being shared) and the food as an extra layer of protection from accidentally ingesting something that got on a hand between washings. 

YES, I can't believe I forgot bringing/sourcing your own coffee and soda as needed. If staying at a hotel, they will usually give you extra k-cups/coffee no-charge if you ask (and they have free coffee in the lobby, if you are not picky about your coffee), but with the hotels at capacity and very busy, not sure how many extra they would be willing or able to spare. My spouse and I are also heavy coffee drinkers and we bring k-cups and it saves a lot of time and money. Note that some of the Marriott properties have the Nespresso coffee makers and don't accommodate k-cups.

Posted by fethbone brotherbock

No, I meant that my budget will be limited, so I was originally planning (as I sometimes have to do) a year of bringing a lot of my own food. Sometimes I'm able to splurge more and just go to restaurants/food trucks. My post was saying that, even though my budget will be limited, I may be going to more restaurants anyway, to help put some money into food service people's pockets. (I worked food service in the past, I feel a sense of camaraderie.)But I appreciate the info on cheaper meals, and I agree that finding good food for good prices is a priority.


(I am assuming we are excluding conventional fast food from this discussion, as that's obviously the least expensive. Not that there's anything wrong with getting a Crave Case from White Castle at 1am....)

If you have the inclination, I would recommend checking out Amelia's bakery. It's about a mile from the ICC, but they have delicious, filling artisan breads that are between $4-7 for a good size loaf. Good for sandwiches, or just slap some (peanut) butter on it.

My favorite cheap sit-down meal is to get a vegetarian entree at PF Changs. It's like $11.50 and comes with rice, so I can usually get two meals out of it. Obviously this is predicated on your willingness to eat vegetables and deal with leftovers, though. A decent amount of lunch specials <$10 can be found at the some of the aforementioned places as well, but they usually seem to hover around $10-12.

Posted by tinabear81 brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
tinabear81 wrote:
More plastic, yes. But on the other hand, Less fuel emissions because people aren't driving as much...probably less water usage because people seem to be showering less now that they aren't going out every day if one believes the memes.
Please, no one add a smell-0-vision feature to online meeting platforms.

Fair point, although I'd be interested to see actual emissions data. The ramped up power usage from everyone online all hours of the day means higher output from power plants, which means increased emissions there--it would be interesting to see the numbers between that and reduction in driving. The stat that I've heard is something along the lines of 'Driving the average car every day for 40 years' = '15 minutes of a coal plant in operation'.
Coal plant maybe...but where I am it is nuclear...leaving aside the radioactive death rods that we will have to somehow shield and fire into the sun, I wonder what the emissions are compared to car emissions. Also, in an area with 9+million people 4.5 of whom drive more than 15 minutes every day, I wonder what the cumulative net gain/loss would be for coal plants

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