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.