WFD meta discussion

Dear friends and contributors, I want to re-raise a question that was asked a couple of years ago and get your weigh-in. I would like if the WFD threads, being under the cooking compartment of HO, could focus on what we’ve cooked, and the inspiration - or recipes - we provide each other. And to relegate the restaurant reviews to the regional boards. Perhaps with a quick mention in WFD, and a link.

My reasoning is this: I go to WFD to get ideas, and it’s relatively easy when I see something interesting to go to that person and ask about an ingredient, a recipe, a technique. If you write about your dinner in a resto, unless I’m traveling, I’m not going to that place. If I am traveling, I can easily go to the regional board and look at your reviews there, and even ask the regional folks for additional suggestions. The regional boards - at least some - get very little traffic. Up here in PNW, we have a new post maybe 2-3x/yr! Those boards could use more love. And my 2cents (YMMV!) is that your review is much more helpful and informative to your geographic neighbors. Anyway, shall we have a discussion? If it’s helpful to actually create some metrics around this, why don’t you include with your feelings a thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs sideways re restaurant reviews in WFD threads. Thank you!! Sasha


I’m not a long-standing member, but I agree with you that the purpose of WFD seems to be “What did you make”, and that restaurant food should be somewhere else. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a review or a simple report or picture - I’d like to exclude restaurant food, not just restaurant reviews. (I would prefer to INclude “My friend who isn’t a professional made this and brought me some” - if your friend is a pro then IMO it’s restaurant food.)


I like this idea too; as much as I love seeing the beautiful restaurant meals, that aren’t necessarily reviews, I think it would make sense to have two WFD threads - one for home cooking, and one for restaurant, take out, or market procured meals. That would make it easier to go to the monthly home cooking thread to get ideas, yet still be able to give posters the ability to share their wonderful dinners out. It would make it faster to search past monthly threads too.

I also agree that the regional boards need to see more love in many places. I’ll post resto meals up here in PNW accordingly, if only a very few are interested. Although like everyone else, we’ve taken a big hit during Covid times, we have a pretty vibrant food scene way up here! We need to share with others…


You are going to hurt someone’s feelings by doing this. Worth it?


Respectfully, I don’t think it’s intended that way at all, and it at least bears a discussion. If others don’t like it, then the status quo will be resumed, I think. Not for me to say.

And I do love seeing the shared restaurant meals as stated above! Not everyone cooks or eats at home, that I know. For others it’s a mix, and we’re all different. And it’s all good!

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What you made for dinner vs. what you ate for dinner.

I know this question was raised before. WFD is not the only place this specific difference is posted. For example, the annual baking thread also contains home baked vs purchased examples.

Whatever majority decision you reach, I’m all for clarity. In other words, if you are posting about a wonderful dining experience, baked good you bought, cocktail you enjoyed at the bar, etc just share you didn’t prepare it.

Helping a fellow HO better understand that other boards exist. It might not be crystal clear to everyone. The threads with the most views tend to attract the most postings and where members congregate. I know my own HO reading habits are not the same as my posting habits…and it takes time.


There’s a person who can’t bear posting restaurant meals in a different thread? Unless it’s you, I don’t believe you.

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The difference being most of us don’t cruise the regional boards beyond our own.
That means a lot smaller audience for interesting posts from interesting folks.

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Sasha has asked for a discussion on this topic, why challenge someone’s opinion? Please feel free to speak your mind on the topic, but please don’t challenge others for theirs. That defeats the purpose of having a discussion if people are going to feel shamed for sharing their thoughts.


Yes! I also feel some responsibility to post regionally. There are lots of good restaurants in Bellingham, even if no one ever comes to visit! They do all move here though, from the million local facebook posts I see asking for advice on neighborhoods, schools, and so on.

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I am really hoping not. No one is telling anyone to leave, or to not post. The suggestion, and one requesting a discussion only, is whether to put things into categories or lump them all together. Different strokes for different folks, to be sure, but we’re all readers and contributors. Everyone should have a voice.


But isn’t that the point bbqboy? If I’m looking for dinner inspiration, I look to the WFD board. If I’m looking for the next great place to try on my vacation to [ x place], x regional board is where I’ll look. And the more active regional boards will have lots of useful information for the folks that live there (this resto has closed, this one has changed ownership, this one had the best service I’ve experienced this year, this one is covid cautious) that the rest of us don’t find relevant.


The first time this question was discussed the question of a meal that consisted of both homemade and store bought foods came up.
For instance, I made the roasted chicken but purchased the sides and the dessert was made by someone else (like a neighbor).

What type of meal prep constitutes WFD? Only a meal 100% purchased doesn’t belong on the WFD threads? I’m not sure if this distinction was ever answered.


I don’t participate in the WFD thread, but I check it out on a daily basis to see all the great photos and ideas. There’s only two posters that I can think of who fit your criteria. So what’s the big deal? Sounds like you have a problem with them more than anything else.


Final thoughts, whatever is decided I hope it doesn’t change the lively discussion that results from posting within the WFD threads. The threads serve all of us (ok, in diff ways) but if posting stifles the sidebar comments that develop every day there is a loss of sharing details, laughs and food memories which is what makes armchair discussions special and unique to this growing, international food forum…


This exact discussion happened a while back - pre-pandemic maybe? Then, as now, I’d rather skew inclusive than draw unnecessary lines that exclude some.

To me, we discuss what’s for dinner, irrespective of whether we cooked it or someone else did - whether that someone is a partner/spouse/child/friend/parent/other family or restaurant/chef/caterer.

WFD serves a different purpose for everyone. Some enjoy the discussion. Others use the thread for ideas. For me, it’s both - but I get ideas from home meals as much as I do from restaurant dishes.

If a post isn’t what you want from WFD, why not just scroll down and move onto another? There’s room for everyone that way.

(I agree that a cross-post to a regional board would be helpful. But I don’t think regional boards are quiet because WFD folks aren’t populating them - even the NYC board is quiet at the best of times.)


I intended my comment as essentially what you’re saying to me: claiming that “someone else” will have their feelings hurt is IMO not relevant. Trying to guess other people’s feelings is much harder than that, and claiming to speak for others when they’re welcome to speak for themselves is questionable. If the “someone” whose feelings really will be hurt actually says something, I’m listening respectfully.

Tl;dr: I’m not trying to stifle discussion, but I am trying to stifle pseudo-discussion based on guessing others’ feelings.

I’m not in favour of draconian or picky regulations. IMO having made the main dish yourself is enough. Or if there’s no main dish but a number of smaller items, that you made the majority of them. Or your friends or neighbours did. Just not a mostly professionally prepared meal, because there’s already lots of space for restaurant meals and restaurant reviews.

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I couldn’t agree more. I like hearing about the pets, the kids, the travels, this and that. And also, while I acknowledge your point that certain things will be in the grey area, honestly, I think that most things are pretty clearly “I made this” or “I didn’t.” If you bought a rotisserie and used it in an interesting way, the chicken is it’s own ingredient. At least in my book. If you grabbed a chicken and a salad in a bag, that’s your dinner, but it isn’t what you cooked.

Yes, this.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold