There. Now you're thinking about food.
There's a memory hole I'm trying to fill: yesterday I was thinking back to the sorts of restaurants and cafés I ate in when I lived elsewhere — the first Portland house I lived in near SE 50th and Hawthorne, my three years in Hermiston in northeastern Oregon, my four years at college in Eugene — and I had trouble remembering. Too long ago to have receipts to remind me; mentally retracing my steps only helped some. I KNOW I ATE OUT; I didn't make all my meals, or get them all from U of O's cafeterias, and eating out is one of my relatively few indulgences. I don't have to remember all the fast food I ate; I don't turn up my nose at McDonalds, Popeyes or Del Taco (though I have gone almost two years with no Taco Bell), but that's not the point of why I'm looking back.
This is probably a sign that I usually didn't become a regular at any particular restaurants or cafés; that I went around to this place and that place, trying to sample. If I did become a regular back then, it was more likely at a non-restaurant: Campus Sub Shop, the mainly take-out/delivery place on Alder east of my college campus; the then-still-running pharmacy fountain on the same block as the offices of the Hermiston Herald where I got chocolate Cokes; the Real Taste of India food cart, in Portland's oldest pod at SW 5th and Stark, where I often ate when working at Vesta (2001-2004); the cart-turned-brick and mortar Big-Ass Sandwiches, from 2009 on. Nowadays I do have my regular places, like Beulahland and Space Monkey Coffee (a few blocks from this house, and also serving sandwiches and salads); a place I was a regular at, the downtown burger joint All Way on SW Broadway, sadly closed down last year, so I can't be a regular there no more. (It's now a Japanese-Thai place, and totally remodeled.) I'm still a semi-regular at the 24-hour café Southeast Grind, even though it's no longer within walking distance (it was when I lived in Portland's Brooklyn neighborhood). I would've become a regular at the food cart Huong's near the Galleria downtown, were I still working near it.
I like being a regular. I hope to be a good, well-liked regular, not having staffers all "oh crap, it's him again." (TIP YOUR WAITSTAFF, PEOPLE.) And I'll do better at finding places worth being a regular at.