Where a bunch of hungry Oregonians come together to explore the good, the bad and the ugly of Portland’s dining scene.Why do people join restaurant groups? For some people, it’s that they enjoy going to restaurants, but that their social circle doesn’t afford them the opportunities to fulfill their desire to dine out regularly. For other people, joining a restaurant group is a relatively non-scary way to meet new people. Another group of individuals join dining groups to widen their knowledge of local restaurants and sample diverse cuisines. And lastly, those truly perceptive people join a restaurant group because deep down they know activities like this have the potential to be just plain fun.We have people from all of these categories in Restaurant Roulette. Since the group’s beginning, with three people at the first dinner in July of 2006, Restaurant Roulette has grown into a stable but always changing group of friends who meet every three weeks to experience the variety of Portland’s dining scene, the spontaneity of group conversation, and the camaraderie that comes from new eating and drinking adventures. An added bonus: learning all sorts of things about people you didn’t even know a day ago, and hearing discussions on topics you never thought that you would hear discussed in public, and in polite conversation, before (these are always the most intriguing dinners!)Who are the members of Restaurant Roulette? The age span is from people in their 20s to people in their 70s. When food is the common denominator, age doesn’t seem to matter, and anyone from 18 to 100 is welcome to join us. The “regulars” make up a wide range of professions, from artists to salespeople, physicians, secretaries, computer nerds, teachers, defense contractors,  emergency service workers, even social workers, all rub elbows successfully in Restaurant Roulette. They are singles, couples, married people, and even parents and their grown children. They have lived in interesting places like South America, New Zealand, Amsterdam, China and Canada, and have eventually migrated to Portland from places like Massachusetts, Florida, New Hampshire, Texas, Michigan, California, New York, West Virginia, and Washington State. There are even some native Oregonians! The common factor? Interest in exploring Portland’s burgeoning restaurant scene. Restaurant Roulette gathers every month, with a special event thrown in now and then at other times. You basically just RSVP for any dinner you are interested in. The only rules of Restaurant Roulette are that you RSVP by the listed time, you hopefully show up to claim your reservation, and you pay your share of the bill and tip. So far, the dinners have had between 3 and 14 people, the average being 8-12. Some of the restaurants are expensive, some moderate, and occasionally a cheaper gem turns up as well. Most of the restaurants would be classified as “fine dining”. A wide range of cuisines is selected, and the locations rotate all over town.  Suggestions are solicited, but all scheduling and selection is done by one person. Reviews of the dinners by multiple people is heartily encouraged, and at least one review of each dinner is posted on this blog.

Sound like fun? It is, that’s why we have a large group of rotating regulars. To be included in the festivities, email: huperson13@earthlink.net, or for a more leisurely response, select the “contact us” option on our home page..

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