There is one common fear within our society when we go out to eat and that is… going out to eat ALONE.

When you are traveling for business you might find yourself ordering-in a pizza to your hotel, taking advantage of room service or grabbing take-out. Why resort to a styrofoam box when there are so many great restaurants surrounding you? Break free from the confines of your suite and treat yourself to a meal, party of one.

In honor of Solo Diners Eat Out Week (Feb 1-7th) the Dublin CVB has some tips on how to be a solo diner whether you’re traveling alone, single, divorced, widowed, those whose spouses are away (or those who want to get away from their spouse.) There are a few tricks to make yourself feel comfortable in an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

1. Eat at the bar. This doesn’t mean you have to order a drink, but you can chit chat with the bartender or get a good view of a television screen to keep you entertained. It's also easier to strike up a conversation with someone sitting at the bar stool over instead of a whole table over.

2. Carry a book, journal or magazine. In between savory bites of your steak, skim some reading material. You’ll get caught up on news and have talking points for when you do have company. We suggest the new 2011 Dublin Visitor & Event Planning Guide that's chock-full of things you can do during your stay in Dublin.

3. Order appetizers for your meal. They are usually cheaper than a full meal and just as satisfying. The Columbus-based Max & Erma’s Restaurant recently unveiled their new “Wings Done Just Right” in flavors like Cannonball BBQ or Sweet Chili. Pair it with their new “Horseradish Cheddar Sliders,” three mini-burgers piled high with toppings. Best of all, there’s no sharing!

The Dublin Max & Erma’s conveniently neighbors four of our hotels and has been a hometown favorite for over 35 years.

Insider tip: Max & Erma's Happy Hour is Monday - Friday from 4-7 p.m. and includes: $3 off select appetizers, $2 off draft beer, $1 off liquor/wine.

So save some money, get out and explore at least one of our 365 Dublin area-restaurants.

-Post by Allison