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Last week I had dinner with a bunch of strangers. And it was awesome.

Grubwithus is a super cool idea I had been eyeing for a while and when a dinner at Beretta, one of my favorite restaurants in the city, popped up I had to try it out.

Straight from their site:

Grubwithus is a community where friends and future friends create and join group meals. Whether you want to get to know people from your neighborhood, you’re in a new city, or just want to meet like-minded folks, we regularly offer a variety of meals in major US cities.

Grubwithus meals are hosted at restaurants and typically have 6-10 people at each table. Each individual pays in advance through Grubwithus for a set menu that is served family style. Most meals are themed or hosted by a Grubwithus Group to help bring together interested and similar people as well as to guide initial conversation topics at the meal.

In addition to the regularly occurring Grubwithus curated meals outlined above, Grubwithus also allows users to create their own meals. User created meals are fully designed by the users and the logistics and coordination are handled by Grubwithus. These meals can be public or private: public meals can be viewed by the entire community and appear just like any other Grubwithus meal, while private ones — such as birthdays, bachelorette parties, and such — can only be seen by those who have been invited by the organizer.

Grubwithus strives to bring people together over food. We invite you to book a seat and join the “in real life” movement with us.

The whole concept is cool —  getting together with a group of people who have similar interests, enjoying a meal and maybe walking away with a couple new friends sounds like a good way to spend an evening.

Here was my experience:

  • I dragged along The Boyfriend because initially, I was a little nervous about going to dinner with a bunch of people I really didn’t know. Looking back, I totally could have gone on my own and rocked it.
  • The people were awesome. I don’t know if it was just this particular dinner, but I really got along with everyone. Everyone was smart, funny, social and easy-going.
  • We basically threw the theme to the dogs. Our theme was “Showtime” and apparently we were supposed to talk about Showtime shows and Television? We didn’t. I mean, we did for about five minutes, but that’s it.
  • Table size made a difference. We had a couple seasoned GWU veterans and they said they’ve been to dinners where the table was too big it ended up dividing into two tables. We had seven at our table and I think that was a perfect number — we all talked to each other!
  • I actually made some friends. I now have a few more people I follow on Twitter, and that I would totally go out with again. Success!
  • We got a ton of food. GWU took care of us for sure.

Overall, I think this idea is great. I wish I would have known about it (or it existed?) when I first moved to San Francisco and I didn’t know anyone. It’s a great way to meet people in a non-awkward scenario. Plus, GREAT FOOD.

I’d absolutely have dinner with strangers again.

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