Dining out at a restaurant can be problematic these days. Noise levels have grown, tables are stacked closer and closer together, and glass and hardwood are all the rage for decor, leaving even less cushioning or carpet behind for sound absorption. Layer hearing loss on top of all this, and dining out can be quite a challenge.
One of the big reasons many of us travel is for the food. We want to try those specialties that don't taste the same at home, not to mention those foods we can't even get at home -- think mangosteens in Southeast Asia, or a pint of Guinness in Ireland -- and, of course, we want to dine in local hangouts rather than tourist traps.