When you're dining out, do you share your food with your companion? If there's something tasty on his or her plate do you want to have a taste? There are many who always share restaurant food. But for some, sharing is a no-no.

East Contra Costans fall into both those categories. Circumstances dictate. It depends on whether we're dining with family, friends, or just acquaintances. It also depends on the kind of food served and the size of the portions.

Antioch's Jeff Goodman really likes sharing. "Food is to be enjoyed as well as for nourishment. In a nice restaurant it's always good to sample what looks attractive on others plates," he said. "As for people who won't share, I avoid eating with them."

Lisa Norelli of Oakley said sharing allows for a wider variety of menu choices. "It makes the meal less restrictive. The only time I'm against it is when there's a special dish at a fine restaurant. I'll order it and want it all for myself."

Mike Matheny of Antioch is on the fence. "I don't particularly like sharing but maybe a bite or two is OK," he said. "It all depends on who I'm with. If it's only an acquaintance, sharing is out. But I will do it if I'm with long-term friends. Of course, if the meal is Chinese or Italian, there's apt to be more sharing."

Mel Weinstein of Antioch is a very particular sharer. "I'm sensitive to health issues. I don't want anything from someone else's plate if their fork or spoon has been into it. Even in a Chinese restaurant, it's unappetizing. I order what I want to eat and don't care what others are eating," she said.

Oakley's Aaron Bird also has restrictions. "I never share soup. But, in a good restaurant with expensive dishes it's OK to share a bite," he said. "In a fast food joint the food is cheap and there's no need to share. Except when I'm out with the guys we always share the french fries."

Sue Navilhon of Brentwood is a part-time sharer. "My husband doesn't share, so it's no when I'm with him. But I always share with my daughter," she said. "Women are more into sharing than men. We are more weight-conscious because restaurant food is loaded with calories and portions are so large."

"It's the men who share more than women," countered Christine Strozier of Oakley. "Men eat bigger meals and always seem to welcome eating leftovers on other plates. There is one thing we always share. It's appetizers that come on a single plate."

Sue Andrews of Brentwood said sharing depends on closeness and the level of friendship. "I share only with my husband and close friends. Variety is fine, especially when the served portions are so large."

Nancy Wright of Antioch definitely is a no-sharer. "I order what I want and let others do the same. It's a personal thing," she said. "I never have any interest in tasting what others have. With me it's no sharing, even in a Chinese restaurant."

Contact Ed Arnow at BrentwoodBuzz@aol.com.

Brentwood's Sylvina Goff is into family-style dining, which is built on sharing. "When I'm with my hubby in some restaurants we order foods we both like in order to share," she said. "Sometimes I'm reluctant if it's a special dish I love. On the other hand I love chocolate and always share so I won't eat it all."

Contact Ed Arnow at BrentwoodBuzz@aol.com.