Edward Winskill wrote:
Vance's "in-between" "social filler" is much of his best stuff. Unimaginable without it; faraway inns, peculating tavern-keepers, cutpurse caravan companions, and a thousand others.....

I enjoy his aside mentionings of details, like charmingly handpainted pottery (in Star King). As long as there is beauty and poetry to it, I find it worthwhile. And that can include foods and drink too. I wouldn't call those parts "filler". 

"Filler", I think, is when the writing takes worldly concerns too seriously, and believes it has to harrow its way through such longwinding proceedings to make the story meaningful.

Vogt and Vance are actually pretty similar in outlook, when it comes to the frustrations of overcoming social and material obstacles, and in the humorous satisfaction of outwitting scoundrels. But Vance is more refined and brilliant at this. On the other hand, Vogt is better at presenting stunning futuristic visions. Vance didn't like to define himself as a science fiction writer, and I finally admit (after much previous denying) that I don't believe he was - he used space and distant planets as a superficial backdrop for his culturally varied, really basically Earth-oriented, fantastic stories. But overall it mostly does not concern genuine science fiction ideas. He seemed to have a laidback curiosity for science - being foremost a great fantasist and artist.