I always find it funny when someone asks me if I’m a foodie. I guess I am, I love eating both at home and out. It doesn’t matter how close or far away, how casual or fancy the place is, food trucks are good too as far as I’m concerned. The only criteria I insist on, no matter the price of the meal, is that the food has got to be good.
I do love McDonald’s French Fries, a double-double protein style from In-n-Out Burger all the way to my own personal must-have – my monthly visit to Maude in Beverly Hills for their phenomenal prix-fixe dinners. I will not however spend money, no matter how inexpensive or popular a place is, unless the food is good.
Having said all of that, except for the prix-fixe dinners, my friends always defer to me when we are ordering our meal. That is not to say that I do not ask everyone if there is a dish on the menu that looks good to them or, if they’ve been to the place before, if there’s something that they love in particular.
I absolutely do ask those questions. You have to consider who is with you and what you know about their eating habits – you know – what they like to eat and if they’re willing to stretch their comfort zone a little. I have my limits on the stretching – I’m all about the texture so I just can’t do some things – chicken wings for one as I don’t like what I refer to as “snappy” things. I’ve acquired a taste for octopus but I’ve discovered it has to be grilled which dries it out a bit and not poached – slimey!
I’m completely out of the habit of ordering my own appetizer and entrée. I just don’t do it anymore – it’s not fun! We are always the group next to you that orders several dishes “for the table” and it looks like we have ordered way too much food (sometimes it’s true) but it’s really so that we can all share and taste multiple items from the chef.
My friends tell me that I’m the best at ordering a meal and I say that it’s a trick to know how to order around a menu. I’ll let you in on my secret.
I find that the appetizers on a menu tend to be more interesting than the entrées so I will generally order a few of those, then at least one from the salad section (depending on the group size this may go to 2-3), at least one side vegetable and, again depending on the group size, a couple of entrées that we all share. Try not to repeat items from the appetizers to the entrées – if the appetizer has crab then don’t order a crab entrée.
If you’ve done this correctly everyone has tasted multiple dishes, there’s not too much left on the table and everyone has room to share a couple of desserts. I’m one of those that a spoonful or two of something sweet is enough for me. Try it the next time you’re out, it works with just one friend too. Just sayin’.