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Jan 14, 2002 09:37 AM

what do you say

  • p

What do you say when you've gone to a restaurant and everyone seems to like it but you think its fair and don't want to start up with others.
I've been taking a lot of ribbing lately because I say the place was o.k. and my family have come to learn that I mean its just fair and I would not hurry back.

By now the whole family is beginning to say the place was o.k. Of course this does create the problem that if a place is really o.k. everyone now thinks I don't like it.

Do the rest of you use a phrase to keep peace and not start disagreements. Or is the disagreement important and you go from there.

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  1. My parents and I have different opinions about what is good. The scales we use are vastly different - we will rarely agree. So I do say "fine" - and they leave it at that. I figure when I'm there I'm going to eat where they want sometimes, and when they are here they are going to eat where I want sometimes, and we deal :) They don't take me to the places I REALLY don't want to go to, and likewise I don't drag them to places they really wouldn't appreciate.

    But I'm not sure I understand the depth of the problem you are having. Why is it so important that you think the places are as good as everyone else does? Why is it that expressing your opinion "starts up" a disagreement/discussion? Why are they pushing you so much that you feel you can't express your true opinion? What else is going on here?

    Are they trying to find places you would LOVE LOVE LOVE, or just places that are fine to go to now and again, or...? Are they seeking your approval through food?

    3 Replies
    1. re: leek

      I had all the same questions regarding the nature of this "problem."

      With foodie friends spirited debate over the merits of a place is part of the point. (As are hyperbolic and insulting put-downs of those who disagree.) Family is something else. And, unless you have a multi-generational foodie family, chances are there will be real differences in what seems like good eats.

      My mother is a wonderful cook, but her taste was formed in the 50s and 60s with recipes from the Times. Things tend to be fairly elegant and rather lightly seasoned. Agressive flavors, garlic, chilis, were seen as a bit vulgar. The kinds of rustic, "peasant" foods that are so in now were nowhere to be seen.
      Consequently we love very different restaurants. When I find one of her favorites to be a bit bland and uninteresting, I don't bother to say so because I know she's responding to the whole experience: service was attentive and friendly, the room was pretty and quiet, etc. It's a different set of priorities.

      1. re: leek

        After twenty some years, my husband now has me trained to believe that "fine" is something entirely different than just ok, so when he says you look fine or it tastes fine I don't get bent out of shape. Think...fine wine...fine cheese...fine chocolate...fine art.

        Saying fair or fine or ok and then being taken back when you wouldn't go on your own could be a problem. How was ok, but nothing special...or it was ok but I don't know that I'd rush back...

        1. re: annieb

          You know that would work and of course stop the teasing. thanks.