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what to serve a picky eater

  • g

I have offered to cook dinner for a friend in exchange for strapping a mattress to the top of his truck and moving it for me.

However, in his exact words, in response to the question, would you like salmon for dinner, he said: "i'm a simple guy!! but a simple guy who doesn't do seafood (unless you're talking crab rangoon, fried clam strips and tuna fish sandwiches!! those are pretty much the extent of my seafood liking but those are barely even seafood anyways!!"

i'm stuck here. what do i make him? hotdogs? sandwiches? i'm not going all out, but I'd still like to make something he'd like to eat.


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  1. t
    The Jeff Next Door

    Sounds like he just doesn't like seafood. *shrug* There are lots of other tasty dinners you could make -- hamburger with a special potato salad, or a chicken dish, or an italian pasta dish with a simple plate of antipasto.

    1. Come right out and ask him what he would like for dinner.

      1. Steak, baked potato and salad or as another poster suggested - ask him. Maybe ordering a pizza is what he'd like best.

        1. Call him and ask him what are his favorite dishes, pick the simplest ones that you cook well.
          He does not want to try anything new, and you don't
          want to serve him something he might not like.
          I'm sure a nice med. rare rib eye steak, lightly steamed veg. with butter and a nice baked potato with butter and sour cream, and garlic bread would not be amiss. I don't like dessert after a meal but many do. I'd make it something summery but easy like fresh strawberries crushed with sugar and refrigerated an hour before, real whip cream from a can or a good quality vanilla ice cream, and a piece of butter pound cake (Sarah Lee in a pinch) would all be great.

          1. Make him a "man's dinner" - meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots and peas or steamed green beans, garlic toast, mixed green salad, and either brownies or cherry pie for dessert. Serve dinner with a simple, full-bodied red wine (chianti?), but have chilled beer at the ready, just in case.

            1. A soup or salad to start. For the main, a nice rib-eye steak (he's probably had his fill of chicken), grilled to his preference, mashed potatoes and gravy/jus, buttered fresh green beans (not too crunchy, btw; most guys aren't eating them a la crudites for diet food), and PIE. Or really good corn on the cob if you don't mind the mess and he's willing to make the mess (corn on the cob, like lobster, is for really good friends and family....)

              Again, guys love PIE. Cake is a distant second. (At least as a default matter.)

              Offer him choice of beer, wine, or iced tea.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Karl S.
                Janet from Richmond

                Men do seem to prefer pie. I wonder why. I prefer cake to pie. My husband is a pie guy.

                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                  this has the makings for about 100 dirty jokes

                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    If there is pie available I will always choose it. If there is only cake I pass on dessert.

                    1. re: Candy
                      Janet from Richmond

                      I'll trade you my pie for your cake.

                    2. re: Janet from Richmond

                      We had a long thread on this a long time ago: there is a distinct gender gap on this choice.

                  2. Steak - Definately

                    1. Thanks for all of your quick responses. I DID ask him what he wanted for dinner after that initial response. Depending on the weather, it's either grill time or pasta time.

                      1. Grill inch thick loin pork chops instead of steak. Brine them a bit first for juciness and extra flavor.