Lament: All my friends are food wimps!! (long)
My friends and husband are all food wimps -- or at least, so not chowhounds. It's so frustrating! The latest manifestation of this is a recent trip to Chinatown.
After having lived in NYC for 16 years, I've now been out in Stamford, CT for the last 13 yrs with hubby and young child. So I don't get into the City anywhere near as much as I'd like -- so a trip to Chinatown is an event. What's more, no kid this time, and it wasn't for dim sum -- if it were, I'd know exactly where to go and what to get.
So, I did my research and picked my top eight places that I wanted to check out. I'd envisioned strolling around, looking at this place and that, then deciding on which to try. Instead my group decided that they wanted to "just get there already!" (To be fair, my 16-yr old niece wasn't feeling well.) So, we hastily picked the closest place to where we were (Ping's) and settled in.
OK, so we were six of us. I assumed we'd pour over the menu, find the interesting, the unusual, and order family-style. Wrong. Each decided to pick "their" dish, and you know what they-all picked? Shrimp with lobster sauce. General Tsao's Chicken. Mixed seafood in white sauce. OOooohh!! what a waste! I was torn between the duck's tongue (choice of styles, either fried or sauteed, or frog's legs two ways, or minced squap with pine nuts in lettuce leaves (not so unusual but usually delicious). But I couldn't be responsible for eating three or four dishes by myself! I did end up ordering two dishes and taking home leftovers. But whenever I want to do chowhound-ish things, my husband thinks it's a waste of time and I don't have the chowhound-ish friends! Arrrrgggh!
I feel your pain.
I recently returned from a road trip to the Southwest with a good friend from London. I've spent a lot of time with him, but this was our first long road trip together. I'd researched, saved, and printed all sorts of reviews and recommendations, high end to low, for the cities and towns we'd be in or passing through. I must have had at least a dozen pages, printed in small type, organized by route.
My friend is no chow slouch. He's an experienced world traveler, likes to try new things, likes perusing food markets, and is quite a fine cook when he chooses to bother. But except for the rare occasions when I begged and pleaded (okay, nagged!), when he wanted to eat he wanted to eat RIGHT NOW! He didn't want to drive back into town (or out of town if we were in), he didn't want to drive another 20 minutes, he didn't want to go off-route if there was anything at all on route.
We had a few good meals on that trip. I had been hoping to have more. I put it in the que sera, sera category. Not much to be done about it.
A good friend of mine, serious chowhound, dates a lot. More often than not, one date. If the date isn't interested in food, bye-bye. He says life is too short. He's never going to have a long-term relationship with someone who doesn't care about food so why start.
But for those of us who have already started . . . ?
I disagree with your friend. Given the choice between a good, kind intelligent woman who loves me and a selfish egotistical genius chef who could whip up a meal that would make Michelin decide to award four stars...it's a no brainer. Though I would try to get the chef to cook me dinner.
I've been in this situation many times and you can't really win. Either you enjoy the company of your friends or you make new friends who have the same sense of adventure as you. I'm very lucky in that my husband will eat anything - once! We love to explore new cuisines and plan our vacations or weekend trips with that in mind. But both his family and mine are very conservative so family get-togethers are extremely dull eating affairs, but we enjoy their conversation and wit so it's OK.
My first, instinctive reaction was, if this is the only problem in her marriage she is so lucky. But then I realized, communication problems are not always trivial: you wouldn't have posted here if you were able to explain this to your husband. It's worth another try. If not,
1. From what little I know about Stamford, it has many cultured, sophisticated people and no good Chinese restaurants. I bet there are tons of people who would want to join in an organized trip to Chinatown. Perhaps a post on your local board could find some. And if you do that, try to get the paper take out menus in advance so you can plan what to order before you leave Stamford.
2. I bet there are things your husband would love to do in New York that you would find totally boring. Perhaps a trade could be arranged? "Of course I'll go with you to that show if you take me to Chinatown again..." And try to get the paper takeout menu in advance so you and he can agree on what to order before you leave for the city.