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What do you eat the day of a Big Meal?

My SO and I are going out tonight (for SF hounds, to Aziza) and all the reviews I've read are touting that the portions are huge. I haven't "planned" for a big meal in a long time, and I don't fancy the idea of eating nibbles until 8:30 tonight. (I'm kind of thinking about going for a 3-mile run after work to work up an appetite.)

I'm just curious--what do YOU do to plan for a big meal?

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  1. I've had dinner @ Aziza, and to me the portions are pretty standard... but to answer your question about planning for a big meal:

    1. plan to do some doggie bagging?
    2. light breakfast, light lunch (ie. small soup & half salad)
    3. do not just nibble/snack all day, unless you want to only have a few bites of dinner and then feel too full to even try everything -- like when cooking all day, if you sample everything then you'll already be pretty full by the time you sit down to eat

    6 Replies
    1. re: S U

      Maybe it's just the tasting menu that has big portions?

      1. re: MuppetGrrl

        We're veering off topic, but...
        It's not that the portions at Aziza are big, it's that with the tasting menu you get five courses of standard sized portions so it adds up to a lot of food. If you do get the tasting menu (which I would recommend), and there are only two of you, get half of the basteeya to go. It reheats really well in the oven and makes a perfect breakfast the next day.

        With an 8:30 res, I'd eat a standard sized, late lunch. If I ate a light lunch I'd be nauseous and dizzy by the time 8:30 rolled around and unable to fully enjoy my meal. I find that fasting leaves me with less of an appetite than eating normal portions.

        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          Same here. Or I end up so hungry that I gorge on early portions and then am too full for the main course.

          Maybe I'll just do the running thing. That'll make me feel less guilty about filling up on savory meats and sauces, that's for sure. :)

          1. re: MuppetGrrl

            Just remember:

            "Bread is the silent killer of a great meal."

            I'm cribbing that from a food blogger whose name escapes me.

            1. re: Morton the Mousse

              For me, it's good butter. I can skip the bread, but if the butter's good... oh, sweet mama!

              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                Oh, I adamantly disagree. Although I didn't really touch the bread and butter before the tasting menu at Manresa. When you're given a series of amuses, who pays attention to the bread?!

                If I'm prepping for a large meal, I still eat normally during the day, although I may go a bit lighter on food. I never want to be dead starving before a big meal since I won't enjoy it as much. If anything, I'll just pace myself during the meal and have no qualms about taking leftovers home that will reheat ok.

      2. Rather than over due it at a late hour, I'd share an entree with DH or I'd plan to take 1/2 home. I find it difficult to sleep on a full stomach.

        1. If I know I'm going to overeat at dinner, I'll have a fairly light breakfast (coffee and an apple or doughnut, perhaps), and skip lunch. By the time dinner rolls around, I'm famished and ready.

          I'm trying not to do this any more, tho...I always feel guilty after I've made a glutton of myself, and it's not the healthiest eating pattern.

          1. For a late dinner that is going to be larger than usual, I eat my normal breakfast and lunch but eat them later. Breakfast at 9-9:30 rather than 8:00, lunch at 1 or 2 rather than 11-12.

            1. I wake my stomach up early, and get it ready. On most days I dont eat breakfast, but if I am going out somewhere good(crab,steak, etc). I eat breakfast, and lunch. THat gets my appetite going strong for the whole day.

              1. I eat nothing on the day of a big meal, no matter what time the feast will be. Thus I compensate in advance for being, inevitably, piggy.

                1. That's so funny that you asked this, because my husband planned to take me to my favorite restaurant today for lunch and let me know a couple of days ago. Now, I have a very boring job and I don't usually get out for lunch so you can imagine that I've been walking on air for the last couple of days, with a big grin on my face everytime I think about it! On the way there today, I told him that everytime before I go to a restaurant I'm really excited about and know about in advance, my stomach must get really excited because I get shaky, weak in the knees hungry everytime! So, I think part of it is mentally preparing yourself to be hungry... like think about how awesome that curried pumpkin soup with coconut-crusted scallop is going to taste! (Yep, that was part of my lunch today and it was fabulous!)

                  1. Wow, my metabolism wouldn't appreciate eating nothing at all. I get a headache if I don't eat within two hours of getting up. Last Sunday I was planning a nice dinner out so I had cottage cheese and toast for breakfast and tuna salad with a few crackers for lunch. Maybe an apple or a handful of pistachios later on.

                    1. The only other meal that day would be a can of Ultra Slimfast (or equivalent). :-)