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Do you eat this way ... appetizer with entree simultaneously?

Any of you chowhounds out there ever insist a restaurant serve you the appetizer simultaneously with the entree, so that for example you can sip minestrone soup in between spoonfuls of pasta?

Or are you more traditional and prefer to have the appetizer first, dust it off, and then move on to the entree?

I ask because it seems with the prevalence of tapas and other small dish type restaurant (esp. wine bars) there really is no clear demarcation between a first course versus a second one, and most meals are better enjoyed with all the items together.

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  1. I prefer my appetizer first. I also prefer that none of my courses overlap. I don't want to get my entree while I'm still eating my salad/soup, etc. If I'm at at finer restaurant I want the whole dining experience and I prefer it at a more leisurely pace. I do however understand that the restaurant staff deal with all types of customers so I tend to let the staff know when I place my order.

    1. Unless I'm doing small plate dining, I want things one at a time. I don't like the table to get too cluttered--I'm clumsy enough as it is.

      1. I prefer one course at a time, unless I'm eating tapas. It really irks me when I'm still eating my salad or finishing an appetizer and the waiter arrives with my entree, forcing me to to fumble around to make room on the table.

        1. I think I prefer my appetizer first, but you know what really irks me... when I order soup and a salad and I get one or the other first!! If I order soup and salad, I want them at the same time... I ordered soup and salad because I wanted the best of both worlds! (And usually the bread comes with the salad, which hello, totally doesn't make sense! The bread is for dipping in the soup- duh! ;-) Usually I just tell them, but sometimes I forget.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Katie Nell

            OMG when I read the OP, it immediately made me think of this situation, which I absolutely HATE. Hello, everyone knows soup and salad should be brought together. This is especially so if I order the cup of soup and small sized salad; clearly, I did not intend either one, alone, to be my entree.

          2. Unless I'm eating tapas or dim sum or having a couple of appetizers instead of an entree, I want things in the traditional order. For tapas or dim sum, I still don't want everything at once. I'll order as I eat or if doing a tasting menu, I expect that dishes will come out one or two at a time so that they can each be appreciated. And I hate being hurried along (or feeling hurried along) by more food arriving too soon.

            1. I like one at a time, I hate it when my food isn't HOT.

              1. Appetizer first, thank you. When I'm in a finer restaurant, it's usually a non-issue. The only thing I may want to hang on to for when my entree comes is my salad (if there happens to be any left over). That's about it.

                1. I want my courses one at a time, with one gone before the other one comes. However, if I order a drink, I want that before anything comes. I was in New York a few months ago at Bobby Flay's new restarant (notice I can't be bothered to remember the name) anyway they brought my appetizer almost before I got my napkin onto my lap and before they brought our drinks!! They tried to deliver it 4 times before it finally sunk in - drink - then appetizer - then entree - the entree's appeared while the appetizers were still there. I think we could have eaten in 15 minutes if we had wanted to. I won't be going back. Given the bill was around $225 that would have been about $13.00 per minute.

                  1. Absolutely in sequence. As one poster above pointed out, I want my food hot (or cold, as the case may be), not sitting around getting tepid while I finish something else. Also, my different courses will usually have radically different flavors or temperatures, and I want to fully savor one before moving onto the next. I no more want an appetizer served with an entree than I would a dessert served as a side dish.

                    1. Well, I guess I'll have to throw in the dissenting opinion here ;-) I like to keep my salad. ONLY the salad. I just plain like to nibble on my salad while I'm picking through my main course. I guess because after I'm done eating all the delicious appetizers, first, second, third course ... I'M FULL!!!!

                      Maybe because I am a REALLY SLOW eater. Everyone else at the table has scarfed up their appetizer, soup and salad, and I like to savor every morsel.

                      I'm sure it's "tacky" by chowhound standards, BUT ... leave my stuff alone!! When I'm done, I'll let you know!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: BabyBee

                        I also love to keep the salad. In fact, one of my favorite meals anywhere is a mixed greens salad and an order of crab cakes (usually offered as an app). A problem for traditional sequencing, I suppose, if my Hub is ordering a more traditional meal. But what the heck - we're not Continental royalty!

                        I tell the server when I would like the courses (upon ordering, i.e., I'll have my salad and crab cakes at the same time as my husband's steak, thank you). I, like you BabyBee, am a slower eater, and I have no qualms telling a server to "leave that, please, I'm still eating it."

                        I'm probably tacky, too, but I think if we are buying food from a resto, we should be able to eat it in the order we choose.

                        That said, I have been at some pretty high-brow, perfect-service, "let-someone-put-your-napkin-where-they-want-it" sorts of affairs in Russia and Europe, and in those cases, I just go with the flow.If they want to take my salad, they may.

                        At the local watering-hole, no way.

                        1. re: BabyBee

                          I like my appetizer first, but if it's a salad I too would like to be able to hang onto it to munch throughout the meal as a palate cleanser. Also, if I eat the whole salad first, there might not be room for everything else later. But at the same time, if I only eat a little of my salad and let them take it away I might regret it later.

                        2. Babybee, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I, too, am a slow eater and always the last one to finish. I want my salad all through dinner until the last bite is gone, usually along with the last bite of the entrée. And almost always, I don't want dessert.

                          1. I am sequential and DW is circular. Yet we both like a leisurely sequential dinner. Apps then entree then dessert. Salad can be a pre- or post-entree event, normally dictated bythe culture we are eating.

                            Not a big fan of a self-contained buffet where you eat a little of this and a little of that.

                            1. I do not want my entree at the same time as my appetizer - in fact I don't want it within ten minutes of my appetizer. I go to a restaurant to, theoretically, enjoy and digest someone else's cooking, talk, drink wine and relax, not to gobble down three courses in half an hour. (no wonder antacid sells so well!) The situation in local Mexican restaurants in particular is so bad that I will now only order the appetizer up front. Once that's been served I'll order the entree.
                              And leave my salad plate alone - and stop trying to top up my wine glass to the brim!
                              The only restaurant in the NOVA area where I've found perfect service and pacing has been Maestro.