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What do you do when people want to order from non-chowish places?

I remember at one place where I worked, everybody LOVED Dominos. They always wanted to order the extravaganza (or whatever it's called) on thin crust because everybody was watching their carbs. Now, Dominos is really not my thing. However, not wanting to ruin the whole group dynamic, I just kept my mouth shut and ate my pizza. I never lied and said how wonderful it was. I just chose to keep quiet in order to be polite. Now what really killed me was that there was this very good pizza place (Nick's in Forest Hills for all you NYC people) which was closer than Dominos. However, everybody always wanted Dominos and thought of it as a real treat.

So what do you guys do in situations like these? Do you speak up if you're in the minority? Or do you just deal with it?

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  1. With a combination of a very strong personality and a reputation for knowing about restaurants etc for better or worse, I find that friends and coworkers often defer to my choices. This can be a double edged sword as if I steer people somewhere that is not to their taste, I must take responsibility.

    On the odd occasion where I don't manage to impose my evil will, I try to suck it up (literally) and not whinge too much, but this is hard for me as I view every meal as an opportunity for Chow-happiness and every bad meal as a wasted opp. So I speak up, sometimes get ignored and then try not to be too much of a dog in the manger. I am not going to be winning any awards for team playing though!

    4 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      I'm just like you grayelf. I have a strong personality too. My co-workers know I'm a bit of a food snob. Miss Needle once you mentioned Dominos I winced. But, that place holds a special place in my heart and here's why.

      Back in 94, my ex and I ordered Dominos. It was our first take out pizza in the "big" city. Anyways, I was 19 and was only used to small town pizza. We got it, I tasted it and was completely repulsed. Bad dough, sauce..everything. So bad that ever since that moment any time I saw or heard any one talk about Dominos my first thoughts are yuck, how can that place survive. Anyways, fast forward to 2005, a co-worker was raving about how great their pizza was. I mentioned not liking it but, said that was over 10 years ago, maybe I should give it another chance. I know of places that have changed their product maybe that was the case here. She went on and on about how great it was. She's also somewhat of a "snob" in her own right. Dresses in very expensive clothing, jewerly, etc. I assumed she was that way with food too. Soooo, that weekend Hubby and I order from Domino's. It arrives. I put it on the counter of the kitchen, open the box and smell. The smell is a revolting disgusting smell that I can't describe but will never forget. I immediately close the lid and say, " I'm not eating this" Okay, I always try. Always. But, I knew, I remembered. Smells bring back strong memories...this one was reminding me of '94. Hubby was mad! I'd never seen him like this. "You haven't even tired it! How can you say you don't like it." I snap. "Don't even talk to me about food. You are one of the most pickiest eaters I know!" (He's better now but, back then....annoying!! LOL)

      And that's when I had this moment. Dominos help me to understand

      I realized I am a picky eater. Sure I'll eat a lot of things people wouldn't even think of putting in their mouths but, I like it cooked a certain way. I have these expectations. At that moment I realized I was a food snob. As grayelf put it, "I view every meal as an opportunity for Chow-happiness and every bad meal as a wasted opp" Those are words I live by. Thank you for that quote!

      So back to your original question. I wouldn't eat it. I would enjoy lunch with them with my own brought/bought lunch. Pizza is one of my top food snobbish things. I can't stand bad pizza. I wouldn't talk about how bad Dominos is while their ordering or eating. I would just enjoy my "better" lunch with them :)

      1. re: livetocook

        LTC, you may use the quote at will, my pleasure. I've been a picky eater all my life but the pickiness has evolved from only eating chicken tacos for an entire 3 month stint in Mexico when I was 8 to preferring not to ingest certain foods because of texture (green peppers, raw bananas, go figure) or flavour (too much cumin and I'm not happy) or both (liver and onions -- ack ack ack, and the SO loves it!). I will choke down certain foods when required (wedding dinners tend to be a bit of a trial) but will really try to avoid eating things that don't meet my admittedly stringent standards. I can totally see the brining your own lunch option...

      2. re: grayelf

        Oh and as a side note. I've never had pizza in New York (it's one of my "must do" before I die) but, I can't believe they'd want Dominos.......gawd....ack...why in NYC...why?? LOL

        1. re: grayelf

          Hear, hear. I hate being a weight on social proceedings, but I'm the loose cannon in the extended friendship group. You want me to eat bad food? You're gonna hear about it. Life's too short.

          Except, of course, when it's the in-laws, who aren't always very discerning. Mustn't rock that particular boat.

        2. Oh man. This past December we had a ceremony for my Mom's sudden death the month before. It technically wasn't a funeral, but it was a time for all of us to gather and share memories in her honor. My sister was in charge of the food. She went to a year of culinary school and loves to cook. So, from day 1 she was in charge of food. Talked to me about what I wanted her to serve (it was basically my call since I was closest to our mom.) We talked roast beef and apps, an easy dessert. The night before the occasion, she calls me up and tells me she ordered the food. What? Ordered? Turns out she chose Famous Dave's BBQ. Are you kidding me? People are there to honor someone's memory and you want them sucking on ribs? Someone died. It isn't a backyard party! This was very offensive to me and I was very disappointed that THIS is what she came up with, after a month of planning. I worried that I was being stuck up, but my boyfriend who is very easy to please agreed with me.
          So, long story short, instead of making her feel like garbage, I just let it go. I wound up being late to my Mother's memorial because I had to go to Costco to buy platters of fruit, veggies, cookies, and a deli tray. People gobbled it up, too. I think they were happy that their only option after a long day of work and LA traffic on a Friday night wasn't cold BBQ and corn on the cob.

          I know this isn't exactly what you're asking... but the basic idea is, I had to let it go. It wasn't about the food but about the people. If you're the only one who has a problem, then it's hard. You can suggest other things, but if people are shut off to the idea... you need to decide if the fuss is worth it. I'd bring in menus of other take out/delivery options and try to entice them for next time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

            Azizeh: siblings will always do weird things (mine do). perhaps yours was freaked out by the situation. I know it's funny that growing up inthe same house we can have such different ideas.

            You were right to let it go, and do what you did, but still find a way to let it go.

          2. I let it go. Personal preference isn't a matter of right or wrong. I am also thrilled whenever someone else is in charge as I tend to be the "cruise director" for our friends and family. I am so appreciative of not being in charge, not being the one who has to remember who likes what (and doesn't like what), etc.

            1. I feel your pain Miss Needle. Dominos sucks....

              I will always try to gently suggest alternatives, and try to put on a hard sell with mouthwatering descriptions of food. I also offer to organize, and if no one voices opinions, I can just do as I wish! Sometimes I will even resort to sneaky techniques like bringing in food from my preferred place, and encouraging others to try it in an attempt to woo them to my point of view. But if all my little ploys don't work, I suck it up. The occasional sucky meal is probably good for my semi-mythical diet anyhow.

              3 Replies
              1. re: moh

                I'll usually pull the "diet" out of the bag as well. I consider bad food to be wasted calories- especially whan they are fatty and not good.

                Now, I'll happily enjoy that beautiful beurre blanc, that rich chocolate torte, but I woun't touch a twinkie with a 10 foot pole- I'm on a diet, you know. :p

                1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                  C and C, I hear you loud and clear! If I'm going to ingest fatty calories, it's going to be Callebaut chocolate, not convenience store candy bar. I not only want it to taste good but to have quality ingredients. Just another way of thinking of the body as a temple, perhaps? :-)

                  1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                    Haha! I'm the same way. Mind you I really DO watch what I eat, a lot. I'd be 300 pounds if I let things get out of hand. If I'm gonna be bad (cheat days are usually Saturday) it's gotta be good.

                2. when co-workers want to order from the likes of Chipotle, or other places with food I consider boardering on inedible, or want to go to lunch at Cheesecake Factory, Fridays, etc. I just go with the flow, and order something I can possibly stomach without making myself ill. Its just on occasional sacrifice to not stick out as a food snob, or trouble maker.