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Aug 7, 2008 08:44 PM

"What is wrong with you... have you no tastebuds?"

Have you ever wanted to say that to a dining companion? You take them to an incredible restaurant, and they get upset because there are no "burgers or chicken tenders"

I took a good friend out to an incredible indian food restaurant... and she whined and complained the entire meal about everything... she was upset there was no "real food"
and made my entire lunch feel like a bad episode of reality TV.

Do you know of someone like this? Who no matter what, unless it is a burger, chicken fingers, or a cheap taco... they refuse to eat it.

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  1. My little brother. Granted, he's nine. But still. His visit with my dad was stressful, he didn't want eat anything but plain cheese pizza or chicken nuggets.

    That quality in an adult is just horrible.

    1 Reply
    1. re: manraysky

      Don't despair. My son was that bad and worse. He wouldn't even eat pizza because different foods touched each other. He once threw up because I insisted that he eat one green bean.

      He grew up and became a chef and a chowhound. Go figure.

    2. A friend of mine, who, after I place somethng wonderful I have cooked in front of him, asks for Tabasco, I have told him that he will never taste the best stuff I make.

      1 Reply
      1. re: souschef

        While I understand the frustration as I put a LOT of effort into the food I make, my fiance sometimes will slather on hummus and mustard onto almost everything! You have to remind yourself- is this person in your life to appreciate your food the way YOU like it or for some other reason? Then I suck it up and let him slather on the hummus.

      2. This is perfect proof of 'what and where you eat is more important than with whom you eat'.

        Why bother eating out with someone like this?

        8 Replies
        1. re: dolores

          Funny, I read it the other way. This just sounds like a lousy friend to me. You suffer for your friends sometimes because you care for them. In the case of someone for whom food is important, a good friend will be good company, not complain about the food, and have a good time with you.

          An example: a friend of mine does not like Western food. But we enjoy one another's company, and when we used to live in the same city together, he'd sometimes ask me if I there was some new Italian something I wanted to try; because he knows how much I like Italian food, and there always was something. When we'd eat together, it was usually Indian, sometimes Korean. But when we'd go for Italian, we'd both enjoy the company, the wine, and I enjoyed the food. Obviously the best of both worlds is those friends who share your passion for the food (and whose response to trying risotto isn't, "oh! it's like a flavorless white people biryani") but I'll gladly take a friend who will suffer for me over, say, a pretentious food snob.

          And the suffering is reciprocated. I have cinephile friends with whom I've seen some pretty miserable films. I didn't like X Y Z in that film, but you enjoyed it, so what was it that you found interesting?

          To gryphonskeeper, you might want to let your friend know that this is something you enjoy, and you'd like to share it with her, even if it's not her thing. She may not have realized. Or if she did, that sounds amazingly selfish, and I'd reconsider how good a friend she is.

          1. re: dolores

            Couldn't disagree more with that quote. Your next meal is only hours away, at most. Your friends aren't so replaceable. Not everyone is a Chowhound. Sure, you might wish your friend would be more adventurous, but your annoyance or frustration over another person's food preferences says more about you than about the other person.

            I would agree, though, that eating out may not be the best activity for you to share with this friend.

            1. re: Kagey

              Exactly. As I said, why bother eating out with someone like this.

              1. re: Kagey

                Hear hear. If this is a good friend in all respects except communal food preferences, I'd just make it a point to plan activities with him/her that don't involve meals. Seems like tossing the baby out with the bathwater to ditch a friend just because they have less sophisticated taste buds than yours.

              2. re: dolores

                She is a very good friend, and we eat out together once a week to keep in touch, and just just talk about whatever... sometimes we vent our frustrations on each other that we can't vent to anyone else, knowing the other person will listen and not judge. But when it is her turn to pick, it is always either a buffet chinese, or burger joint. I don't like that kind of restaurant, and I am desperate to get her to at least try other foods (try it you may find you like it kind of thing) This Indian place was a compromise of sorts, it had a lunch buffet so I really assumed she would find one thing at least... but she didn't really and had like 4 cups of coconut soup and the salad bar.

                1. re: gryphonskeeper

                  Well at least she went. Good friends are more important than one meal a week you don't really enjoy IMHO.

                  1. re: Firegoat

                    Totally agree with this. For a friend that just listens and doesn't judge I'd agree to eat almost anything.

                  2. re: gryphonskeeper

                    That's something that's going to continue to cause low grade stress every time you meet. Would it be possible to change your meals to some sort of relaxed coffee/frou-frou beverages and sweets get together instead?

                2. I used to travel to football matches in England and Europe with two friends, one of whom was soooooo fussy he would stand outside every restaurant pre or post game and read through the menus, we would meekly follow until he made up his mind about which restaurant to choose. He liked the blandest simplest foods, would have a hissy fit if there was garnish on the plate and invariably hated whatever was put in front of him.
                  I went to his house for dinner one night and his wife had to make him a separate dinner of plain roast chicken and frozen peas while the rest of us had a super meal. She obviously had to put up with it. We finally told him to shut up and put up with where we chose.

                  1. I think the best way to deal with these people is to stop inviting them. It really can make a point if you typically go out to eat together on a regular basis and then suddenly you stop entirely. If they value you as a friend, they should at least attempt to go where you want some of the time.