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Aug 31, 2011 09:21 AM

Weird/Bad Food Related Dates


A thread on dating etiquette had me thinking back to my dating days (which were not too long ago). I've had the fantastic, the okay and the atrociously horrible:} I'm going to list my top worst/strangest... I'm hoping for yours in return:}

1. My ex who early on in dating revealed that he smothered almost all of his food in ketchup, mustard and hummus. Yes, all together. At the same time.

2. The guy who went to a Japanese restaurant for the first time in his life. He was frightened of the miso soup and had the clear soup instead. He thought his chicken terriyaki was exotic.

3. The cheap guy. (An accountant by the way!) He kept telling me he was taking me to a great restaurant. He took me to a hole-in-the wall empanada place. Don't get me wrong; there's nothing bad about empanadas. But don't talk it up like it's a 5 star restaurant:}

4. The control freak. This guy kept picking the restaurants and would not let me have any input. Granted he picked some awesome places but needless to say this didn't last long.

This one isn't mine thankfully; I saw it on the Millionaire Matchmaker. This d****e took an adorable woman out for a meal cooked by a private chef. The chef prepared offal and other goodies that only Andrew Zimmern would appreciate. He was testing her to see if she would be "game". Thankfully this never happened to me!

  1. Good mashup, Nicole!! I guess my weirdest and most disappointing food date was in misinterpreting what a set-up date said about "being particular about his food," when he invited me to dinner. I thought that meant he had an educated palate, had some food/wine knowledge, that there was some discernment there. Oy assumptions.
    Imagine my chagrin when we ended up at Applebee's. His feelings about the place? That they were very very clean, and very very charming, what with all the sporty logo stuff interspersed with fake Tiffany lamps. And that the food was awfully good and had been frozen, so the chances of food poisoning, or lack of cleanliness when prepping, were just nil. In his opinion.
    I was most upset because I bought a really pretty new blouse for the date, in anticipation of the happening and delicious time we were bound to have. :) Next time (wait, I'm married; there won't be one) I'll save the clothes money and take myself out to an amazing consolation dinner instead.

    44 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      mama, Can we say oh see dee???

      Well, I think the most bizarre food related date I went on was with this guy from Michigan who was a mechanic or something like that. In previous conversation, we both talked about how we loved a good steak, and he being new to the area must have asked around as to where to take a first date who likes steaks. He says someone suggested Fleming's, so he went with it, apparently not realizing what he was getting into.

      So we meet at Fleming's in Newport Beach (which is kind of a douche-y, white collar, new money or leveraged up the ass kinda scene), and he's waiting for me with a Captain Coke in hand. I order a glass of the house red, and we decide to split a porterhouse. I don't suggest anything else because I generally try to order modestly on dates regardless of the price point. He wants to order a side, so we get a caprese type deal.

      By this time, I think our waiter has pegged my date as a total fish out of water and has decided to mess with him all night, so he comes back with our steak, a hot, buttered plate for me, a cold, unbuttered plate for my date (even though he didn't ask for anything different), a smile for me, a smirk for my date.

      At this point, I'm feeling like I'm in the twilight zone, and my date is apparently so uncomfortably out of his element that he doesn't question the bitchy service he's getting. For a number of reasons, I am no longer invested in my date and so am not hampered from asking the waiter why the different treatment by a desire to protect my date's dignity. So I ask the waiter if there's a reason why we have two different plates, he looks at me with one of those knowing looks and says, "Oh, are they different?" And I say, "Why, yes. They are." He then looks at me and says "Do you think I should do something about that??" And I say "Why, yes, I DO." with what I think was an incredulous look on my face. So the waiter begrudgingly obliges, mumbles to someone on the other side of the counter (it's a partially open kitchen) to get him a new plate. He gets it, and sets it down rather ungently in front of my date.

      At this point, I'm gathering that the waiter put the Michigan accent, blue collar demeanor and the three Captain Cokes in succession together to mean that he's probably going to get a crappy tip anyway, so why not f*ck with the guy. (This kind of thing happens all the time in see and be seen places where people pay too much money to be treated like they're a**h***s.)

      We finish our meal, some strained conversation worked in, and by this point, I know I don't want to go on another date with this guy if for no other reason than that he just made a complete bad service doormat of himself. We get the check, he pays in part with a gift certificate, and almost as if with a sense of sticker shock, shows me the bill and asks me how much he should tip.

      Up to the moment he showed me the bill and asked how much he should tip, I think I might have suggested not so much, given the, shall we say, *uneven* service. But his having previously established that he's the *old school* sort of guy who believes in paying for dinner, I was at this point fairly unsympathetic, so I looked at him and said "Twenty percent." and nothing more.

      Looks like the waiter had him pegged right. :|

      1. re: inaplasticcup

        Perhaps your date didn't not want to put up a stink and embarrass you by making a scene by telling an uneducated dbag waiter to shove it? Your date seemed like a simple low maintenance guy, what's wrong with that? While you may not have had chemistry, why would you tell him to reward a crappy service with 20% even though he's "old school" and paying for dinner?

        1. re: chezwhitey

          1) There's nothing wrong with being a simple, low maintenance guy. I'm just making observations about the dynamics of the situation, some of them which contributed to my conclusions about our compatibility, some which I think contributed to what happened, and some of them mutually exclusive.

          2) Why do you think a grown man who offered to pay the tab would show his date the bill and ask how much to tip?

          1. re: inaplasticcup

            2) maybe he didn't know the proper etiquette with tipping when using a gift card

            1. re: chezwhitey

              Possible, but don't you think those are duckies you might want to get in a row before you go on a first date with someone?

              And why would anyone assume you'd tip any less or differently when paying with a gift card? Yet another reason in hindsight I think my conclusions as to our incompatibility were probably correct. :P

              1. re: inaplasticcup

                Was it the gift card that you can buy at costco, pay 75 for 100? That would trip me up because you pay 75 for 100 "real" dollars. The server in theory doesn't know if he purchased the card through costco or was a gift from someone else etc. The whole idea of groupon type discounts are relatively new, especially at "fine dining" establishments. he should have known better, but still many people don't which is why they have to explicitly say on the coup what you should tip, or the house adds auto gratuity on top of the original bill as a precaution.

                Either way, why 20%??? :) If someone was that obviously condescending towards my guest, I wouldn't reward them unless he figured your date was not only a prick, but a prick to you more specifically.

                1. re: chezwhitey

                  I don't know where he got the GC.

                  Why did I say 20%? The detail I left out of my OP was that my sense of the situation was that it was his passive aggressive way to

                  1) show how me how much he'd spent on dinner, and
                  2) perhaps even get me to ante up for gratuity, maybe?

                  It's one thing to ask me what I thought of service and whether the server was deserving of a good tip, or even to come out point blank and ask if I would chip in for the tip, which I would have, but to show me the check when you've offered to treat and ask "How much should I tip?" You're a 30-something year old man. Get it together. :)

                  I know there will be people who say I read too much into his actions. I don't think so.

                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                    He sounds hot. I'm going to say, "Do you still have his number?"

                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                      DeppityDawg: oh my gawd! That was hysterical!

                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                        I agree with this. I like millionaire gentlemen the best, but failing that, I'd take a simple gentleman who asks his snobby date how much to tip the rude, condescending waiter, after an expensive dinner in which he was passive aggressively mean-girl bullied for being different.

                        Sounds like a great guy.

                      2. re: inaplasticcup

                        "I know there will be people who say I read too much into his actions. I don't think so."

                        I don't think so. It is extremely important to pay attention to those details right away. If not you'll notice eventually anyway. If it's after you've moved in with the guy (or vice versa), then you'll have to move out. And moving sucks even more than a break up of that sort- you know the ones... ;)

                      3. re: chezwhitey

                        WAY, way long ago, bad service was rewarded with a nickel tip.

                        1. re: chezwhitey

                          maybe he couldn't do the math? maybe the drinks were separated from the food bill?

                    2. re: inaplasticcup

                      A mechanic "or something like that" should have known better than to ask a sincere question.

                      1. re: Robinez

                        In my mind, and in telling to others, my brother is an *IT something or other* because I don't have the best grasp on what he does and to call him by his title at work would give no better indication to anyone else what he does either.

                        As to the sincerity of the question, we can agree to disagree.

                    3. re: chezwhitey

                      Yeah I agree, You try to be on your best behavior during a first date, and some people see complaining about service as rude. (but they are not the best people.)

                      1. re: sealion

                        Literally a hot plate with melted butter, which is the default way some steak houses serve certain cuts of steak unless you request otherwise.

                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                          I didnt' know that either. I probably wouldn't have noticed the difference.

                      2. re: inaplasticcup

                        Your date really did not sound so bad. I got the feeling the guy was trying hard to make it a decent evening for yo and was trying very hard to impress. Unfortunately you got stuck with a p***k of a waiter. If the guy had been p***k right back would that have made a difference? Did he even notice about the plate? Sounds like you just weren't into the guy right from the start. Which is perfectly fine but that doesn't mean that one has to be mean about it. If anything the 20% comes off as passive aggressive move because he wasn't your kind of guy. So in the end you rewarded the waiting for being a p***k with your date's money.

                        1. re: Withnail42

                          I get where those who disagree with me are coming from, but where I seem to diverge with you is

                          1) the unquestioning belief in my date's earnestness,
                          2) the belief that he was under some undue influence to heed what I said, and
                          3) the unquestioning belief that he indeed took my advice.

                          I'm not sure that prick of a waiter did get 20%.

                          And in hindsight, since it defies logic for a server experienced as one usually has to be to get a gig at a place like Fleming's to purposely sabotage his own tip, I have to wonder what took place at the table while my date was waiting for me that I was not privy to.

                          At any rate, for me anyway, the whole earnest but clueless nice guy read doesn't add up for a number of reasons. In the end, if I were to take the earnest argument to its end, if the guy is really just out of his element and doesn't know what to tip in a place like that, then the earnest and honest answer from me is *20%*. If on the other hand, the guy doesn't know how much he should ding a prick waiter for being a prick and/or wants to ding the waiter but also wants to put the onus on me to decide how much, who's being passive aggressive?

                          This isn't a gender thing. If I, as a woman in my 30s, invite someone, anyone, out to dinner, you can bet that person is not having the bill pushed in front of their face. And if I get crappy service and decide to ding the waitperson, I am going to make the decision and own whatever fallout might come with it. That's not some bourgeois affectation. I come from a middle class background just like he did. But that's just not the way you treat your guest.

                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                            +1 Ina, I MIGHT ask what % would my guest tip the prick of a waiter, but would not show my guest the check.

                        2. re: inaplasticcup

                          Story makes no sense. Are you saying HE had a bad date? So he was new to the area and went to an unfamiliar restaurant. Got a jerk waiter, whose side you somehow took. Then you had him overtip. Oh he had a rum and coke? You come off as quite condescending while sipping the "house red."

                          1. re: Timmy McTimmerson

                            If I were trying to make some kind of classist remark rather than relay to you how the snooty waiter might have perceived my date, do you think I would have told you I ordered the house red?

                            I guess my post hit a little too close to home for some peeps. ;)

                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                              Your story is horrendous. I've taken many women to many different types of restaurants for a first date, and all have been polite, even if not interested. Your date took you to a pretty nice chain steakhouse, which was your preference. What he received for his effort was condescension, condemnation and public ridicule, not only through this thread, but also through your "knowing" conversations with the waiter. Very classy of you to indulge in a fancy steakhouse meal, have your date over tip for poor service and then come here and bash the experience.

                              I would be mortified to treat you to a meal anywhere, and I wouldn't.

                              1. re: MonMauler

                                Where did you get that I chose the venue? And the ridicule is public because I didn't name him in this thread?

                                Your right to think me ungenerous, uncharitable, horrendous, even, but I think I'm reading a lot of bitterness from people who might have voluntarily bitten off more than they can chew at some point in their past, didn't want to suck up their poor judgment like the big boys and girls they're supposed to be, and want to take their bitterness out on me.

                                I would have gone to a taco shop with the guy if that's what he'd offered, and then at least he might not have pulled the douche maneuver of putting the check in my face because he didn't check the prices on this place he had a gift cert for. :)

                                ETA: What I find horrendous is just how many people here think a person should be thanking their lucky stars because some self interested person on a date took them out for a fucking steak.

                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                  no kidding, it's interesting that it is men responding like this to you. Certain men seem to believe they should be rewarded for anything.

                                  No one but Ina knows the actual happenings on the date, you weren't there to read the situation, the man, the waiter - anything.

                                  and i'm sure she is broken up to not have MonMauler panting at her door to take her on a date.

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    I think dating bewilders a lot of guys, so they look for rules. One guy rule about dating is probably to take her to "a nice place". Unable to fathom what determines if a place is "nice", they often decide that nice=steak. They are then quite proud of themselves and place a lot of importance on the date and might even feel that the job is done. They might also feel that they have put some money into this and (in their mind) a lot of effort, so the female should be quite impressed. The more important parts about being interested/interesting, acting with openness & honesty, having good manners, good hygiene, and respect/kindness escape many men.

                                    Just some general life observations. Not saying any/all apply here, because it's just hard to say from the facts presented.

                                    1. re: sandylc

                                      i completely understand this. i'm referring to the men responding in a disparaging manner to inaplasticcup, berating her for whatever they've read into the situation.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        Sorry if it looked like I was explaining this to you in particular - just addressing this general part of the thread....

                                      2. re: sandylc

                                        I get what you're saying, and I agree that it's often the case. Thanks for your perspective, sandy.

                                        That said, there were other things about my date that lead me to think this more a passive aggressive maneuver than an earnest attempt to impress (and not that I think he needed to impress me, either). But if I were to detail those things here, I'm sure the perception would be split as to whether he was weasely or earnest.

                                        And I get why some of the men here feel sorry for the guy. My telling of the evening probably makes me seem to them a certain and fairly common archetypal woman with certain kinds of expectations and a certain sense of entitlement, neither of which is true nor necessarily supported by the facts of my story, but understandably easily assumed by some.

                              2. re: Timmy McTimmerson

                                i read the story, maybe never having read it before.

                                i feel bad for the guy. he was shafted twice.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Yeah, I have to say that I feel bad for him too, (and I'm a woman). It may be that inaplasticcup avoided giving the information necessary to letting us know why he merited the treatment he received.

                                  But as I read it, there seemed to be implicit criticism of him a mechanic. striving beyond his expected station. I mean, the choice of a steak house seemed to make sense if he and plastic were talking steak. The choice of a douchey steakhouse seems unfortunate for everyone involved, but especially him: this man was on the receiving end of disdain from the server and his date, and so yes, I am inclined to direct my sympathies there.

                                  Was he trying to show off when he held up the bill? Was he just awkward? I don't know. It's not the smoothest move, that's for sure, but I find that assuming the worst of a person's actions feels like yet another bit of disdain heaped at a remove. We cannot know his intentions. It seemed like he wanted to please someone who wasn't going to be pleased, and that kind of dating scenario tends to have me empathise with the underdog.

                                  All that said, I've had my cringey dates, too: People who made rude jokes to servers; people who could not read the situation and attempted to get physical when all signs pointed to 'no', and even people who were clearly out of their element. However, in the last case, had anyone tried to make my date feel bad or somehow wrong for being there? I probably would have taken the date's side. UNLESS there were things there that already had me disinclined to sympathise. But food and drink choices and anything that smacks of snobbery would not likely be such things.

                                  In effect, I don't know if this is a gender issue as much as a class one that is coming up here.

                                  ETA: As the story goes on, some less pleasant bits manifest, but it's hard to determine what came first. Is it a matter of a crumby guy getting what he deserves, or a person in an uncomfortable situation pushed to the limit by the rudeness of the server and the seeming indifference of his date?

                                  1. re: Lizard

                                    how was he a crummy guy? because he made one mistake and asked how much tip he should give?

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Please reread. I'm only suggesting that this might be Plastic's opinion, but that her account did not give us much to go on save for what you've just noted-- and what neither of us sees as just cause for the treatment.

                                    2. re: Lizard

                                      oh jesus christ.

                                      It's so very easy to sit in judgment on a date that YOU WEREN'T ON. none of us can see the gestures, the facial expressions, or hear the tones of voice that were displayed that evening.

                                      if anyone is being classist it's people who are somehow inferring that "mechanic" is a job one would look down on - "striving beyond his station" says a lot more about you than it does about the OP. and how do you know what she was "assuming" about the guy? She was there to read the signals, to decipher the body language and behavior. Again, YOU weren't.

                                      holier-than-thou is the worst form of snobbery.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        I'm not sitting in judgement of the date, but pointing out why there may be other opinions on it. As I mentioned before, it seems elements have been omitted, because the description as given leads to the reading I made. No, I do not think that a mechanic was reaching above his station, but plastic implied that it was not the place for him-- and seemed judgemental of his discomfort with the place.

                                        I'm also not 'holier than thou'; but yes, the description as given makes me more sympathetic to the date, even as I understand plastic may be withholding details.

                                        meanwhile, I'll thank you to calm down a bit.

                                        1. re: Lizard

                                          you go on in judgment for six paragraphs and i should calm down?

                                          you should probably learn not to read into situations that you weren't involved in.

                                          1. re: Lizard

                                            I will absolutely own that the mechanic description was included to illustrate the scenario and how his background (which, regardless of how pc we want to be about this) contrasts that of the typical white collar guy who frequents Fleming's.

                                            A careful reading of my original comment gives a clear indication that I don't think said white collar types necessarily superior.

                                            I'd like to add that a person being out of their element shouldn't automatically be assumed to be a really good guy just because he's from a certain demographic, though some of us, and I don't mean you, Lizard, seem to want to make that unwarranted assumption.

                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                              ...hold on, I'm grabbing popcorn...

                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                Hush, rabaja! You're summoning the mods!

                                                Everyone knows popcorn means it's time to start nuking comments. :P

                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                  Yes, we do think this thread has just about run its course, so we're going to lock it now.

                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                    What cracks me up is that all of these fireworks were set off 15 months after your post.

                                  2. re: mamachef

                                    i think thats the first time ive ever heard that the food being previously frozen was a plus. yikes-o-rama!

                                  3. Being that I was married pretty much straight out of college, I didn't have enough food experience under my belt to identify bad or funny food related dates.

                                    I do remember my long-time high school boyfriend's family never met a buffet they didn't like. No one could get their money's worth out of a buffet like that family. Much time was spent debating which of the many fine "family steak house" buffets we would visit for weekend night out. These trips involved waits in lengthly lines, surrounded by starving masses.

                                    They were absolutely wonderful people and I was fortunate to have been welcomed into their family but holy cow, it ruined buffets for me forever. (probably not a bad thing)

                                    I had a guy take me to Friendly's for dinner as a first date and "suggested" that I order some deal where a sunday was included in the price of the meal. There wasn't a second date. (He had many odd traits, not just the restaurant choice)

                                    1. Interesting that it is all women replying thus far (including myself).

                                      Many, MANY years ago I went on a first date in DC. I'd lived there for about 18 months at the time and had heard good things about--but not eaten at--the Chinese restaurant Full Kee. So I suggested it to the guy, and should have known right off the bat that the whole thing would be a bad idea when he said, "Chinese is OK, I like Crab Rangoon." (I didn't even know what Crab Rangoon was at the time.)

                                      Fast forward to the restaurant, which had a very nice and interesting menu. I ordered baby octopus. I don't remember what he got, but for sure, it was not baby octopus. After I saw the expression on his face as he watched me stuffing whole baby octopi into my mouth (you can't cut a baby octopus with chopsticks!), I pretty much figured there wouldn't be a second date. Bingo!

                                      I think he would probably list this experience as one of HIS weirdest/worst food-related dates, too. Twenty years later, I hope he has ventured beyond Crab Rangoon.

                                      80 Replies
                                      1. re: travelmad478

                                        Is Crab Rangoon one of those cream cheese wonton type dealies?

                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                          Yep, not to be confused with Shrimp and Cheese wontons, a hometown favorite. Everyone knows that when you go to Flint's you order wontons no salad extra wonton please thank you.

                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                            Yes. Anything that claims to be Chinese, but includes cream cheese, is not something I'm going to eat.

                                            To be sure, the Chinese food I ate growing up in New Jersey certainly wasn't authentic Chinese in any way (I'm looking at you, shrimp with lobster sauce!) but it wasn't as preposterous as Crab Rangoon. I think this guy was from the Midwest.

                                            1. re: travelmad478

                                              OK, you have got a man's eye for the humorous. I hope my fragile male ego will not be totally deflated.

                                              Fourth or fifth date and she wants to go to the south of France for the huge gypsy festival in the Camargue. We leave Frankfurt in the Porsche and I drive all night. She sees Gypsys, I eat boullaibaise (sic). We go to a bistro, I have entrecote, she has a burger. In the morning she is livid that she cannot get eggs and bacon and is stuck with croissants, local honey, jams, and weird tasting coffee. Do you see a trend?

                                              Off to Arles and then Avignon. I have spring lamb and she had something pasta and complained about no green jar of cheese to put on top. At this point it is separate rooms and no conversation.

                                              Sunday on the way back to Frankfurt, I take a side trip through the foothills of the Alps. In a small town, the parking lot is loaded in front of the restaurant. Always a reason to stop. She doesn't want to. At this point I don't want to be around her either, but this is France and I want to eat. Original artwork, starched linen, sterling silver, not plate. This is going to be special. Little did I know.

                                              I speak no french. She is fluent. The waiter brought an amuse bouche and the menu.
                                              She refuses to translate. He goes through a pantomine of the specials. The fish was easy, but it was him hopping like a rabbit that cinched my decision. She just wanted the bread on the table and water. I got her Evian. Then she pulled a beautiful crystal bowl in front of her and told the waiter she didn't need a plate, that was sufficient. At this point, he has obviously figured out the dynamics between us, gives me a gallic shrug, and she ate her bread out of the ash tray for the rest of the meal. My rabbit with white truffles was awesome and the cheese course was wonderful. 6 hours of total silence all the way back home, priceless.

                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                LMAO. Please tell me you met her in France...

                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                  U.S. Army officer with a masters degree.

                                                2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                  WOW. How long did you know each other before you took this trip?

                                                  1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                    3 or 4 outings with and without mutual friends. Jazz dives in Sachsenhausen to dancing at the Canadian Pacific hotel. We wanted to go the next step, and we did. Away from each other.

                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                      i can't imagine a person who less deserved to be eating and chauffered around in France. You were well shut of her!

                                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                        A graduate degree is no indicator of class or taste- as you well know. Wow. Sounds more like a trip to Heaven with the Antichrist. Did she have other food issues that you noticed (before the trip, of course)f?

                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                          Her first time to Europe. Other than that, she comported her self well at the Bad Homburg casino, at the time a members only (think James Bond) establishment. I was never overdressed in my tux.

                                                        2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                          indianriverfl, you certainly know how to "give good date". where does a tampa bay lady find a guy like you???

                                                          1. re: Manderley

                                                            I live on a sailboat. You can find me on the Indian River or the Bahamas. Some times on your coast when I am making a delivery. I rely on the largess of friends and the library for access to the internet. Thus the gaps between questions and response.

                                                          2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                            u can take me to france any time u want. i will eat until i cant walk. gee lets go to france and then try to see how much "american" food we can order. poor dude. now i want rabbit.

                                                          3. re: travelmad478

                                                            Here's the deal. I have frequently been regarded as a food snob. I just googled Crab Rangoon and discovered that it is crabmeat and cream cheese, with possibly garlic, encased in a wonton wrapper which is formed into a flower and deep-fried.

                                                            That sound pretty good, actually.....certainly not terrible?

                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                              In my experience, the use of the word 'crab' in the description of this dish is usually just a nod to what *should* be in there, along with the cream cheese. Crab *wink* rangoon is how I read it.

                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                  Uh-oh! There are a half-dozen threads on "krab," and most devolved into two sides - those who love it, and those, who hate it. I would suspect that the MOD's shut down all, though they may still be available to read.

                                                                  Did not recognize "Crab Rangoon," or "Krab Rangoon," so I learned something here.


                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                    oh Hunt, I know/remember which side of that fence you fall on, so nota bene - whether crab or "krab", I highly doubt you would like it a la "Rangoon". in this application one would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                it can be but it's really just midwestern (I'm allowed to say that) party food than anything. one or two, fine, anymore and you feel kind of yucky. popular with the 12 YO set.

                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                  it isn't the dish itself - it's that it has been deemed unacceptable by the authenticity police.....

                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                    Growing up in the Midwest you see this on every Chinese buffet. I can't tell you the number of people around here who don't realize that this is not going to be on the menu at an authentic Chinese restaurant outside of the Midwest. They are still awesome, though! I love me some crab rangoon.

                                                                    1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                      doesn't bug me - i don't have an authenticity fetish

                                                                      1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                        First time I ever had Crab Rangoon was in Boston,over 20 years ago.

                                                                        1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                                                          yeah it's an east coast thing, i always thought! to be midwestern, you get rid of the fake crab, and just do a gooey deep fried cream cheese wonton.

                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                            To be fair, the crab rangoon in the midwest usually is just "crab-flavored" cream cheese on the inside. I don't think I've ever seen even pieces of krab.

                                                                            1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                              sometimes not even 'flavored' I'd appreciate at least some surimi on occasion...

                                                                              although I don't have a grudge against a little grease, cheese and flour just don't put crab in the name

                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                oh look, it's from trader vic's. . . so from san francisco.


                                                                                when i worked at a rather venerable chinese/chinese-american restaurant in "the midwest," my cantonese manager had to tell me what "crab/krab rangoon" and "cheese rangoon" were. the locals were familiar with "cream cheese wontons," and even the younger generation of chinese-american patrons would order and enjoy them with relish, much to the obvious, and sometimes hilarious, chagrin of their elders. . . haha :) folks from the east coast would order "rangoon" and "shrimp toast," so we needed to be prepared to know the same dish by two names.

                                                                                no chinese or chinese-american restaurant in my vicinity (in "the midwest"), that i know of, has "----- rangoon" on the menu. "cream cheese wontons" however, are ubiquitous, with no pretensions of 1) containing any real or fake crab 2) being from burma.

                                                                                the food-snob police may scoff, but i don't see the problem. they aren't "authentic"-- well, duh. that isn't the point. they are a gooey deep fried treat, like deep fried ice cream or fried cheese curds. i'd rather eat an unpretentious cream cheese wonton than something called "rangoon" filled with fake krab and mayo and god knows what else. . .

                                                                                1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                  HA! I never thought it ever had anything to do with SE Asia (even a dumb kid in MO can see cheese and dairy don't play a big role), and when I lived in Manhattan KS always stifled a chuckle when the owner yelled out the order of "CRAB RAGOON" yeah it's crap junk, 12 YO food, but if you're going to pretend can ya get that part right? (their sister restaurant did damn good VN/Thai food)

                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                    Now, I am not sure that cheese is unknown to the people of Myanmar, but it is highly doubtful that it is Philadelphia (brand) cream cheese. As there are many water buffalo, and other ungulate livestock, I would hazard that there might be cheeses available, though possibly not of a consistency to produce this dish, by the descriptions that I have read.


                                                                                  2. re: soupkitten

                                                                                    I love cream cheese wontons. As you note, they are no where near "authentic" but who cares? They're tasty!, and that's mainly what I ask of my food.

                                                                                  3. re: hill food

                                                                                    You know, it was a bit interesting, to me, when I first read of the dish. Now, I am rethinking that interest - think I'll take a pass!


                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                      I'm a transplanted midwesterner living in the Pac NW and I can assure you that garlic, salt, cream cheese, spring onions, and large lumps of real crab are a lovely indulgence.

                                                                                      I also wooed my equally midwestern husband with these as a college student about 20 years ago using real Iowa.

                                                                                2. re: soupkitten

                                                                                  I always thought midwesterners were more honest than easterners. At least they acknowledge that there really is no crab in crab rangoon. Here in New England, restaurants still fake it, but that doesn't stop my husband from ordering it. Yummy is yummy, even if it's fake.

                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                    My Chinese mother came here in 1939, and one of her specialties when we had guests was shrimp on toast--chopped seasoned shrimp spread on a little square of bread and the whole thing deep-fried. I think it might even have been genuinely S China cooking (she also made Guo-tieh and Jiao-tze as well as she could with the ingredients available in Minneapolis in 1945--eg Mu-Shu pork made with slivered cabbage and Aunt Jemima pancakes...).
                                                                                    As for Crab Rangoon, it's on all the Chinese buffet tables in West Virginia...

                                                                                    1. re: lihsiawang

                                                                                      to anyone interested in the evolution and quirks of chinese-american cuisine (and the strange fusions of chinese in other cultures) read jennifer 8. lo's "fortune cookie chronicles." very interesting and insightful -- a good journey.

                                                                                      1. re: lihsiawang

                                                                                        The shrimp toast was very common in better Chinese restaurants in the States in the 70's, as an appetizer. I think it is a fairly usual dim sum item as well.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          chop suey is not authentic either. and a lot of chinese americans refused to eat walnut shrimp wiht mayonnaise, even though it came out of hong kong... after a century of british influence what do they adopt? mayo. go figure huh?

                                                                                          I grew up in the san francisco area, but the first time i saw crab rangoon was in a chinese restaurant in seoul back in the mid 80's.

                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                            The first I heard of it was from my Iowa Quad Cities sister-in-law in the 90s. I thought it was a midwestern thing.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              Crab rangoon is an OLD invention of a restaurant in California, Trader Vic's I think. We had them, and then I learned to make them in mom's deep fryer, many, many (many) decades ago. Never had them with fake crab though, only the good stuff, and very, very little cream cheese.

                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                That way they'd be scrummy. I'd forgotten about the Trader Vic's connection.

                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                  Yup. They were a creation of a guy named DuBois Chen who'd cooked for the French Navy when Viet Nam still belonged to France. (He was Vietnamese.)

                                                                                                  1. re: lemons

                                                                                                    Wow, a little crab rangoon history! Cool.

                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                      Yeah, I recall Trader Vic, as I met him on one of the first United Airline 747-BC flights to Honolulu, where he was playing the piano in the FC bar, which was up a spiral staircase to the "top" of the ship. I knew of his restaurants, and his artistry with a paint brush, but managed to miss Crab Rangoon.

                                                                                                      We stay at the London Hilton Park Lane often, and there is a Trader Vic's on the lower level. Next trip, I will give it a go, just to learn more.


                                                                                                    2. re: lemons

                                                                                                      well how about that -- i always thought it was a trader vic's creation.

                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                        When I said "Yup", I meant yes, they were a TV's creation DuBois was working for Trader Vic's here in STL when he put them on the menu. Sort of hard to think of STL being a big enough deal to get a restaurant of that sophistication (don't laugh; back then it really was sophisticated), but the city has changed.... Anyway, spouse knew him fairly well back then.

                                                                                                        1. re: lemons

                                                                                                          lemons - and now it's changing back again in a sometimes flawed but amazingly better way than when I left (as I know you know - I'm just posting that for the un-knowers)

                                                                                                          I'll stop being a Babbitt now.

                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                            quite true...but out of curiosity, when did you leave?

                                                                                                            1. re: lemons

                                                                                                              lemons: I was gone from 1990 - 2011 with only sporadic and brief friends'n'family visits.

                                                                                                2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                  Actually, I believe the mayonnaise walnut shrimp dish originated in SF or LA, then got introduced back in Hong Kong sometime afterward. This dish wasn't seen on restaurant menus in LA much prior to the 90s, if at all.

                                                                                                  And it's actually a Japanese mayo that they use - loaded with extra sugar.

                                                                                                  California rolls are an American "innovation", that was also introduced to Japan at around the same time.

                                                                                              2. re: lihsiawang

                                                                                                That makes sense. I believe the shrimp toast thing is a southern Chinese / Teochew (is that your mother's background?) dish. It's still being eaten very regularly in Vietnam - known there as banh mi tom / banh mi tom chien, I believe. It was most likely brought there by the Teochew people.

                                                                                        2. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                                          authentic or not this is my regular 2nd helping on chinese buffets, which i frequent quite infrequently...

                                                                                  2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                    ok now the story makes sense! I had always thought Crab Rangoon was along the lines of singapore chilli crab, which sounds reasonably adventurous to me!

                                                                                  3. re: travelmad478

                                                                                    LOL. I can completely understand your views on "crab ragoon", but in his defense, as you aknowledge... eating baby octopus on a first date is quite unusual:} Did you offer to share? :}

                                                                                    1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                      I would always offer to share but in this case I'm sure that the offer would have been spurned, in horror!

                                                                                      As for eating baby octopus on the first date, well, I am the kind of person who believes in putting her cards on the table right away. I didn't get the baby octopus for its shock value; I got it because I am the kind of person that will be intrigued by baby octopus on the menu and then order it. If you're going to get horrified by that, better you should know right away, because you're going to have to deal with it if you hang out with me!

                                                                                      Mr. travelmad478 can deal. In fact, early in our dating life we ate at a Vietnamese restaurant at Eden Center in Arlington, VA (a very, very Vietnamese strip mall) where he ordered a dish with oysters. When it came out the oysters were almost the size of billiard balls. But he gamely ate them, and I sat and watched HIM stuffing giant oysters into his mouth, thinking, this is a guy I can like long-term!

                                                                                    2. re: travelmad478

                                                                                      travelmad: oh god Full Kee? I love the place, but it's not the place for a first date, nuh unh...

                                                                                      for anyone not familiar with DC, it's about the most hardcore 'authentic' Chinese place left downtown, tripe, tendon, feet, you name it they cook it, in surroundings that are kindly described as grubby (and I say that with love for the dump, but on a first date?)

                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                        Well, like I said, I'd never been there. All I knew was that the food was supposed to be good! And it was! I enjoyed that plate of baby octopus ;-). Like I said, I'm sure the guy in question probably still shudders at the memory even more than I do. But this was 20 years ago, and who knows, maybe he's a hard-core foodie by now. If so I will take part of the credit for dragging him out of the Crab Rangoon cocoon.

                                                                                        As for the Crab Rangoon, it is about the equivalent of chop suey in my book, made even more objectionable by being based on an ingredient that a Chinese person would find literally nauseating (cream cheese). It was invented in this country and has nothing to do with Chinese food, and everything to do with dumbing down a delicious cuisine rather than experiencing what that cuisine really is. That's why I have problems with it. If it were served to me on an hors d'oeuvres tray at a low-end wedding...who knows, I might eat it. Although I would still want it to be made with actual crab.

                                                                                      2. re: travelmad478

                                                                                        Are you still single? I want to meet a woman who would order baby octopus on a first date.

                                                                                          1. re: travelmad478

                                                                                            hey, im with u....if u arent the type of guy that can handle me ordering what the hell i want, then it probably not going to work. if ur idea of adventurous eating is ordering fajitas from applebees, then this really aint gonna work. take em to dim sum, order some chicken feet, duck beaks, har gow, all the good stuff, and if they start to trip out, then u know. better to know now. i know this is an old post, but i think its great what u did....

                                                                                            1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                              For our third date the now-fiance took me to an Asian grocery for pork buns and mochi. He was mortified to learn I did not eat pork and thus would not be partaking of that part, more horrified when I balked at red bean texture, and he later told me that he was genuinely concerned I would not be sufficiently adventurous in my eating. Luckily I got some shrimp wontons instead and later proved myself to him by surprising him with frog's legs for dinner about two weeks later.

                                                                                        1. re: travelmad478

                                                                                          I briefly dated a woman who was great in one way - but in terms of eating, let's just say we were incompatible. She was sick once and I offered to cook for her. I'm a very good cook and can make a wide range of dishes. What did she want? A CAN of chili (I forget the brand, not that it really matters) and Marie Callender's cornbread mix - the kind that you just add water to. Of course, I offered to make her chili and cornbread but she was very specific that she wanted her can and MC. So I mixed the "cornbread" and baked it and heated up the chili. She went on and on about what a great cook I was.

                                                                                          Almost as sad as when I answered an add for a cook for a disabled man while I was a college student. He interviewed me over the phone and I told her where I had cooked before and what my specialties were. I showed up on the first day with my apron and knife roll ready to cook. What did he want? Hot dogs. I was confused and said I thought he wanted a cook. "You wouldn't believe what the previous people did to my hot dogs," he explained.

                                                                                          Back to the gf (may she rest in peace). We went in one overnight trip - peered into a Chinese restaurant and she asked if they had crab Rangoon which I hadn't heard of. She asked as if she were asking for a rare delicacy. Because I had already seen a bit if her food taste I was suspicious and then she told me what they were. She asked if we could skip the restaurant and we ended up going to a large grocery store where she bought herself a box of crackers and 1/2 pound of fake krab. She sat in the hotel, head thrown back dropping fingerfuls in her mouth. She washed it all down with coke. I think I got some cheese and crackers - don't really remember but I know I was saying "never again" to myself.

                                                                                          1. re: fruti

                                                                                            The girlfriend had to have some good qualities!!! My mind is racing!

                                                                                            1. re: fruti

                                                                                              "Back to the gf (may she rest in peace)."

                                                                                              You didn't have to put her down, ya know?

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                I can wish her well and not want to be with her because of her way with food among other things - not mutually exclusive. And she would have been the first to acknowledge that she had unusual food tastes. And she certainly thought all the "strange" produce I ate wasn't normal. As I said we were not food compatible.

                                                                                                1. re: fruti

                                                                                                  Well, it sounded like she was dead, the way you put it. It's not like you said "may she eat in peace".

                                                                                                  Thus my question.

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    that was my impression, too. that she had died. it is weird to use about a living person.

                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                      I disagree. I knew immediately she wasn't really dead - I use this expression all the time and so do a number of people I know.

                                                                                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                        well, REST IN PEACE gives an impression that one is referring to the dearly (or not so dearly) departed. then i thought again that surely he would not be referring to a dead person in posting the things that he posted. but one can't be sure from the post itself; in any event, the phrase gives that impression. i think that impression -- which i'm going to presume most people would have (at least initially, esp. when not clearly jocular in context) -- is well-justified.

                                                                                                        so you and your friends use the term for living persons. ok. that's how you and your friends roll. c'est la vie (or la mort).

                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                          I can't imagine ever using RIP for a person that's alive.... kinda seems like tempting fate, you know? I know I'd be pretty insulted if someone used that in referring to me, I'd feel like they maybe wished I was dead. But, to each his/her own, I suppose.

                                                                                                          1. re: kubasd23

                                                                                                            It is only ever used behind someone's back -- to indicate a metaphorical death.

                                                                                                            1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                              Ah, so my initial impression would be at least somewhat on the mark. That the people who said it were considering the other person dead for all intents and person.....

                                                                                                                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                  Just to clear it up. I found out that she has passed away several years ago. She really is dead. I've never used RIP about someone who is still living but I suppose someone could.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fruti

                                                                                                                      Gosh, I hope it wasn't the krab ...

                                                                                                                      I believe the term for someone still living is "bless his/her heart" ;)

                                                                                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                        other choices are; yet to join the "Choir Eternal" or "Church Triumphant" after leaving this bitter and myalgic vale of tears (been reading Dickens too much of late)

                                                                                                2. re: fruti

                                                                                                  what a great cook i was......omg i rolling over here

                                                                                              2. OK, so from a guy's perspective, I can't recall any really weird food experiences but back in my dating days I definitely would decline to ask a woman out for a second date if she had no interest in good food.

                                                                                                I almost always dated women a bit older than myself, but when I was about 25 I met a younger (20ish) woman who seemed nice, and was cute and interested in me, so I took her to my favorite French bistro. Bad idea. She was flummoxed by the menu, and finally ordered steak au poivre (probably because she recognized the word steak), and when it came asked the waiter for ketchup. That's when I knew it was hopeless and went back to dating older women.

                                                                                                I'm not saying she was a bad person but I was (as ever) looking for someone I could relate to as an equal, someone who could teach ME something. I've never been into playing tutor to sweet young things.

                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                                  Good on you for knowing, even in your mid 20s, how important it was for you to be with someone who appreciated food in the way that you did.

                                                                                                  I wasn't so wise in selecting my ex, and those differences (among others) took their toll over time.

                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                    Same here. I married a junk food junkie, and it was definitely a sticking point that he refused to eat almost anything I cooked, and when he did eat it, had to drown it in some sort of ghastly condiment. Also, that he refused to eat any real or whole foods, so the bathroom and the breath were particularly nasty problems. We are now divorced.

                                                                                                  2. re: BobB

                                                                                                    Over the years we've had many laughs over our friend who went to a fancy-schmancy place for prom, and ordered steak tartare because it was pricy, and involved the word "steak". Imagine the horror of his unsophisticated 17 year-old self when it arrived at the table! RIP, Tony H.

                                                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                                                      bob, I know what you mean.

                                                                                                      I am about to be divorced for the second time.
                                                                                                      First husband, although picky about food, really enjoyed the ritual of cooking and eating, and preparing the meal was a joint venture, and something to be celebrated.
                                                                                                      Good music, wine...laughter....Eating together was joyous, and we oohed and ahhed throughout each meal.
                                                                                                      We decided to part happily after 9 nine years, and I moved on to hubby number 2.

                                                                                                      Rude awakening! I found that eating to him was simply a necessity.

                                                                                                      Cooking is the one thing that i am really passionate about and good at, and to prepare an elaborate meal and get no response was a punch in the belly!
                                                                                                      He never entered the kitchen to help, and cooking for him became nothing but a chore.
                                                                                                      I'm not sure how I missed all this before we were married!
                                                                                                      I must have been smitten.

                                                                                                      If I do eventually get back into dating, my number one criteria - is a love of food! and cooking!
                                                                                                      It is essential to me!

                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                        Wow, sounds like my situation with my 2nd wife(now divorced)
                                                                                                        She ate to live, while I live to eat.

                                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                                            Bob I was going to suggest that!

                                                                                                            1. re: pitagirl

                                                                                                              Are you guys referring to me and wadejay?

                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                Yeah, but not seriously. You're going to need some time to recover first.

                                                                                                                1. re: BobB


                                                                                                                  I know..
                                                                                                                  Eventually, though I do look forward to cooking a lovely meal for someone who will enjoy it!

                                                                                                                  I did peek at wadejays profile and he's in it would have been a bit of a commute anyway!
                                                                                                                  (NY here)

                                                                                                                    1. re: GraydonCarter


                                                                                                                      Very Funny!

                                                                                                                      NJ Housewife I am NOT!


                                                                                                                      However, I do actually live in NJ!

                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                          always, ALWAYS, offer to have a date at one of ur favorite restaurants, or cook one of ur favorite meals, as one of ur early dates. if they are grossed out/mortified/completely uninterested or say something like "can we just mcdonalds instead?" they u know to RUN!!!

                                                                                                          1. re: cookmyassoff


                                                                                                            Haven't had any dating oppertunites as of yet. (I am not ready for online dating) and I dont know any single men....BUT...when the time comes, I swear - food is going to be a huge factor this time.

                                                                                                            I am just beginning to love cooking again..I cook for friends and co-workers, and the joy is coming back...

                                                                                                            Wow - to have a partner that shared my joy - wow.
                                                                                                            I am excited at the mere prospect!

                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                              i mean, u have to eat 3 times a day, every day. so food is going to be a big part of ur lives together, u know?

                                                                                                        2. re: BobB

                                                                                                          I also seek women who are interested in or at least open to quality food. I made the mistake of taking the archetypal party girl to one of my favorite spots. The menu is pretty inventive, but she wasn't interested in the food in the least. Her only question after great descriptions was, "is it spicy" ...he did mention jalapenos.

                                                                                                          The staff and I have some level of rapport so I was pretty embarrassed when she thought that discussing selling her extra prescription pain killers was appropriate dinner conversation not only for us, but doing it loudly enough for everyone around to hear.

                                                                                                          if there had been a next time, I' probably would have chose somewhere with a drive-through.

                                                                                                          1. re: Rodzilla

                                                                                                            whoa back in the day I may have discreetly asked her about availability on her next ladies room visit (the pills not her) and she WASN'T a keeper?

                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                              Hill food you just made me cackle ;)

                                                                                                          2. re: BobB

                                                                                                            see, this is why its good to go to restaurants for first/early dates.....what and how people eat can speak volumes about them. ketchup on ur steak au poivre. nice. the "probably because she recognized the word steak" part is awesome....didnt even know they carried ketchup in french restaurants. o, maybe for the pommes frites...

                                                                                                          3. Well, nothing too horrible, but on my second date with a woman, we each had a salad to start. It was a great salad, and I left nothing on the plate. Nothing.

                                                                                                            The young waiter came and asked how everything was as he cleared the plates, and I said, jokingly, "Oh, I hated it." Of course, I loved the salad, as evidenced by my plate which you could basically use as a mirror, so clean it was.

                                                                                                            The next thing you know the manager is at my side asking what was wrong, and I had to tell him over and over that I loved the salad, and was just joking. He insisted that he makes things right, almost making a fuss in the dining room. I told him repeatedly I was very happy with the salad and everything else, but he insisted. It was was weird and ridiculous. He actually comp'd the whole meal.

                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                              Oh god, my dad does that all the time! And when he tastes the wine, he makes a face. At some point it may become funny, but the rest of us have to reassure the poor 20 something waitress that yes, everything is fine! :)

                                                                                                              1. re: DCLindsey

                                                                                                                I have learned to refrain from that worn out joke, after that particular fiasco!

                                                                                                                1. re: DCLindsey

                                                                                                                  My dad does similar things when we are out in public, let me know if stuff like that ever becomes funny! We laugh about the fact that he does that stuff, but when he's actually doing it, it's never funny because the person he is doing it too invariably does NOT get his sarcasm!

                                                                                                                  1. re: DCLindsey

                                                                                                                    I had an ex who would reply to "how was everything?" with "I have only 1 complaint: my food is gone".

                                                                                                                  2. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                    Reminds me of my uncle, who's favorite compliment after cleaning his plate: "Wasn't fit to eat!.'