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Aug 22, 2012 10:08 PM

Would you ever give unsolicited advice to a stranger at a restaurant?

Let's set the scene.

You are dining with your companion at a restaurant you are quite familiar with. You know what's good and, more importantly, you know what to avoid, in this case the salmon.

In an adjacent table is another couple who are within earshot and you overhear that they are considering the salmon.

What do you do? Do you warn them? Or say nothing?

Or be passive-aggressive about the situation and say to your own dining companion, in a rather loud voice so that adjacent diners can't help but overhear, how awful the salmon is at this particular restaurant.

What do you do?

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  1. It would depend on why it is awful (eg. farmed, wild but not line caught, etc -vs.- consistently overcooked, sauce is always congealed, skin is left on and soggy, etc.). If it were something that could be helped, I might consider leaning over to say that they might want to consider asking for their fish done *this way*.

    Although I never do, I MYOB at restaurants. I'm there to enjoy my food and the company of my dining companion(s). I couldn't care less what other people near me are ordering.

    1. Well, if the restaurant I am dinning at does not know how to prepare salmon, one of the most simple of mains to prepare, I would not be considering what the other table is ordering but rather what the hell I am doing dining there?!?!??!?!?

      4 Replies
          1. re: Insatiablegirl

            One of my favorite restaurants does a great job on everything I have ordered there except one dish that I have tried twice, and can't stand their preparation. Apparently not everyone agrees with me because after a dozen years it is still on the menu and i see people both order it and clean their plates.

            I never assume that my tastes match those of others, so i would be reluctant to tell strangers my opinion, solicited or not. My friends aren't so lucky, I'm more than happy to share my opinion, even when they don't want to hear it. LOL

            1. re: Insatiablegirl

              Insatiablegirl, very well said, indeed!

            2. This is an easy one. I would mind my own business.

              Who are you to decide what others order at a restaurant? If you did this to me, it would totally creep me out and ruin my evening.

              1. Never tell someone that a menu item is not good (or bad), tell them what is good, and if they ask about the salmon, just say you never ordered it.


                11 Replies
                1. re: Maximilien

                  "if they ask about the salmon, just say you never ordered it."

                  So you think it is appropriate to lie to strangers who ask your opinion?

                  1. re: FrankJBN

                    Or just say, "I prefer the chicken".
                    Diplomacy, not deceit.

                    1. re: FrankJBN

                      If they ask -- all bets are off.

                      But to insert your opinion into their evening? not right.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        This describes me and my hubby.

                        And I have an aversion to restaurant eaves droppers, self-centered loud talkers and young children who peek over the booth to start conversations with strangers (beyond hello).

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Restaurant-strength pepper spray.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            ah, but my dh's dart-eyes usually do the trick effectively enuf.

                          2. re: HillJ

                            I share your dislike of all of those types, and I would add that I really really dislike people who read my newspaper with me on the train, thinking I don't notice.

                            1. re: Willa

                              heehee -- I had that one time on a plane -- after about the fourth page, I just turned to him and asked if it was okay if I turned the page. The ruby blush indicated I'd hit the mark squarely.

                          3. re: FrankJBN

                            yeah, I don't get that either. I can see why it might be best to keep your mouth shut if not asked, but if you're opinion is solicited, why in the world wouldn't you warn people?

                            1. re: FrankJBN

                              lying is a sin, editing is a career.

                          4. I've got to say, I don't really go to restaurants with "bad" dishes. There are dishes I don't care for at basically every place I go but that's just personal preference. I wouldn't impose that on a stranger. And if I was the one ordering, I'd be completely weirded out.