HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


pet peeves for other 'foodies'

just had a dinner last night with a lovely couple who are really into food. They aren't on chowhound, but they might as well be.

That said, there were a couple things I noticed about dining with them that irked me a little and realized that these type of things bother me when

- saying that you have an issue with your palate just because you dont care for a certain dish. (e.g. in my case, fois gras, ill tried it, i just dont like the flavor or texture and really dont feel like trying it anymore. my wife similarly doesn't like escargot for similar reasons.)

- asking way too many questions to the waitstaff about an item you have no intention of ordering

does anyone else have similar issues when dining with other Hound types?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't understand the first and don't think I have ever experienced the second. If I understand you these people knowingly asked a ton of questions about a dish that included something they knowingly would not eat??

    15 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      I don't get the first scenario either. Perhaps DukeFan can expand on it for clarification?

      1. re: ttoommyy

        this is something i've gotten several times.

        whenever i say i don't care for certain foods, some foodies will tell me that i just need to develop my palate and sometime maybe I will see the light.

        1. re: DukeFan

          Ok. Got it now. I've never gotten that from anyone, but that is an obnoxious thing for someone to tell you.

            1. re: DukeFan

              Try telling people you don't like seafood. If I hear one more person say "Oh, you just haven't tried the right thing yet" I will punch them in their throat. If I have tried sashimi from both Nobu and Matsuhisa, sushi rolls from other places whose names I don't remember, fish and chips from Gladstones and two different London pubs, scallops from Rivera, tuna salad sandwich from Nate 'N Als, John Dory and branzino from Angelini, grilled octopus from Mozza, AND oysters from Arroyo Chop House and STILL don't like seafood, I think it's safe to say i'm not just flippantly saying it. I absolutely HATE the way my so-called "foodie" friends want to make it their personal mission to show me the light and introduce me to "good" seafood, since I have obviously only tried fiet-o-fish and decided I hate all seafood because of that. As my boyfriend says "If it tastes like chicken, then I'd rather just eat chicken." Also, I really hate the word foodie :)

              1. re: schrutefarms

                I would never tell anyone 'they just haven't had the right seafood.' As someone who grew up in a seafood averse household, I understand. You may never like seafood. But if you do ever get to that point, it won't be a lightbulb going on, it will have to be gradual conditioning over a long period of time. It takes a lot of trust.

                However, it would be very unusual for a Japanese or Korean person to not like seafood, so I am guessing you are neither. They have the conditioning, you don't.

                1. re: Steve

                  I think you hit the nail on the head with the "conditioning". I grew up in an American/Hungarian family, I love noodles, onions, pierogies, sour cream, sourkrout etc etc…I think the only fish we really had was fish n chips from H. Salt. Funny enough, though, my dad grew up Catholic, and I know they ate fish on Fridays…Come to think of it, after my parents divorced my mom started eating sushi, my brother loves it too. So I guess my dad was probably the one to hate seafood, and I just took after him! I wish I liked it though….I hate that there are so many cuisines that I can't/won't eat :( I don't like to be limited that way. People think I'm really picky, but I'm not. I like Italian…French…Middle Eastern…Greek…Indian…Japanese (tepanyaki)…Vietnamese…really, anything that doesn't have seafood in it!

                  1. re: schrutefarms

                    I understand. I only moderately like SOME seafood. Basically, if it's not very fishy. That fishy taste is just terrible. Just hits my tastebuds unpleasantly.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      I found some fish oil at Whole Foods that you take by the spoonfull, it's a lemon flavor and tastes exactly like lemon pudding with absolutely no fishy taste or aftertaste. I know it's so important to have all those omegas, and I've gotten none my whole life!

                      1. re: schrutefarms

                        Not so! You get them in grass fed meats, walnuts, healthy eggs, flax seed or oil. And wild caught fish. Of course, the oily ones tend to be fishy to some.

                        1. re: mcf

                          That's good to know! And walnuts are my favorite nut :)

                          1. re: schrutefarms

                            I seem to remember that walnuts are the one thing that Andrew Zimmern will not eat/taste.

                        2. re: schrutefarms

                          Yeah, I do a fish oil that is very well masked, too....good thing!

                        3. re: sandylc

                          Same here. All those people who rave about something that "tastes like the sea" and I just think "yuck!" I'm never going to enjoy that flavor.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            I've been hooked (pun intended) ever since my first raw clams and oysters age 7.

              1. re: carlee134


                My first thought!
                "Wasn't this an episode on Portlandia?"

                  1. re: jpc8015

                    "and never had a chance to call me mummy"

                1. re: carlee134

                  I love the bit about the couple who had recently gone to Spain and try to tell everyone at a Spanish dinner how they're doing everything wrong.

                  1. re: 4X4

                    I have been thinking about that Spain episode because of my time here in Madrid! Was so funny & believable. The recently traveled know-it-all!

                2. Nto liking foie gras is definitely good for your wallet.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Steve

                    And probably good for your body as well. : ) To play Devil's advocate for a moment though, I can list tons of foods and drinks I truly thought i would never like (sushi, bourbon, tofu, duck) and they are now among my favorite foods and I'm glad I gave them another shot. Ok, that's the end of that argument. We all like what we like and that should be good enough, especially when out with friends!

                    1. re: JeremyEG

                      I made a deal with my 17 year old - if he tried things that he didn't like when he was "younger" so would I. Still can't stand beets, brussel sprouts, foie gras, etc. And yes, I've had people tell me that I just don't know what's good. Annoying!

                  2. Me thinks your dinner companions were a bit pretentious and trying to impress you with their "superior" foodie-ism.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MrsJonesey

                      And, really, how superior could they be if they are not on Chowhound?

                      PS. I don't really think that - it just sounded good :-)

                    2. The wine slurpers. As opposed to the wine snobs. They slurp all through the meal to "get the maximum taste" from the wine. And seem to have multiple orgasms throughout the process.

                      "This is a great meal, but nothing like the pasta in Florence. You should have been there." I have. Many times. And the dried pasta served in the majority of restaurants uses wheat from the Dakotas and Canada. So please do not go into the raptures of local sourcing. Or do some homework.

                      I enjoy food. I really enjoy intelligent conversation. When I can get both in the same evening, it can be transcendent.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                        Good conversation is a lot harder to find than good food.

                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                          We have a friend who is a wine "slurper". 1st time I saw him do this I thought he was just "tasting" the wine but he did it all through the meal. Yuck!

                        2. Can't say I've ever experienced the issues that DukeFan reports. I'd have no problem with someone asking the staff about a dish, although I agree that when it gets to be "way too many" then it's "way too many". Folk will differ on their definitions here.

                          I would be distinctly unthrilled to be told I had palate issues when I'd exercised my choices for the meal. Faced with a question along the lines of "why didnt you order the X, this place is famous for their X", then I'd be happy to tell them why I hadnt ordered it. The reason would usually be "I don't like X". In this, I'm entirely with Mr & Mrs DukeFan in their choice not to eat foie gras (ethical reasons for me) or snails (don't like the flavour or texture)

                          1. I'd hardly call this couple lovely- they sound like 2 douche bags in a pod.

                            1. Regarding your first subject that is rather obnoxious of anyone to do. I can understand if you have never tried something like fois gras, because of it's nature, that someone might try to get you to "give it a try". If you have had it and didn't like it enough said, anything more from your guests is just pushy.

                              FYI you should really tell your wife to try escargot in a non traditional type sauce. To many times when it is served in a strong garlic recipe it over powers it, I have come to love escargot in more of a lemony francese style sauce. Seriously have her give it a try!! ;-)

                              For the second example you are giving, if I know they are allergic to shell fish going into ordering, and they are asking numerous questions about a zuppa di pesce, I would just call them out on it. I would ask the waiter to bring a clam out of the kitchen and rub it all over my dining companion.

                              Honestly, I have not really experienced either of those scenarios.

                              1. Bad manners are bad manners, has nothing to do with foodism. Your "lovely couple" are boors.

                                1. "They aren't on chowhound, but they might as well be."

                                  Please, no.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Here are mine:

                                    I've noticed that some "foodies" believe that finding fault with every dish, or rarely praising any dish, is a mark of sophistication or good taste. I find that pretentious, and a great way to ensure that you won't enjoy your meal.

                                    Or how about those who would just rather die than eat at a national chain? There are countless CH threads that go something like, "Save me from eating at The Cheesecake Factory with my bumpkin in-laws!" Please people. Get over yourself.

                                    93 Replies
                                    1. re: EarlyBird

                                      Agree on the hysteria over eating at a chain.
                                      It's food. It will be out of your body in a day or two, and flushed away forever.

                                      Get over it.

                                      1. re: monavano

                                        But why waste a meal in a chain if there is a better option close by?

                                          1. re: PhilD

                                            But what if good friends or beloved family members want to go there and that's the type of food they like? I certainly have no problem with going. God knows I go to enough Chow worthy restaurants otherwise. Life is full of compromises for the ones we love.
                                            Plus, I like chains once in a while!

                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                              Of course if you have to - but I do like to try and steer my good friends and rellies to decent food. And generally they appreciate it often asking for recommendations - after all shouldn't we look out for each other? I will follow the advice of my friend who knows more about music than I do, he likes my food recomendations.

                                              And like you every now and then why not.

                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                That's assuming you know better and that other people have angst over going to a chain.
                                                More than likely, they think nothing of it and would wonder why you make such a big deal about it. Plus, you risk insulting them, which btw, it is insulting to think that another adult needs you to steer them where and what to eat, when they never asked you in the first place.

                                                If you can't enjoy a meal with family or friends at The Olive Garden, you've got bigger problems than TOG.
                                                If you can't focus in a business meeting at TOG because you know they aren't as wonderful as your Mom and Pop place, you've got bigger problems than TOG.
                                                If you can't find something satisfactory on the menu at TOG, you've got bigger problems than TOG.

                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  Maybe its the company we keep. My friends and relatives appreciate it. Colleagues at work appreciate it. They often say lets ask Phil he will know somewhere good.

                                                  Don't really understand how helping someone is an insult - I suppose its all in how you deliver the message....like "good idea, but how about X around the corner it serves a great Y which I know you like". And as I said if they really want to go to a place I go along with their ideas.

                                                  Only been to TOG once and that was enough. Its OK but as I said earlier why waste time on average when you can do better. Food is my passion, so why shouldn't I be passionate about it and really care about what I eat.

                                                  Question: is a "Mon & Pop" place somewhere that is suitable to take my parents? I personally prefer independent restaurants, ideally with chef/owners who have (like me) a passion for food.

                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                    Question: is a "Mon & Pop" place somewhere that is suitable to take my parents? I personally prefer independent restaurants, ideally with chef/owners who have (like me) a passion for food.

                                                    Mom and Pop= independent restaurants.

                                                    If you can go somewhere better, then good. But, if it's not possible for whatever reason, don't let it bother you to the point of starting a new topic on CH bemoaning your first world problem!

                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                      Thanks for the definition, I always assumed it was a term for a folksy, homey restaurant rather than a good independent. Given Keller owns the FL is that M&P?

                                                      Isn't using “first-world problem” a new "Godwin’s Law" of discussion boards?

                                                    2. re: PhilD

                                                      The company we keep? That's a silly statement. Yes, my friends and family respect my opinions, but sometimes people are just set in their ways. I am 53 and have friends that I met when we were 14. We are all educated, successful people. I'm not about to start changing their eating habits at this point in our lives. If I have to go to a chain restaurant for 5 dinners out of 365 this year, so be it.

                                                      1. re: PhilD

                                                        <Don't really understand how helping someone is an insult>

                                                        If the 'helping' comes off as 'self righteous' and 'know-it-all' then it's an insult.

                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                          Of course - but I had thought I had qualified it adequately in the rest of that paragraph i.e. "....its all in how you deliver the message."

                                                      2. re: monavano

                                                        Most of these posts involve travel.

                                                        If I am traveling somewhere, I sure don't want to go to places I can visit around the corner. So I will try to steer people away from Olive Garden to a local-only place.

                                                        You are assuming that the other person won't appreciate the advice/effort. That you know better or are superior to the one asking for help.

                                                        I don't go onto the Chains Board and tell people they are fools, so why are you lambasting Chowhounds on other boards when they are looking for good Chow? That's the point of the website.

                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                          I assuming that you RISK offending, and don't assume that my opinion is being solicited.
                                                          My point is that if you are asked for advice, give it. If you are not involved in the conversation, myob. Even if you are aware that others are making subpar eating arrangements, in YOUR opinion.

                                                          CH'ers are food enthusiasts, but shouldn't assume that of others.
                                                          I hope that clears it up.

                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                            I am totally confused now... my point is that Early Bird's post was rude to Chowhounds asking for advice, no matter what the situation. Telling them (in a rather direct way) to "get over yourself" is about as rude as it gets. Let them decide what is appropriate given their own family and acquaintances.

                                                            1. re: Steve

                                                              I think we're not on the same wavelength, so I'm just going to move along at this point.

                                                              1. re: Steve

                                                                Steve, the subject is not when someone asks for advice about good food on this site. Of course, as you state, that is the whole point of it.

                                                                My point was that I find ridiculous those people who complain about something like, "The horror! I am being forced by rubes and hicks to eat at...at...a chain! It doesn't even have a single Michelin star. Help!"

                                                                These are not posts "asking for advice" but merely complaining to show off how sophisticated they are. For shit's sake, eat at..eek! Olive Garden or TGIF's and deal with it.

                                                                1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                  I seem to recall that Mario Batali said "it's all shit the next day".
                                                                  In other words, good food is good, and lesser food is not as good, but at least your body gets past it rather quickly, so perhaps, your mind should, too.

                                                                  1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                    ", "The horror! I am being forced by rubes and hicks to eat at...at...a chain! It doesn't even have a single Michelin star. Help!"

                                                                    This is not discussion, it's taunting. If you have a valid point to make, you don't have to mock others with ridiculous, untrue characterizations.

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      Case in point, this post, entitled, "Help, I'm being forced to go to Olive Garden."


                                                                      There's a lot of them on this board.

                                                                      1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                        The sad part is, this OP was meeting GOOD friends from out of town, and this was a concern to the point of needing help picking out something to eat!
                                                                        This is when you need to reassess your priorities. At least, I would.

                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                          Please quote the wine list and lack of Michelin star complaints. Or the pretension. I wouldn't complain to my hosts/company but I'd be disgusted, even OG commercials make me nauseated.

                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                            The use of exaggeration is to make a point, not to be taken literally.

                                                                          2. re: EarlyBird

                                                                            I thought the OP in your example was being reasonable in asking for help ("I am not knocking the place"), even asked for menu suggestion at Olive Garden. Certainly there was no name-calling as you suggested ealier.

                                                            2. re: ttoommyy

                                                              I think any place to "eat" is chow-worthy - take a look at the "Chains" board too - so that's no big.

                                                              Put another way, I don't eat at McDonald's in the US, but the Chinese ones have these nice taro pies. Then, if I do end up at a McDonald's in the US, because it's so uncommon, I'd probably write about it on here somewhere.


                                                              1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                "I think any place to "eat" is chow-worthy - take a look at the "Chains" board too - so that's no big." - my quick dip on that board seemed to show lots of people disagreeing with with you.

                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                  Pretty sure "chow" refers to "food," so... your point?

                                                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                    Correct but you did say "chow-worthy" its the worthy part I question.

                                                                2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                  At the same time, could you get a better taro pie elsewhere? I can understand eating at McD's elsewhere just to see what it's like but if I were craving a taro pie in China, I wouldn't head towards McDs. I don't think any place to eat is chow-worthy. If that were the case, there would be no need for the regional boards. We could just head to any food place.

                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                    Good for you.

                                                                    For me, I like food. It doesn't matter where it's made or who makes it, simply because it's food they've got my attention.

                                                                    1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                      My purpose for coming to CH is to find good food, not just any food. An analogy is going to a music site and saying all music is good. Hey, Justin Beiber is great stuff because it's music!

                                                                    2. re: chowser

                                                                      The McD taro pies are good. Consistently.
                                                                      And can be delivered at 2a.m.

                                                                  2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                    I truly despise chain food, and will try to steer my companions toward my favorite restaurants, but I pride myself in being an easygoing friend, so if they wanna go to Applebees, I'll go along with it. I'll even order something and make yummy noises. It's not gonna kill me.

                                                                    1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                      I was a guest at Applebee's a while back. I will admit that the burger I had was pretty good.

                                                                      I too never eat at chains while out of town, most of the time anyway, it depends on timing what the local options are. I have had some mediocre meals at independent restaurants in my attempt to avoid fastfood and casual restaurant chains.

                                                                  3. re: PhilD

                                                                    The point, Phil, is that a person is not going to die because they occasionally eat at a place that doesn't have a 20 page wine list and a valet. When, for a variety of reasons, the diner finds himself eating at a chain restaurant, and he expresses horror at the idea, he is being pretentious and ridiculous.

                                                                    1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                      I think you've drawn inappropriate extremes here. While I agree it would be rude to express horror at someone else's restaurant choice, it's not the least bit pretentious to feel terrible about wasting time, money and taste buds on frozen, microwaved pouch foods with questionable contents at restaurant prices.

                                                                      I don't care if a restaurant is fancy as long as it's clean and I don't care if there's a wine list other than "red, white, rose" if the food is great. That's not pretense, it's different priorities.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        Well said Mcf. Visiting friends do ask me often for restaurant recs and unless they ask for something fancy, I almost always send them to lower-end places that are great. I never thought that the choice was between a chain and something 'fancier' or with Michelin stars or whatever. I would imagine that someone who seeks out an Olive Garden while visiting NYC for example probably isn't interested in the food, service, prices, or wines at Michelin starred restaurant anyway and they should enjoy eating what they want. On the flip side, if I'm lucky enough to visit say Portland or Austin or Madrid, you better believe I'm looking for as much advice as I can get about where to eat. I do think of a chain meal as a wasted meal when I travel but I understand many others do not. Most of us are interested in food when we travel but not everyone is on Chowhound or makes food as much of a priority. I for example have limited patience for reading about the angle of each seat on a 777 on FlyerTalk but there are countless threads of people trying to sit in row 17 because the seat reclines a bit further than the rest.

                                                                        1. re: JeremyEG

                                                                          Chain food on vacation is a wasted meal, even on road trips with my family, driving through places not known for their food I will still try to find something good. But sometimes we just have to stop anywhere.

                                                                          My most recent experience was the farmland regions of Utah. Not too many chains there, thankfully, but the mom-n-pop places were all pretty terrible. Great service and atmosphere, those folks just aren't great cooks I guess.

                                                                          1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                            Well, I've found there aren't too many 'chefs' who know how to make a great eggwhite omelet but I can say one thing for Utah…
                                                                            A great fry bread is hard to beat when the urge arises.
                                                                            Just have to find those little secret 'hole-in-the wall' places I've found that are quite spectacular in those farmland areas.

                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                Great Egg White Omelet = oxymoron in my house. But tweecherown.

                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  Many years ago I was at a business lunch with an older associate and he ordered an egg white omelet....with a side of bacon.

                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                    What's wrong with that? I like egg white omelets and bacon.

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      He was a heart patient who had already undergone heart bypass surgery. I'm sure you can see the irony. (I guess I should have included that onformation on my previous post.)

                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                        bacon isn't bad for the heart. neither are egg yolks, actually.

                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                              Eggs, red meat, and cured meats were all deemed bad for people back then and this guy was supposedly on a low-fat diet. Some people still think eggs are bad for you. I do know that nutritionists are still calling for a low-fat diet for people with high cholesterol.

                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                Lots of folks were doing Atkins back then, IIRC. And the Zone, too. Those bad ideas still prevail, but are fading since the results have been abominably bad.

                                                                                                Dietitians call for high carb low fat. Most nutritionists are a bit smarter.

                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                  This guy was not on Atkins. This was all about cholesterol and his previous heart by-pass surgery. I'm still not convinced that a high fat and low carb diet is all that good. A person might lose weight, but I still do not think it is healthy.

                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                    Studies have demonstrated tthat diabetes, lipid markers and improve without weight loss on low carb, too. That huge glucose control result is what drives all the rest.

                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        Presumably John E. is referring to the fact that when ordering an egg white omelet, one is trying to avoid fat intake, which would be negated by ordering bacon.
                                                                                        But, some people order egg white omelets because they cannot stand the thought of yolks.

                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                          Or want to reduce calories, not fat, and choose the bacon over the yolk.

                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                            Uh no it still makes sense to me. Perhaps I'd rather allot calories or fat grams to bacon rather than egg yolks or both. It's not a crazy order. I don't always order egg white omelets to cut fat, I actually like them.

                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                              I have no problem, whatsoever, with yolks.
                                                                                              But I watch my weight and I eat healthy.
                                                                                              After eating them for so long whole egg omelets are just a little too much for me.

                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                  I've never thought of yolks as unhealthy when eaten in moderation, just like anything else.

                                                                                                  I just know I like egg white omelets better, that's all.

                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    They are an incredible nutrition powerhouse. But if you want the protein and not the fat calories, that's how you do it. I only do it rarely.

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                I like egg white omelets with cheese and ratatouille or at a local diner with roasted turkey, goat cheese and spinach. I don't use whites to cut fat, just the total calories. Usually, I eat whole egg omelets otherwise.

                                                                                            2. re: sandylc


                                                                                              Eggwhite omelet with fresh vegetable and feta for me.
                                                                                              Living in California it's a typical breakfast.
                                                                                              Very low in calories and actually healthy.
                                                                                              I have a favorite place I order one…
                                                                                              Not everyone knows how to make them good I've found.

                                                                                          2. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                            I agree it's tougher to swallow (sorry!) when you're traveling and want to experience "local".
                                                                                            Thank goodness for smart phones. You can look anything up on a dime and make course corrections on the fly to find decent chow.
                                                                                            A month or so ago, we made a quick trip to Wilmington, NC and not per usual, I had not really researched eating options before we left.
                                                                                            A quick Google on the smart phone led us to 1) a wonderful BBQ joint and 2) an amazing burrito joint.
                                                                                            We also enjoyed a lunch at a total tourist place, and while the food was just OK, the view and service were sublime.
                                                                                            Wouldn't change a thing.
                                                                                            Sometimes, other things trump the food.

                                                                                        2. re: mcf

                                                                                          Like you, whenever I go out for a meal I prefer to eat decent food that has been prepared by someone with some culinary chops.

                                                                                          But what if, say, I'm on a road trip and I just want a quick bite at some place close off the freeway? Maybe I'll go to Denny's. Or my college friend has a three hour layover and we just want to catch up, and the local Chili's is the most practical spot. Am I going to die? No. Is complaining about it obnoxious and pretentious? Yes.

                                                                                          1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                            Folks, this sub-thread is getting pretty problematic and we've removed a bunch of posts from it. We'd ask that people please let it go. Thanks.

                                                                                      3. re: PhilD

                                                                                        Well, that 'better' option sometimes isn't all it's made out to be.
                                                                                        I swear I've had better dishes at CHF than some of the high end restaurants in BH.
                                                                                        It's the pretention that many times makes a more expensive, upscale establishment 'better'.

                                                                                      4. re: monavano

                                                                                        there are chains and there are chains. . . .

                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                          Agree, and at some, you can have a decent meal.
                                                                                          Local chains come to mind.

                                                                                      5. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                        a few years ago I got whacked with a cluestick when I took my aunt to a M+P taqueria. I was sorta curious why she ordered the enchilada platter (at a taqueria?) and announced she'd never return - granted she considers Mexican should be Taco Bell, but I'll be fair, so a few hours later I realized her stroke 10 years ago left her one arm almost useless, so a taco or even a burrito would be difficult and so she probably ordered that way - just one hand and a fork.

                                                                                        I just let her pick the place now.

                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                          My husband graciously accepted a lunch date at Olive Garden recently.

                                                                                          I smelled it when he came in the door.

                                                                                          I smelled it for the rest of the day, evening, and night.

                                                                                          I smelled it on our bedsheets the next day.

                                                                                          It wasn't pleasant.

                                                                                          I haven't been to an Olive Garden in many years, and I really don't ever think about Olive Garden.

                                                                                          I was really surprised by this whole stink thing.

                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                            The same can be said about my favorite "mom & pop" Indian restaurant here in town. Food smells cling to clothing; doesn't matter if it's a chain or not.

                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                              Yabbut, some food smells good. :-)

                                                                                              I made huge pans of roasted ratatouille on Monday and enjoyed the smell on my sweater all day.

                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                I personally cannot stand the lingering smell of any food; even if I cooked it myself and it was delicious.

                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                  I don't like it much, either, and I never allow food smells to linger in my house. But I do love the smell of roasted ratatouille.

                                                                                                  I didn't know it was on me til I kept smelling it during an appt. I was at. It was on my left sleeve, the side I used to reach into the oven and stir it.

                                                                                              2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                This was a very bad smell - not at all like lingering Indian food.

                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                  It's been decades since my one an only visit to a Red Lobster and I haven't forgotten the smell and the lack of house keeping there.

                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                    Same here. It's been many years, but I still remember the shelf at the end of our booth being coated in dust and dead bugs.

                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                      We have a dilemma, similar to Sophie's Choice. We received a $50 Darden gift card from some people who don't know any better. Since there are no Longhorn Steakhouses in Minnesota (I deemed that the least offensive) and the only Darden restaurants here are Olive Garden and Red Lobster, which should we experiment on? I am thinking of the meal as a research project and I'll report back on Chowhound.

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                        OH, dear, what a dilemma. I guess I'd look at the menus online and decide, one, which is most appealing, and two, which one can you get away with putting the least of your own money into - !

                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          I had not considered spending more han the fifty bucks. I actually did look at their menus and was leaning towards RL. I have not been there since 2001 (also a gift card). I was last at OG in about 2003 as a guest. Not a huge restaurant pasta fan. The only Italian I cook at home is pasta with bolognese, the occasional lasgana, and Italian Sunday Dinner, all usually to fulfill a request by my father. (He says my bolognese is better than my mother's which is a huge compliment.)

                                                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                                                          May I suggest http://www.cardpool.com/sell-gift-cards

                                                                                                          At least you'll get something of value in return.

                                                                                                          1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                            I had looked into that gift card site once before but did not like the offer. This time the offer is at 80%. i might do that however I think my better half will veto because if we are asked by the gift giver where we went we'd have to lie. Of course if they ask us how we liked the dinner we might have to fib a little anyway.

                                                                                                            What I think we might do is to go to Red Lobster and spend it all on drinks over a couple visits.

                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                              Go to Red Lobster and order $50 worth of the cheddar bay biscuits.

                                                                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                Funny. I was going to mention my sister waited tables at RL when she was in college and her opinion was the cheddar bay biscuits were the only thing worth eating.

                                                                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                I'm taken to RL once or twice a year - drinks, biscuits and shrimp scampi are generally good choices, the steamed snow crab clusters, while once frozen aren't the worst thing.

                                                                                                                just avoid anything elaborately sauced.

                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                  I seem to remember the scampi was all oil and no butter? Or maybe that was at Joe's Crab Shack. (That was seven or eight years ago. I wish the waitstaff there would wait on tables instead of doing a floorshow.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                    it's been since October, but I believe it was clarified butter. maybe cut with some olive oil. to be more clear - keep it simple. forget the crabcakes, pastas and be highly suspicious of the 'fish of the day' (yeah like a place in my no-neck-land is going to fly in fresh or even flash frozen on a regular basis, sure and I'm not pissing on your head, it's just a light Spring rain)

                                                                                                                    I have no doubt everything is frozen and so stick to the stuff that has a high enough turnover that the risk of freezer burn is reduced.

                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                      My first instinct is to order the Sam Adams. (And maybe the scampi.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                        I worked there years ago, but doubt things have changed all that much. No butter, no olive oil, they used a product called Whirl which is catergorized as a "buttery substitute". I believe it may had a tiny bit of butter, it wasn't bad though and I used to buy it for home at times myself.

                                                                                                                        But everything at that time was not frozen. There was a "Fresh Fish Board" which listed four or five filets that were flown in overnight or maybe quicker, every day or two via Fed Ex, from Boston. Which was weird since we're on Long Island, but still it was fresh and a good choice at the time.

                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                          ewww so it's movie popcorn butter?. ehh it's only twice a year.

                                                                                                                          Long Island/New England maybe it is freshy, but I maintain my doubts about the red snapper in no-neck-land (and I'm being self-deprecating, not a snob as I doubt I'd eat catfish in Rhode Island).

                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                            This is what I know: where I am you can get seafood same day fresh at a small fish market where you see the fishermen still in their fishing gear delivering it out of a pickup truck. But most bigger shops and restaurants get itheir seafood from the big market in the city...comes from the same ocean, maybe even same fishermen, but the time lag is days, maybe even a week before it makes the round trip to its destination and onto your plate. Makes me think that FedEx is/could be doing a brisk business across the country distributing ocean fish to the midwest, to wholesalers if not direct to restaurants. You never know!

                                                                                                                            On the other hand, the brokers will tout frozen fish as "fresher than fresh" since it's frozen right on the boat with no sitting around. Sometimes it's a better alternative than something sitting around a few days, deteriorating. Freezer burn would never be a problem with a place like Red Lobster though, they have VERY tight inventory control.

                                                                                                              3. re: John E.

                                                                                                                Definitely Red Lobster. They have Cheddar Bay Biscuits. The biscuits have their own Facebook page, though I imagine most of the satirical posts have been taken down by now....

                                                                                                    2. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                      I hate that I look for faults in dishes. My mom and I are the worst. Im blaming her lol. We do it to each other with almost everything.

                                                                                                      I didn't even notice we did it until my boyfriend said he can't cook for me because Im 'to picky'. I don't think I'm picky but it do critic everything I eat, from a apple up. I don't even mean to or even realize when I started doing it. I don't think its for a pretentious reason. I just want to make sure its better or the same or what I would change next time I cook it or to buy that brand of apple again...

                                                                                                      1. re: daislander

                                                                                                        It happens when a person is both analytical and interested in food.

                                                                                                    3. Two that really do bother me.

                                                                                                      People who are dismissive out of hand about restaurants that are well-frequented by tourists. The presence of tourists, *in itself* is a non-data point, it neither implies poor quality nor suggests good quality (nor, for that matter, suggests average quality).

                                                                                                      People who slag the quality of anything: food product, brand, restaurant, whatever, (possibly after an initial period of gushing praise), once a it's been around for enough years to have become familiar.

                                                                                                      43 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: AlexRast

                                                                                                        Yes, "I'm so over X".
                                                                                                        Brussel sprouts and kale are so over, and I don't care, because I love them.

                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                          kale can't be "so over" by the looks of what is going on at my local costco.
                                                                                                          they are selling HUGE bags of pre-washed, organic, fresh, kale and the stuff is selling big time.
                                                                                                          they've now positioned it as the first thing you see when you enter the walk-in refrigerator.
                                                                                                          gotta admit, that those bags of kale are what motivate me to go to costco these days. the per-unit price is FAR less than that of kale at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. ..

                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                            I just noticed this last Sunday!
                                                                                                            I passed on the kale this time, as I have frozen boxes at home (not as good, but I have to use it up).
                                                                                                            My favorites in the walk in at Costco are brussel sprouts and mushrooms.

                                                                                                        2. re: AlexRast

                                                                                                          I understand the tourist comment but isn't it generally true that tourist restaurants are not usually good? So yes correlation not causation.

                                                                                                          There are exceptions but they are very few and far between. We all use signals and signs to select restaurants, and I expect we all have a fairly good restaurant radar, and one of the things for me is the tourist quotient. Thus, if it is touristy I tend to think about it quite carefully, and if I do relent and go I generally leave disappointed.

                                                                                                          1. re: AlexRast

                                                                                                            "People who are dismissive out of hand about restaurants that are well-frequented by tourists. The presence of tourists, *in itself* is a non-data point, it neither implies poor quality nor suggests good quality (nor, for that matter, suggests average quality)."

                                                                                                            One of the favorite restaurants on the NYC board is 11 Madison Park. It's high end and people rave about it and suggest it all the time to people visiting NYC... Otherwise known as tourists! lol I never get that "non touristy" restaurant thing either.
                                                                                                            My favorite restaurants in NYC that my husband and I frequent every weekend are full of tourists. When you live in or visit a big city, guess what? There are a lot of tourists!

                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                              Depends on how you define tourists as not all visitors are tourists. I would also argue that "tourist" these days really means those on packages etc rather than the more independent traveller.

                                                                                                              The term tourist I would say implies people follow the pack - 9 countries in Europe in 5 days type - rather than the considered independent traveller. I live in Hong Kong a real visitors city and you can see all the sub types which have different characteristics.

                                                                                                              And always good to remember that you and I are not tourists we are travellers ;-)

                                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                I define anyone visiting a city on on vacation is a tourist. When I was in Pisa, yes I took the obligatory silly picture with the leaning tower. I am not above that. I am a tourist.
                                                                                                                I work a block away from the Empire State Building, every day I see hundreds of people on my commute stopping in the middle of a very busy sidewalk to take pictures. Young and old, wealthy, travel savvy alike. When we go on vacation we have a limited time in a place we may never visit again. We become tourists. Nothing wrong with that.

                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                  Broad definition, I prefer the more subtle differentiation, which is probably pertinent when marking restaurants etc. There are those like EMP on the worlds top 100 and other lists that target high end travellers, probably frequent NYC visitors. Then there are those restaurants that are in the hotel listing magazines targeting the run of the mill tourists.

                                                                                                                  I often holiday in Paris a city where I once lived. Am I still a tourist or am I a visitor? I will certainly go to new exhibitions at galleries but I don't photograph the Eiffel Tower anymore, and choose local restaurants rather than the tourist haunts of the latin quarter or the Champs.

                                                                                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                    My husband and I have been to Rome 7 times in 10 years or so. We still take pictures of St. Peter's every time we go.

                                                                                                                    You and I are just two different types of people PhilD. Let's leave it at that.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                      You have a very catholic taste in vacations - note the small "c" - ;-)

                                                                                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                          Thanks professor. But as a copywriter, I knew what PhilD meant. ;)

                                                                                                                2. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                  Nobody, traveling to another state/country wants to be labeled a 'tourist'….
                                                                                                                  The people riding on those damn double decker/paparazzi/snoopy/loud and obnoxious buses are tourists.
                                                                                                                  The people riding in their rental cars slowing down traffic are tourists.
                                                                                                                  The lonely guy with a camera strapped on his side is a tourist.
                                                                                                                  Tourist/traveler….all the same.

                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                    They are not the same for the purpose of this thread.
                                                                                                                    They will not be eating in the same place.

                                                                                                                    The tour bus must stop at a prearranged place that can accomodate a large group of people, has to be convenient, within a pre-defined budget, be given a limited menu, and will be served food that the tour company deems safe for a tourist they have never met before.

                                                                                                                    The independent traveler has no such limitations.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                      So true - context is everything.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                        <The independent traveler has no such limitations>

                                                                                                                        There are plenty of 'independent travelers' who choose to ride the tour buses around LA. They're picked up where the tour bus stops and they're dropped off the same. When I travel to SF, as an 'independent traveler (which I am) I love riding the double-decker across the Golden Gate. Am I a tourist or an 'independent traveler'?
                                                                                                                        I just think there's a definite self-imagined stigma put on the word 'tourist'. It's not a demeaning term…so I'm not sure why people take such offense at being labeled it.
                                                                                                                        I'm just as annoyed with the 'independent traveler' who doesn't understand the nuances of a destination Ie: driving, pedestrian rules, shopping, etc., as I am the tourist who's under the guidance of a guide.

                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                          A DD bus across the Golden Gate bridge sounds awesome.

                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                            It is. Top deck on the outside.
                                                                                                                            It is awesome on a clear day or a foggy, cold day with the wind in my face and the sounds of the traffic.
                                                                                                                            I love the thrill of it and the splendor of that amazing piece of architecture and the bay beneath it.

                                                                                                                          2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                            I find it odd the term tourist is so emotional in this context. i also love doing some touristy things, and being a "tourist" in your own town is fun - after all how many people live in a city and never visit museums, cathedrals and monuments despite them being on their doorstep.

                                                                                                                            But in this context its a restaurant demographic. For example, if you decide to open a restaurant in San Francisco the chances are you will target a demographic based on location: a business restaurant in the CBD: trendy/hipster in the Mission: foodie at the Ferry Building; and tourist at Fishermans Wharf.

                                                                                                                            The menu would also be in context: business would do quick high end lunches and have a deep wine list for celebrations; the hipster place would make its own bread, serve craft beer and everything would come with Kimchi; the foodie place, would be an authentic obscure Asian cuisine; and the tourist place would sell fish chowder in a hollowed out loaf.

                                                                                                                            I am pretty certain we would all be able to identify these (and other) broad categories, I could even take a guess at he decor in each and the price points they aim for. The tourist place will often be an authentic reproduction of an old building, and will have bargain menus with lots of specials that cater for families of four with picky teenagers.

                                                                                                                            So is it not reasonable to use these demographic categories when discussing restaurants. I would be very surprised if anyone in a major tourist city didn't understand which restaurants were targeting tourists.

                                                                                                                            And in my experience the ones that get it right are targeting a very different market to me in just about every city I have been to or lived in. I really can't think of any truly good "tourist" restaurants - taking the SF example the last place I would eat is in Fisherman's Wharf in a cookie cutter restaurant. Did I miss out by heading into the Mission District or down to the Ferry Terminal (and yes with camera in hand).

                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                              "I'm not sure why people take such offense at being labeled it."

                                                                                                                              Nobody likes to see the herd mentality as exhibited by others.

                                                                                                                              On the DC Board of Chowhound, I highly doubt there's a single 'Hound who respects the people standing on long lines to get into Georgetown Cupcake (the folks with their own TV show).

                                                                                                                          3. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                            I'm not ashamed to be a tourist - what's the alternative if you're visiting somewhere new on vacation?

                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                              A couple years ago I was in New Orleans for the first time. I was on Canal Street when a couple from our chartered plane caught me with a map and a compass. Apparently, that made me a rube from the country. (I don't have a smartphone with GPS.)

                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                If you are doing a tourism study counting heads, then everyone is the same.

                                                                                                                                But surely you recognize the difference between joining a tour group and independent travel....

                                                                                                                                ...the difference between checking off monuments on a list and exploring neighborhoods or backroads.....

                                                                                                                                ...the difference between eating at a place because it's convenient to your hotel and crossing town to eat a specialized dish that is not available elsewhere....

                                                                                                                                I believe that is the gist of PhilD's observation.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                  Actually, we often travel independently to check off monuments from our list. Inherently eating whatever is available in the fairly out of the way places where the monuments are.

                                                                                                                                  More often, we travel to tourist resorts, stay in tourist accommodation and eat whatever is available in the touristy restaurants.

                                                                                                                                  I don't feel offended if someone describes me as a tourist whatever form of holiday I'm enjoying.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                    Some monuments are indeed in out of the way places and there is non-touristy food there.

                                                                                                                                    Like Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. A quick ten minutes by car got me to Ma's Islamic in one direction, and in the other direction to Vien Dong for their rendition of cha ca thang long in the heart of the Vietnamese community.

                                                                                                                                    Still, I was the only one eating at either place wearing mouse ears.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                      The use of the word tourist isn't meant to be perjorative, it's simply a convenient label to describe or categorise certain things. Tourism is generally mass market, it's generally cost driven, and often aimed at the lowest common denominator. Those are generally accepted characteristics of a market segment. So whilst it's correct to say all holidaymakers are tourists, not all tourists fit into the generally accepted demographic - hence the segmentation into independent traveller, and even backpacker.

                                                                                                                                      Think of your expectations if you are going to stay in a luxury hotel, a spa hotel, a business hotel, a tourist hotel, or a backpackers hotel. They all cater to leisure travellers and all will have tourists staying at them.....but the labels are a convenient shorthand that indicates the facilities, price point etc etc.

                                                                                                                                      So to describe something as a tourist restaurant or tourist trap is usually good shorthand and most people understand it.

                                                                                                                                2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                  "The people riding on those damn double decker/paparazzi/snoopy/loud and obnoxious buses are tourists."

                                                                                                                                  There I am again! I'm a tourist! Did one of those buses on our last day in Barcelona last year. Sat up top, the weather was perfect and got to see views of all the Gaudi buildings from an angle I never would have seen from the ground, even though we did the self-guided walking tour the second day we were there. I'll gladly call myself a tourist if it means getting the most out of my vacation. :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                    I like those hop on hop off buses. It's a nice chance to rest my tired feet and see things from a new angle and scope out the lay of the land. I took a great trip to Thailand a few years ago (yep, on tour buses) and we had a wonderfully knowledgeable guide. In 10 days, we had exactly 1 group meal- a getting to know you dinner the first night. She had a native's view of Bangkok and offered us wonderful meal suggestions. Lots of street food and menus we couldn't read. I thought it was fantastic but I guess I wouldn't know since I'm just a tourist ;)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                      Hey I did that in my own town, DC! And I had that camera on, too. Sad pathetic tourist...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                        We're such a bunch of rubes, aren't we? Perhaps @latindancer can tell us where she lives so we can be sure to never visit her area as tourists and inconvenience/annoy her. :)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                        <There I am again! I'm a tourist!>

                                                                                                                                        I live in a tourist destination. The only reason I have an annoyance with the buses, on occasion, is that they slow traffic to almost a standstill and, as a residence of that destination, it slows my day down considerably.
                                                                                                                                        The drivers of those buses seem to be oblivious to the traffic jam in back of them. It's just my little pet peeve.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                          SOmetimes being a "tourist" has its benifits My popa was lost with mom when she was little on Kauai and ended up in Charo's backyard.. she came out and said " Wha you do wwandering forth and back over and over come inside." so they went inside she fixed them a drink mom got to use the bathroom and she gave my dad directions back to the house they were staying in.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                              coochie coochie!

                                                                                                                                              she is also an excellent classical guitarist. and now apparently host.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                yes.I have some of her acostic fleminco downloaded..this would have been in the late 80s so I dont know what she would have been doing in those days.. but mom said she use to see her on "the Love Boat"

                                                                                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                      my experience is that "touristy" restaurants are ones that were generally good a year ago and may or may not be good now.

                                                                                                                                      this is just the natural evolution of restaurants. First you open and get some good reviews. Then you get the trendsetters, then you get to be a hot place, then you arent so hot so you get the suburbanites and finally you get the tourists.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: DukeFan

                                                                                                                                        ...and at some point after the great reviews come out, the prices go up and the chef leaves.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DukeFan

                                                                                                                                          You can't assume that's what will happen. There's no inevitability about the trajectory of restaurants, either in respect of who patronises them or what the quality will be like. Nor, for that matter, in how it or its employees respond to positive reviews.

                                                                                                                                          Tourists are a sufficiently random sample of the population that their restaurant choices are an equally random sample.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DukeFan

                                                                                                                                            Duke - maybe we have different definitions.

                                                                                                                                            A tourist restaurant to me is one near an attraction, often has a multi language translated menu, and usually has someone outside trying to entice me in. The Latin Quarter in Paris, around La Ramblas in Barcelona, the bottom end of SouthBeach in Miami (towards Joe's Stone Crab), Circular Quay in Sydney, Covent Garden in London, the V&A in Cape Town etc etc. are all areas with lots of "tourist restaurants" which locals often avoid.

                                                                                                                                            Your description is more aligned to what I call hipster or on trend restaurants that open up to great fanfare, are packed so you can't get in, and then the beautiful people leave, giving me the opportunity to try it. Sometimes savvy food "tourists" find them, but 99% of tourists are often eating close to their hotels in the "fun areas" of town (often manufactured tourist precincts).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                              i see your point Phil.

                                                                                                                                              That said, two of my favorite spots in London is Dishoom and Gauthier Soho, both right in the heart of Covent Garden. Maybe i am a tourist and dont know it

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DukeFan

                                                                                                                                                Don't worry, Upper St Martins Lane is classy and Soho is definitely not Covent Garden.....but one of my favs in London is Opera Tavern (great tapas) which is definitely Covent Garden.....there is no hope for us.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                  i love opera tavern as well. its where i always go after theatre. there is also a great american style diner about 3 doors down which is a great hole in the wall for good drinks and comfort food.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                            Swan Oyster Depot, famed fish bar in SF, is loaded with tourists the minute it opens…out the door and down the street.
                                                                                                                                            Locals too.
                                                                                                                                            You're right. When you live in a destination spot there're bound to be places that locals would LOVE to keep to themselves but it just doesn't happen.
                                                                                                                                            Word gets out and do locals/foodies just quit going now that tourists also enjoy the good food?

                                                                                                                                        2. people that find it is "cool" not be excited by food." Oh I've had better" or send food back for sport...

                                                                                                                                          people who cold and dismissive to waitstaff

                                                                                                                                          people who dont ask ask questions because they they are above learning something

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                            Those are all truly obnoxious.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                              my mother had a co-worker like that, I hated meeting them for lunch. it was like dining with Goldilocks except the bears were in the room and very indulgent (to a point).

                                                                                                                                              everything had to be sent back 2 or 3 times while the rest of us sat on our hands. everything on her plate was under-cooked and then it was over-cooked so the whole thing had to be started again. her tea wasn't hot enough and then it was too hot - on and on and on. painful.

                                                                                                                                              no wonder her husband and she took separate vacations...

                                                                                                                                            2. The first point is a depends. I have often eaten with people who have never tried a food because the concept of the dish puts them off - boudin noir for example. They just say they don't like something but have never tried it. I find that a bit disappointing and will try to encourage them to broaden their experience.

                                                                                                                                              So if someone had tried it and doesn't like it I think it is fair to ask a few questions to see if they tried a good example of the dish. It would be a pity to go through life hating a dish, and missing out, because some numpty had made a really bad or wrong version.

                                                                                                                                              I have had people challenge me in both the above circumstances and have changed my mind and feel better for it, for example I now love bone marrow, tofu, aubergine, and Indian food all things I detested before I was challenged (Indian food is now probably my favourite food).

                                                                                                                                              However, I still dislike slimy sea creatures (whelks, cockles etc) and snails, but will occasionally try them if my wife says they are really good at a certain restaurant. After all it's never too late to change my mind.

                                                                                                                                              On the second point. I totally agree. People should know what's in a dish - especially if they profess to be interested in food. A little explanation about an unknown dish is fine, or a quick question about an allergy is fine. But it's really painful when a fellow diner dissects each dish, and almost asks for a comprehensive recipe before they decide. The worst then decide they know better and re-engineer the fish by changing ingredients and preparation. My view: trust the chef, that's why you pay a professional to cook your food.

                                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                i'll actually be the one who will do a cross examination re: a dish's ingredients if i have ANY SUSPICION that walnuts were used in it's preparation. (anaphylactic shock is not fun)

                                                                                                                                                sadly, for me, many places will substitute walnuts for pine nuts or pecans because they are cheaper, so I HAVE TO ASK.
                                                                                                                                                (i love, love, love, pesto.
                                                                                                                                                real pesto should be made with PINE NUTS not walnuts, yet i find lots of places sneaking walnuts in)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                  anaphylaxis is a serious issue, but I do wonder about the differences between one nut and a next (kinda why I aced geometry yet flunked trig - somebody just tell me!)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                    Nut allergies are especially confusing. My daughter is allergic to cashews, pistachios, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts. She's fine with hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts and peanuts (I know they're legumes, not nuts). We can't remember how she tested on macadamias. Cashews and pistachios are understandable because they're in the same family w/ urushiol oil and so are mangoes so we just keep them away from her (we also refrain from feeding her poison ivy because that's in the same group). The others? Who knows.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                      Hopefully she will grow out of most of them, I did. I am still not certain if I didn't eat a lot of nuts because I was allergic to a few so my parents banned them all, or if I was really allergic.

                                                                                                                                                      But over time I find I can eat more - often because I eat one by mistake and realise there is no reaction i.e. I thought pate had little bits of gherkin in it until my wife told me it was pistachio.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                        Hopefully. At the same time, you don't want to take the chance w/ anaphylaxis and try! It's happened inadvertently and is pretty scary. She did outgrow her allergy to red dye #5. Talk about another odd allergy. The other odd thing is we didn't ban nuts, except peanuts for her because I noticed when she was nursing after I had peanut butter, she'd break out in hives/eczema. I wonder if those traces of pb might have desensitized her. But, it doesn't explain her other allergies/nonallergies.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                          Understand the concern - however there is a bit do an "allergy industry" that thrives on (the understandable) paranoia of parents, which is a bit of a shame.

                                                                                                                                                          The reality is few allergic reactions are anaphylactic reactions. We don't have the same paranoia about hay fever that we do about food allergies but it's the same mechanism. I am actually more allergic to horses than nuts but they are easier to avoid....in restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                          Sensible to be concerned and cautious.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                            I understand that there are few deaths due to food allergies. At the same time, I'm not willing to take that risk w/ my child. Even if it isn't anaphylactic, her response to the nuts she has accidentally ingested is scary enough--no one wants to see their child and projectile vomiting. That doesn't happen w/ hay fever.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                              Plus, not to be morbid, but when you hear about people dying from food allergies, it is very frequently people that 'didn't think their allergies were that bad' or 'had never had a serious reaction before.' Just because your previous reactions weren't life threatening does not mean that your next one will be.

                                                                                                                                                              I remembered when eating an apple just made me a little bit itchy. Then things got worse. Several years later, one of my students (preschool) accidentally wiped applesauce on my face, and I got to shoot myself in the thigh and ride in the ambulance.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                      Hill - it's simple different nuts have different proteins so you tend to only be allergic to specific ones. Some are related so have similar proteins so you can be allergic to a number. It's the proteins that cause the biochemistry that presents as the allergic reaction.

                                                                                                                                                      And if you refine nut oils or heat them up the proteins denature meaning so these oils generally don't cause allergies i.e" frying in peanut oil doesn't usually cause an allergic reaction.

                                                                                                                                                      Milk, soy, fish, wheat, eggs ect etc all have proteins that cause reactions.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, a nut is not a nut, explains it. They are different foods. The denaturation of proteins also explains why some are allergic to raw but not cooked eggs and vice versa but this is not true for all proteins. Allergies are fascinating IMO.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                        PhilD broke it down pretty well. I'm a little weird, though. I am mildly allergic to pecans (sore/itchy mouth and tongue, no breathing issues) but have not noticed a reaction to walnuts. It's quite odd, as the trees are pretty closely related....

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                          Closely related doesn't mean they have the same proteins or even the same proteins in the same three dimensional configuration which is also important to how your body reacts. Also allergic symptoms vary along a pretty big spectrum. It sounds like you have oral allergy syndrome.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                            yes PhilD did. me, I just plain don't like walnuts.

                                                                                                                                                            but this sub-thread helps me understand. and yes fldh - it is a fascinating subject.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                          Pesto in general does not have to have pine nuts. Pesto Genovese, yes. But there are hundreds of different types of pestos all over Italy that do not use pine nuts.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                            I share the severe walnut allergy so understand, and pesto has caught me out in the past (as well as an apple crumble the chef added walnuts to because he had some spare).

                                                                                                                                                            But surely you only test the dishes you know have nuts not all the dishes...?

                                                                                                                                                        3. I love food..and love to eat, so when I go out with food snob types, I order what I want and if they really start to get on my nerves, I just start giggling.--immature, I know, but I can't help it. It makes me really laugh when some wine snobs start yapping about the blah, blah, blah of the wine and the this and the grapes. Yeah. I get it. You know wine..but I have actually been to dinner with a wine "expert" who was appalled because when asked what kind of wine I like I said "Ohhh. I love dark red wine that tastes and smells like dirt". That is the only way I can describe wine I like. I really REALLY like wine that smells and tastes like dirt *shrugs*!

                                                                                                                                                          1. That's exactly how I feel when people tell me I haven't found the right cheese (I hate cheese) :) What you're describing just sounds like a bunch of pretentious snobs.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                                              It's also how I feel about people who insist I need to learn to develop a palate for alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                            2. If this bothers you, I think you should find new dining companions.

                                                                                                                                                              Life's too short to suffer through a good meal with bad company.

                                                                                                                                                              They say there's no such thing as bad sex. I say balderdash. I ain't having sex with an ugly person. Just not happening. Too much good sex to be had. And too little time.

                                                                                                                                                              Same for dining with friends.

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                i agree, though I think ugly people could be just as good in bed as lovely ones, it's about technique. ;-)
                                                                                                                                                                Just like ugly food can be tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                                                                                  There are no "ugly people" when engaged in that act; just those that are good at it and those that are not. Some of my best experiences were with the not-so-good lookers. Thankfully I learned that lesson early on in life. ;)

                                                                                                                                                              2. I find myself wanting to 'like' almost every response. ya don't like something? fine, means the kitchen won't sell out before my order gets fired.

                                                                                                                                                                I don't find them to be boors, boars (or "hounds") just boring.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Hmm, that's kind of unusual for foodies I think, to be judgy about someone else's palate ...

                                                                                                                                                                  As you might guess, I like foie gras, but I know plenty of people who don't. It is a lot of fat/very rich, and that is not for everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                  I have texture issues with fish, and I can't recall anyone telling me to get over it. Also not a fan of caviar, beer, and red wine.

                                                                                                                                                                  I generally go with my first instinct on something, and very rarely try to 'develop my palate.' I feel it's plenty broad. The only exception that comes immediately to mind is white wine. I'm a supertaster and had to develop a taste for it. I decided to do so because I wanted to be able to drink away from home, and here in the Bible belt there are many places without a full bar where your choices are beer or wine.

                                                                                                                                                                  I was reading on Ruth Reichl's blog recently about how she developed a taste for natto. Probably 'That's just crazy' crossed my mind while I was reading ...

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                    Foie-gras - beer is an interesting one. I grew up in the UK before the lager invasion. Back then best bitter was the standard beer and it was disgusting. So kids started their drinking with something called "mild" quite a low alcohol, slightly sweeter dark beer. After a few years on mild we graduated to bitter as our tastes developed.

                                                                                                                                                                    So definitely a learned taste - and there are amazing varieties out there with all the craft beers. My wife also hates beer but I haven't given up trying to convert her - after all peoples tastes do change over time.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PhilD


                                                                                                                                                                      I recall you're from Yorkshire - in your younger days, was a "pint of mixed" common, as it was here in the north west ("mixed" as in 50/50 mild/bitter)?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                        Not that I recall - although it is a bit hazy as cider was 20p a pint at the uni bar.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. I cannot stand people who are overly fussy - who edit the dish to a virtually unrecognizable state - who ask 3 million questions about everything on the menu then order a salad - who send food back for minor imperfections - who must compare every place to somewhere else that is always better - people who just can't enjoy a meal, enjoy company and STFU about every last detail. Save that noise for yelp - don't bring everyone down with endless analysis and complaining

                                                                                                                                                                    I also cant stand people who order the most expensive everything on the menu and then want to just split the check even...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Not a pet peeve, exactly, but I'm mystified by people who refuse to eat certain foods because they're trendy. To me, that's no different from insisting on eating certain foods because they're trendy. Either way, those people are letting someone else limit their choices.

                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                        I will no longer use Sriracha. It is far too trendy. From now on I will only use hot sauce prepared from locally sourced organic peppers hand picked by union labor.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                                              I was thinking of the peppers. They should also be free range.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                                                                I always laugh when the egg carton says "free range eggs" and imagine the eggs wandering freely out of the coop.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think of chickens riding on the range after cattle

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I have a problem with anyone who says there's something wrong with someone because they don't like something (or, conversely, because they do like something the other person thinks they shouldn't). I do encourage (but not insist) people to periodically try something they don't like, because tastes do change. I didn't like blue cheese until I was 30. I've slowly been acquiring a taste for seafood, although I still only like the milder types. Etc. But there are some things I won't eat just because of what they are, no matter what they might taste like.

                                                                                                                                                                            There are sometimes people who post on chowhound about fooling people into eating something that the poster thinks they should eat. I think that's reprehensible.

                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                              <There are sometimes people who post on chowhound about fooling people into eating something that the poster thinks they should eat. I think that's reprehensible.>

                                                                                                                                                                              Especially when done to children

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                Ruth - I accept your point, but equally there are lots of people who don't like things yet they have never tried them. I appreciate the adventurous eater who knows their palette and understands what they like. But that's very different to the (far too common) conservative eater who will never try new things and therefore doesn't really know.

                                                                                                                                                                                So maybe there is really "something wrong" with people who declare they don't like something if they have really never tried it....and maybe encouraging them to try things is good to do (obviously not if there is a moral objection or religious reason).

                                                                                                                                                                                I am certain we have all had friends who "see the light" regarding certain foods, it's often good to help them do so, and they are often grateful.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yabbut, the best way to help them is not to prod. Putting new foods in front of them so they can choose to experiment or not, without urging or coercion is fair enough as long as other options are present.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                    Complex topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                    There are those with actual allergies, or at least severe reactions to some foods. For them, a given food may be actually dangerous. It should be noted too that kids may have an allergy or intolerance that their parents don't suspect, hate a given food for the obvious reason, but everyone is mystified why until the reason comes to light.

                                                                                                                                                                                    There are those who may be able physiologically to have a given food, but can identify by the smell (which is rather reliable) that it's something they're going to detest. There is a difference, it should be noted, between things where the smell is mildly unpleasant, and things where it's clear to a person that they're going to hate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    There are those who have moral/ideological objections to a specific series of foods. Don't go there.

                                                                                                                                                                                    There are those who might like a food, but have only been exposed to very poor-quality versions of it. In that case they *might* like a very good version, but it's probably best to present it as an option, if you know a very good source, rather than attempt to foist it upon them.

                                                                                                                                                                                    There are those who have bad associations - not necessarily taste-related. Such people can often be more receptive - it's a matter of breaking the association, which they may recognise is irrational. However it's not a given that the association won't win.

                                                                                                                                                                                    And then finally there are those who are genuinely unadventurous by nature - who may respond to mild prodding, but you have to be diplomatic and sensitive.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AlexRast

                                                                                                                                                                                      I find 3 basic categories of "food phobic" people

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Hyper Sensitive:- Weather it is allergies, sensitive stomach, digestive intolerances etc some peoples bodies just cant handle a variety of foods - These are people who have real physical issues with food but also can lead to them psyching themselves out and blaming everything on food reactions to a point of excess - the mind is powerful, if you expect symptoms from everything you will get them

                                                                                                                                                                                      Plain Food People: -For some exploring new foods is a fun adventure but for others it is the opposite - these people like the plain food that they are used to and generally are happy to eat the same things over and over - these are hard people for a food adventurist like me to understand because trying a new dish at a new restaurant or buying something at an ethic market and figuring out what to do with it is fun for me but a horrible thought for "Plain Food People" The relationship with food for this group is very different from that of the average foodie.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Underexposed: Unlike the first two categories these are people who just have not been exposed to a variety of food in their lives and are wary of the unfamiliar - like the kids in my neighborhood who cannot recognize or identify many basic fruits and vegetables or people from rural places where variety is limited - these are the ones that can often be baby stepped into new foods with education and access

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                        That's an interesting and thoughtful analysis. Some will feel insulted by the "psyching" part, but I think there is some truth in that for some, and understandably so.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                      I would consider it judgmental to declare that there's something wrong with someone just because they approach food differently than I do.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                        But that isn't what I said - I was quite specific about "people who declare they don't like something if they have really never tried it". Its the fact they make a declaration without trying it that is the concern, not that they are different to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Take it too an extreme: the sad thing is that the general level of nutrition across many countries is fairly poor, and much of that is down to a poor education. People don't eat vegetables and fruit because they don't like them and often that is because they don't like them. Instead they live on fast and convienience food. Which is both sad and often disastrous for their health.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was lucky (didn't think this at the time) that I went to school in an era where we had school lunches and you had to eat it all - even the boiled cabbage and over cooked stewed liver (teachers checked). I understand that these days kids have complete choice and opt for burgers and pizzas rather than more healthy food, and when this is studied it is found he kids never eat anything else at home.....a sad indictment of the lack of for education.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                                                                          I can consider them misguided and uninformed from my perspective without suggesting that there's something "wrong" with them. Maybe it's just a semantic quibble, but I don't like labeling people as defective, which is what is suggested in the original post: "saying that you have an issue with your palate just because you dont care for a certain dish."