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I'm sorry you don't like what I ordered, but keep your thoughts to yourself

I was at dinner last night with 2 friends. "Jim" ordered spaghetti with white clam sauce. "Roz" had a salad with seared tuna, and went on and on about how she thinks white clam sauce is "not good" and you may as well put rubber erasers in garlic on your spaghetti, "Jim" finally blew up and told "Roz" to pipe down about his food of choice. These 2 consider themselves good friends, so I think "Roz" felt confortable speaking her mind on his entree, and her thoughts on food in general. Similar comments were made about dessert choices, and rather than facilitate a conversation about food, it served to make everyone uncomfortable.

I am fine with people having whatever opiniion they want about what I order - to each his own and as long as I am happy with my choice I'm all set. But last night there was some tension and "Roz" did not understand "Jim's" position. The 2 are now barely on speaking terms.

What do you think - is it OK among friends to speak candidly about food choices, or is it just plain rude? Should we care what people think?

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    1. re: nothingswrong

      Maybe? If verbal sparring equates to that kind of chemistry it is very possible!

      1. re: SamuelAt

        I was kind of joking, but it seems there is something else going on there.

      2. re: nothingswrong

        My thoughts exactly. Possibly some subtext going on here. ;)

        1. re: nothingswrong

          nothingswrong: if they were they're not anymore (and that point in the timeline was before the dinner)

        2. This is the textbook example for "Don't yuck my yum". "Roz" needs to learn enough good manners to keep her opinion to herself. Who is she to determine what someone else wants to eat?

          There is a very fine line among good friends between speaking one's mind and being frankly rude. Making people uncomfortable is the opposite of what good friends ought to be doing. In the future, "Roz" can order her seared tuna salad and pipe down about anyone else's choices. Truly, it is none of her business.

          1. Its all in the tone - and the repetition - a comment that you don't like lasagna is different than mocking ones decision to order lasagna and demeaning them for such poor taste in food. Sounds like your friend pushed the topic a bit too hard. With a few drinks in me as "Jim" I could pick a fight over this starting with "if you don't like lasagna you clearly just never had good lasagna and also obviously don't know shit about food in general because you are an iditot" and on we go

            1. There's no way to make a negative comment about someone else's food choices and not cause at least some level of offense. If you've had the dish at that particular restaurant, and they haven't, then you might make a comment about whether they prepare it properly not. That at least is useful information - so long you mention it *before* they've ordered it

              Otherwise, it's best to keep your thoughts to yourself and enjoy what you have ordered.

              I also wonder, like nothingswrong did, if there wasn't some unspoken subtext to this food discussion; if not, there's just no other answer - "Roz" was just plain rude, period.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mcsheridan

                Sure there is, the person on the receiving end has to actually have a spine though and not need validation on every choice they make. Now if it happens at every single meal or every time the specific topic is mentioned that's a whole other issue.

              2. I squirm in my seat when I hear my dining companions order 'the steak' in any restaurant, but I never make a comment. But when I order the sweetbreads in a white wine lemon sauce, everyone seems to deem it ok to make comments that would make anyone uncomfortable and even lash back with comments. But why would I want to push my Chowhoundness on others? Let them eat whatever they want, just as long as I get what I want.......

                17 Replies
                1. re: Gastronomos

                  It's a shame you get comments about being more adventurous.
                  Agree on "the steak"- seen if backfire.

                    1. re: Gastronomos

                      funny, Gastronomos, because i get critical comments because i WON'T order "the steak."

                      never could figure out why it matters to so many people. . . .

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Funny indeed. I'll be sitting with nice company and they'll order 'the steak' and when I order anything other than 'the steak' I'll get all sorts of comments. It's like I insulted them or something. Hell, if you want a steak, for whatever your reason, go ahead. Just cause I won't order one in a restaurant shouldn't be such a personal problem to anyone. There are people out there that seem to take offense to Chowishness no matter what. I make no comments about their choice but people are often offended by mine.
                        Maybe I should just give in to the Laws of Power and order 'the steak' or whatever they order, but I want to just enjoy my food as much as they enjoy their comfort in their choice...

                          1. re: Gastronomos

                            Personally, it does not bother me at all if someone at my table orders steak. I usually order seafood if we are eating at a steakhouse. I always order steak when I find myself at Texas Roadhouse (my father and brothers like the place).

                            1. re: John E.

                              I never order steak in a restaurant either - I prefer seafood. But I have a good friend who loves the Texas Roadhouse - he always orders steak in most of the restaurants we go to. So when we go to the Texas Roadhouse I'll order the petite filet with sauteed mushrooms, a loaded baked potato and salad and it IS pretty damn good! And reasonable too.

                              1. re: John E.

                                ya' know... it doesn't "bother" me either, by itself. It's just that if I don't, it's like I insulted them. And they make it very uncomfortable. Whatever.
                                This video was a reply to me in this post somewhere, it is Perfect... http://youtu.be/PcMaZLiqVpI

                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                  Sorry, I guess I was focusing on 'the steak' and the fact that I sometimes do order a steak in a restaurant, rather than your dining companions' comments to you. I don't understand that either.

                                  It's like going to Mendes with Kenny Bania.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    exactly. in both ways. understanding is beyond comprehension

                            2. re: westsidegal

                              How does that even enter into the conversation? What kind of situation are you in where people would dictate what you should order (as opposed to the topic of this thread, which is about people being critical of what you did order)?

                            3. re: Gastronomos

                              I can understand a steak being a safe choice, but a really great steak is actually not always easy to find! But that said, I usually order something else unless I am in a steak house, or have a serious craving.

                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                I order 'the steak' in lots of restaurants. I have a number of allergies, and often it is the safest option compared to other things. I wish that I could get something more fun, but a steak and baked potato is almost always safe for me, and going out is not all about the food.

                                However, I'm also the person that goes through the entire menu and looks for fun things to suggest for my husband to order. Plus, if I look through the menu, I find ideas for things that I can make at home in a way that will not kill me.