“Going out to eat can be a great experience, but if you do not get to do it too often it can also seem a little intimidating to you. When you need to go to a special dinner for work, with your girlfriend to meet her parents, with a potential employer or really with just about anyone you want to have some basic food knowledge and insight so you can know what things you may want to stay away from for that. The last thing you want is to end up ordering a plate of food that you have no idea what it is and the smell alone makes you want to gag. Here are a few tips that can help to guide you about what not to order off of the restaurant menu.
• The Foreign Language Menu – There are times where you may be asked to go to a particular restaurant where the menu is completely written in a language you cannot read or speak. When you go to a French, Spanish, German or any other type of ethnic restaurant and the menu is this way, try not to panic. The people you are with are likely familiar with the menu and the restaurant and can help to guide you so you do not end up ordering the fish head stew or something else that might turn your stomach.
• Avoid the Tartare – You may see menus that offer different types of tartares on them without much explanation. Tartare is some type of raw meat, usually mixed with herbs, spices and perhaps even egg (sometimes raw as well). If you are not a fan of eating raw meat you may want to stay away from this one.
• Pate, Foie Gras and Caviar – Not only are these items all often ridiculously expensive, if you do not know what they are you may not want to order them to start with. Pate is basically a mixture of some type of meat and a fat that is made into a paste. It very often is made from the liver of an animal. Foie gras is duck or goose liver that has been fattened and prepared. Caviar is fish eggs that have been salted and cured. Some people love them; others do not even like the sight of them. The choice is yours.
• Haggis – Only for the truly adventurous and not often seen on menus anywhere (it is banned in the US), true haggis is sheep organs (the heart, liver and lungs) that are minced and combined with onions, spices and fat and then traditionally comes served inside an animal stomach. That might be all you need to know about this dish.
Naturally you should always be willing to try new things to open up your mind and palate to new flavors, so you may want to give some of these items a shot at some point. However, if it is an important social gathering it might not be the best time to try something out so you can find out it makes you ill. Use your best judgment and you will do just fine. In the meantime, make sure you have the best ride possible to the restaurant so you get there on time and safely. You may want to look into what is available at the Costa Mesa Dodge dealership at www.mcpeeksdodge.com to find a quality new or used car or truck. This way you can always stop for fast food on your way home after dinner.