You sit down, settle into your table, and open a menu to see what story a particular menu is going to tell. Sometimes it is a short story. Other times it’s a bit of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Occasionally it is a lesson in regional gastronomy. Every once in a while you get swallowed whole by the intense drama of the chef’s plot and you want to taste every word on the page. As a food blogger and writer every once in a while you actually get to experience a menu in its entirety or just about.
Dining with a table or room full of food bloggers and writers is unlike any other culinary experience. What I’ve learned over the past several years of writing about food is that although I’m an adventurous eater, and I believe that you have to order well to really enjoy any given restaurant with a few exceptions, I have missed out on a lot. By being given tastes of dishes I would never in a million years order I have had the chance to experience foods and drinks that I thought wouldn’t work together or suit my taste. Bit by bit the compounding of one surprise after another has rocked my strategic menu analyzing boat. So, now I am more willing to order something that might disappoint because I know that there is also the chance of a pleasant surprise.
Not all food bloggers, but many (and those I enjoy dining with most) will happily dine off complete strangers plates and sip a neighbor’s cocktails. We walk this fine line between needing to capture an image of the food place before us, from every angle and by each diner and insisting that our food be eaten as it was meant to be served…namely hot (in most cases).
We whip mini tripods out of our purses. We strategically move candles and tap on our flashlight apps to get the lighting just right. Among bloggers we feast with our social media eyes first and our palates and stomachs second.
On the other hand if you see us out to dinner with friends or on date, we do try our best to just inhale, smile, and pick up our forks.