Appetizers

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mar52
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2012/09/05 23:32:51 (permalink)

Appetizers

What's the point?  Do we really need to eat before we eat?
 
($$$$$)
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    felix4067
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 00:31:05 (permalink)
    I often get them instead of dinner. Because, seriously...is six chicken tenders NOT a meal?
    #2
    mjambro
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 06:01:06 (permalink)
    mar52

    What's the point?  Do we really need to eat before we eat?

    ($$$$$)

     
    Along that logic, what's the point of a dessert (or soup course)?
     
    Guess it really depends on the main course size.  We've pretty much stopped eating out most full-service meals (as well as some fast-food places such as Five Guys and Hardees) because portion sizes have typically become fit only for the obese.  Carrying home left-overs has no interest for us.   Along that line, I do find it odd that people will order appetizers and/or dessert but eat only about 1/4 - 1/2 of their entree.
     
    It may also depend on whether the dining is to be a relatively quick meal (typical American chain restaurants where management drives for maximum table turnover) vs. more social, European style dining which  tends to be more centered around an evening out through a series of smaller portion courses (single table usage).
     
    Another use for an appetizer might be to keep one occupied while the main course is being prepared.  In the US, the salad course tends to serve that purpose, but in other countries, the salad course (much smaller portion size than a typical US portion) is typically served after the main course, prior to the cheese, nuts and/or dessert.  
     
    I'm guessing you also find it odd that Italian cuisines often have a pasta course before the main course.   
    post edited by mjambro - 2012/09/06 06:23:50
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    CCinNJ
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 08:09:58 (permalink)
    Many times the appetizers are much more attractive creative & exciting vs. the entree section. One or two appetizers and/or a salad... I'm good...and not too full.

    A request of this being served when that is served (to other party or parties) or a nice variety of appetizers for everyone means smooth sailing. Salad last. Unless dessert is spectacular enough to eat after I ate.

    Portion sizes have become so large that an entree often means plenty left. I eat out when I want to eat out. I don't want to bring it home.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/09/06 09:50:05
    #4
    SeamusD
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 09:58:19 (permalink)
    I never get an appetizer all to myself, it's always shared. Sharing a small bite and a drink before squaring off with your own entree is more of a social lubricant for the rest of the dining experience, if you catch my drift.
    #5
    RC51Mike
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 11:04:55 (permalink)
    I'll only get an appetizer and dessert if I see something interesting on the menu and frequently we'll get a few and share them.  When we go out we tend to get what we want and enjoy ourselves.  If portions are large we bring them home so they don't go to waste.  I'd rather get a great meal less frequently and not worry about what it costs.
    #6
    mjambro
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 12:30:43 (permalink)
    CCinNJ

    Many times the appetizers are much more attractive creative & exciting vs. the entree section. One or two appetizers and/or a salad... I'm good...and not too full.



     
     
    Good point.  I've been known to order an appetizer with a bowl of soup, appetizer with a side salad or even an appetizer with a dessert.  When our children were much younger, we'd simply order an appetizer for their meal. 
    #7
    mar52
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 13:26:17 (permalink)
    mjambro: 
    Along that logic, what's the point of a dessert (or soup course)?
     
    THAT did not answer the question.  It just posed a new one.
     
    I'm guessing you also find it odd that Italian cuisines often have a pasta course before the main course.  

     
    DITTO and that's a cultural offering, not really an appetizer.  Italian meals are served in stages of different offerings as are French and probably other countries. 
     
    This staged dining also makes for an enjoyable evening of social dining with family and friends.  Not eat your meal, get up and go on to other matters.
     
    -------------------
     
    I've been trying to add new topics for discussion, not attack. 
     
    My feel on appetizers.  First, I order them occasionally because I like to try different things.  Sometimes a couple of appetizers are more attractive than one main meal.  Other times I'm not as hungry and would prefer an appetizer sized offering.
     
    I don't count soup or salad as an appetizer for some unknown reason.  I won't always order a salad, but if the soup sounds interesting it's a given that I'll order it.  It usually doesn't detract from the meal.
     
    That said I think appetizers afford a diner a little taste of something besides their main meal.  A little diversity in dining.
     
    I also think that appetizers are money makers for the restaurant.... which is not a bad thing.
     
     
    #8
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 13:28:12 (permalink)
    In answer to your question Mar, yes we do, if it's a killer French Onion soup!
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 13:59:25 (permalink)
    I never order an appetizer or a desert. And like Mar I don't consider soup or salad (not that I'd actually ever eat a salad -- I never eat what my food eats) an appetizer.
    #10
    MellowRoast
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 14:27:09 (permalink)
    Mar52:  I've wondered the same thing and agree it's $$$$.  I find most appetizers rather unappetizing in the first place -- generally fried, greasy, fattening fare.  And costly.  (That said, I'm a sucker for a really good shrimp cocktail.)  While it's common for families to serve soup, salad, or desserts with meals, my parents certainly never served appetizers.  There wasn't any rationale for doing so.  I rarely order one, but will sometimes order an appealing dessert -- if it's homemade.
     
     
     
     
     
    post edited by MellowRoast - 2012/09/06 14:40:55
    #11
    MellowRoast
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 14:54:31 (permalink)
    mjambro 
    I'm guessing you also find it odd that Italian cuisines often have a pasta course before the main course.   
    [/quote


    Yes.
    #12
    iluvcfood
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 15:10:18 (permalink)
    There have often been times where I have ordered appetizers as my main meal!
    One thing I will NEVER order..........  the SPECIAL of the day = what they couldnt sell the day before!
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    kland01s
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 15:12:22 (permalink)
    We enjoy eating at a Spanish tapas place which is essentially eating appetizers. Fun to go with a group and order 15 or more things and pass them around. Each plate comes with 4 to 6 small portions and if we like it, we order more. We don't do this very often as the food tends to be very rich in butter and sauces.
    #14
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 15:30:56 (permalink)
    Tapas!! Small plates (our version of meat 3/5/8) is very popular delicious and far from the fried regulars.
    http://www.casellula.com/...012/05/Menu-9.4.12.pdf

    My parents never served cocktails during dinner either. That changed.
    #15
    felix4067
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 15:37:45 (permalink)
    iluvcfood

     One thing I will NEVER order..........  the SPECIAL of the day = what they couldnt sell the day before!

    You're not going to the right places. Around here, the special of the day is planned in advance, and they specifically order in the ingredients to make it. Probably 90% of the time it's something not regularly on the menu.
    #16
    rumaki
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 16:00:53 (permalink)
    I certainly agree with felix4067 about specials of the day.  In my experience, they ARE special -- things they found at the market seasonally or serendipitously.  At brunch at Beaumont Inn in Kentucky last spring, for example, it was frogs' legs.  The previous fall, it was fried oysters -- both things not on their regular menu.
     
    As for appetizers, I, too, enjoy having a couple with a salad, in lieu of an entree, because they tend to be more interesting as well as manageable portion sizes.  Whether I have one plus an entree depends on the place, and who my dining companions are (and what they're having).  I still love the supper club-type places that offer you soup or tomato juice as an appetizer with your meal, along with a relish tray, separate from the salad course and before the entree.
     
    And at an old-fashioned, Chinese-American restaurant, I can never pass up an egg roll and (if they have it) rumaki.  Of course.
    #17
    mjambro
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 18:39:35 (permalink)
    MellowRoast

      I find most appetizers rather unappetizing in the first place -- generally fried, greasy, fattening fare. 


     
    Good point - It seems appetizers today (especially at the chains) seem to be mostly fried, greasy items.   Guess that's because they are quick to prepare prior preparing the main course (out of the freezer and either microwaved or dunked through a fryer).  
     
    My preference for an appetizer might be some mussels in a wine sauce, pan roasted clams or scallops, bruschetta, cold cuts & cheese, prosciutto & melon, crab meat cocktail, etc, although I'm not against occasionally enjoying a fried crab cake, chicken wings or some calamari. (Hmm - is my Italian preference shining through?)  Guess my appetizer preference is primarily a small portion of a shellfish as a taste bud wakeup.  (IMO, soup, pastas and/or salads are not appetizers.)
    #18
    pnwchef
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 19:12:18 (permalink)
    I agree Mar, I can't see any reason to order them as they are meant to be ordered. If Joyce and I are splitting a meal at a restaurant that serves large portions, then we may get a appetizer. I have ordered Mollie items off the Appetizer menu because it's like an Adult menu with kids portions. ....Take care.................Bill
    #19
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 19:13:50 (permalink)
    Carpaccio & Pulpo are an appetizer land & sea dream team. What entree?
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    ann peeples
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 19:34:12 (permalink)
    I am an appetizer queen! Love having them as opposed to dinner. This Sunday( Packer game), its cocktail wieners in homemade bbq sauce, artichoke dip, hot ham and rolls, and cheese and crackers...yum!
    #21
    MellowRoast
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 19:55:47 (permalink)
    Ann, those aren't appetizers, those are reasons to party! 
    #22
    mar52
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 21:39:03 (permalink)
    Without appetizers it's just a game.
     
    Ever go to a party where the appetizers run out really early?
     
    So do the guests.
    #23
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/06 23:51:05 (permalink)
    I assume we are talking more about "upscale places" here, than your typical roadfood place. Even there, sometimes the appetizers work better.
     
    I'm one of those who will order 2-3 appetizers and no entree.  Why?.I like the variety ( Love Tapas bars).  the entree is often served with what I consider insipid sides ( this is in quote Higher end places unquote........roadfood places do much better on sides)  Often the veggies that come with meal are lukewarm or cold and must be eaten before the rest of the plate if you want any sense of warmth out of them.  The starch is sometimes interesting, but often not.
     
    I can also have the place pace the appetizers.....No don't bring them all at once! And i feel better about sharing.stupid, but i do.
     
    Often 2-3 appetizers will cost as much or more as the entree, sometimes as much as the entree and an appetizer, so I don't feel like I'm cheating the joint out of revenue - if anything, I may be saving them $$ since the plates are usually less "frou-frou"
    #24
    Foodbme
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/07 01:25:36 (permalink)
    Today, a meal of just appetizers will cost as much as what a regular meal used to cost.
    Both the bride and I can't eat a big meal anymore so we just get an appetizer, maybe soup or salad, a drink and the bill is usually $30-40 Dollars!
    #25
    kland01s
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/07 09:32:50 (permalink)
    This is my favorite tapas place, yum!
     
    http://mesonsabika.com/menu/lunch/
    #26
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/07 09:51:14 (permalink)
    What a great menu!

    I know I'd love to try the dates in bacon. My date would wait for me to make the other critical decisions. That's a good problem to have.

    Meson Sabika also looks like a georgous place!
    #27
    kland01s
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/07 10:24:30 (permalink)
    CCinNJ

    What a great menu!

    I know I'd love to try the dates in bacon. My date would wait for me to make the other critical decisions. That's a good problem to have.

    Meson Sabika also looks like a georgous place!

     
    It is! The dates are one of my favorites as well as the garlic potato salad.
    #28
    ann peeples
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/07 10:56:35 (permalink)
    Have had the bacon wrapped dates-very good!
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    CCinNJ
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    Re:Appetizers 2012/09/07 10:57:30 (permalink)
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