Appetizers

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mar52
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Appetizers - Wed, 09/5/12 11:32 PM
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What's the point?  Do we really need to eat before we eat?
 
($$$$$)

felix4067
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 12:31 AM
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I often get them instead of dinner. Because, seriously...is six chicken tenders NOT a meal?

mjambro
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 6:01 AM
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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.   
<message edited by mjambro on Thu, 09/6/12 6:23 AM>

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 8:09 AM
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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.
<message edited by CCinNJ on Thu, 09/6/12 9:50 AM>

SeamusD
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 9:58 AM
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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.

RC51Mike
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 11:04 AM
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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.

mjambro
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 12:30 PM
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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. 

mar52
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 1:26 PM
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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.
 
 

chewingthefat
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 1:28 PM
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In answer to your question Mar, yes we do, if it's a killer French Onion soup!

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 1:59 PM
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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.

MellowRoast
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 2:27 PM
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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.
 
 
 
 
 
<message edited by MellowRoast on Thu, 09/6/12 2:40 PM>

MellowRoast
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 2:54 PM
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mjambro 
I'm guessing you also find it odd that Italian cuisines often have a pasta course before the main course.   
[/quote



Yes.

iluvcfood
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 3:10 PM
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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!

kland01s
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 3:12 PM
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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.

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 3:30 PM
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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.

felix4067
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 3:37 PM
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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.

rumaki
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 4:00 PM
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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.

mjambro
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 6:39 PM
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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.)

pnwchef
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 7:12 PM
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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

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 7:13 PM
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Carpaccio & Pulpo are an appetizer land & sea dream team. What entree?

ann peeples
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 7:34 PM
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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!

MellowRoast
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 7:55 PM
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Ann, those aren't appetizers, those are reasons to party! 

mar52
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 9:39 PM
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Without appetizers it's just a game.
 
Ever go to a party where the appetizers run out really early?
 
So do the guests.

FriedClamFanatic
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Re:Appetizers - Thu, 09/6/12 11:51 PM
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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"

Foodbme
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 1:25 AM
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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!

kland01s
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 9:32 AM
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This is my favorite tapas place, yum!
 
http://mesonsabika.com/menu/lunch/

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 9:51 AM
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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!

kland01s
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 10:24 AM
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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.

ann peeples
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 10:56 AM
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Have had the bacon wrapped dates-very good!

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 10:57 AM
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Wow!!!!

http://theamateurfoodiebl...icas-in-burbs.html?m=1

I'm coming for a visit!!


kland01s
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 11:47 AM
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CC let me know if you do and we'll join you! Tapas are always more fun when shared with a group! Those are awesome photos, BTW, some of my favorites are mentioned. Oh heck, I like just about everything they have! I haven't been there in about a year and now I'm dying to go back!

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Fri, 09/7/12 4:57 PM
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I'll be in Oak Brook in February. That's right down the road...and worth the trip.

It'll be fun!! I'll move in...if they let me.

kland01s
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Re:Appetizers - Sat, 09/8/12 9:27 AM
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Many good places to eat around Oak Brook and Naperville, you will be busy!

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Sat, 09/8/12 10:42 AM
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I've been studying LTH and having fun deciding on the dozen donuts we will get...from maybe 12 different places. It will be a day of donuts at this point. We love cake donuts and I keep finding excellent candidates in the Chicago area.

I have five weeks to decide (write down... seal in an envelope...final decision...no going back or I get the silent treatment) how many & what I will order from Pintxo in Montreal. The pressure is on. I know beef cheeks will make it to the list. One down.

http://www.pintxo.ca/en/menu.html




mr chips
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Re:Appetizers - Sat, 09/8/12 1:22 PM
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Depends on the appetizer. The best steakhouse in portland is the Ringside and they have an excellent bar menu of appetizers which trudy and i use as a tapas style meal. And sometimes i just eat an appetizer as it is enough food for me. I think appetizers are the American form of tapas though we don't call them that.

kland01s
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Re:Appetizers - Sat, 09/8/12 1:57 PM
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Too many American appetizers are fried which tapas aren't.

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Sat, 09/8/12 2:14 PM
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A great way to take a luxurious tour of a delicious menu...without paying extravagant prices...or dealing with long service delays or disasters.

ann peeples
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Re:Appetizers - Sat, 09/8/12 3:02 PM
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Frankly, I prefer appetizers, depending on the restaurant, as opposed to dinner.Also, it depends on whether it is a group setting, or just Bob and I.A good steak joint? No appetizers needed. Gotta agree with CC in NJ...

BelleReve
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Re:Appetizers - Sun, 09/9/12 10:37 AM
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My thoughts are along the same as CCinNJ, Seamus, and others.  An appetizer with an entree is too much.  There's three of us who eat out for lunch fairly often, and if the appetizer looks interesing, we'll split it.  Takes the edge off being hungry while waiting for the meal, but doesn't fill you up, and it's fun sharing and talking while waiting for the lunch. 
 
There's one restaurant here whose appetizers are better than the entrees.  I like to order  a cup-sized portion of soup or gumbo, and 1-2 appetizers, and it's very filling. 
 
 

mar52
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Re:Appetizers - Sun, 09/9/12 12:36 PM
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Around here the price of appetizers seem to be increasing.  I think some of the restaurants realize they're losing money on those that don't order the dinner items.
 
 

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Sun, 09/9/12 1:35 PM
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In the big boom of the 80s the happy hour bar sensations reached the menus in NYC...by popular demand. Sometimes much to the chagrin of Chefs who would come to be know by a bowl of sensational party nuts as much as anything.

The low carb diets also play a role in apps. Outside of the fried suspects found in chains...many good apps are low or free of all the heavy pasta/rice/potatoes found in entrees.

On older established menus...some items are listed that are more side than app...and are usually ordered that way.

I have always made lunch my primary meal...over dinner.

The beef cheeks are such a generous portion...I think I'll only make it to 3 (instead of 5-6)... and a bottle of wine or cava. A well-balanced meal.

http://www.kungfoodpanda....part-montreal.html?m=1

Pulpo is choice #2!!

http://www.goodfoodrevolution.com/montreal-day-1/
<message edited by CCinNJ on Sun, 09/9/12 2:35 PM>

mar52
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Re:Appetizers - Sun, 09/9/12 1:47 PM
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They ought to give beef cheeks some sort of fancy name.  Maybe I'd try them.

CCinNJ
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Re:Appetizers - Sun, 09/9/12 1:52 PM
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On the menu they are...

Carrillera en salsa de Rioja

That sounds nice. I always pulpo (octopus) because beef cheeks & octopus and I get are you sure about that? Yes!!!