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The Almost-Order

February 9, 2010


My husband says that when we go out to eat, more often than not, I’m a better orderer than he is. I’m pretty proud of that. We’re both fairly adventurous eaters (bar a horrific sea scallop sushi experience that had me gagging and spitting a half-chewed wad of nastiness into a linen napkin only to beg my sister to dispose of it in the restaurant bathroom because I couldn’t bear to look at it again). So, aside from raw scallops, we’re good on the “try anything” food front.

Restaurant ordering can be tricky; the only exception for me is in places touting specialties. In my experience, if a place has the gumption to brag about something they do really well, chances are they do. These are the sorts of restaurants where the meals that boast a sign outside like “our chicken is the shit” (true story in Costa Rica-we did eat at a restaurant with that very sign out front and it was the aforementioned, shit).

Recently though I’ve gotten off my menu game and tried things I normally wouldn’t have ordered, but they’ve become the most memorable things about the meal. Making me almost ashamed to keep touting myself as the official best orderer in my house (even though it’s still ringing true).


These could be the family style night out with friends where you’re forced out of your food rut and experience all sorts of goodness at the table that you never would’ve allowed on your plate (I’m talking to you Parish BBQ Shrimp).

My favorite almost-order was an accident (they almost always are) when our waiter screwed my meal up more than once and heard me under my breath trying to convince my husband to order the coconut cake for dessert. My husband’s chocolate obsession won out, but the waiter made good by bringing us both. That cake I write all about here, and let me tell you my memory of its deliciousness has not wavered.

Because those almost-orders, much like life, really are the seven layers of frosting on the heavenly coconut cake.