As I treated myself to a lunch of tacos and papusas at La Placita this week, I started thinking about my usual approach to ordering food: find something good and stick with it.
I have a bad habit of doing this. Grabbing a sandwich? You bet it’s a BLT. Thai food? Pad woon sen, please. Italian? Baked ziti. And as for La Placita, I’m a big believer in their bean and cheese papusas and fajita beef tacos. There isn’t a more satisfying lunch on this planet.
On one hand, I like to think I generally have good taste. When it comes to things like movies, music, friends, dogs, humor, and food, I always look for quality and that has served me well. So when it’s time to go out and grab something to eat, I don’t usually fret at the thought of getting the same thing I’ve had before. I trust myself enough to go through the menu and find the best-sounding dishes.
Going with a sure bet may not be the most adventurous strategy when dining out, but it has its advantages. First of all, it cuts down on the time it takes me to order. I’m an easy-going guy and not often in a hurry, but when the restaurant is busy, already knowing what I like means my order gets in faster and the staff don’t have to circle back to me.
Having a usual order can also make your face a bit more memorable. I frequent a certain Tex-Mex establishment with a good friend of mine and our usual order consists of just two beers, both the same. It’s a simple order and one we put in regularly enough that it’s now ready by the time we make it up to the counter. And to top it off, our loyalty is often rewarded with an order of chips and queso on the house.
Lastly, I’m a big believer that your go-to order is a good way to stave off disappointment. The thought of not having to cook your own meal or clean up after it is one of the most alluring aspects of ordering out, but when the food doesn’t live up to the hype and you’re out the money, it’s understandable to be bummed out.
But on the other hand, I must admit that I’m always a little disappointed in myself when I don’t branch out on the menu. The feeling is rarely enough to force me from my usual fare, and that’s OK because I know whatever I got instead is still going to be delicious. But every once in a while the fear of missing out on something new drives me to jump ship and explore the unfamiliar. Sometimes it’s a risk worth taking, and other times, it’s not.
But, ultimately, that’s OK by me. After all, something’s got to keep you hungry for the next great food find.
Happy birthday to Cynde Kehnephdhl, Eric Burton, Ben Watson and Lynda Ferguson Laws, all of Sherman; Tim Lyles of Ivanhoe; and Willie E. Hunter of Wichita, Kansas.
Happy anniversary to Glenn and Linda Thurston of Pottsboro, 60 years.