[Resolution] #95 Ask the waiter “What do you recommend?” And take his advice.

So many food posts lately.  I guess its obvious where my priorities on this list are.  🙂

Though, there’s something to be said about the joy of rekindling an old friendship.  Well, I’d say it was more like kindling one for the first time, even though the person I’m talking about and I have been smooshed together in the same schools since the 1st grade.  It’s strange how things work. That we’d seen or at least known who the other was for literally our entire lives, but just now, on this day at this time, we decided to start an actual friendship.  Or he did.  I have to give credit where credit is due.

Dane (he has a name) invited me out for a Sunday of food and merriment this weekend, and I gladly took him up on it.  After all, who doesn’t love food and merriment?

This day happened to begin with brunch at Blue Dahlia Bistro, a very cute, VERY European bistro on the East Side.  Side note about the East Side by the way, not nearly as scary as I remember.  There are a lot of great things over here.  I’m willing to give it another chance, but that’s for another day.

He was already there, sitting at a table with menus when I arrived.  We said our hello’s and sat down and, instinctively, I opened my menu to check out the offerings.

Dane did not.

“Do you already know what you’re getting?”  I asked, feeling a little self-conscious.


He didn’t open his menu.

His plan was simply to allow the waiter to choose what he would be eating.  He didn’t even want to know what it was before it came out.  Suddenly, it dawned on me.  Resolution time!

With options like Belgian Waffles and Blueberry Blintzes it took me a while to actually surrender the fate of my hungry stomach to a stranger, but I begrudgingly closed my menu and awaited the waiter’s return.

When he came, Dane explained as he evidently had done to quite a few waiters in his lifetime.  “Here’s what we want you to do.  Choose your top two recommendations on the menu, DON’T TELL US WHAT THEY ARE, just choose and bring them to us, whatever they are.  We trust you completely.”

After clarifying that we’d like to try one breakfast and one lunch item, since it was brunch time after all, he went back inside to whisper with the other waiters about what the best selections might be.  He came back, grinning and quite pleased with himself, confident that we would enjoy what was coming to us.

Moments later, this is what arrived:

Top: Tartine (open-faced sandwich) with brie, apricot preserves and walnuts.

Bottom: Sausage frittata.

My face?  If I were punctuation I would have looked like this: 😀  I didn’t get my Belgian waffles but after a couple of bites of a warm, melty, cheesy frittata, it didn’t matter.  And, honestly, I don’t think I would have even looked at the Tartine section of the menu since I’ve never been a big sandwich person, but holy mother these were good.  Brie and apricot is so perfect and sweet and creamy and delicious.  For a lunch item it’s suspiciously similar to a breakfast item.  Not only was each one good, they went together well too.

He’ll likely never see it, but thank you Dave the waiter for the best brunch I would have never put together myself.

I think it actually ended up being a little bit fun for the wait staff too.  I’m no expert but I don’t figure that it’s all to often they get to select what the customer eats rather than just fulfilling orders.  He seemed to enjoy the change of pace despite the potential intimidation factor of our possible dissatisfaction.

Of course, by this point we were so excited about the amazing brunch that we decided that we’d try our luck with dessert too.

Success. Dave’s selection?  Their specialty peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.  Hea-ven-ly.

I’m usually not extroverted enough to push anyone (or myself, for that matter) out of their comfort zone enough to do this EVERY time I eat, but I will definitely be trying this again.  Especially at the local joints like Blue Dahlia.  Austin has a lot of amazing features, but the local grub is definitely in the top 3.

And of course…what better to finish off a day of great local food than a trip to Cool Haus for–get this–more dessert.  (We’d walked a lot by this point and felt we were justified, somehow.)  We didn’t truly take any recommendation here, but stuck with our brunch theme and walked away with an ice cream sandwich of Hot Cake Cookies (maple cookie with maple sugar bits) and ice cream filling riddled with lucky charms cereal and flavored with Jameson whiskey. This has nothing to do with the resolution but it was too great not to share.

Question of the Day: Have you ever asked for a waiter’s recommendation?  Was it good, or terrible?





3 thoughts on “[Resolution] #95 Ask the waiter “What do you recommend?” And take his advice.

  1. ahh! dane always does that. i remember when i worked at meadows, he never asked for a drink, he just wanted me to surprise him each time.

    as for your food, those two things are the exact items the boyfriend and i had (that we picked) the last time we were there… my mouth watered seeing those photos.

    great decision on coolhaus, i always want to go there after dinner anywhere in the city.

    as far as taking the waiter’s recommendation’s… i can’t recall, but i know i have done it once or twice and it was at a tip top fancy restaurant. I believe it was Perla’s (it was amazing of course, everything on their menu is) and it was some kind of exotic fish I had never had before.

    • See, I am the exact opposite. I can never decide what I want because I love evvverrything. Maybe you could put parameters on it, like “What’s your advice on a good chicken dish?”

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