With so many networks and social media devoted exclusively to food these days, you might find yourself wanting to try a new cuisine. At some point, you have to ditch the computer and get out. But with all the options out there, how do you even begin to choose? Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to shake up your food choices.
- Pick one cuisine you’re curious about. Start with just one. There’s no need to overwhelm yourself at this point.
- Phone a friend. If you’re interested in Indian food, tell your Indian friend that you’d like to try their food. Most people will be flattered. Ask for recommendations where to go and what to order. That’s what I did when I was curious about Serbian food. My office mate suggested Kafana and I ended up with this beauty.
If you get lucky, you might snag an invite from your friend for a home-cooked meal. Go for it! Otherwise…
- Go with a friend, preferably one who loves that particular cuisine and is familiar enough with it to serve as a guide. It would even be better if you can find someone who grew up eating that particular cuisine.
- Look up reviews. It’s up to you which site you’ll use, whether it will be Yelp or Tripadvisor. Sure, you trust your friend/family member and they will do you no wrong (I hope!), but find out other people’s experiences. Remember, those reviews are subjective. This will help you narrow down where to go, especially if there are plenty of choices.
- Check their menus in advance. Most restaurants share their menus online, so you’re in luck! Use technology to your advantage.
- Go where the locals eat. If you’re looking for Indian food, then check whether or not Indians eat there. Some restaurants come up with Americanized versions of a cuisine to cater to the American palate. If the Americanized version is something you’d rather try before jumping right into the real thing, then by all means, do so.
- Ask for recommendations when you’re at the restaurant. Most restaurants have bestsellers, signature dishes and specials. Let them know that it’s your first time to try their cuisine. Most restaurants can’t do enough for their customers. They’re representing their culture, country and people, so they will make sure to give you a good experience.
- Choose what you like. If you love chicken, then don’t order beef, pork or seafood. Knowing you’re eating something familiar will somehow alleviate the fear of the unknown. See the restaurant’s take on your favorite.
- Expect to be surprised. Trying new things, if you’re not ready for it, can be a traumatic experience. Don’t force yourself, but do try.
- Be open-minded. You’ll encounter different tastes, textures and scents. Who knows, you might end up trying a purple burger!
So make sure that you don’t rule out other cuisines without sampling them first. The worst thing that can happen is that you won’t like the food. The best thing? You just might end up finding something new to love.