When I go to a new restaurant, I have a favorite question I ask of the server which almost always lends to an incredible experience – with the food and the service.
After some dialogue and rapport building with the server, I’ll ask them what their favorite menu items are. If they’re aligned with my preferences, I’ll ask them “if you could only visit this restaurant one time, and you wanted it to be memorable, what would you order?
This accomplishes a few things; it builds trust with the person taking care of you. I’ve never had any server hesitate to offer great suggestions. In fact, they usually explain why they are suggesting the specific dishes they do, and this often makes it more meaningful. It also seems to empower the server to do great work, meaning they pay more attention to our table as they are engaged in the experience vs. being a transaction.
The most impactful part of asking this question is how wonderful it is to expand my tastes beyond what I’d normally choose, experiencing new foods and tasting new things I may not ever consider had I not asked to be surprised. Letting others take you on a culinary journey opens your mind, creates joy, and expands your palette spontaneously.
Doing this with a group is even more fun, especially when you compare your experiences.
There’s a richness in life when you let go of the predictable.