I was on my way to a coffee shop this morning, and I thought about my order. I was planning ahead. It hit me that I don’t typically just order off the menu. I tend to order off the off menu – you know – the hidden menu. I can’t just order a medium vanilla latte. I have to add a few extra pieces of instruction to it – which is not a bad thing, that’s just the nature of ordering coffee these days. We’ve turned it into this personalized ordering experience. Do this with the milk? Sweeten it with this? Don’t add foam? Make it this hot? Put this in it? Add another cup? What is your ridiculous coffee order that you just have to have?
I also do it to most sushi chefs when I go to eat sushi. I know what I like. I ask if they can make it – and typically, they don’t want to be shown up. It adds a bit of adventure to the experience. It opens up the menu and the experience to try different things that don’t show up on the menu.
On the one hand, someone can think that I’m super picky and high maintenance. On the other hand, I’m confronting the notion of the platonic dish (click on the link to see a previous post about it. Basically, it’s the idea that chef has decided what tastes good, and it’s the idea of challenging the chef’s composition of the perfect ingredients for a specific dish). Some would say that I’m being a jerk by ordering off the off menu, but others would say that I’m being wise by getting exactly what I pay for.
What does it say about me that I order off the off menu? What you say says something about you?