How to date a picky eater
June 20, 2005 3:03 PM Subscribe
I want the tasting menu, she wants plain chicken and mashed potatoes - how can my girlfriend and I eat out and at home so that we are both happy?
posted by rorycberger to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
About me: I am a 23 year old SF bay area food lover who grew up trying new foods all the time and is an aspiring home cook. I'll try anything at least once and I like to cook elaborate, exotic, richly flavored meals. Though I'm not rich, I'm happy to pay good money for great meals, and want to try everything the bay area has to offer (e.g. chez panisse, french laundry, gary danko, etc.). I love my girlfriend and would like to share these fine dining experiences with her (who else would I take out to a $500+ dinner in Napa?).
About her: She's always been a somewhat picky eater, and recently found out that she has Gastroparesis (a stomach condition that stemmed from her diabetes), which further limits what she can eat. For those unfamiliar with the condition, it essentially slows down your digestive system to a near halt, and thus you must only eat easy to break down foods (i.e. low-fiber, low-fat). Combined with her personal preferences, this means that she won't eat almost any vegetables, raw or cooked, and can't eat anything fried or covered in a fattening sauce. She likes everything plain, or with only simple flavorings. She loves me and is willing to slightly push her limits and occasionally try new things, but it takes some coaxing and I know she's only doing it for me. We've already had a couple of occasions where I've picked a restaurant that I thought was relatively safe and she's been unhappy and unable to find choices that she likes.
My questions: Has anyone dealt with a situation like this, where your partner has seriously different eating preferences? If so, how did/do you make it work? Also, I'm curious about how high-end restaurants would react to her eating habits (e.g. can I seriously ask Thomas Keller or Alice Waters to cook without fat or anything green)? I know that they accomodate for food allergies, but is this too extreme? If you think they would accomodate us, how and when do I tell them? Any other tips?