Last Update: Oct 9th, 2022

Don't Ask the Bartender What to Order



I eat out a lot. And sometimes even when I'm not eating, I'm just hanging out at a bar, because that's what we do here in Las Vegas. Something that really irks me is when people ask the bartenders what to order. It makes no sense.

When I was in high school I worked in a luncheonette; I used to come in when my last class was over, about 1pm, which is mid-lunch. The first thing they'd say to me: "Push the Brisket" or "Push the Meat Loaf". It meant that they made a boatload of it and nobody was ordering it. For this reason alone, you should always be wary of what restaurant employees tell you.

While this may not be the case in a higher end restaurant; think about what you're doing. If you're at a table, you may have no choice. But if you're at the bar, you're probably surrounded by regulars; maybe even a food critic; people who have eaten at the place numerous times and who could provide real insight into which dishes are good and which dishes suck. So why ask a 22yo bartender? I was at the edge of nausea recently, as one couple asked a 22yo "what's good". "OMG, the calamari is amazing", she spouted. "And the tuna; I eat it 3 times a week". Of course this was that same person who explained to one customer "We have Rapini today; it's like Broccoli Rabe". No Babe, Rapini isn't like Broccoli Rabe; it IS Broccoli Rabe.

Before I go to a restaurant, I research it thoroughly. I read everything I can about it; because even people who have no overall credibility know more than I do if they've been to a place and I haven't. To me, that's the best way to do it. But if you find yourself at a restaurant bar, you're much better off asking people around you if they've eaten there before and what they like; you can't expect a bartender to give you good, objective information about the place where they work, particularly when most of them don't have very evolved palates.

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