January 22, 2013

Apropos Appies

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As my mother saw it fit to stuff me to the brim over break, we toured local restaurants, most of them chains. From Italian to Mexican, American to Chinese, we soon discovered that for many years we had been ordering wrong. It was always iffy whether to order an appetizer, a decision influenced much by how big our party was or maybe if we had hit up the gym beforehand, but a main dish was always certain. Incidentally so, our first few meals out, we ordered an array of appetizers. The many plates that graced our tabletop could’ve hit any sort of craving imaginable.Realizing the effectiveness of this new trend, we continued ordering in this way everywhere we went. Chinese was the easiest: Spare ribs, pork fried rice, chicken lo mein, sesame chicken, fried dumplings and a couple of egg rolls. The trick is to know each place’s specialties, whether through personal experience or the equally important word of mouth. Chili’s has outrageous nachos, mini cheeseburgers and crispy, crispy (chicken) crispers. Houlihan’s has made a huge statement with its outrageous shrooms, goat cheese poppers and disco fries.My last night home, my family met up at Fridays. Although I knew I wanted something cheesy, breaded and reeking of unhealthiness, I couldn’t pass up the similarly unhealthy breadsticks. If there is one thing you try, please let it be these. They are hot, light, doughy, buttery and deceivingly garlic-y. I’m being modest when I say I finished an entire basket (of about 5-7) in a maximum of ten minutes. I clearly wanted to prove the age-old mantra that anything is possible… through my record-breaking devouring of food, that is. Along with the garlic goodness, we ordered mozzarella sticks, wedge salad, soup, nachos and one order of ribs. These kinds of establishments are more than generous with their portions, and this kind of ordering allows you to dabble, dip, mix and match however you’d like. You may get to experiment with a dish you haven’t tried before if more than one person is in favor of ordering it. Also, it’s a simple solution to controlling how much you want to consume considering once you’ve had your fill you can take a fun smattering of leftovers home or leave it for your company to finish.You can go out and eat these finger foods like us, or you can prepare them easily at home in the oven or microwave. Turn on your favorite TV show and invite some friends over for a ‘welcome back’ celebration before work sets in. Weekday, weeknight or weekend, appies always prove apropos.

Original Author: Danielle Diniz