Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
You know the drill. You’re on line at Starbucks, you order a mocha cookie crumble frappuccino from the barista, give him or her your name and wait impatiently for it to be called out so you can grab the last available armchair.
Cheesesteak Ordering in Philadelphia
You can either practice your orders on your family or take advantage of one of the countless helpful detailed websites on the subject. Rick's Steaks (owner Rick Olivieri is a "third generation steak master") even has an Order Like a Local feature on rickssteaks.com where you plug in the details of what you want and it tells you exactly how to say it.
In-N-Out Ordering Around the US
In fact, there are several more actually secret menu items (Animal Style fries!). Kenji Lopez-Alt ate his way through a bunch of those options for Serious Eats, including the Flying Dutchman, which is a 2×2 with nothing else.
Pizza Ordering in Italy
Avoid pizza in caffes, especially when you see a microwave in the corner. Here’s more useful information for pepperoni aficionados from blogger Sara Rosso, author of the ebook "How To Order An Italian Coffee In Italy": "Peperoni in Italian are bell peppers, not pepperoni in the U.S. which is hot salami. So if you want hot salami on your pizza, don’t order a pizza with peperoni (note the spelling – just one p), order a pizza diavola or look for a pizza that has salame piccante as one of the ingredients."
1. If you want to be in charge of your sushi selection, know this word, okonomi, which means, “as I like it.” Then know the Japanese names of the fish you like, which you order one by one, as you’re eating. Insiders start with lighter fish, then go to stronger-tasting fish. And don’t eat more than two pieces of the same nigiri. The point of sushi is variety; do not go overboard on the toro.
2. If you want the sushi chef to be in charge, know the word, omakase, which means “I leave it up to you.” And then know that that sends a signal to the sushi chef that you’re not overly concerned about the price of the meal. If that’s not the case, you should inform the sushi chef that you have a budget for the evening. That recommendation from Corson applies to U.S. sushi spots; I encourage people to have a good amount of money if they say omakase to a Tokyo sushi chef.
3. Many sushi connoisseurs are not afraid to pick up sushi with their fingers. Good sushi should fall apart in your mouth; the rice shouldn’t be packed too tightly which can spell disaster for chopstick users. Some people use chopsticks so they won’t mix up the flavors on their hands, but most good sushi places provide a damp cloth and most neat people will wipe their hands between pieces of nigiri.
4. You’ve probably heard this before, but Corson will tell you again: Fish from a good sushi chef does not need to be submerged in wasabi-filled soy sauce. Those good sushi chefs add all the flavorings the fish needs before they hand it to the customer. And here’s something you might not have heard before: wasabi stirred into soy sauce rapidly loses both its spiciness and its flavor.
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