Travel Tips

Travel Tip Tuesday: Surprise Me!

Good afternoon, friends, and happy Valentine’s Day to you! It is good for you to be here today. Whoever you may be, wherever in the world you may live, and however your day may be going, I hope that you know that you are loved beyond measure. Your life is significant and yes, you do matter. If there is breath in your lungs and a heartbeat in your chest, there is a purpose for your life. You are a beautiful gift to this world, so thank you for being here!

Well, welcome back to another Travel Tip Tuesday! Today we are going to take a few moments to talk about something I learned from my dad and my beautiful step-momma (Hi Dad and Sandy!). They taught me what I believe is one of the best ways to order at restaurants when traveling: simply say “Surprise me, please!” What do I mean? Let’s get started.

Think with me…. How do you typically decide what to order at restaurants? Are you the type of person who sticks with what is familiar? Or are you someone who likes to try new, exotic dishes? Are your taste buds finely tuned to one melody or do they enjoy an adventure in cuisines?

For me, I typically know what I like and what I don’t like when it comes to food. Because I am also gluten-intolerant, my range of options is usually a bit more limited when eating out. Because of this, more often than not, before even looking at the menu at a restaurant, I typically have a pretty good idea of what I will order. I ask for what I would like to eat, enjoy its delicious goodness, pay for the goods, and then boogie out. No problem.

When Andy and I were in Rome, though, we decided to change things up a bit. You see, we wound up eating dinner late one evening in this restaurant called Osteria Scaloni. We had previously promised the owner of the restaurant that we would eat there on our last night after he helped us to initially find the apartment we were renting for a few days. We did not really know what we were getting ourselves into when we made that promise, but I am certainly glad we followed through with it. Osteria Scaloni is far from being any sort of a tourist trap and the menu itself is only in Italian. We glanced at the menu for a bit, trying to decipher the Italian words using my little knowledge of Spanish (it does work… sometimes…). After a bit, though, we gave up and decided to instead ask the owner to surprise us for dinner. We also asked him to bring us a wine he thought would go best with dinner. The only thing we really told him was that I was gluten-free. He smiled, said something in Italian and then hurried off to the kitchen.

Looking back, that was one of the best decisions we could have made. Most people would be intimidated or nervous about asking the owner of a restaurant to surprise them for dinner. But sometimes it turns an otherwise simple dining experience into a beautiful adventure. That night we had one heck of a meal. It was certainly better than anything we could have ordered on our own. I wound up eating a gluten-free homemade pasta dish with mussels and Andy had homemade gnocchi with all sorts of good stuff. The wine was absolutely superb and the dessert to finish it all off was scrumptious. We left with happy stomachs and hearts. Every aspect of the meal fit together perfectly and we got to experience Osteria Scaloni in a way that was authentic to its roots.

So, all this to say, the next time you are dining out, especially when traveling, dare to say “Surprise me, please!” and see what adventures in cuisine await!

Have you ever asked the chef, waiter or owner of a restaurant to surprise you for dinner? If so, how did it go? If not, would you? Please feel completely at home to comment below! It is always a pleasure to hear from you! 🙂

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” -Julia Child




12 thoughts on “Travel Tip Tuesday: Surprise Me!”

  1. I sure have. I too am gluten intolerant and fish and peanut allergy. I always tell them that to start. I have had many lovely surprises over the years. The only time I am particular is when ordering my coffee lol …..never surprise me there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never asked the chef or restaurant to pick for me but I am going to now! I have asked locals where to eat and what to order as well as asking the wait staff. Eating and drinking local are such a travel adventure and you cannot truly experience an area without immersing yourself in the culture. Thanks for another great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an intresting experiecne you both had.
    I always stick to what I know most of the times because I am quite picky when it comes to food
    I definitely will be getting outside the box soon by telling the chef to surprise me

    Liked by 1 person

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