Sunday, July 10, 2011


I dislike making choices when I do not have good information. 

I think this is one of the reasons I do not like going to non-buffet restaurants. All restaurant food is worse and more expensive than what I or the people in my life can cook, but on rare occasions the convenience is worth the price. At those times, I always prefer to go to a buffet. At a buffet, I can make an informed choice. I see the food, I see the ingredients and how it is cooked, and I can choose as much or as little as I like. I can grab a small sample to taste, and then go back for more if it turns out to be good. But with a menu, there is no way I can make a good choice. All I see is a partial list of ingredients.  I have to choose only one thing from a list of dozens of items, I can only choose one thing and the choice is permanent, and I do not have enough information to make the choice well.

I also tend to dislike it when people ask me to make choices about things like what to eat. I know that this makes me unusual. Most people have their own special preferences and want those to be satisfied. I am different. I want the highest quality thing that can be provided, and I do not much care what it is.

There are others like me. In fact, the fanciest restaurants in the world typically give the consumer no choice. They cook things the best way they can, and expect you to enjoy it. This is actually quite logical. A good chef knows far more about food than I ever will, and knows the exact combination of ingredients required to make a world-class meal. It would ruin the meal for the ignorant consumer to start taking part in the production process.

Here is a foodie's comment:

When I go into a (good) restaurant, I like to simply tell the waiter that I don't want to look much at the menu, and he should simply bring me what is best. If he asks what that means by "best," I (sometimes) respond by telling him I am an aesthetic Platonist and that best is best. Or I will ask the waiter to imagine it is his last meal on earth and to bring me the relevant dishes he would order

Maybe I should start doing that.

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