Have You Ever Ordered One of Everything?

Every now and then, I read the menu at a new-to-me restaurant menu (like the amazing St. Louis restaurants on this list) and think, “Everything looks so good! How can I possibly choose?”

Usually this results in me picking something and being pretty happy with it, but slightly coveting the dish a friend ordered. It makes me want to return to the restaurant to order that dish and/or other new dishes.

But I have another idea that I’d like to try sometime with the right group of people (6-8 people, ideally omnivores) and the right menu size (10-14 dishes): I’d like to order one of everything.

Specifically, we would agree up front that we would order one of everything and pass the plates around to share. I would pay for all dishes in excess of the number of people, and I would keep the leftovers. Depending on the amount of leftovers, I would keep some in the fridge and freeze others.

In this way, we would all get to figure out our favorite dish from the very first visit. Plus, I would get lots of leftovers, which are my favorite.

What do you think? Can this work? Have you ever done this? The closest I’ve come is at tapas and dim sum restaurants.

10 thoughts on “Have You Ever Ordered One of Everything?”

  1. When I first read this, I thought, “Wish I were there!” Next, it was, “Maybe, this could become an Order-One-of-Everything-Day in various communities, where people could participate, even if they don’t have a pre-group of friends with whom to do it”—a good way to meet people who share one’s love of new food experiences. Finally, a small step from the previous possibility, it became, “What a neat promotional idea for restaurants to offer such events!” I hope your idea triggers the next small (portion) thing.
    Thanks for such a tasty idea from ? to ?s!

    • I like all of those ideas! I agree that it would be a neat way to meet new people, and the restaurant idea is brilliant! I wonder if some restaurants offer some variation of that.

  2. The more I read your non-game related posts, the more I want to become your best friend.

    I had planned to do it for my buddy’s bachelor party, but people chickened out when we got there. It was probably too nice (read expensive) a restaurant for that, in hindsight.

    • You came so close to trying it! That’s awesome. Yeah, I think the price needs to be right for this to work. Maybe in the $10-$15 range per entree.

  3. Not quite everything on the menu, but we intentionally order 2 dishes per person (8 total) when we go to a certain Thai restaurant with my sister in law and her husband. We all are on the same page about wanting the diversity of flavors and the leftovers, and willing to foot the bill for it. Of course the other key with this strategy is you have to stop yourselves from eating all the food, so that you actually *have* leftovers!

    • That’s awesome! It seems like a great way to try a variety of dishes, especially if you don’t have a clear favorite.

  4. I always always want to do this and am so in if you ever do it in real life! My ideal meals are always getting to try as much as possible.

  5. Jamey,

    When I first arrived in England, stationed at RAF Mildenhall for the next few years, I found that British cuisine doesn’t even make the Top 10 list of foods to actually eat in the UK. Instead, Indian food (or take-away) far and away beats all of the others. So, I decided to try Indian fare in the UK as I had never encountered it in the U.S. (despite having lived in Philadelphia my entire life). I made a number of mistakes in ordering and at the end of the meal I vowed to never eat it again.

    Flash forward a few weeks later and I meet the daughter of an ex-pat (former service member) and his British wife. She’s lovely and invites to me to a place in the town called Gandhi Tandoori. It was an amazing experience. For about 20 pounds, he made me easily, double that much in food just so I could try everything from Korma to Masala, to Vindaloo to Phal (especially made for the Americans who would cry, “give me something really hot” when they were too pissed (drunk) to realize what they were saying.

    Suffice it to say, Siraj got my business almost weekly and I brought to him more than two dozen fellow officers and their spouses over the next few years. So, yeah, ordering one of everything is how I learned to absolutely love Indian food.


    • That’s awesome, Joe! That plays off of Dorothy’s idea above that if restaurants offered this option, they may get many returns on it. 🙂


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