My go-to definitely changes depending on the type of restaurant, but when it comes to pizza places, I love a classic Margherita pizza. Tomato, basil and mozzarella is a perfect combination, especially when a restaurant uses fresh, high-quality ingredients. I like to use it as a barometer when trying a new place. If they nail the Margherita pizza, everything else is probably just as good.
Salad or macaroni and cheese
My go-to menu pick is either a big salad, because it seems like a pretty safe option and is guaranteed to be on any menu, or macaroni and cheese, which is my all-time favorite food. I’m willing to bet this is an inherited trait because my dad and I were at Table Six Kitchen + Bar together last year and out of all the things on the menu, we both picked the same macaroni and cheese and salad without discussing it with each other first. So I come by it honestly.
Pork chops. OK, stop rolling up your eyes and mumbling the word “bland.”
When I’m going to a new restaurant, I use pork chops as my test. If the chef can use the right seasonings and herbs, keep them tender, seal in the flavor with the meat’s juiciness and cut the chop thick enough to make me remark about it to my companions, I go back to that establishment with eagerness.
I’ve identified a handful of restaurants through the years that have perfected a premier pork chop and deserved frequent return trips. Watch me when I come in. I’ll order two—one for the meal and the other to take home.
Fish or salad
Depending on my mood, I either choose some type of fish or a salad. I absolutely love salmon, and I have yet to try a bad one when dining out. Another delicious fish option I tend to gravitate toward is fish or shrimp tacos.
When I’m looking for a lighter meal, I’ll opt for a salad. Summer salads with fresh berries and some kind of vinaigrette dressing are always pleasing.
Whether I choose fish or salad for dinner, I’m always happy and I always finish feeling full but not stuffed to the gills.