Finding 2: Guys want it straight up.
"Guys hate words like broth, foam, and steam," says Grill 23 executive chef Jay Murray. "Guys want food that is touched by fire." Murray notes that men aren’t persuaded by long, lyrical menu explanations, and they don’t want to know what farm the tomatoes came from." They are happy if they have two basic flavors on a plate: meat and potato. They don’t need a lot of variety and fancy side dishes. When guys come in here with out women — whether as a business thing or a social thing — they revert to the frat-type behavior. There seems to be a mindset that if you don’t order the guy food, you’ll be the butt of the jokes ... so they won’t get our composed dishes, or fish. They’ll come in and get the porterhouse or the18-ounce rib-eye and a side of truffled mashed potatoes. And they always get dessert. But somehow sashimi fits into the guy-food category ... so go figure." Murray also says that the Atkins-diet trend is over; in recent months, his potato order has jumped back up. "But on a weekend, when the guys come in as a couple, their entire behavior shifts. They order less food overall and get the composed dishes instead of a steak and potato — maybe even a salad. Date-night dining is a whole different animal."
Finding 3: Guys don’t split and they don’t share.
Douzo owner Jack Huang notices that when guys order sushi, "they don’t say, ‘Okay, you get the spicy tuna and I’ll get the eel, and we’ll share.’ No. They each get their own plate of spicy tuna. With four women, you might have a dozen different appetizers sitting on the table. A table of guys will have four orders of the same three things." Eastern Standard owner Garrett Harker agrees. "With a table of guys, you don’t have these deals going on where one says, ‘I’ll get the striped bass and you get the liver and onions,’ or, ‘Let’s share the salad.’ Sharing is definitely not a guy-dining behavior." Harker also says guys are much less likely to take tastes of each other’s meals, and almost never make special substitution requests. "Unless they have a food allergy, men order their dish and that’s that," he says. "None of this dressing-on-the-side or ‘Can you substitute the succotash for the rice?’ business. They just eat the meal des the menu."
Finding 4: Guys like " I dare you " eating.
Guys never really outgrow the who-can-eat-the-ickiest-hottest-weirdest-most-without-tossing-his-cookies thing. The local experts say that if they put something weird (the beef-heart salad at Eastern Standard), hot (the barbecue sauce at East Coast Grill), or huge (a 42-ounce porter house steak) on their menus, guys order it. Six or seven guys a night order the offal dish at Eastern Standard, notes Harker. " It’s an incredibly tasty dish, but that’s almost beside the point. It’s that manly competition thing, translated tableside."
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