“All of our dishes are designed to be shared.”
It’s a statement urban foodies hear on the regular.
And there’s absolutely no deviating from it. “Well, what are you allergic to?” a server will ask when you tell them you want to stray from the group order and do your own thing.
It’s not even about that, of course. You just don’t feel like sharing – whether you have an allergy or not – and the fact that you often have to explain that to the unimpressed server as the dinner table looks on is awkward and unnecessary.
That’s not to say tapas is an outright bad idea.
It facilitates interaction – and even bonding – among friends and family, and offers a way to sample many different items on the menu. It’s usually affordable and easy when it comes to dividing the bill among budget-conscious friends. Plus, with so many must-try restaurants popping up in major cities practically overnight, sharing ensures you get a real taste for the restaurant through multiple dishes.
The thing is, sometimes you just don’t want to share. And that’s totally okay.
Whether for the night or on the regular, some people don’t feel a sharing vibe and we need to leave them alone. To some, the looming prospect of group sharing makes them want to stay home and order a pizza instead. Perhaps you’re not in an experimental mood and simply want that grilled calamari and thin-crust pizza you’re craving all to yourself in an amount that you know will satisfy your hunger.
Speaking of hunger, that’s another potential shortcoming of filling a table with tapas for a group to share: sometimes you leave practically hungrier than you were when you arrived at the restaurant at the first place.
Plus, there’s always the risk that you won’t even get a bite of a given dish that looks so good from across the table, let alone a portion. When that addictive burrata looks so damn dreamy, maybe you would like the whole thing in all its gooey goodness to yourself instead.
Plus, someone always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to sharing.
It’s always awkward when there are four people and the item comes in servings of five portions as everyone is left eyeing that last one, pretending they don’t want it. But everyone usually does want it because the samples just aren’t doing it.
Not to mention, in group tapas-sharing situations, there are usually those one or two items that you already knew you weren’t a fan of (or are even allergic to) pre-order but reluctantly went along with the group because you didn’t want to be “that person.” And it’s often those dishes that end up placed right in front of you while your first choice arrives last, after everyone else has combed through it.
Plus, the idea of other people picking their food over (i.e. nacho sharing) is enough to give germaphobes self-induced food poisoning.
Let’s not forget about the cost factor.While it may be more affordable to share a bunch of items in the long run, we’ve all been at those group dinners where everyone agrees to share… and then someone ends up going overboard on ordering the menu items, unaware that their friends’ dinner budgets may not be as high.
The bill is usually split evenly among individuals or couples regardless.
When it comes to sharing, it’s entirely different when there’s just the two of you.
The bill is easier to split should you so decide, and you’re guaranteed to have a taste and at least somewhat of a substantial portion of the dish “designed to share.” But in group situations, it’s sometimes not worth it.
So, pre-warn your friends that you won’t be sharing your food. And don’t let the server bully you out of it.
First world problem solved.