Thursday, December 6, 2007

Feeding Your Inner Economist at the Tapas Bar

Yesterday Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution linked to a NY Times article about the death of the entrée. Not only is Prof. Cowen a prolific blogger/economist he is also known locally as the author of a local DC dining ethnic guide. In his recent book, Discovering Your Inner Economist, Prof. Cowen suggests some ways to maximizing your dining experience. Including “appetizers are often better than main courses (145)” and “order more dishes than you plan to eat (146)”

My wife and I have often noted the first, as we often prefer to order 3-4 appetizers instead of an entrée or go to one of Jose Andrés tapas joints such as Oyemel or Jaleo. As the New York Times article point out you can avoid diminishing returns to one entrée and get lots more variety while ordering more types of food.

Suggestion 2 is a risk averse strategy, if you order 3-4 dishes just enough to eat perhaps one will dish will not be good. I’m not big on leftover food from restaurants though so I’m not as sure it is worth the money. Although I have been having success with the strategy at restaurants where I’m not as familiar with their menu.

I support the death of the giant entrée, but unfortunately the article suggests it is at the expense of the massive salad or appetizer. I hope you will join me in going to restaurants with properly sized delicious portions. See you at Oyemel!

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