Jump to content

Menu

Etiquette question


Jane in NC
 Share

Recommended Posts

We have been invited to a formal dinner event.  The RSVP card notes that "Dinner may be Surf and Turf", indicating that we are to check a box if we prefer vegetarian.

 

Both my husband and I adore Surf but do not eat Turf (assuming this means beef).  Should I simply note "Surf please, not Turf"? Should we check the box and ask for vegetarian since turf-less may be confusing?  Or should we just accept things as they will be and eat around the turf?

 

A family member is being honored.  We will be seated at the honoree's table.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surf and turf usually refers to a  lobster tail and a piece of steak. The lobster tail will typically have only a few bites of meat in it--and they are often overdone. I'd go for vegetarian for two reasons: 1) You'd be asking for someone to do extra work for you and 2) It is probable that what you'd end up with would't be worth the extra effort anyway.

 

A lot more people are going to not want the lobster tail, so you could "switch." ;)  (But that would be a bit tacky!)

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been invited to a formal dinner event.  The RSVP card notes that "Dinner may be Surf and Turf", indicating that we are to check a box if we prefer vegetarian.

 

Both my husband and I adore Surf but do not eat Turf (assuming this means beef).  Should I simply note "Surf please, not Turf"? Should we check the box and ask for vegetarian since turf-less may be confusing?  Or should we just accept things as they will be and eat around the turf?

 

A family member is being honored.  We will be seated at the honoree's table.

 

You cannot choose an option which wasn't offered. :-)

 

Check Surf and Turf; don't eat what you don't like. Don't make a big deal about it....just don't eat it.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd pick the vegetarian option.  The word "may" is what would decide it for me.  Perhaps the surf will be excluded whenever the "may" turns into "will."  Also, I am a vegetarian and have attended hundreds of these types of functions over my lifetime.  90% of the time the veggie option looks far more appealing and half of the table will be asking how I got the "better" meal.  For some reason, the veggie option is usually hotter and fresher too.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surf and turf usually refers to a lobster tail and a piece of steak. The lobster tail will typically have only a few bites of meat in it--and they are often overdone. I'd go for vegetarian for two reasons: 1) You'd be asking for someone to do extra work for you and 2) It is probable that what you'd end up with would't be worth the extra effort anyway.

 

A lot more people are going to not want the lobster tail, so you could "switch." ;) (But that would be a bit tacky!)

I agree. From a practical perspective, you know the food is going to be bleh, so just mark vegetarian and make it easy on everyone. From an etiquette perspective, the options are beef/seafood or vegetarian. You should pick one of the options presented by your host and not try to create a third option. :)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd pick the vegetarian option.  The word "may" is what would decide it for me.  Perhaps the surf will be excluded whenever the "may" turns into "will."  Also, I am a vegetarian and have attended hundreds of these types of functions over my lifetime.  90% of the time the veggie option looks far more appealing and half of the table will be asking how I got the "better" meal.  For some reason, the veggie option is usually hotter and fresher too.

 

I am in complete agreement that the veggie option is often better in a banquet type setting.  This event strikes me as a bit more posh than many social functions so perhaps I was hoping for better "surf" than the overdone lobster tail.

 

Good advice, all.

 

Thank you!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone who worked in banquets for almost 20 years, DONT switch to veg if you pick surf and turf and when you are at the event you don't like the look of the surf and turf meals coming out of the kitchen. It causes a lot of trouble and costs the hosts and organizers a lot of extra money. Whatever you pick, YOU NEED TO ACCEPT GRACIOUSLY. Don't eat it if you don't want it, but don't ask for substitutions, changes, ect. There is no working kitchen in back of the event like at a restaurant. The chef back there is dispersing food, if he has to cook you a fresh meal he has to turn on a grill, send assistants for ingredients, ect. This even applies in a large hotel or country club with a working restaurant somewhere on the premises. That restaurant is set up for that menu, not a special meal.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there is a vegetarian option I would definitely pick that in advance.  Mostly because I have a bleeding heart when it comes to food waste!  And I would hate to think my host paid extra for something I knew in advance that I would not eat.  

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You cannot choose an option which wasn't offered. :-)

 

Check Surf and Turf; don't eat what you don't like. Don't make a big deal about it....just don't eat it.

I've done that.  It didn't go well.  

 

The hosts had not offered a veggie option; I picked randomly from two or three equally bad-for-me choices.

 

It was incredibly awkward when I left an enormous slab of untouched steak on my plate.  It must have been a pound of meat.  

 

The hosts (who I had never met; I was there with my husband) actually asked me why I hadn't eaten it.  Very awkward.

 

Go veg. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done that.  It didn't go well.  

 

The hosts had not offered a veggie option; I picked randomly from two or three equally bad-for-me choices.

 

It was incredibly awkward when I left an enormous slab of untouched steak on my plate.  It must have been a pound of meat.  

 

The hosts (who I had never met; I was there with my husband) actually asked me why I hadn't eaten it.  Very awkward.

 

Go veg. 

 

Yikes.  :(  That *would* be awkward.  They crossed a line by asking that question, and created that awkwardness.  Ugh.

 

OP, I would choose the veg option, since you know you're not going to eat the turf part, and it sounds like the surf is not a sure thing anyway.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done that.  It didn't go well.  

 

The hosts had not offered a veggie option; I picked randomly from two or three equally bad-for-me choices.

 

It was incredibly awkward when I left an enormous slab of untouched steak on my plate.  It must have been a pound of meat.  

 

The hosts (who I had never met; I was there with my husband) actually asked me why I hadn't eaten it.  Very awkward.

 

Go veg. 

 

Well, it was certainly rude of the hosts to confront you about it. Sheesh. 

 

Yeah, probably veg would be better.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have offered it to complete strangers before I started eating. I don't know if you are vegetarian but if you are then I don't think anyone would bat an eye at you giving it away.

 

It was an enormous steak.  Enormous.  Easily a pound of meat - 16 ounces - probably four normal servings worth.  The people who already had chosen steak really wouldn't have been able to eat any more of it; they had a slab of their own to contend with.  I don't remember what the other choice of food was, but they too had a large hunk'o'meat.  Had I known the hosts better I would have considered asking in advance for a veggie option (or even a fish option; neither were offered), but I had never met the hosts, and didn't want to be picky or difficult.  It was a small wedding rehearsal dinner, so there weren't many people I could offer the steak to discreetly, and since I didn't know anyone there (dh was in the wedding party), I didn't want to draw attention to myself or cause a scene by offering up my food to the wrong person (like the person who was footing the bill, etc.), if you see what I mean.  

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...