"Offensively bad article in New York Times!!" is the title of a post on another board that's gotten about 150 replies. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/429536 That allegedly offensive article says "In an earlier era, conventional dating wisdom for women was to eat something at home alone before a date, and then in company order a light dinner to portray oneself as dainty and ladylike" and goes on to state that today a lot of women order huge steaks just to show the men they are eating with that they can be one of the boys. Now this got me to thinking that there are a lot of situations in which you might order something to impress, to fit in, or to avoid making waves. If you're invited to lunch as part of a job interview you probably should avoid any dish that might spill all over your shirt even if it's something you really crave. (Okay I used to get interviewed by stuffy white-shoe law firms and order street food I usually shun, like lox and bagels, just for the heck of it. But that's not good strategy.) And if you're somewhere west of the Mississippi and your pals take you to a barbecue shack of rural route 59, it's probably not the right time to ask if they have a mesclun sanad with some arugula. If you're with a group of Chowhounds in that east coast multi-ethnic paradise of Flushing, NYC and you suddenly are hit by an urge to try the fries at McDonald's to see if they are as good as they used to be when they were made with tallow, just put that urge on hold.
So... do you ever choose what you order in a restaurant in order to make a good impression on your dining companions?