RE-Blog: Gender preference dining.

I wrote this post back in November, but I saw it as a recurring hit on my blog stats, so I have decided to showcase it once more.  Here it is, from its publishing on 11/16/10 – comments are welcome and appreciated:

This weekend, the hubs and I took a nice trip down to Central Virginia to enjoy the gorgeous weather; both driving and doing some light hiking amongst the trails and vistas of the Shenandoah National Park.

(source)  No, we didn’t see bears, but any excuse to have cute cuddly bears on my blog is reason enough for me.  Maybe we’ll see these guys on a trip in the Spring! :)

Since it’s a so-so far trip, we decided to spend Saturday night over in the town of Waynesboro – but if you know me, you know that we didn’t rough it – in fact, it was far from it!  We stayed at a Residence Inn that was obviously still quite new – and instead of being surrounded by pastoral fields and quaint cottages and farmhouses, the landscape was dotted with suburbian staples like McDonalds, Outback Steakhouse, Target, Starbucks and the like.  However, we did want to try something ‘different’ for dinner, and that is what brought us toThe South River Restaurant and Wine Shop.

For lack of more elaborate description, the restaurant was comfort food, presented nicely.  Take a look at the menu – and you vegans that might be reading it….please tell me what you would have ordered! :) I did the South River House Salad, asked for the Thai dressing on the side and called it a day – fortunately for me, it was a really big (as the menu indicated) and supremely satisfying salad!  Yahoo!

ANYWAY – believe it or not, my tasty salad is not the focus of my blog, but rather, my observations of other patrons in the restaurant whilst I chomped away at my veggies – see, I think that since my vegan experiment began, I’ve become even more engrossed in the choices people make when they go out to dinner – do they order appetizers?  Are the options they choose on the healthier side?  Do they all contain meat?  Do people have a hard time deciding (like me?) or know what they want right away?  Does the ordering follow any kind of schematic or theme?  Do they get a drink…or two…or more?

So many questions, but none more enticing than this one: does a person’s gender subconsciously cause them to desire certain items?  Or, is it more about societal notions?

Before I started my vegan month, it never occured to me that as a female, this challenge might be easier just because of that…that I am a girl.  Girls can be vegetarians, or vegans, so what?  Right?  But when you hear a guy doesn’t eat meat, that makes him less manly.  Here are some examples: Ask Men posted some ‘manly vegetarian meals,” a discussion on Yelp and heck, why not throw in a little cartoon:


Haha :)

But really, even without throwing in the vegan and vegetarian dialogue, are there certain foods that our manlier or more feminine than others? 

I noticed, at the table next to us, an older couple (like most of the people at the restaruant, really) that were enjoying their side salads, when their entrees arrived.  The server that was bringing their main courses was not the same one that had taken their order, and thusly, she would not have known who ordered what.  However, on the large tray she sat down, there were two meals: a prime rib and a fish dish.  Can you guess where she sat each one?

Hmm, you might see where I am going with this – and yes, the woman was the one who had actually ordered the steak, and so, the server apolegized profusely and swapped them and while she didn’t seem to even bat an eyelash at the incident, her dining partner was clearly perturbed.

Now, I have no way of knowing if that man was just a grump, or if this happened often, or there were any other deep-seated issues associated with what I had observed, but it got me thinking – how do these ideas enter our mind?  Is it advertising?  Peer pressure?

Have you ever thought about what your food says about you?  Yes, we have all heard ‘you are what you eat’ but – what does that really mean??


  1. It is definitely the case for my boyfriend and I… he eats meat, and I don’t. There are sometimes awkward moments when he ordered “healthier” than I do, but good servers don’t get confused, and if they do, it’s just a minor switch-eroo.

    Of course, women tend to eat lighter — they tend to be more paranoid/conscious about their intake and also have fewer need for calories than men do. I just accept it as a way of life.

    • Good thoughts, Julie.

      I know that when hubs and I go out to eat, we often share an entree – and whether it is intentional or not, if we decide to share, I usually order and say we are sharing, not him. Kinda funny, really.

      This post has also got me thinking about drink choices, like beer and wine, or, as they are often called, “girly” alcoholic beverages…hmm. Future post, perhaps!

  2. So interesting! I guess I hadn’t given it much thought, but it makes sense. Most men that I know tend to be more “meat and potatoes” than the ladies. Could it be some crazy subconscious need for “hunting?” Hmmm, who knows. Great thinker 🙂

    • i like that idea about the hunting thing…like a male instinct thing! i know that my hubs used to complain about our lack of meat in home prepared meals, but recently, he’s suggested boca over beef burgers! how funny.

  3. I never really thought about it before, but you’re right — when I think of vegetarians or vegans, I picture females.

    I wonder if it stems from the assumption that a lot of people choose a veg*n diet for emotion-based reasons.

    • True! Emotion probably has a big part in the equation. Like, how choices make you ‘feel’ – guilt, etc.

      Thanks for the comment!!

  4. Related, but not: It’s amazing how many times the server brings the check back to the guy at my table, despite the fact that I have a Tinker Bell credit card that they just swiped. Not that a guy can’t have a Tinker Bell credit card, but you know! Just habit to serve the check to the guy. Meh!

    • I know this one! It’s funny now, if the server brings us the check, and sticks it in the middle – doesn’t matter if hubs or I pay for it…same money…lol.

      Sometimes I exclaim, “I got this!” =)

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