Advantages of Ordering from an a La Carte Menu

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Individual menus were handed out for the first time in 19th century France, when European aristocracy started to dine out in French restaurants. By the 1920s, it had become a universal practice. This menu was called the “carte,” or map. Today, to order “a la carte” is to order individual items off the menu.

The primary advantage of ordering a la carte is choice. When ordering a la carte, you can choose exactly what you want for each part of your meal, without restriction. All fixed price menus limit you to a few narrow choices, and some give you no choice at all.

With an a la carte menu, you can mix and match all menu items to your preference. If you want to double up on some parts of a meal and avoid others, you can do that. If you want to have one appetizer now and a different appetizer later as your main course, you can do that too.

If you don’t order something, you don’t have to pay for it. You only have to pay for the items you order. If you don’t want a full meal, this can make dining out much cheaper than it might otherwise be.

An a la carte menu has no minimum and no maximum order. If you only want a salad, or dessert and a coffee, the a la carte menu will let you do that. If you want to skip the appetizer and only order a main course, you can do that too. Ordering from an a la carte menu does not require you to order according to someone else’s definition of what a meal should be.

Restaurants are sometimes willing to make substitutions to some dishes when they are ordered a la carte. These substitutions may enable a diabetic or someone with a food allergy to eat out, when they might otherwise be unable to do so safely.

A la carte menus work well as sampling menus, especially when a few friends get together and plan their selections. Each person can order a different item, with everyone around the table able to sample it without having to buy full portions of each item to be consumed individually. This is a good way of discovering which items appeal to your taste.

Finally, even when a favorite item has been rotated off the seasonal menu, you may be able to order it anyway when you order it a la carte. Just speak to the waiter and ask if it would be possible for the kitchen to make that item. Some cannot do it, because they have not stocked up on those ingredients; but many high-end restaurants, as well as local places where you are a regular, will be willing and able to do it. However, in this case, you are technically ordering “off” the carte!

Reference:
1. À la carte
2. Menu · Definition | Ares Fung – Academia.edu

Category: Health
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