Bite of the Palouse: Tips and Tricks for prospective restaurant-goers

Good food doesn’t disappear when you leave Pullman



Good food can be found anywhere, like this dish from South Perry Pizza.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

Despite the recent weather, summer is just around the corner.

Maybe you don’t believe me; the snow has thrown me off more than once these past couple of weeks. But all and all, most of us at WSU have about three weeks before we go on to whatever thing we have planned for summer.

Whether or not you are staying in Pullman, delicious food does not just disappear. There is still a wealth of restaurants and food trucks waiting to be found, with this column only covering the tip of the iceberg.

Wherever you end up this summer, or even as you try to cram for finals, I wanted to give some tips and tricks for picking out a good spot to eat that is applicable anywhere.

First and foremost, be decisive, especially if you are eating with someone else. I am certainly guilty of going around in circles when people have asked what I want to eat. While you may not know exactly what you are in the mood for, you at least have a list of things you liked in the past.

Repeating “you can choose,” or “it doesn’t matter to me,” is the equivalent of standing in a DMV line that is not moving. My strategy when picking somewhere to eat is to give three to four options of places I would like to go. That way, if there is a restaurant others do not feel like going to, they have that choice.

The second huge piece of advice is to read the reviews.

This can be a dangerous one, so I urge a bit of caution. Sometimes reviews can be misleading or, quite frankly, not what you are looking for. When looking at a restaurant, I am overjoyed when I see a mixture of decent and great reviews, maybe with one or two bad ones sprinkled in.

It feels much more real than all good or all bad.

The third piece of advice — which I cannot impress upon you enough — is making sure to ask your server what is actually good there. Or perhaps alternatively, what is bad.

Nothing is more frustrating than wanting something on the menu and not enjoying it. It is part of the adventure when you try out something that you weren’t going to order originally. You may find a new favorite on the menu.

Another easy tip that can lead to even more recommendations is asking your server (at the end of the meal) what other restaurants they enjoy.

If you are like me and my friends, we tend to go to the same restaurants over and over. Getting someone who is not involved with you or your friends can offer a new spot to grub.

Last, but most importantly, please tip your servers.

I can understand people’s frustrations with tipping and, in the right setting, I could rant and rave about the business making us supplement their employee’s salaries instead of doing it themselves.

But all the same, tipping is essential for many restaurant staff to survive. So while we wait for legislation to change the business standards around tipping, please make sure to do so.

Think of it as optional, but highly encouraged, and the standard tends to float somewhere around 20%. For those who are not good at math, 20% is really easy. Move the decimal place one over and double that number. 20% of $10 would be $2!

Perhaps some of these tips and reminders may have seemed obvious to you. If so, great! I find it is always a useful reminder for finding and eating at a good restaurant, especially one that I had never been to.

Over this year, Pullman and the Palouse area in general have offered some delicious grub for me to eat. Everything from tasty tacos to finger-licking ribs, yet we are just at the tip of the iceberg!

There are so many restaurants just waiting to be discovered. I cannot wait to try them all. Just think of how many good spots there are to eat in Washington. It is exciting just thinking about all the varieties of food out there.

The most important thing to remember when you are going out to eat is to have a good time. Eating is a great way to bring people together, and good food is a win-win for everyone involved.

Get eating, Cougs!