What to order from room service menu?
By David Chang. david-chang-room-service [Web log post]. Retrieved July 15, 2018, from https://www.gq.com/story/david-chang-room-service
A few years ago, I was helping a famous hotelier rework some of his restaurant menus, and he told me: "I don't care what you do about the room service—just make sure you include a fantastic eggs Benedict and a really luscious cheeseburger."
I'm not exactly known for being a burger-and-Benedict guy, so I asked him why—and I've never looked at a room-service menu the same way since. "Nothing tastes better after morning sex than eggs Benedict," he said, "and a good cheeseburger is what people crave after fucking at night." I spend a lot of nights in hotels these days, and I guess I'm not having enough sex, because I haven't ordered either one of those things lately.
What I love about room service is this: It's private, I can make a huge mess, and if I hang one of those breakfast cards on my door at night, a human alarm clock (with food!) will wake me in the morning. Here's how to order room service right.
Don't get fancy.
Never order the lobster tail with stupid sauces. No ceviche or tartare, Jesus, please. And know this: No matter how nice the hotel, the guy cooking your food is not the best cook in the kitchen. With rare exceptions, the best cooks are cooking meals ordered by customers in the dining room, where they can plate and serve the food immediately to people they can actually see. So keep it simple. If everything else seems risky, just order the chicken fingers off the kids' menu. It's impossible to fuck up chicken fingers.
The busiest hotels with the busiest restaurants are the best places to order room service.
I'm talking about anything that's over 300 rooms, like a big casino hotel. The rule I just laid down about how the best cooks always cook for the dining room? Not necessarily true in hotels like this, where that kind of room-service volume can upend the pecking order.
Okay, there are a few places where it's fine to get fancy.
If the hotel restaurant is truly great, it's a safe bet to assume that the in-room dining will be stellar, too. The NoMad Hotel in N.Y.C. has probably the best hotel dining in America. Everything on the room-service menu is delicious, but the club sandwich is the greatest club sandwich on the planet. I love The Hermitage Hotel down in Nashville, where the chef, Tyler Brown, raises all the beef and grows all the vegetables himself. (Order the sock sausage with biscuits and whole-grain-mustard gravy.) At The Line Hotel in L.A., Roy Choi makes this messy pizza-bread thing for breakfast that you have to eat alone because the only way to take it down is like an animal. And the room service at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee and at Meadowood in Napa Valley is better than the food at 98 percent of the world's restaurants. If I didn't know the chefs, I wouldn't bother showing up in the dining room. I'd just eat their amazing cuisine in my room, where—and this is the best thing about ordering room service, no matter where I am—I don't even have to wear pants to dinner.