Where does it say that you have to order appetizers before the entree? Seriously, people, I think we might have been doing this whole "go out to eat" business all wrong.

Paint yourself the picture: it's a Friday night, you're dressed to impress and you've got a pretty good appetite brewing. It's 6 p.m. and you just got to your reservation in the knick of time.

The staff helps you to your table and you briefly browse through the appetizers section, looking for something small but satisfying to order while you make the big entrée decision, you order the clam chowder.

"Here you go," the server says as they set the piping hot "chowdah" in front of you. "I'll have the steak," you might say, as you dive into your first course. Fast forward and your dinner has arrived, but all of sudden that steak might have been a mis-steak (see what I did there?) because halfway through that porterhouse, you're feeling defeated and regretting the chowder.

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Never trust your eyes when you're hungry. It's the same reason you don't grocery shop on an empty stomach. This is why I'm insisting that you should take the time to order your main course first, then put in for a cup or bowl of chowder afterward, depending on how tight your clothes are feeling.

Prior to realizing this, I was visiting the new Cisco Brewers Kitchen & Bar down in the South End of New Bedford. Everything on the menu looked good, but I didn't want to eat too much, so I skipped right to the main course. Following my entrée, I had regrets that I didn't give the chowder a taste so I ordered just a cup.

Conclusion: I left feeling not too full and pretty satisfied. Chowder and soup is usually, for the most part, ready to go in the kitchen, making the wait time minimal, sort of like dessert. You can order a bowl or a cup, depending on how much space you have left, so there are options to curb that hearty appetite. Finally, it allows you to thoroughly enjoy the main course to its fullest flavor and effect.

Go ahead, give it a try, what's the worst that will happen? You fill up on your main course? Good, because if you ask me, that's the whole point of going out to eat.

You're welcome.

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