A few weeks ago, Spoon members from near and far gathered at Farmer’s Table in Boca Raton, Florida to connect, learn, and of course — eat. Eating lunch with other members of the Spoon University network is an experience like no other, where food dominates both the plates and the conversation topics.

Although our diverse group represented five Spoon chapters (shoutouts to Duke, WashU, FAU, UGA and UF), a variety of majors, and different interests, we quickly realized just how much we had in common when it comes to eating.  

Whether we were sharing experiences from abroad or discussing local delicacies, we all had the same smile from ear to ear about food and the community it creates for us and the community we create around it. By the end of the meal, we came to a common consensus that meet and greets make Spoon even more awesome than it already is (which didn’t seem possible).

No matter where we are eating and sharing our passions, the quirks of approaching lunch as a Spoonie transcend geography. Here’s how:

1. You stalk the restaurant on all forms of social media before getting in the car

Most people hit up Google Maps to figure out a restaurant’s location, but a dedicated Spoonie has a bigger job. Not only do you check out the restaurant’s social media presence, plotting tweets as you go, but you also read the menu back-to-front to scope out your options.

Let’s not forget searching the restaurant’s Instagram and its results in the Places section. In the case of Farmer’s Table, there was no shortage of material for pre-lunch restaurant stalking.

2. You make sure there’s adequate storage on your camera for pictures

Photo by Mollie Simon

Photo by Mollie Simon

If you’re a photographer at heart you know that checking and maintaining storage is a constant routine, especially for Spoon. To make sure that the event is captured in its entirety, you can’t get to a restaurant with a packed camera roll.

3. You choose your seat based on lighting

You know you’re a Spoonie when you make seating choices based on the availability of natural light. Our particular spot in the restaurant was a little dim, but fortunately Spoon HQ’s own Andrea Jacobs had us covered and asked the restaurant to turn up the lights to ensure that our snaps and Insta photos came out #flawless.

4. You come ready for three courses

spoon university

Photo courtesy of Spoon UGA on Instagram

Go big or go home, right? With a menu as enticing as the one at Farmer’s Table, there was no way we were leaving without having sampled a dish (or five) from all three courses.

5. The most difficult task is choosing a main dish, but it’s okay because you will probably sample something off someone else’s plate anyhow

When faced with a menu, a Spoonie is both excited and debilitated. It can be hard to commit to dishes. Fortunately, we went family style on appetizers and tried almost everything, from goat cheese and mushroom flatbread to a cucumber tartare.

6. You know not to touch your spoon until all dishes have been properly photographed

Because we are lovers of food, there is a universal understanding that you wait a solid 5 minutes to dive your fork into a dish until after it has been photographed appropriately, from 12 angles, by 10 people. If people are photographing by standing, hovering, and rotating around the table seeking the ultimate food aesthetic, you better believe it’s a Spoon University takeover.  Not only is taking the photos important, but getting the lighting right is key.

7. You don’t just look at the food; you are also obsessed with the clean, white plates

Photo by Jocelyn Gordon

Photo by Jocelyn Gordon

Every Spoonie knows that presentation is everything. After all, we eat with our eyes first. Of course, Farmer’s Table knows this and presents their dishes with great attention to detail, garnishing with a rosemary sprig here or a garden-fresh basil leaf there for a delightful touch that did not go unnoticed. We also appreciated the simple, white plates that let the beauty of the food truly shine.

8. You’ve tweeted about appetizers before the main course hit the table

As soon as the appetizers arrived, we immediately felt the urge to tell the world about them. While Twitter’s 140-character limit prohibited us from waxing poetic about the citrus and roasted garlic chicken wings and steamed clams with lemon and white wine, we managed to get the point across (with a little help from photos and emojis) just in time for the main course. Which, of course, we then promptly tweeted about.

9. You try errrrrrything

spoon university

Photo by Daniel Paz

Another understood Spoon-eater rule is that if you are not allergic to it, you should taste it. We shared a common excitement for trying essentially everything, because, food. It was the mutual curiosity of our tastebuds that ultimately brought us all together.

10. You know how to talk about food while eating food

Initially, we were silent enough to hear a pin drop, but it didn’t take long for the comments and analysis to begin. Fortunately, everything (no exaggeration) was delectable and the dishes’ details started rolling out.

10. You look at what everyone else is eating to scope out options for next time

If the restaurant is good, you know you will e back for more. That means dinner time is also prime-time for researching what to order on your next visit.

11. Your favorite words are “Why don’t we get a few desserts and split them?”

Photo by Jocelyn Gordon

Photo by Jocelyn Gordon

The menu at Farmer’s Table boasts a full page of desserts sure to please chocoholics and vegans alike. From the brownie sundae to the berry lemon trifle, trying to choose just one sweet treat to taste is a Spoonie’s worst nightmare.

Thankfully, Andrea must have noticed the look of distress on our faces and uttered what just might be the greatest combination of words in the English language — “Why don’t we get a few desserts and split them?”

Needless to say, we eagerly agreed. When the waiter returned with no less than five different desserts, we dug our spoons in and sampled away, each of us no doubt thankful for Andrea’s suggestion.

12. Your squad definitely knows what you did this afternoon because you overloaded social media

It was worth it though. Good food, good company and a chance to share ideas about strengthening Spoon? We’ll take that any day.