Talking to a teenager

Joann: If you could eat at any restaurant, which one would it be?
Ben: Tomo in Huntington.

Why do you like that place so much?
Because the food tastes good and they have a lot of variety. I like the atmosphere and the show that they put on at the Hibachi table, with the knives and flinging the food into people’s mouths. It’s fun to go there.

Are there restaurants your friends talk about?
No, my friends and I don’t talk about any restaurants or going out or what they are eating or if they’ve eaten something really great. We don’t talk about food.

If you could design your own restaurant to appeal to you and your friends what would it be like?
It would look modern, would have booths and tables and chairs, and have a large variety of foods, like pizza, Chinese food, different types of foods from all over the world. It would also have hamburgers and hot dogs and French fries and have healthy foods, like salads and fruits.

Is eating healthy food important to you?
Eating healthy is important to me, because it is good for you. But I do like food that isn’t good for you, like ice cream, chips and soda. I always order soda when I eat out, since we usually don’t have any in the house.

Why do you eat the same things over and over? I wish you’d eat more things sometimes.
I guess I do like eating different foods, but I eat a lot of the same foods over and over because I can’t think of anything else to eat. Especially with lunch, because I don’t like most kinds of sandwiches and that’s what I would have to have for lunch. So I eat yogurt, fruit and a snack. I like Subway, but I can’t get that at camp or school.

How can I get you to try new foods?
To get me to try different foods, you can tell me it tastes good. I will eat new foods when you cook them at home—like this year I started eating salmon. But when I go to a restaurant I usually order something I know I will like, like chicken fingers or pizza or pasta.

Do you like going out to eat?
I like to go out to restaurants, but sometimes I don’t feel like going out. Sometimes I don’t want to sit for a long time.


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