3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support Give and get support here!

Thread Tools
Old 06-28-2010, 08:36 AM   #1
One step at a time
mkendrick's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: OK
Posts: 1,286

S/C/G: 183/136.2/125-130

Height: 5'7

Default Making special orders and requests at restaurants?

I'm pretty shameless about this. At first my friends thought I was crazy, but they're used to it now. A few of them have even started doing the same thing.

A few of mine would be:
- "Can I get the vegetables unseasoned?"
- "Can I replace this side with steamed veggies?"
- "Can I get it grilled instead (or broiled or steamed or whatever is most appropriate)"
- "Please don't add any salt"
- "May I have unsweetened tea?" (I'm in the South, land of sweet tea, I have to make the UNsweetened part very clear)
- "Could you put half of it in a to-go box before you bring it out?"

Sometimes I even order things that aren't on the menu. My friends and I often go to breakfast before class at a down-home-cookin kinda place. They'll get biscuits and gravy or bacon, cheesy omelets, etc. I specifically order four scrambled egg whites cooked without butter or oil and a cup of diced melon. Just because it's not on the menu doesn't mean they won't make it for me. I've done this at other places too. I'll order a lightly seasoned grilled chicken breast or fish fillet with steamed vegetables.

Anyways, I thought about this since I'm going to Olive Garden with my girl friends tonight. I've looked up nutritional info, and I'm going to order the lunch-size serving of apricot chicken with unseasoned vegetables. I'll save the calories today for a breadstick, a bowl of soup, and the entre, but I probably won't eat the whole entre.

Does anybody else shamelessly make special requests while eating out? I love eating out with friends, it's practically a hobby, so I've had to learn how to do it in a much healthier way. I'm not shy about asking for things prepared the way I want them. They can't always say yes, but more often than not they're more than happy to make the food that you want.
Megan Jewel
Success is a journey, not a destination

Goal Weight reached on: June 14, 2010
Monday Accountability Weigh-in: 136.2 - 10/10/2011...time to get back on the pony!

mkendrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 09:31 AM   #2
Wysteria's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nearly London :)
Posts: 175

S/C/G: 168/138/133

Height: 5'5


Oh god yeah, I do it all the time. There's this amazing restaurant me and my mum go to and we basically go there for the ribs. Back when we were both, ahem, larger, we'd pig out on the main course size ribs, big bowl of fries and coleslaw. This plus a starter of potato skins and a dessert that was usually chocolate pudding.

Now, we have starter size ribs with steamed vegetables, potato skins to share and dessert with two spoons. They're used to us now, lol, so I guess that's ok.

I'm used to making weird requests anyway because of my various food intolerances - I think my strangest one was asking for chicken caesar salad without the dressing and no croutons. THAT got me a few weird looks, lol.
Wysteria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
Senior Member
chnkymonkey's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 300

S/C/G: 158/153/130

Height: 5'4"


The substitutes you make don't sound shameless to me at all. So, I guess its normal for me to do the same thing.

Actually, most the restaurants I go to have substitutes on the menu. Asking for veggies isntead of fries is very common place these days.

And, I only drink unsweet tea and most restaurants carry unsweet, so its rather common here. With all the sugar substitutes, restaurants understand that and Unsweet tea comes with a spoon in it so you can mix your own substitute in (although I dislike sweetened tea of any kind).

I like your idea of asking for no salt added or unseasoned veggies, although many restaurants tend to cook all their veggies in the same seasoning mix.

Asking for subs or special orders is very common place these days so that people with various health issues can enjoy dining out.

Today I'm going to lunch with friends to a restaurant we've been going to for over 10 yrs and we know the owner. Its a pizza shop, and usually I'll get a slice of pizza and a side salad. Its my Monday usual. Today, I might just ask for a special order and have a side salad with a grilled chicken breast. Or, since I was so good over the weekend, I might just have my pizza.
chnkymonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6,192

S/C/G: 190/140/135

Height: 5'7"


Heh, I went to Joey's BBQ on Saturday night (my husband loves the ribs). I got the Tri tip salad with the following special requests:

No cheese
Dressing on side
No big onion ring on top

They are always sweet about it and get my order perfect, every time! After my special requests, it's some lean meat, romaine, kidney beans, corn and tomatoes. I brought a container of green salsa in my purse (seriously!) and dumped that on top. It was DELICIOUS.

I always always always special order and I will send it back if it doesn't come the way I want! Restaurant food is just CRAZY high in fat/calories, rarely is there a dish on any menu I can eat just as is. I even special order the yummy low cal apricot chicken at Olive Garden (double broccoli, heh). It comes with 2 big chicken breasts - with double broccoli, I get 2 meals out of it.
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!

My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."

Last edited by Glory87; 06-28-2010 at 10:32 AM.
Glory87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 10:37 AM   #5
Age 53
caryesings's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NC now/MI for first 42 years
Posts: 1,652

S/C/G: 265/ticker/165

Height: 5'7"


Not diet related, but I too found once I moved to the South that folks didn't always even hear me when I asked for "unsweet tea". So I started asking for "Yankee tea". Gives everyone a laugh and they even remember on refills.

Though my Alabama beau does cringe a bit at the reminder that he has a Yankee girlfriend.
caryesings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
chnkymonkey's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 300

S/C/G: 158/153/130

Height: 5'4"



I love the "Yankee tea" idea, I'll have to try that. Its so true - I grew up in New England - we never had sweet tea. Its not even something that was offered in restaruants. I recall someone saying one time they asked for sweet tea and the waitress brought them a glass of tea and a bowl of sugar. Southerners HATE sweet tea that way.

But after living in the south I've found most places carry both sweet and unsweet and here in FL they are really used to people ordering either so its not an issue. I can say in all these years I only remember one experience in some little diner in North Carolina somewhere that the waitress told me they don't have "unsweetened" tea.
chnkymonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 10:56 AM   #7
Back in Action
Lori Bell's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: A Nebraska Farm
Posts: 3,107

S/C/G: 213/197/140

Height: 5'6"


In my area there are a lot, I mean A LOT of greasy spoon type restaurants. Bar/grill/fryer with not many veggies in sight. All of them have this habit of buttering and toasting the bun of any sandwich you order. The burgers are usually fairly small, but dripping in grease. I always special request my burger.
No Cheese (saves about 100 calories)
No butter on bun, (saves about 100 calories)
Please place patty between 2 paper towels and smash out extra grease (saves about another 50-100 calories)
double deluxe, meaning that they double the lettuce, pickle, onion and tomato.

Some of the owners think I'm nuts, but with all the calories I save from a little bit of fat/butter which has no staying power I can go home and have a yogurt and a big bowl of fruit as a snack and feel great.
Highest weight - 333 pounds. Lost 193 pounds by calorie counting in 2008/09. Regained 73 pounds in the last 7 years and am working on getting back to a normal BMI.
Lori Bell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 11:09 AM   #8
astrophe's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,855

Height: 5'8"


I don't find it weird at all -- I order stuff on the side, steamed, plain, whatever. I'm usually the one sharing with the kid.
Though the first time at a new place I order it how it comes so I can see where it is that it needs to adjust -- less seasoning and so on.

If it is unfixable then I don't eat there any more at all. But usually if it is a real restaurant (as opposed to a "reheating" one that does everything from frozen or prepared mixes it isn't a big deal for them to adjust for me.

What drives me crazy are kid menus. It's like it is always the ubiquitous mac and cheese, chicken nuggets or fingers, burgers, pizza, grilled cheese no matter where. She's better off splitting with me and getting real food, real veggies, and keeping her tastes broad and open.

Started Jan 2016:

Last edited by astrophe; 06-28-2010 at 11:12 AM.
astrophe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 11:13 AM   #9
Senior Member
celigirl88's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: CT
Posts: 285

S/C/G: 165/137/120

Height: 4'11''


I do it all the time and I'm not ashamed of it at all. I'm watching my calories, I could care less if it's not on the menu or if it only comes with loaded mashed potatoes. I REALLY hate when I go to a restaurant and they always have weird things mixed into the food that I've never heard of or liked. So if I have to get a pasta dish with some chicken in it with no this this or that in it, so be it. Usually the waitress doesn't even care. She writes it down and goes on her merry little way. It's what YOU want and your paying for it, so why feel ashamed for making the food to your liking?

celigirl88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 11:22 AM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tifton, Georgia
Posts: 2

S/C/G: 229/216/140

Default Expensive?

When I was really serious I was ordering special requests all the time. What gets me is the cost. It costs more to eat out when you are trying to be healthy. Sure you can substitute a side salad, but fork over $2 more. Sure we will give you veggies, but they will be nooked in the microwave. It always seems like they make the healthier foods cost more.

I would take half home, but my husband and I agreed not to take home leftovers. It goes to waste anyway, either in the fridge or it is still sitting on the table at the restaurant.

Try making a special request at the Mexican restaurant. I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD! I am not giving it up either! You have to first get the server that can actually communicate with you, then it is all gravy. They make it perfectly! Grilled chicken salad with peppers and onions, salsa for dressing, a touch of sour cream and NO CHIPS! Yummy!
southernck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 11:25 AM   #11
Let's do this!
junebug41's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: 3rd cornfield on the left.
Posts: 3,757

S/C/G: 210/149/140

Height: 5'6.5


Of course I do this and I've been pleased to learn that as long as I'm nice about it the server has no problem fulfilling the request.

2011- putting on the baby weight
junebug41 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 12:41 PM   #12
Girl Gone Strong
saef's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Atlantis, which is near Manhattan
Posts: 6,836

S/C/G: (H)247/(C)159/(Goal)142-138

Height: 5'3"


Around where I live, ordering off-menu means you're eating like an actor, a model or a dancer trying to "make weight." People do this fairly routinely. The servers at most of the better restaurants are used to it. They are also used to fielding questions from customers who are trying to identify any fats, carbs, dairy, nuts, non-vegan, non-raw -- you-name it.

So yes, I have been known to scan an entire menu, close it, ignore it & then ask the waiter: "What's your fish today? Okay, please grill that or poach it in a bit of broth. What's your vegetable? I'll have that, steamed, a double portion please."

I often run into more trouble from my dining companions than I do from the waitstaff.

I dine out with two kinds of friends, pretty much.

The first kind is a group of close female friends, in various combinations or solo. They consist of a serious yoga practitioner on an Ayurvedic diet, a certified personal trainer who eats low-carb, a former actress/now arts administrator who prefers organic & eats mindfully, and a Montessori teacher who bikes & skis & has, sadly, struggled with an eating disorder for 15 years now. Of this group, I remain the heaviest, despite my 100-pound weightloss. They were on the wagon long, long before I joined them. Whatever I order, they're good.

The second group consists of coworkers & another set of friends from a different part of my life. They are well-traveled, they like the "good life," and they are sometimes prone to chasing trends & "hot" restaurants. Delightful companions for theater, museum, shows & etc. Not so delightful to dine with. They consider food another form of the arts, like the performances & pieces we see together. A chef to them is an artist, a restaurant is carefully designed set for a theatrical performance. They are very troubled by my declining to partake in the chef's works. Being intelligent, good people, for the most part, & supportive of my effort to become healthier, they say nothing, but their unhappiness sort of seeps out at certain moments. They pick restaurants that I dread: artisanal pizza parlors, Momofuku Milk Bar, places famous for their gourmet takes on "comfort food." I would say that my restaurant ordering habits have caused some stress in our relationship & that I now see them less often as a result. (Which I must admit, has one small advantage in that it has saved me $$$.)

Last edited by saef; 06-28-2010 at 12:42 PM.
saef is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:09 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2