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Old 06-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #1
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Default Restaurant Accommodations

Perhaps this should be in the Food section but it is usually so slow in there I figure I would get more replies here.

Do you ask restaurants to cook your food special - no butter or oil? steamed instead of fried? etc. Are they usually pretty good about it?

The most I have ever asked is dressing on side or to leave something off. I usually leave the prep method alone probably I am a wuss and feel like I am bothering them...
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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I used to feel the same way, but I just ask now and usually the server doesn't miss a beat. I ordered "special" the last time I went out and the server said "you just ordered the same exact thing as my other table!" so they're used to it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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Most restaurants have at least a couple of healthy choices on the menu. Fish or chicken grilled or broiled and steamed fresh veggies. Some even have extensive low fat and vegetarian selections. I go out every Thursday with my girlfriends and we try different restaurants. So far all of them have had menus online and I can look them over and decide ahead of time what I will order. Also if you have a special request, most servers and kitchens will be as accommodating as they can be, but understand that in high volume eateries they have things pre-made and don't have as much flexibility to make changes. Don't be shy. Ask politely for what you want and I bet you'll get what you ask for :-D Guaranteed you won't get it if you don't ask.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Snaplet View Post
So far all of them have had menus online and I can look them over and decide ahead of time what I will order.
I do this most of the time when I know where I am going for the nutritional info, I have even emailed a couple of chain places that didn't have it listed on their website and had them send me a copy. It definitely makes it easier to decide once I get there!
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzKiki View Post
I ordered "special" the last time I went out and the server said "you just ordered the same exact thing as my other table!" so they're used to it.
ha, that's funny!


I special order stuff all the time because I'm a picky eater and there are usually some ingredients I don't like. So I also order no butter, sauce on the side, etc. and it's not usually a problem. Sometimes, things are pre-made and they cannot take out ingredients, so I try to have a back up thing to order, just in case.

I tip a little more because it's a little more effort on the waiter's part to make sure the kitchen gets it right.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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I usually don't because I don't want to be perceived as a pain in the rear and have the waiter or chef or other kitchen staff spit in my food. I don't frequent chain restaurants, so I always have to estimate my calories anyway. Here are some tips I use when I eat out:

1) I eat half the portion and take the other half home for my dogs. That way, I can still enjoy the meal as it is supposed to taste and not do too much damage to my diet.

2) I usually won't order uber-calories dishes (e.g., lobster bisque), but I do take a taste or two of my husband's, and that's usually enough to satisfy the immediate urge.

3) I share a dessert. Or, if the dessert sounds good but not great, I'll just skip it.

4) I always try to start with salads. I love a good salad, but I HATE making them at home, so it's a treat to get them when I go out. Eating that and the fact that the courses are paced makes it easy for me to be full / satisfied enough to just eat half an entree.

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Old 06-24-2011, 12:33 PM   #7
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I don't think I've ever asked for a dish to be altered, but I have stopped patronizing restaurants that don't offer nutritional information. Unfortunately where I live it's pretty rare that they have that information available (even when I call), especially for non-national chains.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:35 PM   #8
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I special order all the time, making sure I'm smiling and friendly. I think a smile and a "thank you" can get you pretty far. I've never had any server give me attitude or difficulty, or even seem surprised. I think so many people are watching what they eat now, it's common to have special orders.

That being said, I hardly ever go to more swanky, upscale places, and if I did I don't think I would try to special order. Those are generally places where the food is created by the chef as a whole "unit" and I would want to enjoy it that way. Also, those are such rare treats that I wouldn't worry about making that particular meal low calorie.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:51 PM   #9
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I worked in restaurants for years. Nobody minded special requests. I ask for alterations all the time.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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i asked for accommodations once when we went to a restaurant....i asked for veggies instead of fries, because i knew they had them...and the waiter looked at me like i'd grown a second head and flat out said they couldn't do that...so i had to get my order regularly...i refused to eat the fries, i took the bread off my philly cheese sandwich...and basically paid their price to have a few bites of cheesy meat and peppers

on the other hand, i remind myself alot that going out to eat with DH is a treat....in that we are away from the kids, time to ourselves, don't have to rush back...we usually go for a stroll downtown after eating...etc...so it's not so much the food that counts, as the time spent alone with him
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:31 PM   #11
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Of course you can, they want your business. I went out to lunch with my family yesterday, My DIL cannot eat wheat, she asked waitress for suggestions,the waitress didn't bat an eyelash and made the right suggestions. I often go out for breakfast with friends, as am example an omelette will come with toast and hash browns. I ask for no toast and fruit instead of hashbrowns I haven't been refused yet.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #12
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GFI (go for it)!!! I ask for modifications pretty much every time I go out to eat. I used to be scared about it, but started doing it when I'd go visit my sister who is a server at Red Robin (or what she calls The Dirty Bird). Once I figured out that I could eat healthy at The Dirty Bird, I realized I could do it most places. Sure, my sister called my meal "rabbit food" (what a kidder), but they can really do a lot to customize things for you.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:06 PM   #13
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I was at Red Robin yesterday. Thanks tuende for calling it "The Dirty Bird". I will probably never eat there again after hearing that.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:56 PM   #14
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I don't have a problem with substituting or asking for none of something it is more the preparation style - like steaming instead of frying. I guess it really depends on the place- if it is a nicer place with an actually chef and a unified dish like JenMusic pointed out, or a chain restaraunt that it is already assembled with the butter/oil/etc included. But from now I will definitely ask!


alaskanlaughter - how rude of the waiter! I hope you guys haven't gone back or at least didn't have to deal with the particular waiter again!
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargoo View Post
Of course you can, they want your business. I went out to lunch with my family yesterday, My DIL cannot eat wheat, she asked waitress for suggestions,the waitress didn't bat an eyelash and made the right suggestions. I often go out for breakfast with friends, as am example an omelette will come with toast and hash browns. I ask for no toast and fruit instead of hashbrowns I haven't been refused yet.
WHAT A GREAT IDEA!? I usually just let them bring the hashbrowns and try my best to ignore them.I'll ask for fruit. Blows my mind why make an eggwhite omelet and serve it with a ton of potatoes.
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