Confession: I Make Special Requests When Dining Out

8SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/24/2010 6:14 AM   :  319 comments   :  17,683 Views

I like to eat healthy. It's not something that I feel obligated to do; it's something that I want to do—99% of the time anyway. Sure there are times when you go out to eat with the intention of splurging on French fries or dessert, but for all the other times, it's tough to order anything "as-is" from a restaurant menu without it being a complete diet disaster. Even foods that masquerade as "healthy" choices are usually anything but—especially in the oversized portions they're served to us.

Dressing on the side. Baked, not fried. Hold the sauce. No fries. Extra broccoli—steamed, no butter. These phrases become commonplace for anyone who wants to eat a healthy meal at a restaurant. If you've said them many times yourself, good for you! I do the same, but sometimes, I take it even further.

I'm not afraid to ask about things that aren't on the menu (notice I said "ask" not "demand"). I ask for items on the side or items to be removed entirely and then replaced with other things. Sometimes I'll ask for extra on certain things (like veggies) or light on other toppings (like cheese). I wish I didn't have to do this, but sometimes I have to create my own healthier choice because there isn't one on the menu. On top of it though, I'm a picky eater who also hates to waste food, which is why I remove anything I don't like from the meal during the ordering process.

Here's an example of something I'll order:

Menu item: House salad
My order: "Is the house salad made with Romaine or iceberg? Can I get it with Romaine only? No chicken, add black beans. I'd like the balsamic dressing instead of the dressing it comes with. On the side, please. Light cheese. No mushrooms (they're not unhealthy, I just don't like them). And do you have something like whole-wheat or whole-grain bread instead of the breadstick it's served with?"

Menu item: Vegetable fajita salad
My order:"I'd like the vegetable fajita salad but without the meat. Can I get black beans or refried beans in place of that? Those are 100% vegetarian, right? OK. Also, no cheese, no sour cream and no dressing. Instead of dressing, can I just get extra salsa? And I don't want any of the fried tortilla strips on top. Thanks!"

OK, these are extreme examples, but it's still true to life. It's very rare for me to go to a restaurant that needs that much tweaking, but on occasion, I don't have a choice in where I'm eating. I try to be as polite and respectful as possible. Most of the time, the server is more than happy to take down my special order, read it back to me, and do his or her best to make sure the kitchen staff makes it that way. Believe it or not, they usually get my order right—or just mess up one small thing. I don't usually complain unless the food is somehow inedible. I actually expect mistakes because I ask for so many things and know how easy it is to do the same thing out of habit. I'll eat it and scrape things off if I need to, but wasting food is a big pet peeve of mine. I would rather tell them I don't want mushrooms or sour cream than to waste perfectly good food because it comes with my order and I didn't want to be a bother.

I don't have to make special requests like this too often. I tend to frequent a few specific restaurants where I know there are healthy, tasty menu items that I can enjoy with little to no modification. But occasionally, I have to meet my family at a restaurant where I'd never eat otherwise or I try a new place only to find out there's nothing on the menu that appeals to my healthy sensibilities. My boyfriend, friends and family are used to these special requests and even expect it from me. When we try a new place and I only have one modification—or none—they look at me in disbelief that I didn't spend 10 minutes ordering my custom meal.

I know it seems high maintenance, but I don't LIKE to do this. However, I dislike it even more to force down food I don't want to eat just because "that's the way it's made." Maybe if restaurants offered more healthy options, people like me wouldn't have to make special requests. So until that happens, I'm only going to go to the places that do offer the kind of food I want. And when I have to go elsewhere, I'm going to continue to make special requests. The way I figure, I'm paying a premium to dine out—way more than I'd spend to eat the same thing at home. So I'm going to try to get something as close as possible to what I want—as long as they're willing to indulge me.

Do you make special requests to eat healthier at restaurants or do you think it's inappropriate?


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Comments

  • BAMAJAM
    319
    Coach Nicole is "picky" and she wants to be indulged. She has many special requests because she is paying a "premium" to dine out--Oh, and she wants to eat healthy! So many replies here with many different thoughts--- My opinion is be "reasonable"... and this blog is as JaneDoe said, "annoying." Nicole failed to say that she tips well for her many special "requests"---- Though the price of the meal might be expensive, the wait-staff is often paid low wages. Be a generous tipper if you want them to rewrite the menu for "special you." It is, of course, reasonable to ask a few favors in a courteous manner-- BUT-- if you dare to take ten minutes for your uniquely designed plate, I pity the wait-staff, the cooks, and all the diners in your party. They might understandably call you, "Princess ..the indulged one."
    BTW, notice from these comments how many husbands are embarrassed by the picky wives' demands. As a wait staff person, generally speaking, I found men to be more considerate than the women.
    BTW, men did tip better too!! lol - 5/7/2012   2:29:25 PM
  • 318
    I generally just go to the restaurants that I know I can find things on the menu that I like and are healthy too. I'm a very bland eater as well so that just adds to the problem, but actually helps make it healthier. I don't like sauces and dressings on my food, but I'll order a lite dressing on the side and most times don't even touch it. Most veggies that are served are "broccoli". It really does make me sick because of what they do to it. I can barely eat it anymore. Often times if I ask, I can substitute for a veggie that has an upcharge, but I don't get charged. Or I request a salad, a plain salad with veggies, as a substitute for the veggie without an extra charge. I love salmon, but most restaurants drown the salmon in something sweet and disgusting or a ton of butter. I just want plain grilled salmon that tastes just like salmon. I also forgo rice of any sort just because I don't like it and don't want to wast calories on it, so another veggie substitution or I'm ok with a baked potato now and then too.

    I try to stick with places that are flexible, have decent salads with light dressings, fajitas that aren't cooked with sauces, salmon fixed to my plain liking (like on the cedar plank), steak, chicken dishes that aren't smothered, stir fry's, and decent sides/veggies. I don't want to waste money, calories and fat, or settle for a dinner I just don't enjoy. I'd rather stay home! - 12/27/2011   7:16:02 PM
  • 317
    I've been compared to Sally in the movie, as well. I agree--I don't want my salad drowning in dressing, or smothered in cheese (which I can't digest); and I will forgo the items I wouldn't eat anyways (spanish or fried rice).

    My thought process is simple, if I'm going to use up my "budget" for the day, it had better be on something I actually want to eat. I save up for the occasional onion ring or french fry splurge, but balance it with smarter choices the rest of the day. - 12/27/2011   3:43:55 PM
  • 316
    I always ask for dressings/sauces on the side, hold the rice/pasta/potato and get extra veggies instead, and take home half of whatever I'm served.
    - 12/27/2011   11:53:05 AM
  • 315
    I have a favorite restaurant meal that doesn't require much modification. We sometimes go to an Iranian restaurant that has great kebabs. I almost always order a chicken kebab. The standard way it is served is with the rest of the plate filled with rice. I usually order it with half rice, half salad, and it's perfect. It comes with about 4 oz of chicken breast meat (no skin), and the salad is dressed with a very light herbed vinaigrette. - 12/27/2011   11:15:37 AM
  • 314
    I don't think asking for other options is bad at all - you are taking charge of your health! - 4/28/2011   2:15:41 PM
  • MERPEARL
    313
    It is rare that I go out for dinner when I DON'T ask for a change! I'm nice about it, and try to choose something on the menu that will require the least amount of substitutions or requests, so that I'm not insulting the chef; sauces/dressings on the side, double veggies instead of mashed potatoes, fish sauteed with the least amount of fat possible, etc. On occasion, when the waiter leaves, my husband either calls me Sally (yes, from When Harry Met Sally!); or, as he orders, he tells the waiter 'I'd like X exactly like it is on the menu!'. It's the only way to continue to eat out and not feel guilty or sabotage my attempts to eat healthily. And sometimes it's a matter of balance: I'd rather save my extrra calories for a glass of wine or a few bites of someone else's dessert! - 12/25/2010   12:34:16 PM
  • ALEXANDRA64
    312
    Because I eat Paleo I hardly look at the menu, lol. I just tell them what I want like grilled chicken and lots of veggies or whatever and let them figure out the price. So far I haven't had a problem at all. The waitress is always very accommodating. The only person bothered is usually the one I am dining with! - 12/20/2010   6:58:34 AM
  • 311
    After reading comments, I am SHOCKED! Why are there so many comments mentioning "spit"!?! Like spitting in an order is acceptable or possibly expected???

    Ok, I'm biased. I am vegetarian. And I know what I like and dislike and I'm not hesitant to express myself. My order can sound like Coach Nicole's examples. Matter-of-fact, I would make substitutions to her order --- I might ask for extra mushrooms! Additionally, I ask questions about ingredients --- I make sure chicken broth is not an addition, etc.

    Asking to leave an ingredient out of a dish, or adding another listed ingredient as a substitution is not being "rude". It's a menu and there are lots of choices on it. Selecting your preferences from a menu is EXPECTED. That's why there is a list of ice cream flavors and a choice of appetizers. Sure there are reasonable and unreasonable requests --- but none of Coach Nicole's requests were unreasonable --- and certainly not deserving of reciprocal rude behavior like spitting on her food. - 12/20/2010   12:20:29 AM
  • 310
    Yes, I ask for special requests because of my Ulcerative Colitis I can't eat a normal meal so when I go out I attempt to get my diet restrictions kept up. - 12/19/2010   4:54:42 PM
  • 309
    THIS! This is totally me at a restaurant! I am always overly nice about it, like you, and I always explain to my server that I am watching calories...they are always more than happy to accommodate my wishes with no complaint.

    As an example, I like to eat at 54th Street Grill and Bar. I always order the same thing: A veggie burger, on a dry oat meal bun (whole grain), no cheese, no garlic mayo sauce...I substitute their very delicious steamed broccoli for the fries, and order a house salad with no cheese, no croutons, and fat free honey mustard dressing on the side. It's WONDERFUL, and I can leave there feeling good about what I've eaten! If I eat the whole burger (sometimes I split with my mom or my kids), it's still about 600 calories for the ENTIRE meal. Perfect! :)

    - 12/17/2010   8:18:08 PM
  • EMMANYC
    308
    I make certain kinds of special requests, and in certain restaurants, but not others. For example, I won't ask the chef to do something that fundamentally alters the integrity of the dish, but I will ask for a grilled fish or meat to be done so "dry", without being brushed with butter or oil. I'll ask for dressing to be served on the side, but I wouldn't bother asking them to leave off the tortilla strips - I can just pick those off myself. But if I go to a really good restaurant (e.g., Eleven Madison Park in NYC), I eat what's put in front of me, the way the chef wants to serve it. I might not eat all of what I'm served, but the reason I've gone to that restaurant is to have the experience the chef is proposing. - 12/17/2010   4:07:42 PM
  • 307
    I am lucky enough to live in a place where people are more health-conscious and we are going back to more natural and organic foods. In fact, a lot of the restaurants I go to now tout "all natural" or "organic" items. In addition, we have a few restaurants that offer half-orders, which rocks! Most chains aren't as good at it as our local restauants, though. We try really hard not to go to chains because we live in an urban neighborhood where we would rather support the small businesses and get to know the owners. Most of them WANT to be proud of their foods and listen to the customer. In fact, a lot of them change their menu seasonally depending on what is grown locally and what is in season. With all that said- I also ask for special requests. I have a French fry problem, myself, so it's hard- but I make myself get an alternative, such as veggies. I have simple rules- nothing fried, nothing smothered, and no bleached flour. So- I ask for salsa instead of green chili, etc. I find most places are not put out at all. Most of the servers comment that they do that too and even make suggestions. Another thing- which is sometimes embarrassing but worth it- my girlfriends and I and my husband and I split meals if we can. We STILL end up taking stuff home. But I think asking for these things actually helps us all because if enough people do it- restaurants change their foods. I think even chains are starting to do it. So, I say- ask for healthy alternatives- it helps us all out. - 12/17/2010   2:44:34 PM
  • UNIT335
    306
    I like to go to restaurants and demand that they change everything I order. Sometimes I like to order french fries but tell them to replace the fries with a salad! Ha! I've also been known to order the soup of the day, but demand that the day be changed to two days IN THE FUTURE. - 4/25/2010   4:12:17 PM
  • 305
    WOW, I'd go to a BUFFET and get what I wanted off the salad bar, and make up my own plate before I'd be THAT picky at any restaurant. Like Dr. Phil says "When you tick off the wait-staff, worry that they will spit in your food before they bring it out." LOL No, I wouldn't be like that when ordering off a menu, since the wait-staff is overworked and underpaid not to mention the poor person back in the kitchen making up the orders. - 3/16/2010   9:30:42 AM
  • 304
    I rarely eat out, so when I do, I usually eat food as it is served, but always try to make a healthy choice and I do ask for unsalted foods.
    I strongly dislike iceberg lettuce and will ask for Romaine, if it is available. - 3/6/2010   7:51:16 PM
  • STRAWBERRY*MOON
    303
    I think it's a matter of balance. Certainly asking what a dish you are considering ordering contains is perfectly fine. And, in most restaurants, asking for some simple substitutions and dressings/sauces on the side or leaving off certain foods or garnishes does not present a problem. But, having been trained as a chef and understanding how restaurant cooking works, it would be a nightmare if many people wanted to create their own dishes with some of this and some of that but none the other. I usually "bank" some calories for restaurant meals, choose as wisely as I can with reasonable requests for adjustments, and only eat half, then take the rest home for another meal. Restaurants work on small profit margins--food and especially labor--not to mention facilities and equipment-- takes a huge bite out of their gross incomes. And by the way, just because you came to the restaurant and plan to pay for your meal doesn't mean you can have/do anything you want. There are limits to what a restaurant can and should do to accommodate clients. Some customers a restaurant would rather do without. - 3/5/2010   1:30:40 PM
  • 302
    As a vegan I'm always making adjustment requests. I ask for Italian instead of Ranch dressing, no cheese or eggs on the salad, substitute marinara sauce for alfredo, no shrimp or chicken with that pasta, etc.

    Usually places understand and are more than happy to do what I ask. I always tip well too. I think that for their extra work the wait staff deserves a better tip.

    I think that places are good with my requests because I always make them easy, and because I'm not asking the cooks to whip up something special. Sometimes they do make special things for me if I'm at a place that just doesn't have anything that can be converted into a vegan dish. They usually volunteer that though. I'm not asking for special treatment as far as that goes.

    I like restaurants that do this, and we go to those when we do eat out. - 3/5/2010   9:42:25 AM
  • ROADANGEL1962
    301
    most restaurants have no problem with adjusting your menu item to fit your diet/allergies ect... i have even requested at mcdonalds that they put my grilled chicken on the regular hamburger size bun as it has 150 cal versus the 240 for the honey wheat that the classic grilled chicken sandwich comes with and they have done it for me. Also At Perkins I have asked that they grill my hashbrowns without any oil or added fat and they have done it. So do not be afraid to ask, the worst that can happen is they say no, which is highly unlikely as most restaurants do not wish to do anything that could result in negative word of mouth about them - 3/4/2010   9:49:15 PM
  • 300
    Thank you, Nicole for your blog! I totally agree with asking for your food the way you want to eat it! I have done this for so many years! I am known as the picky one but I don't care, at least I can eat my food without thinking it was unhealthy! - 3/4/2010   2:22:10 PM
  • 299
    I never had the courage to order modified foods. But since I am with spark people I do not see why I should give restaurants the power to sabotage my effords.
    Since I am a beginner in special requesting those modifications are still small- like rice instead of fries or no mayonaise, which I can not say no to if it is on my plate. - 3/4/2010   5:48:41 AM
  • LANA1992
    298
    I GO TO A SPANISH RESTAURANT WHERE THEY LOVE TO COOK THE FOOD ACCORDING TO THE REQUEST. ONE WEEKEND MY ORDER WAS SCREWED UP, NO ONE IS PERFECT. I WILL CONTINUE TO GO LOVE IT. - 3/3/2010   12:55:29 PM
  • LM80LB
    297
    'When Harry Met Sally' movie is about me. I substitute and change many items on the menu when order food and mu friends always remind me of the movie. However as soon as I'm done with my order my friends would ask for the same things, I've just ordered. I thank you for e very good blog and would like to remind everybody who disagree that customer is always right - 3/3/2010   12:04:39 PM
  • 296
    I'm too scared to ask the kitchen to make me a custom meal ... after all, I did go to THEIR restaurant which is NOT my kitchen. If I want a customized meal, I'll eat at home. I DO wish that restaurants would state EXACTLY what's in each dish. You order a house salad, expecting just lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, & dressing. Instead you are served a HUGE bowl loaded with bacon bits, chopped eggs, a ton of cheese & a ladle-full of dressing & buried under all of the calories & cholesterol is a few limp, torn lettuce leaves.
    Having said all of that, I don't eat out a lot so custom orders aren't that big of a deal. - 3/3/2010   10:51:12 AM
  • 295
    I may ask for a few things, but if I have to have every thing changed then there is no point to going out. I think if you ask for too much, just stay home and do it yourself. To ask for a lot of changes to the menu is rude in my mind. - 3/3/2010   10:48:18 AM
  • 294
    For what it's worth, when I go out to eat I expect that I may not get the same healthy food I might make at home, and in fact, I may not even want that...I love rich sauces, I enjoy excellent food prepared in the manner that the chef envisioned it. If depends, certainly, on the type of restaurant I'm in, but I usually work to compensate for extra calories or rich food that I eat (rarely) after the fact by diet adjustment and exercise. That allows me to actually enjoy the really good food that talented people work hard to make. That doesn't make anyone including the writer wrong...I've never been seriously overweight and I've always been active. I've also always admired restaurant people and always enjoyed excellent food. I would not give instructions to a chef anymore than I would supervise an artist....but that's just me. If you do have food allergies or special dietary needs, you should seek out appropriate cuisines and let the establishment know what you need. But I think it's OK to, once in awhile, really enjoy a rich sauce or a decadent dessert (in moderation). As long as you are conscious of your intake and your activity, you can recover in short order. And you only go around once... - 3/2/2010   5:06:30 PM
  • 293
    Yes I started this in my twentys when I reacted to a item they added to a dish I was use to ordering and got very sick the restaurant owned suggested that I ask that it not be added to my meal. After that I did it anywhere I went. They were so sorry that I reacted the way I did. Was told by them. They want us to return, and if we get sick or react negitively we wont. Made a great impression on me. Pat - 3/2/2010   1:05:03 PM
  • 292
    At most restaurants you have to modify your dish if you are trying to eat healthy. I also ask for a take away box up front and load half my meal into it. The portions are just insane. You either do this or you never go out to eat, which isn't an option for a most of us. It does make me think twice about going out, which is certainly better for my wallet. - 3/2/2010   11:58:15 AM
  • JANNWINN
    291
    I always ask for grilled fish/meat and steamed veggies. Biggest problem is the small amount of veggies, so always have to order with hand gestures showing the size dish I'm asking for. Restaurants prefer to sell the larger (higher priced) meals, understandably. After reading "The End of Overeating" by D. Kessler (as suggested by someone on a different post) I was truly enlightened concerning the restaurant industry! - 3/2/2010   11:40:50 AM
  • 290
    Not only do I think it's acceptable, I often refuse to look at the menu and tell them this is what I want, can you do it?
    Grilled meat (chicken/fish)
    Steamed broccoli or other Green vegetable
    green salad with dressing on the side. .

    How hard is that?

    I'm in New Mexico, and even in Mexican restaurants, most have healthier choices like whole beans not refried, chicken enchiladas not cheese. And, don't bring the chips.

    When even fast food restaurants are getting the message we want to eat healthier, why shouldn't we expect better restaurants to do the same? - 3/2/2010   9:24:58 AM
  • 289
    I think it's fine to ask but don't always expect that the cook is going to follow what is written down. (If it's something like steam it instead of ______, where its not something you can see like no cheese on the salad or dressing on the side) - 3/2/2010   7:23:00 AM
  • 288
    I find that when I make special requests I get a lot more trouble from the people I'm with than the wait staff. Usually my server is super nice about it, but it's like there's this unwritten rule with some people that if the first person orders chicken fingers and fries you're duty-bound to get something breaded. - 3/2/2010   5:01:42 AM
  • 287
    When I was a server I never minded people ordering substitutions as long as they were nice about it and didn't seem arrogant or flip out if the cook still messed up one part of it. :)

    As an introvert it's a little hard for me to ask for substitutions, but I remind myself that I'm paying for it and most servers will be great if you just treat them with respect while giving complicated order.

    Also I agree with some commenters that it's hilarious when I order dressing on the side and they send one or more huge little side cups full of dressing...as if I ordered it on the side to have extra?? Hehe. :) - 3/2/2010   2:24:08 AM
  • 286
    I think it is up to us to make our own healthy eating choices. If we have to ask for certain things, then that is just something we have to do. We should never feel guilty about asking to make a meal more healthy. We own our bodies and should not let restaurants force us to choose unhealthy foods. - 3/1/2010   11:22:58 PM
  • 285
    I find that people are willing to help. i too ask for on the side when ordering, and fresh steamed veggies. or i add extra veggies but no rice or potatoes. - 3/1/2010   10:33:47 PM
  • 284
    I have not made any special requests beyond eliminating side items or dressing on the side! After reading this I realise I can make resonable requests to keep my diet healthy! Thanks for a great blog - 3/1/2010   4:12:55 PM
  • 283
    For years I've gotten my dressing on the side.
    Now that I know I have Celiac Disease and gluten is poison for me, I start out by apologizing upfront about being difficult but I have "allergies"(works better than auto-immune disease). Then I try to find the least offending item on the menu before asking any questions I have to try to make sure my meal is Gluten free. - 3/1/2010   1:49:15 PM
  • 282
    I think if you're basically changing the whole meal, it's inappropriate and you should be rethinking your choice of restaurant (or if going with a group, you should have taken a look at the menu and suggested another place beforehand). But asking for beans instead of chicken, or dressing on the side, or omission of a veggie you don't like is perfectly fine and the restaurant should be willing to accomodate your reasonable request. - 3/1/2010   12:31:27 PM
  • 281
    I'm a diabetic with several food allergies. For me, ordering food the way I need it prepared is a matter of life and death. I have met many wonderful chefs who really care about preparing the food exactly as I need and have personally come out from the kitchen to ask questions and work with me. I got over being shy about it years ago. - 3/1/2010   2:09:10 AM
  • 280
    I hope you leave a good tip after all that, lol. - 3/1/2010   12:47:27 AM
  • FEISTYJEN
    279
    Love it! Heck you're paying for the meal - you might as well get exactly what you want! - 3/1/2010   12:01:38 AM
  • 278
    Have you seen 'When Harry Met Sally'? As the first 'order food' scene played out I felt my movie companion's eyes (also being my frequent dinner companion) boring into me. I've been doing THIS for years. While not always fat, I have always had health issues, and restaurant food just isn't healthy overall. If anyone knows the movie I've mentioned, it came out around 20 years ago... LONG before restaurants had even begun to consider that people wanted food to be good for them, as well as flavourful.

    Since I've joined Spark, and really begun to evaluate my choices based on how well and FIT I want to be beyond my other dietary concerns, and how I want my daughter to feel empowered with respect to food, I now even go so far as toting fruit and vegetables into any given restaurant (we have favourite family-friendly places that just don't quite go far enough to my liking to create healthy options). Or for her I carry 'healthy' juice and milk with us wherever we go. Nobody has ever said anything to me, or suggsted I couldn't bring in food. The way I look at it, I am paying the restaurant to serve ME, and my dollars.

    "I know it seems high maintenance, but I don't LIKE to do this. However, I dislike it even more to force down food I don't want to eat just because "that's the way it's made." Maybe if restaurants offered more healthy options, people like me wouldn't have to make special requests. So until that happens, I'm only going to go to the places that do offer the kind of food I want. And when I have to go elsewhere, I'm going to continue to make special requests. The way I figure, I'm paying a premium to dine out—way more than I'd spend to eat the same thing at home. So I'm going to try to get something as close as possible to what I want—as long as they're willing to indulge me."

    AMEN! - 2/28/2010   4:05:59 PM
  • MARGOMCP
    277
    I don't generally make substitutions but I will ask that some things be removed or not served. I have a restaurant I eat at each week and love their spinach salad, no croutons, dressing on the side :-) Since we go there the same night each week, the waiter knows what I want and all I have to say is "spinach" LOL

    I don't go to restaurants I don't "know" often and if I go to one that doesn't seem to have anything healthy on the menu, I'll choose something I like but just eat lots less of it (as in 3-4 oz.).

    I have no trouble anymore "throwing away" food from restaurants (I don't take food home as I'll eat the leftovers the next day as well as my normal food for that day) since I've paid for it and, like a gift, I can do whatever I need to with it, it's "mine".

    I routinely eat 1/3rd of a three or four egg omelette at someplace like Denny's and maybe half a slice of "wheat" toast. The only trouble I have is my seafood restaurant where I order blackened tuna and it's to die for but 7 oz. I've learned to eat the center out of it :-) as that's the best part and just leave the edges as if they're fat trim like on a steak. - 2/28/2010   4:02:00 PM
  • 276
    Not to that extreme,I wish I had the guts to completely change a meal like you. I think that I'll work on it. - 2/28/2010   3:46:32 PM
  • 275
    So well written, Nicole!! I'm a vegetarian and you'd think living in Southern California that would be a boon to my options but no..... Okay I dare anyone to find a really good salad on the menu that does NOT have meat! The carnivores have taken over my salads! It's chicken or beef or salmon or...sigh.... So yes, I do sub out items and I do thank you for making me less embarrassed to do so Nicole! :-) - 2/28/2010   3:28:13 PM
  • TEXASZITA
    274
    We also don't dine out very often to avoid going off our eating plan. However, when we do and ask for substitutions and extras, we make sure to tip the server extra because they are making sure our order is served the way we want it. I do like to splurge once in a while and have a few Chili's chips & salsa! Love my nutrition tracker to make allowances for this! - 2/28/2010   2:47:31 PM
  • 273
    I keep the "clean and unclean" from the Old Testamen, so I'm always checking on what is in teh food. I live in the south where even vegateble ar cooked with pork. I'm always making requests! - 2/28/2010   11:17:16 AM
  • 272
    I often remind my husband he doesn't have to have the food as stated. He is the customer and he can ask for what he wants, but he doesn't want to "bother" anyone. Hey, not me! I had my first fajita and it comes with the tortillas, gauchomole, etc. and I asked them NOT to bring it to the table. They were amazed. They asked was I sure? Uh...yeah! I loved just the chicken, peppers, and onions. - 2/28/2010   11:11:53 AM
  • 271
    I am surprised that more places don't have build your own salad (like they do with icecream sundaes). Choose 3 from this section, 1 from this section, a topping, etc. I think it would help people eat healthier! : ) - 2/28/2010   10:06:07 AM
  • FOOLERY_TOM
    270
    First of all, great job on writing a blog that seems to have people really talking. Second, I'm glad I'm not the only one. :) I find that a smile and asking kindly makes the asking virtually painless for the server. - 2/28/2010   12:52:50 AM

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