Member Comments for the Article:

85 Tips & Strategies for Dining Out

Take the Challenge Out of Dining


  • I know this article is a couple years old, but I truly found some of the suggestions here to be a little over the top:

    Going online to check the menu? Yes
    Calling ahead, requesting a specific table away from the kitchen, having the menu faxed or emailed to you at home, and giving them a list of your requirements (other than sever allergies of course) prior to going? Not likely.

    Yes most restaurants are able to accommodate special requests, but getting them to totally re-design dishes is not what they're there for - not your usual run-of-the-mill restaurant or pub, anyway.
    Asking for extra veggies on your salad, dressing on the side, or your protein to be grilled/baked/broiled etc without any extra breading/oil/butter is one thing.
    But having them re-design (and re-PRICE) an entirely new meal is very challenging, as most restaurants operate as the culinary version of an assembly line.

    If for instance you wanted to order the chicken picata, (a breaded chicken in butter lemon sauce over noodles), and you tell your server you want the chicken picata.
    BUT, you want the chicken grilled, not pan fried, you want it seasoned with herbs, not breading, you want the lemon butter sauce to be replaced with a tomato based sauce with veggies added to it, and you want your side dish to be something not even on the menu.....How do they price that for you?

    Asking a waiter to come up with melba toast when it's not something offered by the restaurant is a little over the top
    Ordering fresh fruit as an appy is a great idea - IF the restaurant has a fruit and cheese plate on their menu (even on their dessert menu), otherwise it's very unlikely that they'll be able to accommodate.

    Many of these tips are so difficult for your typical restaurants to accommodate, it's going to lead to a very frustrating and exhausting dining experience for you, your poor server, and the kitchen staff. - 7/8/2015 1:58:48 PM
  • AREED78
    My husband loves to go out, but I'm trying to lose some weight. I want to indulge when we go out, but still try to eat what's good. Skipping the bread is probably the best advice, those empty carbs taste great, but are not good for you. I usually get a steak when we go out, which is better than some things I could order. - 3/16/2015 3:02:10 PM
  • ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Linaspark! - 2/17/2015 7:46:50 PM
  • Some of the tips were helpful, but I was rather disappointed at the vagueness of the article. There are a lot of things that are not address: Individuals with plant-based eating lifestyles and individuals with food allergies are not addressed. - 9/18/2014 12:19:29 PM
  • I find it very frustrating as a vegetarian that non of these article even touch on the difficulties of attempting to eat out "veggie" style. They even say don't look I the vegetarian options as they are loaded on extra calories. Sooo am I supposed to just eat vegetables? I don't have the option to eat skinless chicken or fish as an entree and most broth based soups are beef or chicken. Can't lose for winning :( - 9/6/2013 8:05:15 AM
  • Great article. I don't eat out like that. I think I can cook at home and be better off than going spending money. - 8/10/2013 6:05:20 PM
  • taking half home for another meal = no cooking. - 7/9/2013 6:39:31 PM
  • LINASPARK: I absolutely agree with you!!! Thanks for not holding any punches! - 9/3/2012 12:14:43 AM
  • Some of the tips on here are good, but some aren't so great.

    I'd be embarrassed to dine out with someone who implemented a lot of these suggestions, like continually dipping a fork in dressing while eating in public or asking a waiter to come up with some melba toast or margarine. (And margarine isn't even healthier than butter.)

    Besides that, I don't think telling people to order boiled or steamed vegetables is a great tip. It's extremely rare that these are going to be worth having, taste-wise. If someone likes them, more power to him, but they're usually flavorless and flaccid. They're the kind of thing that make most people hate eating healthily and make them likely to steal piles of fries off their companions' plates.

    Just get a salad with lots of crisp, tasty vegetables and a little bit of light dressing. Or snatch up any vegetable sides that are grilled or stir-fried. If you can pair that with a healthy appetizer or soup, you've got a meal.

    And some of these suggestions just don't make sense as workable solutions. "Angel food cake is light--but it's not on many menus, and watch the sugar." What does "watch the sugar" even mean in this context? The person ordering it, assuming they're at one of the few restaurants that offers it, isn't going to be looking on at the recipe or preparation. Is it just meant to be a reminder that cake has sugar in it? Great, thanks for that insightful "tip." - 8/16/2012 6:08:37 PM
  • Good tips! - 7/29/2011 3:40:01 AM
  • Lots of great tips here! A lot to remember, but putting them in place and using them; makes them a habit and habits are hard to break! So, this is a great article! - 6/9/2010 10:52:51 PM
  • Great article...the challenge will be to remember when dining out? But, as stated, having a plan beforehand can be the key.
    - 3/14/2010 8:44:32 PM
  • This is a great article, especially since I eat out a lot. The only thing I disagree with is the comment that steaks are fattier than roasts. If you order the right steak, it is definitely leaner than many roasts. - 2/24/2010 12:56:16 PM
  • LEESAH76
    Applebee's has a great menu of healthy options. The under 550 calorie menu is so good. The honey dijon chicken with mushrooms, steamed veggies and roasted potatoes is my favorite. There are also several weight watcher choices with the points value on the menu! - 2/16/2010 11:56:45 PM
  • I do try to eat healthier options when I go out to eat, but I do like my pasta with alfredo sauce once in a while. Anytime I eat out I always ask for a to go container with my food. That way I have lunch or dinner tomorrow. - 9/29/2009 4:44:16 PM

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