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