I can’t decide which is funnier: some of the ludicrous suggestions made for eating “smart when dining out” in this Reader’s Digest article:
Above all else, be assertive. Dining out is no time to be a meek consumer, notes Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and coauthor of the book Restaurant Confidential. “You need to be an assertive consumer by asking for changes on the menu,” he says. For instance, if an item is fried, ask for it grilled. If it comes with french fries, ask for a side of veggies instead. Ask for a smaller portion of the meat and a larger portion of the salad; for salad instead of coleslaw; baked potato instead of fried. “Just assume you can have the food prepared the way you want it,” says Dr. Jacobson. “Very often, the restaurant will cooperate.” Below, you’ll find more specific requests.
Try double appetizers. If there is a nice selection of seafood- and vegetable-based appetizers, consider skipping the entrée and having two appetizers for your meal. Often, that is more than enough food to fill you up.
Ask your waiter to “triple the vegetables, please.” Often a side of vegetables in a restaurant is really like garnish — a carrot and a forkful of squash. When ordering, ask for three or four times the normal serving of veggies, and offer to pay extra. “I’ve never been charged,” says dietitian Jeff Novick, R.D., director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Aventura, Florida. “And I’ve never been disappointed. I get full, not fat.”
Not a great idea–most midrange restaurants, and chains, are not equipped for such customization. All you’ll do is annoy the kitchen. And I don’t want to eat food prepared by annoyed people…
yea i was thinking this person must love eating spit 🙂
What afrix and Skankingmike said. The number one rule for healthy restaurant dining is “Don’t piss off the staff.” This guy’s first order of business seems to be to violate that rule.
assertive vs. polite maybe, but he said assertive. After working in the service industry assertive usually means being a dick.
How arrogant to go in and to assume you can change everything that is offered. Unless you have a food allergy there is no reason to do this. (and even then, you should explain why you need something left out of your dish. ) Order whats offered or find a place that suits your diet.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT EVERYTHING that’s on your plate. Who knew???
I just order stuff on the menu that looks good to me and that I want to eat. If there is something on the plate I don’t like then I don’t eat it. But then I grew up in a house where I was told that I could make myself a sandwich if I didn’t like what the family was eating.
Those of you who know me know how I am at restaurants…I eat what’s offered, never ask for substitutions and have never sent anything back in my life. But I’ve also worked in the service industry and have many friends who currently work in the industry. It ain’t easy, so why make the meal difficult for both of you? Just relax and enjoy your meal is my philosophy, at least.
However, when I see a server being either lazy or incompetent for no good reason, that’s when the claws come out; if you aren’t in the weeds and we’re your only table for days, fill my damned iced tea and take my order within at least the first fifteen minutes of us being seated or prepare yourself for a shoddy 10% tip.
What do you think, readers? Are you “assertive” at restaurants? Does it net you good service (that you’re aware of, at least?)? Or do you follow the “eat what’s on your plate or find a healthy restaurant” approach? Is my 10% tip for crappy service policy too draconian or too lax?