It’s Thursday, but I’m still thinking about a ridiculous experience I had at a restaurant last weekend. We were at a new trendy – but casual – neighborhood place for dinner. I scanned the salad offerings – dismissing the vinaigrette-dressed roasted beets (not my favorite) and the “southwest” (loaded with refried beans and cheese) – and zeroed in on the mixed baby greens with creamy buttermilk dressing. I asked my server (“Mike, I’m happy to be taking care of you tonight”) if I could please have the mixed baby greens with the vinaigrette instead of the buttermilk dressing. “I’ll need to check with the chef,” he told me. “Our menu clearly states, ‘no modifications’.” Huh? After a few minutes he came back – with attitude. “The chef said he’ll make an exception.” Looking down his nose at me, I half expected him to add, “… just this once.”
Posts tagged: eating out
All this month, we’ve been talking about making small changes in the way we buy, cook and serve food. This week, we tackle restaurant dining.
When I was a child, our family hardly ever went to restaurants. Going out was a big deal – and something that happened only on special occasions. How times have changed. These days Americans eat, on average, four meals a week away from home – and consume about a third of our total calories in the process. What you eat on a special occasion is one thing – but if you eat out as often most people do, a few small adjustments when you’re ordering can add up to big calorie savings over the long haul.
Picture yourself at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Are you facing the buffet, or are you sitting with your back to it? Are you in a booth or at a table? Do you cruise the whole buffet line before deciding what to eat, or do you just plunge right in? To the well-trained eye, the way you behave in a buffet line could say a lot about you – and could very well affect how much you eat.
A couple of years ago, a paper published in the journal Obesity1 revealed some interesting findings from a cleverly-designed study. A total of 22 ‘trained observers’ were scattered among 11 all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets throughout the country, where they slyly watched over more than 200 diners.