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Weird requests from diners

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Kind of new here and I loved reading the thread about ridiculous and crazy complaints people have had. I was wondering if anyone had any strange or nonsensical requests from diners. This is mine.

 

I was working as a sous chef at a country club and there was one couple that were members everyone hated, both staff and CC members. That night he came in and said his meal sucked the night before and he had a couple requests/critiques for his meal tonight that we should follow. The previous night he ordered a scallop dish (scallops were done medium rare) and his wife ordered a stuffed salmon. The waitress brought back the ticket literally scratching her head. She hands me the ticket and it reads. “Scallops, cooked WELL, WELL done but not rubbery. Doesn’t like that taste of salmon so don’t make it taste like salmon” I kind of scratched my head and we start passing the tickets up and down the line and everyone gets very confused but slightly amused. Finally, I call for the attention of both the waitstaff and kitchen and simply ask, “Okay, does anyone here know how to change the biological makeup of seafood?”

 

In the end, I cooked both dishes the exact same way but sinfully drowned both in sauce and he loved it. Unfortunately, since his suggestions were such a “success” that became only round 1.

 

Anyone else have similar experiences?

post #2 of 37

I think I have posted this one before;

 

Diner. The mushroom risotto, what exactly is that?

Waitress. Well it has a mix of sauteed wild mushrooms and some tarragon sir.

Diner. I love mushrooms, so what is the risotto part?

Waitress. Risotto its rice sir, risotto is a rice dish.

Diner. Oh I see, can I have the mushroom risotto then, but without the rice please.

post #3 of 37

To say that my boss is picky would be an understatement, but even your example beats that.  

 

post #4 of 37

Just yesterday I had a man come into our coffee shop and request a large latte "but without much milk." 

I gave him a confused look and asked if he might prefer a cappuccino.

Thankfully, he was satisfied.

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www.foodandphoto.com

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post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodnfoto View Post

Just yesterday I had a man come into our coffee shop and request a large latte "but without much milk." 

I gave him a confused look and asked if he might prefer a cappuccino.

Thankfully, he was satisfied.


You would really hate me as a coffee customer!  I drink locally roasted,  plain old unflavored coffee.  Black.  If it's after noon, I drink decaf.  Sometimes when I find myself in the mood for something different and in a "real" coffee shop, I am completely lost.  I feel like I've lost my ability to read and comprehend.  Know what I end up with?  Black coffee.   sigh

post #6 of 37

I wouldn't hate you at all Lentil. We sell mostly just that-straight coffee brewed perfectly. 

Though we get quite a few people who love espresso drinks.

We make them, but the value of a latte is beyond me. It's mostly milk with a little espresso thrown in. 

Starbucks has convinced everyone that overly roasted cheap coffee is good, and that if you throw a quart of steamed milk on top it's even better-bleacchhh!

Consequently, most don't even bother with the lighter roasts which usually have much more complex flavor profiles-I think of our Guatemalan in particular that tastes a little like chocolate, ancho chili, coffee with a little zing of citrus all rolled into one rich cup. Yum.


We make our espresso drinks authentically-a single cappuccino totals 3 ounces-1 espresso, 1 steamed milk and 1 frothed milk.

People wonder why it's so small when they get a 12 ounce (the smallest is called a "tall"?!?!?!) at Starsucks that has as much like coffee as if they had waved a bag of unground beans over the cup.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #7 of 37

Foodnfoto, you would like this one, I'm a brewed coffee drinker, was at a starbucks early one morning while working on the road, very tired with little sleep, patiently waiting in line for all the fru fru coffe drinkers to place their orders, the woman in front of me ordered something along the lines of a half caf, nonfat latte, extra hot, light foam, some sort of flavoring and get this..... half a pack of sweet & low and half pack of sugar in the raw!...I lost it.. when she turned around, I asked her why she couldn't put her own effin sugar in the coffee!

 

Your Guatemalan sound right up my alley... whith a splash of 1/2 & 1/2.

post #8 of 37

I agree!  The Guatamalan sounds too good to be true!  I could use one of those right now!  My husband, while perfect lol.gif in many ways, buys the cheapest coffee on the market.  After a pot of that on a Sunday, I'm happy to go back to work!

post #9 of 37

just the other day a lady asked if i could do vegetarian fish and chips as she felt left out when dinning with her guests at our fish and chip restaurant shes coming back in two weeks any suggestions,but hears a cracker a mother phoned in to book a table for her daughters birthday ,but asked for extra care to be taken when preparing her daughters food as she was allergic to seafood,called her back to state we are a seafood restaurants and maybe it wasn't the best idea in the world to have your kids party, maybe a different  themed restaurant would be better for your daughters health ,her answer was, i like seafood , hold the bus hear ,who's birthday was it again.

post #10 of 37

Eggs, sunny side up, but I don't want my yolks runny.

 

Steak, rare, no blood.

 

Salmon WELL, WELL done, "slightly crisp" (sent back because it was dry.)

 

Eggs benedict, no back bacon, I'm trying to cut back on fat.

 

post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 

I forgot one of my favorite that I still hear. Hollandaise but very hot, like boiling hot.

post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiChangChu View Post

I forgot one of my favorite that I still hear. Hollandaise but very hot, like boiling hot.

Yup, jst like my Mom used to make--NOT!!

 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #13 of 37

Some of the odd "Food allergies" are upsetting. It seems that if you just don't like something - you have an allergy?

 

People who don't know if they are vegitarian, vegan or pescatarian are hard to please.

 

Is butter authorized this week, Sunshine Sally?  No? But fish is ok? How about fish cooked in butter-lemon sauce?

   - OK then. But no egg or cheese-based sides.

 

Alright!

 

One Fish-o-tarian plate to the window!

 

OMFG.

 

Or someone with a deadly nut allergy complains about having to scrape walnuts off of a creme friache-dipped fig with walnut-crumble coating.

 OMFG x 10.

 

    "Yeah, I hope that only results in MINOR swelling of your airway, sir."  SEND IT BACK next time!

 

Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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post #14 of 37

It seems that if you just don't like something - you have an allergy?

 

So true, Trooper. But it's just human nature, I reckon, to make things more dramatic. Ever meet anybody at a party who suffered type A lower back pain? Of course not. That isn't as sexy as a pinched nerve or a herniated disc.

 

Or, remember the early days of the anti-smoking movement? Anybody who didn't like the smell of smoke claimed to be allergic.

 

Samee-same with food allergies. "I don't care for X" is nowhere near as sexy as "I'm allergic to." But some nights it must be that everyone in the world suffering from a particular allergy is in your place. How else explain it, when so few people actually have food allergies? Here, for instance, are some representative figures. In each case we're talking about the percentage of the U.S. population that suffers from them. I'm starting with nut allergies, because those are the most fasionable nowadays:

 

Peanuts: 0.6%

Tree nuts: 0.5%

Milk: 2.5%

Fish & shellfish: 2.4%

Eggs: 1.3%

Soy: 0.4%

Wheat: 0.4%

 

I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to find the figures for mushrooms, because that's getting to be almost as popular as peanuts.

 

The fish & shellfish category is kind of misleading, too, because it's not pure. Somebody can be allergic to shellfish but not finned fish, for instance. Or even allergic to one type of shellfish and not others. A friend of mine, for instance, is allergic to scallops (which, unfortunately, he dearly loves) but not shrimp, clams, oysters or mussels. Go figure.

 

Understand, I am not belittling people who truly suffer from food allergies. Far from it. One of my kids grew up allergic to a long list of food products. But the actual number of such people is belied by the significantly higher number of people who claim to be allergic when they're not.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

It seems that if you just don't like something - you have an allergy?

 Samee-same with food allergies. "I don't care for X" is nowhere near as sexy as "I'm allergic to." But some nights it must be that everyone in the world suffering from a particular allergy is in your place. How else explain it, when so few people actually have food allergies? Here, for instance, are some representative figures. In each case we're talking about the percentage of the U.S. population that suffers from them. I'm starting with nut allergies, because those are the most fasionable nowadays:

 

Peanuts: 0.6%

Tree nuts: 0.5%

Milk: 2.5%

Fish & shellfish: 2.4%

Eggs: 1.3%

Soy: 0.4%

Wheat: 0.4%

 Yah - the Gluten thing is really fashionable now. I saw a "Gluten Free Pizza Dough" the other day. Seriosuly?

Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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post #16 of 37


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

It seems that if you just don't like something - you have an allergy?

 Samee-same with food allergies. "I don't care for X" is nowhere near as sexy as "I'm allergic to." But some nights it must be that everyone in the world suffering from a partaicular allergy is in your place. How else explain it, when so few people actually have food allergies? Here, for instance, are some representative figures. In each case we're talking about the percentage of the U.S. population that suffers from them. I'm starting with nut allergies, because those are the most fasionable nowadays:

 

Peanuts: 0.6%

Tree nuts: 0.5%

Milk: 2.5%

Fish & shellfish: 2.4%

Eggs: 1.3%

Soy: 0.4%

Wheat: 0.4%

 Yah - the Gluten thing is really fashionable now. I saw a "Gluten Free Pizza Dough" the other day. Seriosuly?


actually, yes it is. my wife is gluten intolerant...not celiac, just intolerant. Headaches, bloating, cramps from mild to downright interfering with her day.  Admittedly I used to get pretty upset with her, as I do all the cooking, but I have seen the results of her being gluten free for a couple of years now.  Other then sourdough bread the only thing she really misses is pizza. A place around here makes a gluten free crust, it's a bit grainy, but honestly, it's pretty good. Totally worth the look of pleasure on her face when she gets a big bite of pepperoni and melted cheese. fashionable? hardly, but a good option.

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post #17 of 37

 sigh.yup. allergies it bites to be me. I have celiac(no gluten) while not a "true" wheat allergy, still can't have it. seafood is out, so are shellfish. most wines and mushrooms. the allergy in the wines and mushrooms is to high levels of sufites, both added and naturally occuring. Never mind all the medications I can't take. My reactions are such that I stop breathing, and I do like breathing. So am I a pain in the butt when I go out? not really. I usually am considerate enough to venture out early or on the slower nights of the week. I ask for the gluten free menu options(surprising how many places have this now) or I stick to steak and baked potato, no sauces or extra junk. And I make sure to ask how everything is prepared.

 Took a long time to figure out the main problem(celiac) but I feel so much better now. So it's definitely not a "fashionable "thing. And seeing that it affects 1% of the population it could be a good item to market if you can do it right. Sometimes describing celiac as an allergy is the only way to expain it.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by katbalou View Post

 sigh.yup. allergies it bites to be me.

 

So am I a pain in the butt when I go out? not really.

 

I usually am considerate enough to venture out early or on the slower nights of the week. I ask for the gluten free menu options(surprising how many places have this now) or I stick to steak and baked potato, no sauces or extra junk. And I make sure to ask how everything is prepared.

So it's definitely not a "fashionable "thing.

 

And seeing that it affects 1% of the population it could be a good item to market if you can do it right. Sometimes describing celiac as an allergy is the only way to expain it.


I take food allergies very seriously - as I'm sure we all do. I've often thougt about how to work in a "Special Menu" or "Special Menu Options" that could be easily integrated into a menu plan with out waste or undue complication. Honestly, I think the current strategy is *maybe* have one or two things on the menu flagged as veg/diabetic/low-cal - but everything else is driven by special orders from the customer, based on what they see as a starting point on the regular menu.

 

If a chef could wow customers with a full "Alternate" menu - for veg, pesc, vegan, diabetic, gluten, low-cal, PKU, Kosher, etc... I bet they could almost convert to that menu completely once the word got out, and make money hand over fist. Now: Who among you Executive Chefs are up to the task?  :D
 

Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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post #19 of 37

I have a shellfish allergy, I had an anaphalatic reaction to shrimp when I was 17, never had an issue before that (not like I ate tons of shellfish anyway) but the ER doctor at the time told me to stay away from shellfish all together. That said, being allergic to shellfish I do NOT go to Joe's Crab Shack (or similar) and expect the menu to be changed for me. I just avoid those places.

I worked at a steak house in California and had a vegan couple come in and have dinner. All they could basically have was salad with oil and vinegar and steamed veggies (no butter) and they were indignant that we didn't have any vegan dishes on the menu. AT A STEAKHOUSE.

 

I do love the "Doesn't like salmon so don't make it taste like salmon" That is classic.

post #20 of 37

WOW. I'm not so sure about this "gluten-free" idea. I worked for a while with a guy who had it nailed down solid. I remember doing an Easter Sunday brunch that had +/- 400 covers. He had it set up with so there was a gluten-free equivalent for almost every dish we put out. Those dishes were very very good. We had a really happy/satisfied crowd all day. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #21 of 37

Had a woman arrive for the week for a Jungian conference.... claimed she was allergic to chlorophyl and vinegar along with a few of her "dislikes". 

 

of course by day two of the workshop she was spotted sneaking herself a nice big mixed greens salad with vinaigrette. 

 

also had the pleasure of taking care of a woman at a luxury spa with a seven page list from her doctor of things she couldn't eat... my first recommendation would have been to get herself a second opinion. she was very nice, gave me some examples of what she ate at home so we worked out menus for her stay but wow.... seven pages? 

post #22 of 37

Jungian confernce....?  Would these be people who study the writings of Jung, and perhaps Freud?

 

I'll never forget the the private lecture from my gr. 12 pysch teacher when she read my essay on those two guys.  I happened to focus on their their ummmmm... "preocupation" with coke instead of thier  writings.....  

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #23 of 37

it was the strangest group of yabbos that i have ever seen.... and i lived in San Francisco for a bit. i don't know about the coke but i'm pretty sure peyote was passed out for breakfast. 

 

think i remember you from chef2chef.... been a while. 

post #24 of 37

So it's definitely not a "fashionable "thing.

 

Sure it is, Katbalou. The unfortunate fact is that for everyone like you, with a legitimate reaction to gluten, there are currently ten or a dozen restaurant patrons claiming to have it---and twice that number at any uptown cocktail party.

 

My youngest's pappy-in-law is a celiac, and I know the sorts of things he can and cannot eat (not to mention what is wife goes through trying to feed him). So I'm certainly not bad-mouthing people who truly suffer. What I'm saying is simply that people claim to have allergies when they don't for a long list of reasons, not the least of which is that a particular one might be the politically correct ailment de jure. And "gluten-intolerant" happens to fit that category at the moment.

 

Let's look at the numbers. Your's is more than twice the one I have, but let's accept it as correct. In practical terms, that means one out of every hundred people you meet is gluten intolerant. One out of one hundred. So how come everybody I meet lately claims to be gluten intolerant? Not two out of a hundred. Not three. Almost everybody.

 

Among restaurant patrons the numbers should be even lower, because people who are gluten intolerant do not represent the dining public as a whole. So let's go with my number, just to have a starting point. That would mean every legitimate gluten intolerant patron represents 220 regular customers.

 

If we assume your restaurant serves a total of 400+ meals, that means at most 2, count 'em, 2 patrons would be intolerant to one degree or another. Yet I'll bet a steak dinner to a stale doughnut that a significantly higher number will claim it.

 

Another straw in the wind: There have been, the past five or six years, a fair number of cookbooks published for those suffering gluten intolerance. If the number of people who claim it truly were intolerant those books would be flying off the shelves. Yet, they languish. Ask any publisher how many of those books sell. If they're willing to reveal the numbers you'll find that book sales don't even come close to covering the author's advance.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #25 of 37

Well, hypocondriacs aside, I'll take that steak dinner and hand you that stale donut. I am however willing to agree that many a person may indeed be misdiagnosed or just claim that they are gluten intolerant (i've met maybe 10 since I have heard of it 2 1/2 years ago) to celiac (i've met 2). With as many as you are meeting though, I am curious as to what is going on in Kentucky these days, but maybe you are hanging out in too rarified an area with a direct line to the latest fad from Beverley Hills?

 

As an aside modifying a dish to be gluten or wheat free for my wife has been fairly easy. It's not nearly as hard as trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I did have to label check  quite a few soy sauces till I found the brand that I use. Also while my sauces may not be up to ACF standards they are still tasty. My biggest drawback at this time is finding or making a bread that I like that's gluten free.  Although with the Dolsas I have been introduced to, we have a delicious crepe substitute now.

 

In short, while you may be hearing about it a lot these days and quite a few people may concerned about the possibility they too are afflicted with this issue, it will go much like bird or swine flu and fizzle out , except for those that actually have it.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #26 of 37

OK. First point is my uneducatedness about "high fructose corn syrup". Please help me out on that.

 

Secondly, I do believe in the idea of "flavor of the week" allergies or intolerances. Many people will claim they are in some particular situation because they feel it will get them special treatment and/or consideration. I'm not making that up. I read it in two different trade journals, one each of two different trades, so it's got to be true. I also saw it happen in the public school system. Children claim lactose intolerance in order to get out of drinking milk and being allowed pop or soda instead. 

 

Next and lastly, I worked in a place that all at once saw a massive breakout of "mad cow", "swine flue" and the "bird virus" that wiped us out mercilessly. After the doctors, inspectors, scientists and clean-up crews were all finished they came to the joint conclusion that we experienced  .......................................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.................... Farmageddon.

 

(Hey look, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.)

 

 

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #27 of 37
post #28 of 37


From the Facts and Figures:

"A positive attitude, 100% of the time, helps celiacs create a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves and their affected family members."

 

I'm not saying anything about celiacs, trying to rebut anything, &c.--this sentence just made me laugh. I don't really know what it means, or how it could be considered a fact.

post #29 of 37

Last year, on most Wednesdays we would have a lady and her husband come in, always with a reservation. He would order off the menu but on the res book it would always notify us under special requests "blue fillet" for her.

 

This is what she was looking for: about 30 minutes before their reservation time we would pull a fillet out of the lowboy, toss is on a sizzler and leave it out on the counter. When we got their ticket in we would fire the husband's order and at the last minute sear the fillet and send it just like that..

8 oz of room temp beef with a crust.

Almost every week for a year we'd get it. 

 

You get the odd stuff every once in a while but we actually really enjoyed sending the blue fillet, it was always an event for some form of tasteless joke such as those routinely shared on the line. Good times.  

post #30 of 37


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by radleycooks View Post

Last year, on most Wednesdays we would have a lady and her husband come in, always with a reservation. He would order off the menu but on the res book it would always notify us under special requests "blue fillet" for her.

 

This is what she was looking for: about 30 minutes before their reservation time we would pull a fillet out of the lowboy, toss is on a sizzler and leave it out on the counter. When we got their ticket in we would fire the husband's order and at the last minute sear the fillet and send it just like that..

8 oz of room temp beef with a crust.

Almost every week for a year we'd get it. 

 

You get the odd stuff every once in a while but we actually really enjoyed sending the blue fillet, it was always an event for some form of tasteless joke such as those routinely shared on the line. Good times.  


I'd absolutely be down for a customer like that.  Sounds like she's always cool about it and you always know ahead of time.  It's awesome when a customer wants their beef nearly raw as opposed to burned to a cinder...especially when it's a woman!  Where I work we don't offer a filet on the menu but often feature them.  And when we do, inevitably half the customers order it medium well or doner.mad.gif

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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