View Full Version : Etiquette
07-21-2005, 09:04 AM
If you order a meal at a resturaunt and request raw foods and you receive some steamed vegetables rather than raw or a trace amount of bacon bits in your salad, would you return the food or just let it go? That happened to me last night. I picked out the bacon bits (yuch!) and thought, well, I'll just eat my steamed veggies. I hate sending back food.
I'm also worried about how this will effect relationships with friends...if someone asks you over for dinner, and even thought you say you are only eating raw, they serve something not raw, not realizing that you really mean ONLY RAW food for everything. Is it rude not to eat, or if you do eat to be polite, does that knock you off being 100% raw?
Just wondering the different ways people might respond to these situations.
07-21-2005, 09:15 AM
I would send it back with no problems. As long as you are polite, and yet firm, most people will be happy to oblige. Its your money! And it never hurts to throw in a little praise with your request, such as, I am so thrilled at how hard this restaurant tries to acommadate its customers. Thats why I love coming here! Now if you could just bring this back and explain to the chef I eat nothing cooked or steamed, only raw, I would sure appreciate it. Thank you so much....insert name....you are doing a wonderful job!
And when they get it right, praise again.
I dont think its so much the requests as the attitude behind the requests.
Dont be shy! Most business' want to please you!
07-21-2005, 10:34 AM
I'd send it back. When I was vegetarian I had "friends" who would order pepperoni pizza and tell me I could pick off the pepperoni. When I've returned food where my order was in-accurate, I've had a co-worker apologize for "her friend" for giving the waitress a "hard time". She didn't feel I had the right to ask for what I want ~ and receive it.
I have educated many of these people ~ gently, of course.
As far as going to someone's home I always bring my own food ~ and enough to share as they just don't get it.
"Friends" care. I've dropped a lot of people from my life ~ and gained a lot more ~ who are truly friends, accept my lifestyle ~ are even curious about it ~ and/or are, at the very least ~ supportive.
07-21-2005, 11:50 AM
Some people have a very nice letter briefly explaining what raw means and then lists a large variety of food for a wonderful salad. There was a post someplace (I don't know which formum) that had this letter. I copied and pasted the letter into word, and took it with me to Florida, when I was traveling. It worked well, most of the time. I justed asked the waitress to give it to the chef. Only once, did the waitress try to get me to order something off the menu, so finally the manager came over and took care of it.
At friends homes it can be more difficult. I usually tell them I will only eat a non-dressed salad. Most of my friends are vegetarian, so I know that I won't get ham slices in there! If they sprinkle cheese on it, I will just move them to the side and throw on some pre-made dressing that I brought. Or if they have slices of avocado, I just mash some avocado slices on top of my salad and enjoy!
Hope this helps.
Sharon in Colorado
07-21-2005, 12:05 PM
At the restaraunt, I find it much easier to either sub something, ask for something on the side, or to be very specific. Most folks don't understand what raw means. I once gave one of those little cards to a waitress and I got a salad covered with cheese & croutons. At the California Pizza Kitchen there's a salad with "fresh" beets listed as an ingredient. They are not fresh *at all*. So I think a lot of food service people don't really get what raw and fresh means.
So, I would look at the menu under sandwiches or salads and see if they use avocado, then I'd ask for avocado instead of cheese on my salad, and no croutons. They are more likely to get it right that way.
When you are a guest, you have to remember that most hosts want to please you.
If you are allergic to nuts or citrus, they wouldn't dream of making you eat that; if you are kosher and don't eat pork or shellfish, noone would expect you to eat it.
So that goes the same for cooked. Especially if you are doing it for health reasons, nobody would want to get in the way of your health, right? Can you imagine someone being insulted if a diabetic couldn't eat their homemade chocolate cake? Of course not!
Plus it's better to bring a dish, because you can't always expect folks to get it right. So when you get an invitation, just make sure you tell them that you are on a raw diet, and would they prefer you bring a 'big green salad or a fruit plate?' That way, not only are you giving them a curtousy warning, but you are offering to provide something that you can eat, as well as share with the rest of the company coming.
07-21-2005, 12:08 PM
First of all, I agree to send the food back. Just be polite about it. I'm vegetarian/raw and my husband is kosher. So this actually happens frequently to us.
Second, if I am not hungry and the food is not going to make me feel well, I do not eat. This is something new for me but I am very happy with it. I have even been to restaurants where I've ordered something to go and sipped on tea while everyone else is eating. I just tell them I'm not very hungry and don't want to eat yet. I haven't had a problem, yet. I'm just honest. I respect it when people listen to their body and eat when they need to. But, be honest to your friends or family and have some tea or something so you're just not sitting there. Lots of people see eating out as a social activity (which it is) so be social and do not make food the focus.
Hope this helps.
oops...just realized you were asking about eating at someone's home. Well, in that case, I don't eat all raw and I plan ahead. Maybe I'll eat raw the whole day and eat only whole foods at the guests house. Or I ask to bring the salad or fruit (and I bring a ton).
07-21-2005, 01:19 PM
Wow...thanks for all the great advice. This really helped.
07-21-2005, 01:57 PM
As we get our drinks, I usually have the conversation with the waitress. I explain that I'm only eating raw foods these days (the women love it and love to help you stay on track... haven't dealt with men yet for some reason). I ask if they have any fresh fruits and such. Fruits are easier for people to understand the whole no-cooking thing. If they don't, I ask for which ever salad has a good mix of veggies and, if I'm not sure of something like the walnuts being raw, I ask for them on the side. Then I ask for a lemon. I find that chefs don't often mind because they sort of like a challenge, I guess... or maybe they just like doing something new.
I haven't had any trouble. I just strike up a good and interesting conversation before everyone else is ready to order so that the waitress doesn't have to absorb all that information at once. By the time everyone is ready to order, she's already spoken with the chef.
I guess it could just be living in Los Angeles. People are already accustomed to interesting philosophies and life styles so it doesn't throw them.
After spending some time working this out in restaurants I have found that the more I try to explain what I am doing the worse the result. Including trying to get them to put two salads on one plate. Now I just pick 2 salads from the menu (one appetizer and one 'main dish'). I question what is added the salad, and if there is anything that might be cooked I ask for it on the side. I usually end by letting them know that I am allergic to dairy and should not eat it. I also ask for the dressing on the side.
Then I thank them profusely and hope for the best!!!
It's been working much better than trying to explain...whenever I do that I get steamed veggies and other oddities added. The last place I explained it I went through all the ingredients in the salad with the waiter, when it arrived it had fried bread pieces all through it! I picked them out and gave them to my boyfriend (it was a veggie restaurant too, and the 'house' salad!)
As a side note: I am constantly amazed that the more expensive the restaurant and the salad the WORSE it is!! I've paid $14 to pick through 7 pieces of wilted and gooey brown lettuce with 3 cherry tomatoes sliced in it. Under those circumstances I either speak to the manager or just decide that I am there for the company and not the food.
07-21-2005, 03:29 PM
I usually state it nicely then will either get up and walk out or tell them to cancel the order and THEN walk out.
I have little to no patience with most people at this point in my life.
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