“During dinner last Friday this subject came up and as far as I know you are the only person who might be able to give me some insight on my situation.
When out to eat I find that often there will be main entrees that I would really like to try, but perhaps the side dishes are something I don’t like. So the “ginger pork loin” (hypothetical) looks fabulous, but I’m really not into the Asian cole slaw (just don’t get into the slaw thing unless its w/BBQ…I guess it’s just a southern thing) So I end up ordering something completely different that I wasn’t looking forward to as much as the pork. I actually don’t even bother to order dishes because a side is not appealing. I feel that if I were to request a different side dish it would be insulting to the chef, but I’m not willing to order something knowing that I’m likely to leave so much food on the plate. I guess my quandary is that I actually respect the chefs in the restaurants I go to. I feel like asking them to substitute a side is equal to someone looking at my artwork and saying “I really like this one, but could you put more red instead of blue so it will match my couch….” see, it’s insulting. I know that a chef plans the whole plate, entree and sides, to combine together to create an entire taste experience.
But some things (there are few, I’m really not a picky eater, I swear), I just don’t enjoy eating. So what to do? Eat only what I want and leave the rest, avoid the entree altogether, or ask for a substitute?
I know there are lots of chefs reading this site. I hope a few weigh in on this issue.