Call for restaurant disobedience

29 October 2014
Love it!

I enjoy going out to a restaurant and being totally pampered. But even then I would like to eat healthily. That isn’t usually a problem. I politely ask the waiter to remove the breadbasket. In the restaurants – mostly brasseries – that I frequent, they normally forgo the bread altogether. The menu is also quite simple: I choose fish or meat and ask that vegetables be substituted for the mashed potatoes, French fries or pasta. That’s usually not a problem. Moreover, some restaurants are even rather creative and bring extra vegetables or clearly already have something planned for customers who wish to make a healthier choice. Call it professional pride, but they’re proud that they can make a difference.

But I must admit, my request to replace French fries with vegetables sometimes causes problems, like recently, in a somewhat more fashionable brasserie. The waiter had assured me that substitution wouldn’t be a problem, but nevertheless lying on my plate next to my fillet of sole were a few scraggly blades of green. I drew the waiter’s attention to the problem and moments later, after all of that, I received three leaves of lettuce and two slices of tomato – a new disappointment. But the biggest surprise was yet to come: when I received the bill, I had to pay an extra €2.50 for the so-called ‘additional salad’. I again called the waiter to my table: ‘This not about the €2.50, but about the right to have vegetables in a restaurant. Especially when I ask that the potatoes be substituted, I expect a minimum of vegetables at no extra cost.’

Therefore, I’m appealing to you to do the following:

  • Go to a restaurant and ask without hesitation to have vegetables instead of your portion of potatoes.
  • Don’t pay any additional costs.

It doesn’t have to be a vegetable buffet, but a minimum of vegetables.

It’s particularly sad that there are still so many restaurants that don’t serve vegetables, but only fish or meat with gravy and potatoes. It seems so outdated. We have a right to expect vegetables, especially in a restaurant. We pay to have food that’s tasty, but also healthy. The customer should at least be allowed the choice. No self-respecting chef or restaurateur should refuse that. On the other hand, you’ll recognize a good restaurant just by its creativity with vegetables. Long live the good restaurants!

‘Everyone should be free to choose. If you want French fries, then that’s not a problem. But if you don’t want French fries, then there should be an alternative.’