Saturday 13 June 2009

You’ll have what you’re given

Food critics and enthusiasts often make the mistake of assuming that everyone will be happy to eat pretty much anything, whereas in fact this is very wide of the mark, and many people to a greater or lesser extent are unwilling to eat certain foods, not to mention those whose diets are genuinely restricted for medical reasons. It’s easy to dismiss this as being faddy, but it is a fact of life.

In the past, pubs were often criticised for offering menus where every dish was accompanied by chips, which is obviously a dead loss if you don’t like chips. Nowadays, most have moved on, but instead you get whatever combination of potatoes and vegetables the chef thinks goes best with each particular dish. Fine, you may think, but if that particular combination doesn’t appeal then you’re limited in what you can order. I’m sure this inhibits many people from eating out, and helps explain the popularity of pizza and buffet restaurants where you can take a pick and mix approach.

Surely it would be better (although it might offend some food snobs) if pub diners were able to choose from a variety of accompaniments to their main courses, even to the extent of having different gauges of chips, rather than having a one size fits all approach. I actually came across a restaurant recently, unfortunately not in the local area, that allowed customers to do this, which seemed to me a very enlightened policy. It was pretty busy on a Monday night, so must have been hitting the right note.

1 comment:

  1. Christopher Boone13 June 2009 at 16:48

    It is also worth mentioning that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK with Asperger's syndrome. Many of them will be confined to a limited diet, but may still want to eat out in pubs without embarrassment.


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