When I'm given the option of putting together my own meal at a restaurant, I tend to make poor choices. Why? Because I'm not a chef and because I always add unnecessary condiments. But is that my issue or should a restaurant have enough vision to make sure that my many options all still lead to a tasty dish.
Kansas City Lunch Spots inadvertently raised an interesting question in his recent post about Mad Jack's On Troost, where the catfish sandwich comes with a set of condiments and sandwich toppings -- packaged and all on the side. How much work should the diner have to do at a restaurant?
It's one thing to hold the mayo. Hold everything? That gives me too much leeway and not enough guidance from the kitchen.
The customer isn't always right, especially if it means a restaurant has to change its identity to please everyone who sits down. Substitutions rarely make a dish taste better, especially if the dish has been well thought-out.
I want to assemble my own toppings at a salad bar, choose my condiments at a hot dog stand, and add my favorite salsa or pico de gallo to tacos. But I shouldn't have to put together my own sandwich, design my own burger or mix my own sauces.
How about it, Fat City readers. Where does the right amount of service end and the need to have it your way begin?
[Image via Flickr: wallula junction]