In re: Is it wrong to customize?

Some restaurants make it abundantly clear that there are ‘no substitutions’ other restaurants make it the reverse, that they are willing to whip up anything you want.  Is it wrong to go to a restaurant and order something that isn’t on the menu?  I have two modes of thinking  on this, one is that at a restaurant you are putting yourself in the chefs hands and you are paying for his creations, not just something you envision.  On the other hand, why not?  Why not have them make something you prefer.

Then you get strange situations, years ago up in Cleveland I was at Hyde Park Steakhouse and a lady basically had them bring her salad ingredients so she could make her salad exactly the way she wanted.  I thought this was a strange way to go about your dining.

Advance to recently and my dealings at Chinese restaurants who are usually pretty adept and customizing their dishes (since most times its quick cooking and not combined yet you could get them to do almost anything I found).  As someone who was looking to get General Tso’s sauce on almost anything, but not wanting the deep fried dish itself I would ask places either for some of the sauce, or to put it on non-fried chicken.  Yau’s Chinese Bistro (just south of the gateway stuff and campus on high street) is more than happy to add veggies, and my tso sauce on the side to fried rice, which became a staple during bar studying for me.

On the other hand, Tai’s Asian Bistro (why are these all bistros now?) was very firm about their inability to customize, and wouldn’t make me an orange chicken dish using non fried chicken (they do have non fried chicken for other dishes).  Still Tai’s is pretty good, they have way too many fried dishes on the menu, but their noodle dishes were pretty good and they have a salad that while not my General Tso’s salad, is a Chinese salad of that direction.

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