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Pass the salt, please

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  • kengk Nov 23, 2012 08:09 AM
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You are at a very nice restaurant and although the food is good you think it needs a little more salt. It's the kind of place with no salt on the table and you "know" that chef believes his food is properly seasoned.

Do you ask for salt?

For what it's worth, I seldom add salt at a restaurant but also hardly ever get anything that I think is over salted.

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  1. Yes you ask for salt. You are the one eating it not the chef. Everyone has different levels of salinity that they like.

    Restaurants that don't have s&p on the table take themselves too seriously.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Zalbar

      I have the opposite problem. I use virtually no salt at home (not for health reasons; I just don't like saltiness) so food in restaurants always tastes way too salty to me. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the salt. I would much rather they undersalt and let the diners salt to suit their own taste.

      As for asking, I once asked for steak sauce for a burger and the chef came out and yelled at me.

      1. re: Zalbar

        Totally agree, Zalbar.

      2. I ask away. Yep, I love me some sodium, though not tons....any chef who gives guff over provisioning it is cooking for his ego, not for his guests/patrons. Only once have I been truly made to feel as though it was MY fault - and that was by the waiter, not the chef.

        1. Unless the chef is picking up your dinner tab, ask for salt.

          10 Replies
          1. re: beevod

            Don't ask for salt at Louis' Lunch in New Haven. I got the woodshed talk there once. A long one.

            1. re: Veggo

              Gawd, and here I thought they were only Facist about the ketchup!!

              1. re: mamachef

                The whole act would be a lot cuter if the sandwich was outstanding, and, to me, it's not. And, really, I'm a 46 year old woman, I think I can make up my own mind about condiments, thanks. I brought Heinz packets with me when I went.

                1. re: JenJeninCT

                  If I were to ever get to Louis' Lunch I'd bring a new bottle of ketchup and be sure to offer leave it on the table.

                  1. re: John E.

                    Wear protective head gear.

                    1. re: John E.

                      Funny, except they won't agree. People have been asked to leave for doing that, seriously, as in, "This establishment reserves the right...."

                      1. re: mamachef

                        I saw the owner say on a television program that they won't provide ketchup, don't ask for ketchup, but they can't stop you from using your own ketchup.

                        1. re: John E.

                          I wish the same applied for beer in sports stadiums, which charge upwards of $8 to wet your whistle...

                          1. re: John E.

                            Good to know. I'm not planning a trip anytime soon, but in the event I ever go there again, it'll be nice that I can please my gauche, ketchup-lovin' palate. :)

                  2. re: Veggo

                    That's IF you can find a spot to eat there!

                2. I'm paying the bill - if it needs more salt, I ask for salt.

                  Nobody knows my taste better than I.

                  1. if you get any 'snoot' from the server, when they come back with the salt, ask for some hot sauce too.

                    1. I wouldn't.

                      I'd send it back and say that it was not to my liking. Ask them to remake the dish with more salt.

                      If it's a "very nice restaurant" the least they can do is add the salt for me. They do it with glee almost with that stupid pepper thing, why not salt.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I realize appropriate salt level is an individual thing, but it is often an acquired taste. For several years my girl friend and I struggled with differing taste for salt, now we seem to appreciate about the same levels. That said I surely would ask for salt if I thought it was needed.

                        I watch that Chopped show and every time a judge says something was under salted I feel like yelling"Why don't just ask for a saltshaker??"

                        1. re: wavywok

                          "Why don't just ask for the saltshaker??"

                          Because salt, like any other seasoning, is meant to be infused into the dish during cooking/roasting. If a cook underseasons during the cooking stage and then adds if afterward it will change the outcome of the dish.

                          1. re: latindancer

                            That is true. Taking it further, I think that many dishes benefit from both salting during cooking AND salting after cooking. The salt tastes different based upon when it was introduced to the dish. That said, salting during cooking is the most important.

                      2. Screw the salt and ask for Tabasco. You are payin' for the grub, so ask for whatever you want. Maybe some oysters to add a saltier flavor to the meal!