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May 21, 2013 08:35 AM

Post-Bariatric Surgery restaurant dining

I recently had bariatric surgery and am slowly adding to my diet which means occasional restaurant meals. I want to start by saying we are very good tippers, and often eat in good local restaurants, usually seafood or steak places. I'd appreciate a server's point of view since I will ask for a box when my meal arrives so I can set a portion of it, usually the majority (since my capacity is much reduced) aside. I don't see this as creating a burden on the server, but it makes me feel cheap! Any advice on dining out post-surgery is appreciated too!

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  1. Ordering off the menu and simply asking for a box is not cheap. Don't worry about it!

    1. If it bothers you why not just eat a small portion from your plate and ask for a box at the end of the meal. If your server asks if the food was ok you can tell him you just had surgery(no details!)and can't eat as much as you used to or say whatever you want to. If you tip very well I don't think your server will really care one way or the other.:-)

      1. Could you order smaller portion items - appetizers and the like - instead of a full meal? My mother only ate small plates at restaurants for her entire life and no one ever raised an eyebrow.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Sherri

          if what you are talking about is going to a restaurant and only ordering one appetizer, i know that there are MANY restaurants in my area that WOULD raise an eyebrow.


          1. re: westsidegal

            Wow, things must have really changed. From your address I assume you are in the West LA area. I grew up in Brentwood, so we're on familiar turf. Over the years, ordering small plates was never a problem - from Scandia in the 1960s to Campanile in the early 1990s to Joe's in Venice last year - this has been the norm. Yes, there are others at the table ordering traditional meals and tipping has always been generous.

            I did say "plates" ('My mother only ate small plates at restaurants for her entire life'). There would always be more than a single plate. We used to joke that she was a trendsetter ordering food this way long before "small plates' became popular. She was not one to nibble a lettuce leaf and call it a meal. It was simply never an issue.

            NB: I have not lived in the area for quite a while but have been a frequent visitor.

            1. re: Sherri

              the last time this happened i was in a persian restaurant in westwood. the restaurant is extremely well-priced, but they do expect that every adult will order an entree.

              basically the issue is one of enough food being ordered to justify occupying the table (especially during the "normal" meal times.)

              "small plates" restaurants don't tend to care as much because their margins are generally higher.
              if i order three vegetable dishes for lunch at gjelina (my favorite small plates restaurant), my tab will be over $30 before tip and beverage and about $50 out the door.

          2. re: Sherri

            My wife is fixing to have gastric bypass and, depending on the type of surgery, you generally can only eat 1/3 cup of food.

          3. Don't worry about what anyone thinks...people ask to take home food all the time. (Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable asking for an extra plate rather than take-home container when your food arrives so that you can discretely portion out what you plan to eat at the restaurant and what you want to take home.)

            I wish you well! My husband had bariatric surgery three years ago and lost (and kept off) 125 pounds. It's been life-changing for both of us.

            1. I think asking for a box at the start of the meal is a pretty common strategy for people on diets. It is no more of a burden that asking for a box at the end of the meal, and shouldn't raise any eyebrows.