You’ll Make What I’m Having - How Sally Albright Changed the Way We Dine

October 2, 2012 at 6:58 AM

It’s become ordinary to be a high maintenance eater. It’s our expectation when dining out to request preparation exactly to our liking, at any and all times. On the side, no nuts and may I substitute this for that are commonplace, if not unalienable rights. I do it all the time, and have for years. We collectively laughed in the late 1980s when Sally ordered her turkey sandwich with a long list of conditions and requests. It was absurd then, but now it seems normal. Now it’s more Have It Your Way than I’ll Have What She’s Having. Twenty-five years later, we have all become Sally to a certain extent.

When was the last time you went out to dinner and there wasn’t at least one special request in the group? The person making a special request used to be that pain-in-the-ass guy, now we take turns interpreting the menu and transforming short order cook to private chef just for you. Most of us expect at a minimum to request a substitution, side cup or allergy notification. But over-the-top ordering requests have become a staple of our dining diet. Most restaurants, aside from the snippety chef who may be insulted, will accommodate and are equipped and staffed appropriately.

It’s not so easy to do when guests come to your house to eat. Recently I had a barbecue with 3 other families. When planning the menu, I had to consider a variety of food obstacles. Allergies, Kosher, diets, eliminations, cleanses. Free of this, none of that. What is left to prepare?

Sign Up for E-News

I felt like an Iron Chef contestant considering her instructions. Everyone’s prescriptive ruled out someone else’s requirement. The kosher family could eat fish, but not seafood. The steak tips I considered for my Cross-fitter guest on the Paleo diet wouldn’t work for the vegetarian. He would love tofu or hummus, but my daughter has a soy protein and legume allergy. And I just started my third month on a wheat free diet and I’m hell bent on sticking to it. Luckily my friend on her cleanse brought her own food.

I played it safe and came up with a menu that could work for everyone. I made a plate up of cheeses, olives and rice crackers. I fired up the grill for inch-thick swordfish steaks, grilled balsamic asparagus and sliced squash. I made a batch of red quinoa and tossed with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, feta and basil. I tossed a Greek salad with red wine vinaigrette. The kids ate pasta with choice of sauce and dipped carrots & cucumbers in ranch dressing.

I don’t think anyone missed the pasta salad I didn’t make, or has the need to down a huge chunk of beef. If so, they are welcome to stop by Burger King to have it their way, or get a slice of pie at a diner on the way home. To baffle more waitresses, like Sally in her classic pie-ordering scene. And not know that she is being high maintenance. According to Harry, that is the worst type to be.

 

 

Lauren Weiss writes her column A Foodie State for The Alternative Press. She recently moved to Marblehead, MA from NJ, where she was The Westfield Foodie and Regional Editor for Jersey Bites! She works individually with restaurants, caterers, shop owners and event planners to help them improve their customer service, public relations and social networking. When she's not eating, Lauren loves to run, ski, play tennis & golf, do Bikram yoga and spend time with her husband, two daughters and a floppy cavechon.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Maplewood Police Blotter - Four Thefts Reported, Two at Wawa

January 18, 2017

January 11 - Theft; At approximately 2:30 p.m., a female customer had her wallet stolen from the QuickChek after leaving it on the counter.

January 11 - Theft; At approximately 4:45 p.m. a female shoplifted a purse from a store on Maplewood Ave.

January 13 - Theft; At approximately 10:00 p.m., an employee of Wawa had their cell phone that was left on the counter ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Home Burglary and Attempted Burglary on Same Day Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 14

Burglary - A Duffield Dr. resident reported that sometime between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 11, actor(s) unknown entered her residence and removed several items, including silver candle stick holders. The Detective Bureau is investigating the incident.

Attempted Burglary - A Harding Dr. resident reported that sometime ...

Community Coalition on Race MLK Observance Event Reminds SOMA Residents to Stand Together and Speak Out

January 18, 2017

The following is from the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race

On Monday, January 16, the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race hosted the 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance at Columbia High School in Maplewood for the first time. Hundreds of people of all ages filled the auditorium to honor Dr. King through music, a sharing of interfaith readings and ...

Temporary Ice Rink Installed in South Orange's Meadowland Park

The following is from the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs

South Orange Village has installed a temporary ice rink in Meadowland Park for the winter months inside the tennis court area adjacent to the Baird.

The rink is open to South Orange residents with a current Recreation Department Membership I.D. and their guests. The guest fee is $5 per person per day.

Pedestrian Tunnel at Maplewood Train Station To Be Closed on Monday, Jan. 16

MAPLEWOOD, NJ  - On Monday, Jan. 16, access to the NJ Transit southern pedestrian tunnel (the tunnel closest to Baker St.) will be closed, according to an email from the Township of Maplewood.

The email states that the closure is because "the developer of the Clarus will be making the connection to the storm water system."

As Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, January 18, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, January 19, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_dcd4869c222de7d05057_acg_womens_jan_19

Thu, January 19, 12:00 PM

Convene Midtown East, New York

ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 11, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address two of the major themes.

(Q) The election is ...

Planning for Maplewood Village's Growth

In a few days, the Maplewood Planning Board will continue hearing an application to allow inclusion of a new restaurant in the Clarus Maplewood development. The restaurant is planned to be 4,000 square feet with seating for 150 or more at peak hours. The application brings to the fore both the excitement and challenges of improving commercial space in Maplewood Village.

Two significant related ...

Should You Wait Until Spring to Buy?

Should You Wait until Spring to Buy?

People love to talk about the Spring market, but should you wait until Spring to buy a home? For South Orange and Maplewood, the Spring market usually starts in late February. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros to Waiting:

Better selection. There are usually a greater number of homes available for sale in the Spring as opposed to other times ...

Two Attempted Abductions Reported in Montclair

January 18, 2017

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Two incidents of attempted abduction were reported in Montclair on Tuesday, Jan. 17, confirmed law enforcement officials, who also released a sketch of the suspect.

Montclair police officials released the following statement: 

On 1/13/2017 at approximately 1600 hours, Montclair Police Department responded to a report of an attempted luring in the ...

Scotch Plains JCC Deemed Safe After Bomb Threat

January 18, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The Jewish Community Center of Central New Jersey was closed for a short time after preschool began there Wednesday morning due to a bomb threat. A bomb squad swept the building for explosives and no bomb was found, according to Lt. Jeff Briel of the Scotch Plains Police Department.

“This is another in a series of bomb threats to JCCs up and down the ...

Just Pups of East Hanover Caught Smuggling Dogs into Store

EAST HANOVER, NJ- Just Pups located on Route 10 in East Hanover was recently caught illegally importing their dogs from Texas without the required medical paperwork on each puppy.

On the night of January 2, the East Hanover Police Department responded to a tip called into the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that Just Pups owner, Vincent LoSacco, was smuggling ...

Road Trip! As New Brunswick Changes, the Corner Tavern Remains

January 4, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Vinnie Inzano has tended bar at the Corner Tavern since 1976, when his father bought the watering hole. He’ll probably continue tending bar there until it either closes or, only slightly less imaginable, a catastrophe wipes New Brunswick off the map.

At the intersection of Easton Avenue and Somerset Street, the Corner Tavern has welcomed travelers from the train ...

SOMA Dems to Hold First Meeting on Jan. 18 at Ricalton's Village Tavern

January 17, 2017

SOMA Dems, a newly formed South Orange/Maplewood-based group focused on grassroots activism on behalf of important issues and electing progressive political candidates, will hold its initial organizing meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Ricalton’s Village Tavern, 19 Valley Street in South Orange.

The purpose of the meeting will be to both ...

Roaring 20s New Year's Celebration Held at Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Residents of the Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation in South Orange stepped back in time at a Roaring 20s-themed New Year's party on December 29. Residents and guests sported period attire while dining on delicious food and enjoying dance music of the era, with entertainment by the Joel Zelnick Duo.

Located at 110 Vose Avenue in South Orange, the rental ...

Teen Dies In First Fatal Shooting of the Year In Essex County; Three Others Hospitalized

NEWARK, NJ – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced on Jan. 15 that the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force are investigating a shooting in which four people were shot, one fatally.

Kevin Barber, 16, of Newark sustained a fatal gunshot wound on Jan.