Reggae music filled the air as my husband and I ate out with friends at a popular seaside restaurant last night. When our server brought the menus, however, I found out that there were no entrees listed that I could eat. (Everything was either fried or breaded.)

What to do? I’ll tell you a secret: I have found that restaurants will usually make you whatever you’d like, even if it’s not listed on the menu, as long as you are specific and they have the ingredients. Tonight’s “off the menu” request was easy. What I really wanted was a whole tomato, and that is what I ordered. The server asked for clarification twice–just to make sure–but she took the order. When everyone else was served their fried fish, French fries, and breaded onion rings, I was served a very large, red tomato. It was juicy and absolutely delicious! My friends got a kick out of it, quite surprised that the restaurant honored my request.

How much did my tomato cost? $2.50

Do you think that’s a lot? Well, a tomato that size costs $1.25 in the grocery store. I have no problem with a restaurant doubling that price.

My daughter, Sarah, often asks restaurants to add sprouts to her salads, and they have added them free of charge.

Bottom line: Restaurant owners want satisfied customers. If you give them a chance, they might do more for you than you previously imagined possible!

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