‘Waiter, There’s a Fly in My Undercooked Salmon’

I still the remember the only time, many years ago, when I dared to send food back at a restaurant. Two minutes later, the chef showed up at the table – with a cleaver.

“What’s the problem?” he asked in a menacing tone. (Of course, when you are holding a big knife, any tone sounds menacing.)

“The salmon is still frozen in the middle,” I said.

“You don’t like it?” Then leave!” he said, waving the cleaver and making what might or might not have been a deliberate chopping motion.

Reader, I ran. And I have never dared in a restaurant to request an adjustment since. But now comes some advice from Lifehacker on how to send food back without making an enemy. And happily, the suggestions sound sensible.

When alerting a waiter to the problem, according to Lifehacker, the best approach is a reasonable one:

“Explain the problem and ask for a solution. If the mistake was your fault (not reading the menu or misreading the menu), apologize and ask for a new dish. If it’s the waiter’s or kitchen’s fault…it helps to say something like, ‘I know this isn’t your fault, but this is undercooked.’ “

–Be specific about what you want. Say, for instance, “Can you please put this piece of salmon back into the microwave until the center is soft enough to cut?”

–Be nice. Speak in a respectful tone and make it clear that you know an undercooked piece of fish is not the end of the world.

–If the waiter won’t fix the problem? Ask for the manager.

When was the last time you sent food back at a restaurant?  How did you handle it? Did anyone show up at your table brandishing a weapon?

(image via Realsimple.com)