Tonya, one of my bosses, called Grill Inn to place a lunch order today. “Fathead!” the guy said (that is the name of our company), “how many you want?” That is all it took, seeing the number on the caller ID, and the guy at Grill Inn knew we wanted gyro salads.

There is no gyro salad on the Grill Inn menu. It’s something that Tonya created. She does that a lot.

Now, a lot of my friends are in the service industry, and I am very reluctant to ask for anything too complicated when I’m out to eat. But I’ve been working (and having lunches) with T for many years now, and I have watched her customize many a lunch, sometimes constructing dishes almost from scratch. My instinct is still to be as little trouble to the kitchen as possible, but I think there is merit in this idea (within reason). I have spent too much time at too many restaurants, staring at the menu, wishing there was something a little healthier that I could order. A lot of times, there is, you just have to ask for it. If everything on the menu is burgers and greasy gyros, maybe you can ask them to put some tasty gyro meat on top of the house salad, and since most restaurants like money, maybe they will even say yes!

Okay, it still goes against my instincts to ask for customized dishes at a restaurant. But maybe this is something I can slowly learn to do… politely and within reason, of course. If you want something healthier, you can ask for it, that’s pretty simple.