Salt & Pepper - What's your Opinion?
Should restaurants put it on the table or not?
What do you think of restaurants where the Chefs resist allowing diners the chance to season their own food by not offering salt or pepper, at the table? I have a favourite restaurant where you have to ask if you need seasoning and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable that on rare occasions I should have to speak out because I think their food needs more salt. Uncomfortable at having to ask for it. Uncomfortable at having to wait for it. Uncomfortable as my food starts to get cold whilst I am waiting. Uncomfortable about sending a signal to the kitchen, when I could have subtly righted the problem myself, had the condiments been available for me to do so. Uncomfortable that they might think I am one of those people who gratuitously adds salt and pepper to my food without giving it a second thought. Uncomfortable that they might not get that I am actually not one of those people. Uncomfortable that the restaurant will restrict their customers from seasoning a dish to their own taste, but will allow a busboy , wielding a grinder almost as tall as himself, to randomly crack pepper all over a dish instead (perhaps this is the customer's punishment?)
I can empathise with the chefs' way of thinking on this subject , in theory. I appreciate that they want their creations to be eaten exactly the way that was intended. But realistically, not everyone has the same taste buds and unfortunately sometimes the kitchen simply makes a mistake and doesn't add enough salt to one of their dishes. And then the onus is on the customer to get the problem sorted out. If salt and pepper is on the table already, customers can overcome this problem with a minimum of fuss. Without it, they have to ask.
Well, it could be worse. Having to ask for salt is a slightly less embarrassing than having to send the dish back to the kitchen because it is too salty. I'll be grateful for small mercies.
In the meantime - I'd love for you to chime in with your opinion, especially if you're a Chef. Speak up from the other side of the fence, please. I think I can understand the other point of view, after all I do live with someone who likes to put mustard on just about anything I cook...