Author Topic: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44  (Read 18560 times)

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NutellaNut

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Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« on: April 24, 2012, 01:44:27 PM »
Last weekend we held a milestone birthday party for DH, with 50 people RSVPing yes.  Our group tends towards potlucks but I felt it important that this party be hosted fully by us and so I cooked up a big spread. 

Appetizers during the afternoon: chips and dip, veggies and dip, cheesy bacon ball & crackers, pepperoni rolls, stuffed grape leaves, cheesy pepper dip.  Main dishes: steaks, pulled chicken BBQ, hotdogs.  Sides: Macaroni & cheese with tomatoes, baked beans, potato salad, broccoli salad, pesto tortellini salad.  Desserts: Red Velvet Cake, homebaked cherry pie, mixed berry pie, homemade cheesecake.

We have a friend who says she's allergic to vinegar (call her PF for Picky Friend).  Her husband told us behind her back that she's not actually allergic, she just doesn't care for the taste, and that if it's a hidden ingredient that she won't notice, just don't tell her.  She also is not a very adventurous eater, doesn't like spicy food or ethnic food of any kind.

Standing in line at the buffet, PF was asking where the medium-rare steaks were, she'd asked for medium-rare.  I couldn't tell if one of the plates had MR - maybe someone accidentally took the last one - but said there was a plate with steaks cooked medium.  Then she said, "I just want my medium rare steak, there's so little I can eat."

Me: There's mac & cheese, that doesn't have any vinegar...
PF:  But it has chunks of tomato.  I don't like that.  It's OK if it's sauce, but not chunks.
Me: I'm sorry, I didn't know that.  Um, there's baked beans...
PF: <shakes head>
Me: Ok, um, I guess not the potato salad? and the broccoli salad unfortunately has vinegar.  Wait, there's the pesto salad, there's no vinegar there, and the tomato chunks are very big, I'm sure you can avoid taking any...
PF: No.
Me: OK, I'm sorry.  I think there's still some chips and veggies and dip out on the porch.

She then took a medium-cooked steak and left the line.  I got my own food and nothing more was said.

Was the menu truly deficient?  I hadn't known about her tomato aversion, though I don't know that I would have changed the menu if I had known.  Should I have?  I didn't think I should have to plan for each guests likes and dislikes, as opposed to medical needs.

Ironically, her own wedding had cold cuts and various picnic salads.  With vinegar!

« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 11:04:10 AM by NutellaNut »

RebeccainGA

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 01:50:13 PM »
Anaphylaxis if she has something - be considerate, change the menu or have special things.

Picky eater? Let her be picky and find something.

My DP is also a very, very picky eater. Meats cooked until almost charred, only whole breast meat if it's chicken, no chunks of cooked tomato, no chunks of cooked peppers, no cheese, no cream, etc. But I can take her ANYWHERE and she can find something - no matter where we go. She has even found things she'll eat at Greek and Chinese restaurants, where the meats are often more disguised as to their origin (you can't often tell breast meat from thighs, etc.).

You did your best, and thanks to her husband you knew it wasn't life threatening. You did fine.

NyaChan

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 01:51:46 PM »
Your friend was incredibly rude.  Reading your menu made me wish I had been at your party

Teenyweeny

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 01:54:31 PM »
She was picky. Especially with the steak. I mean, jeez, everybody has a preferred level of 'doneness', but most people will happily eat a steak that's slightly more cooked than their optimal steak.

What was wrong with the pesto salad or beans? I mean, if nothing else, she could have filled up on cake or pie. Not the most healthy meal, but it would have sufficed.

As long as you have a decent range, and you have at least a couple of dishes that are free of well-known disliked foods, (e.g. a lot of people hate mayo, so it's nice to have a couple of mayo-free sides), and you have taken any restrictions into account, then you are fine. And that sounds exactly like what you did.

Sometimes, at a party, there will be *one* dish I can eat, because I don't eat meat and I don't much care for mayo. I really don't mind sitting there eating only one thing. It's not like it's intentional, or like it happens all the time. Sometimes you don't get a really nice dinner, and you have to make do. Grown ups don't pout about it.



O'Dell

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 01:57:51 PM »
Even if she is truly allergic/sensitive to vinegar there was plenty there for her to eat, she just didn't like it.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 01:58:11 PM »
You were fine - you had vegetables, meat, beans, treats, etc.

She was terrifically rude.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 02:06:31 PM »
Your friend was very rude. There was a wide variety of different choices you offered her but she wanted none. More for you! Also, your food sounds delicious.

turtleIScream

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 02:11:04 PM »
Your menu was not at all deficient - you had a good variety of dishes that did not all incorporate a common ingredient (I once attended a baby shower where 8 varieties of quiche were offered; lots of choices, unless you don't like eggs.) Most people, even with odd food aversions, would be able to fill up on what you offered.

Possibly, the only place you went wrong was in starting to push individual dishes, opening the way for her to announce her dislike. But, she still could have chosen to politely decline. Her rudeness is all on her.

I hope your husband and other guests were appreciative of your efforts; sounds like a great party!

FoxPaws

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 02:14:15 PM »
Your menu was fine. 

I am a picky eater. I know this about myself. When invited someplace where I know my options might be limited - like a private party or specialty restaurant - I have a bit to eat beforehand and make do once I get there. I haven't starved yet.

While it is kind and generous to consider specific guests' dietary needs, the idea that a "good" host provides for every allergy, sensitivity, aversion, diet, quirk, whim, and eating eventuality that might come along is a trend that needs to die.

A good guest doesn't complain about the hospitality. Your friend was a very special snowflake and rude to boot.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

Zilla

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 02:15:57 PM »
I don't see where  the friend was wrong/rude?  She asked the hostess where the medium steaks were.  OP should have just said be right back and here you go.  She already knows she is a picky eater, why engage the crazy? It's a buffet and person was an adult.


The menu was fine but not for a picky eater. Should you have provided more, of course not.  But I can see why it wouldn't work for someone who is picky.


(I have a few in my family, eye roll.  I know your pain)


« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 02:18:35 PM by Zilla »

O'Dell

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 02:20:23 PM »
I don't see where  the friend was wrong/rude?  She asked the hostess where the medium steaks were.  OP should have just said be right back and here you go.  She already knows she is a picky eater, why engage the crazy? It's a buffet and person was an adult.


The menu was fine but not for a picky eater. Should you have provided more, of course not.  But I can see why it wouldn't work for someone who is picky.


(I have a few in my family, eye roll.  I know your pain)

Then she said, "I just want my medium rare steak, there's so little I can eat."

This is where she went wrong. Her comment suggests that the available food was insufficient. I agree that asking where the medium-rare steak wasn't wrong.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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Steve

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2012, 02:25:11 PM »
POD to the people, your spread sounds wonderfull and there was plenty for her to choose from.

You did yourself no favours by giving her an opening to complain about it, but I am sure it was the only complaint you got.



Zilla

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 02:28:07 PM »
I don't see where  the friend was wrong/rude?  She asked the hostess where the medium steaks were.  OP should have just said be right back and here you go.  She already knows she is a picky eater, why engage the crazy? It's a buffet and person was an adult.


The menu was fine but not for a picky eater. Should you have provided more, of course not.  But I can see why it wouldn't work for someone who is picky.


(I have a few in my family, eye roll.  I know your pain)

Then she said, "I just want my medium rare steak, there's so little I can eat."

This is where she went wrong. Her comment suggests that the available food was insufficient. I agree that asking where the medium-rare steak wasn't wrong.


She knows she is a picky eater, she at that point should have simply gotten her steak for her.  Instead as she pointed out each dish, it force the guest to explain why she didn't like each one.




Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 02:42:26 PM »
I don't see where  the friend was wrong/rude?  She asked the hostess where the medium steaks were.  OP should have just said be right back and here you go.  She already knows she is a picky eater, why engage the crazy? It's a buffet and person was an adult.


The menu was fine but not for a picky eater. Should you have provided more, of course not.  But I can see why it wouldn't work for someone who is picky.


(I have a few in my family, eye roll.  I know your pain)

Then she said, "I just want my medium rare steak, there's so little I can eat."

This is where she went wrong. Her comment suggests that the available food was insufficient. I agree that asking where the medium-rare steak wasn't wrong.


She knows she is a picky eater, she at that point should have simply gotten her steak for her.  Instead as she pointed out each dish, it force the guest to explain why she didn't like each one.





?

All OP did was try to be a good host and offer her friend other suggestions when her friend says "there's so little I can eat". When friend said that, OP tried to offer her other things she might want to try but might not have seen or considered yet. It's like if someone comes to your home and you offer them a cup of tea and they say "I don't like tea", you say "oh how about a coffee then? or some juice? a milkshake? Tequila shots perhaps?". OP was trying to make her guests feel as happy as possible by pointing out things she thought her friend might want to try if she was hungry.

Also, I don't understand how OPs vast choice of side dishes, starters, entrees and sweet options can be said to be not good for picky eaters. Whilst a host or hostess tries to offer their guests variety and quality, they have to draw the line somewhere. Like another poster said above, a party where all they were served was Quiche might not be the best hostessing decision, but OP provided many many options. Lots of foods with lots of different ingredients. If you're a picky eater and you don't eat eggs for example, fine, eat something else. If you don't like tomatoes, fine, eat something else. However, if you don't like eggs, tomatoes, cheese, salt, pepper, meat, potatoes, vegetables, sugar, pastry, fish, nuts, pasta, bread etc.... then it's not the hosts fault. How on earth can a host accommodate not alone every allergy, but actual food DISLIKE at such a large party. She can't make 1001 dishes on the off chance her friend might like one. She went above and beyond already with her choices. If the only thing someone eats is fish fingers, then they should probably eat to fulfil their hunger at home before coming out.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Guest complaining about menu
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2012, 02:45:51 PM »
I don't see where  the friend was wrong/rude?  She asked the hostess where the medium steaks were.  OP should have just said be right back and here you go.  She already knows she is a picky eater, why engage the crazy? It's a buffet and person was an adult.


The menu was fine but not for a picky eater. Should you have provided more, of course not.  But I can see why it wouldn't work for someone who is picky.


(I have a few in my family, eye roll.  I know your pain)

Then she said, "I just want my medium rare steak, there's so little I can eat."

This is where she went wrong. Her comment suggests that the available food was insufficient. I agree that asking where the medium-rare steak wasn't wrong.


She knows she is a picky eater, she at that point should have simply gotten her steak for her.  Instead as she pointed out each dish, it force the guest to explain why she didn't like each one.

I think that's a very unkind interpretation.

From the OP:

Picky: "I just want my medium rare steak, there's so little I can eat."
Me: There's mac & cheese, that doesn't have any vinegar...   
PF:  But it has chunks of tomato.  I don't like that.  It's OK if it's sauce, but not chunks.  <------

The point I marked with an arrow is the point at which Picky's rudeness kicked in. (Although saying, 'there's so little I can eat' is also rude.)

She should have said, "OK, what else doesn't have vinegar?"

Then she has all the pertinent info, and she isn't forcing the OP to scramble through suggesting more dishes, or putting herself in the position of having to explain why she doesn't like things.

If I offer somebody a beer, and they say no, I'll say, "How about wine? Or a soft drink?" I'm not forcing them to explain themselves, I'm trying to be a good host.