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Allen P

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Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by Allen P » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:09 pm

OK I have a serious question to ask all the Chef's and Cooks out there.

I have many medical issues and often make requests when I order food... sometimes the servers will say "we'll see what we can do" or give me a look like I grew a second head. If I order something that has sauce like hollandaise, béarnaise, béchamel or what the smell... I always ask for it on the side. I am a serious diabetic and find often it's the sauces that send my blood sugar control over the top. I also ask for salad dressings on the side because as strange as it seems I do like a touch of the dressing, but I find the flavor of all the different greens delightful by themselves. I also like to watch the portions of cheese I eat too sometimes I eat more than I should but I sometimes ask for the cheese on the side.

Does this really cause a lot of commotion in the kitchens? I ordered greek food last time I was in Chicago and was told that the cook said it was impossible to make without putting the tzatziki sauce on it when I order the same thing from Chef Maria all the time and she will happily put the Tzatziki on the side for me.

I find that it is either hot or it's cold... they are happy to do it or obviously begrudge doing it. I enjoy eating out I just hate to seem like the oddball when I do.

Only exception is pasta... it needs to be covered with sauce, that' my exception to the rule and when I eat out at certain chain pasta restaurants I have to beg for more sauce... they are stingy with it... not meaning to drop names but it has something to do with olives which they are dreadfully stingy with those too in the salads.

Allen
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Robin Garr

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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by Robin Garr » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:47 pm

Moved this over to the Restaurants Forum ... more cheffy types here ...
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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by RonnieD » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:49 pm

I think it bass to vary by the dish, really. If it's an Old Fashioned Soaked Salad, then yeah, dressing on the side is going to be an issue, because you can't really do that. But it's is a Caesar? Yeah, we can just not toss it with the dressing.

People always ask us if they can get some of the Voodoo Sauce on the side of the Voodoo Chicken, but that's not possible since the sauce is made with the chicken as it cooks. We don't add a "voodoo sauce" to the Voodoo Chicken it is the Voodoo Chicken. So in that case, it's not possible.

But I can't imagine any sauce or glaze that is added during plating not being able to be presented on the side. There might be some culinary philosophical differences to over come ("you simply do NOT serve a hot brown with the mornay on the side..."), but at the end of the day, it should be possible.
Ronnie Dingman.
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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by Steve Shade » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:03 pm

Allen P wrote:OK I have a serious question to ask all the Chef's and Cooks out there.

Does this really cause a lot of commotion in the kitchens? I ordered greek food last time I was in Chicago and was told that the cook said it was impossible to make without putting the tzatziki sauce on it when I order the same thing from Chef Maria all the time and she will happily put the Tzatziki on the side for me.

Allen


Could be that it is pre-made and cannot be taken off before putting in the microwave.

Charlene always orders dressing on the side for a salad. Never a problem
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Allen P

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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by Allen P » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:36 pm

Mr. Dingman,

I eat at J. Gumbos ALL THE TIME and understand their food... it's a stew... what I'm talking about is things like country fried steak for example... gravy on the side please... or a nice gyro... tzatziki on the side please. Or going to the bbq places that often prefer to give you the pulled meat and let you sauce it yourself... those I like.

As far as J. Gumbos goes your food is perfect in my opinion... will you open one back up on Dixie? The one we had only lasted a couple of months and had terrible people running it. They were more interested in playing than working. It's been years and with all the renovations and new stores I think it would go this time very well.

Allen
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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by Eric Hall » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:37 am

I think it depends on the nature of the request. If you are asking for a sauce that is added during plating on the side, that is easy to do.

If you are asking for the chicken dish with the pork sauce on the side, that is where a restaurant should rightfully deny your request.
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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by Allen P » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:36 pm

Mostly it is stuff that has sauce poured over it when plated... lots of ethnic foods are like that like egg fu young and war sue guy... sauce poured over it. Most of the sauce I have a problem with are the starchy gravy's... Country fried steak is another that get's me. Salad dressings are often sugary.... and I prefer them on the side. I struggle to control blood sugar.

However stews usually aren't a problem for instance I get the voodoo chicken at J. Gumbos and it does not raise my blood sugar... however they want to serve it over a massive portion of rice... if I eat at the one on Frankfort avenue I can always pay the older gent there extra and he will cut back the rice and give me more meat it's only fair. However I've had a lot of problems with some of the other locations even if I offer to pay them extra I end up with the most expensive bowl of rice ever with a little bit of topping on it. The lady that owns Poplar Level location by the hospital I end up at most of the time (Audobon) is a treasure when she is there.... she understands. I usually ask for the rice on the side at J. Gumbos... BTW Mr. Dingman, I hope Tommy and the older lady that works with him are doing well. They have become treasured friends and I miss them at the Lyndon location I only wish I could go there more I enjoy talking with them they tell the neatest stories when they aren't busy.

I also don't mind paying extra to get my food the way I need (not want) it. It's only fair to the restaurant operators.

Allen
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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by RonnieD » Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:15 pm

You can always ask for less rice (no charge), to get a better ratio of sauce to rice without paying for extra sauce, as well, if that option helps you out!

Thank you for the kind words, I will pass them along to Alex (from Poplar Level) and Bill and Debbie (at Frankfort Ave). I know they will be happy to hear them!

And to the broader point, yes, gravy can be left off chicken-fried steak, and anyone who tells you otherwise might be serving you a pre-packaged meal... :shock:
Ronnie Dingman.
Head Chef, The Kitchen at Gerstle's Place
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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by Allen P » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:35 pm

Mr. Dingman,

Problem is I would rather get a larger portion of the protein which does not raise blood sugar than the rice which is a pure starch that is very bad for diabetic control. Most all of the sauces that I ask on the side are starches or sweet sauces... tomato based pasta sauces no problem... but I rarely eat full portion of pasta as it's practically diabetic kryptonite on it's own.

To be honest I would love to just purchase one of your large frozen portions of my favorites to take home (wish you would sell it as there's no close place to where I live to get my fix :? ). Alex, Bill and Debbie would charge me a fair extra price for an extra scoop of the meat... it's very unfair for me to expect more meat (which is expensive) and less rice (which is cheap) for the same price... I insist on paying my fair share.

I know that J. Gumbos is a fast food style restaurant, but I highly recommend them as the product is a good and I believe it's an incredibly good value for what you get. I just wish that some locations would educate employees on dietary needs, if someone identifies themselves as diabetic they know that the rice may be an issue and can offer alternatives. I've been to some J. Gumbos where they insist they have to go by a recipe or "procedures" and have to give three scoops of rice... they will load you up with rice no problem and insist they have to "follow a recipe."

As for frozen pre-made product... I can usually tell the difference (I know J. Gumbos product is frozen but cooked in small batches fresh and reheated sous-vida style in hot water it tastes fresh always) I resent going into a restaurant and paying $8.00 for a hamburger, not including fries, and you get a patty that's a frozen patty cooked and usually not even seasoned. If I'm going to drop $8.00 for a burger only you better back up your price for the burger... fresh ground meat seasoned and patted in house please and it better not be thin as a McDonald's burger.
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Re: Sauce, Dressing, Cheese... on the side please...

by RonnieD » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:13 pm

Allen,

A lot to unpack there, but I'll take a shot.

First, I appreciate your approach. We are always happy to accommodate any guest requests regarding extra sauce (meat) and/or less or more rice as needed. There may be an up charge for the sauce, but it should always be a fair price. Thank you for understanding that.

Second, we work very hard to educate our owners and franchisees about the variety of dietary needs and conners that are out there in the consumer market these days. Unfortunately, we cannot ensure that this training always trickles down to each and every krewe member that is employed by our stores. That said, nutrition and allergen information is available at every store as well as online. If you have any questions or difficulty obtaining that information, please feel fee to contact me at ronnied@jgumbos.com. I am always happy to discuss.

Third, we do have procedures in place for portion control and plating our food (none of them, however, have ever called for 3 scoops of rice). Our current standard portion is 10 oz of rice with 8 oz of sauce over it (for most entrees). However, I am often guilty of going heavier on both, which leads to a pretty sizable portion. Which is why we are more than happy to accommodate requests for more or less rice/sauce as desired. That portion is usually achieved with one large scoop of rice and one smaller (what we call a level) scoop of rice. If you are getting more than this at one of our stores, please let me know. There is such a thing as "too much rice!"

Finally, our soups, stews and sauce are never frozen (except in the most dire emergencies). We prepare our food daily in our central kitchen here in Louisville and the finished soups, stews and sauces are shipped fresh to our stores for serving. Hopefully, that is why they taste so fresh!

Thank you again for the kind words!
Ronnie Dingman.
Head Chef, The Kitchen at Gerstle's Place

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