Shouldn't have to ask

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Mark James
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Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Mark James » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:16 am

https://chicago.suntimes.com/food/say-c ... ssion=true

Couldn't agree more with this piece. Personally I love cheese and will always order a cheeseburger but the guy is right. You shouldn't have to ask for a hamburger with no cheese. That should be implicit by asking for a hamburger. If you want cheese on it ask for a cheeseburger.

There was a shop I went to as a kid and if you asked for a mars bar for example, the owner would ask you if you wanted standard size. Well yes. If I wanted a king size I'd have asked for that. I shouldn't have to ask for a standard size. (who even calls them that?)

And just the other day a deli clerk cut the sandwich I ordered rectangularly instead of triangularly. Surely everyone knows at this stage the crust to bread ratio is most optimal when the sandwich is cut diagonally. You shouldn't have to ask for a properly cut sandwich.

Also, although it might sound like I'm contradicting the cheeseburger argument, I'm of the opinion that I shouldn't have to ask for butter on a sandwich, that that should be a given and that if you don't want butter you should have to ask.

Where do people stand on this vital issue?

And what else should you not have to ask for?

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:09 am

I think the proportion of crust is the same however you cut the bread. I've always thought of diagonal as the "fun" way to cut bread, not the "sensible" way and shouldn't be assumed to be the default.

Butter - bollocks. If I haven't asked for a butter sandwich I don't expect one! But because it's so common, perhaps they should always ask and not assume either way.

Mayonnaise is one that annoys me. If I haven't asked for it, don't give. Ask if you want, but don't assume.

But generally, I don't think I'd mind that much if they ask questions they shouldn't need to. It's far worse when they make wrong assumptions.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:15 am

Agree with most so far. Hamburger doesn't have cheese, standard size chocolate bar should be assumed. But also with Gevin that asking questions rather than making assumptions is generally safer. When these things do go wrong they're way more annoying, and potentially awkward.

The butter thing is more contentious for sure. I think mostly it's because people have personal preferences for spreading styles and these become so ingrained (we've all made a ton of fucking sandwiches) you start to forget there are other methods, or at least to appreciate their validity. I love having butter on good bread. I love a good cheese sandwich. I'd never butter my cheese sandwich though, I'd always be looking at other forms of lubrication but never butter. Heather would never consider a cheese sandwich without butter.

We were in a cafe for breakfast the other day asking whether a dish (avocado - crushed for Gevin's delight - on sourdough with homemade kimchi) was vegan (for the sake of the kimchi) and then both ended up getting beans on toast when it wasn't. Only question the server asked was for our choice of bread (great) and it wasn't until they came out and had clearly been spread with something that we both remembered that spreads were even a thing. Turns out (my taste test) it wasn't butter as we then expected and was only margarine (or whatever), but it does make for a slightly ok example of a situation where asking would have been better (not just to appease picky vegans, but also because like with cheese sandwiches a lot of people regardless of diet do or do not want their toast spread preceding beans thereon).

In summary - standard definitions should be assumed, but there is clearly no standard definition of how to prepare bread when using it as an ingredient.

Gevin, what sort of thing do people give you mayonnaise with without asking?

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:43 am

Matt Morrison wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:15 am

Gevin, what sort of thing do people give you mayonnaise with without asking?
Maybe at McDonald's? It might say in the small print somewhere that it comes with some pointless slime, but it's not something that should ever be there by default.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Mark James » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:23 pm

I'll concede the butter one. It's clearly better to ask to have something than to ask not to have something. It just personally feels weird though to ask for butter in a way that it doesn't feel weird to ask for mayo (and yeah Gevin, mayo shouldn't be assumed). If I order a chicken roll with lettuce, red onion and mayo that just sounds right compared to saying a chicken roll with butter, lettuce, red onion and mayo.

I'm amazed at the amount of people who don't put butter on sandwiches though. Subway doesn't even have it as an option, the fools.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:44 pm

Bread and butter yes. Butter in a sandwich means your filling game is weak.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:46 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:43 am
Matt Morrison wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:15 am
Gevin, what sort of thing do people give you mayonnaise with without asking?
Maybe at McDonald's?
Ah yeah the vegeburger. I mean, in general when you're ordering a decent burger at a decent restaurant all the fillings are going to be listed on the decent menu you are referring to to order from. It's easy in those cases to say cut the mayo. McDonalds is a bit of a freak in that the ingredients are not really publicised. So yeah, I can get with you here. I would imagine in a year's time things might be a bit different.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Phil Reynolds » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:48 am

Random observations on this thread:

RO#1: I've never in my life heard anyone order a "hamburger" in a restaurant. It's just a burger. By default a burger is made of beef. Other types of burger are qualified by an appropriate prefix (chicken burger, veggie burger etc). Asking for a hamburger sounds so quaintly old-fashioned, like asking for a beverage when you mean a drink.

RO#2: As far as I can recall, any burger restaurant I've ever eaten in has had a choice of burgers on the menu, each of which is described with ingredients listed. (This may not be the case in fast-food outlets - I wouldn't know.) If it doesn't mention cheese then I wouldn't expect it to have cheese. But if the menu description of a particular burger included cheese, then I wouldn't be disgruntled at having to ask for it without cheese if I didn't want cheese (not that I would do that, because burgers with cheese are always tastier than those without).

RO#3: The standard definition of a sandwich is two slices of buttered bread enclosing some sort of filling. If you want a non-standard construction (e.g. without butter) you should have to ask for it.

RO#4: The best burger chain is Byron. GBK are OK. The rest range from adequate to poor.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:01 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:48 am
Random observations on this thread:

RO#1: I've never in my life heard anyone order a "hamburger" in a restaurant. It's just a burger. By default a burger is made of beef. Other types of burger are qualified by an appropriate prefix (chicken burger, veggie burger etc). Asking for a hamburger sounds so quaintly old-fashioned, like asking for a beverage when you mean a drink.
I've always thought of a hamburger as a burger in a bun. No-one would call a burger on its own a hamburger. And because most burgers are beef burgers, and putting a beef burger in a bun makes it a hamburger, I have this hilarious joke with one of my nephews that putting a bean burger in a bun makes it a carrot burger. Anyway...

RO#3: The standard definition of a sandwich is two slices of buttered bread enclosing some sort of filling. If you want a non-standard construction (e.g. without butter) you should have to ask for it.
I think you're thinking of that northern invention, the butty. But you're not the only one. A jam, butter and Marmite sandwich might be a bit odd though, James Robinson.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Zarte Siempre » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:03 pm

I'm in agreement on people trying to upgrade you on size should piss off.

However frankly, I'm in almost complete disagreement with everything else. As far as I'm concerned, I expect any food establishment to make the food the way they'd want to eat it. This is the correct way as it guarantees due care and attention (assuming, as you're making requests on things that this isn't completely generic shit and that you have awful taste) - I would never want to eat anything that the proprietor wouldn't eat themselves.

If you want to make amendments to it, it's down to you to ask questions about its makeup, which the staff should be trained well enough to be able to answer. My only gripe is when I'm told that something is X way, and either that changing it will be fine, and it turns out not to be, or that they need to ask (better, but demonstrates inadequate training)
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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Phil Reynolds » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:21 pm

Mark James wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:16 am
And what else should you not have to ask for?
  • More than two English Breakfast tea bags in a double room in a hotel. By all means provide a selection of alternatives - green tea, decaf, whatever. But for fuck's sake bias the numbers towards the one that most normal people are going to want. The little note in the handbook that says "For further supplies, just ask at reception" is all very well but when we get up in the morning and fancy a cuppa, and realise we used the only two proper tea bags the night before, I don't want to have to get dressed and trail down to reception to ask for more bags.
  • Slices of cheese in a cheese sandwich, not a handful of grated stuff that falls out everywhere as soon as you bite into it. The nearest deli to a place I used to work sold sandwiches in this way with packaging that declared "Made in our kitchen just the way you would at home". I once pointed out that no one in their right mind makes a sandwich at home using grated cheese, and was told "If you'd like to wait, I can ask someone to make one up specially for you?" I declined and never went there again. That showed 'em.
  • People to shut up and/or switch their phones off in the cinema.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by David Williams » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:25 pm

I haven't actually paid enough attention to it to notice whose advert it is, but there's at least one running at the moment for people who just want a cup of coffee being patronised for not knowing, or caring, what a flat white is. Me too.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Phil Reynolds » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:32 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:01 pm
I've always thought of a hamburger as a burger in a bun. No-one would call a burger on its own a hamburger.
Apart from the Oxford Dictionary... (Note that "typically served in a bread roll" is added information, not part of the definition.)

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Zarte Siempre » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:42 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:21 pm
[*]Slices of cheese in a cheese sandwich, not a handful of grated stuff that falls out everywhere as soon as you bite into it. The nearest deli to a place I used to work sold sandwiches in this way with packaging that declared "Made in our kitchen just the way you would at home". I once pointed out that no one in their right mind makes a sandwich at home using grated cheese, and was told "If you'd like to wait, I can ask someone to make one up specially for you?" I declined and never went there again. That showed 'em.
What utter nonsense. Whilst I can understand that if you eat like an ape and don't have a bib, then sandwiches designed for on the go might benefit from using sliced cheese - grated cheese is by far the more sensible option for a sandwich that you can eat over a plate. It alters the surface area of the cheese and gives it more flavour, and if flavour isn't what you're worried about from your food then just buy some sort of digestive supplement and be done with it.
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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Mark James » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:57 pm

Agree with Zarte. Grated cheese is the way to go. Except for on a cheese burger. There you want the cheapest, almost plastic easy singles.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Phil Reynolds » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:14 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:42 pm
grated cheese is by far the more sensible option for a sandwich that you can eat over a plate. It alters the surface area of the cheese and gives it more flavour
How does altering the surface area of the cheese give it more flavour? I posit that this is entirely a product of your imagination.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by David Williams » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:22 pm

I would assume that if you swallow a sandwich whole, you will get more flavour from grated cheese. But if you chew both varieties to the same consistency before swallowing, the slices will take longer, and so you will get less flavour from the grated cheese. In any case, they only grate it because it looks as if they are giving you more cheese than they actually are.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:34 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:03 pm
I'm in agreement on people trying to upgrade you on size should piss off.

However frankly, I'm in almost complete disagreement with everything else. As far as I'm concerned, I expect any food establishment to make the food the way they'd want to eat it. This is the correct way as it guarantees due care and attention (assuming, as you're making requests on things that this isn't completely generic shit and that you have awful taste) - I would never want to eat anything that the proprietor wouldn't eat themselves.

If you want to make amendments to it, it's down to you to ask questions about its makeup, which the staff should be trained well enough to be able to answer. My only gripe is when I'm told that something is X way, and either that changing it will be fine, and it turns out not to be, or that they need to ask (better, but demonstrates inadequate training)
I don't disagree that they should make things the way they want, but they should also name it accordingly. I think that's the problem people have.
Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:32 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:01 pm
I've always thought of a hamburger as a burger in a bun. No-one would call a burger on its own a hamburger.
Apart from the Oxford Dictionary... (Note that "typically served in a bread roll" is added information, not part of the definition.)
The dictionary's wrong.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:08 pm

Mark James wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:57 pm
Agree with Zarte. Grated cheese is the way to go. Except for on a cheese burger. There you want the cheapest, almost plastic easy singles.
Almost?

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:30 pm

Or cheese in a can.
Going back to sandwiches.
I don't like butter on a bacon or sausage sandwich.
There is enough fat from the bacon/ sausage.
Also cannot understand people who eat soup with buttered bread or rolls.
Although I readily admit to dunking my bread in.
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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Zarte Siempre » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:30 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:14 pm
Zarte Siempre wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:42 pm
grated cheese is by far the more sensible option for a sandwich that you can eat over a plate. It alters the surface area of the cheese and gives it more flavour
How does altering the surface area of the cheese give it more flavour? I posit that this is entirely a product of your imagination.
http://qi.com/infocloud/cheese

Left hand column. Was the first link that came up, but there are plenty if you search for it.
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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Phil Reynolds » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:48 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:30 pm
Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:14 pm
How does altering the surface area of the cheese give it more flavour? I posit that this is entirely a product of your imagination.
http://qi.com/infocloud/cheese
Even if true, I don't care. As a snack I'll quite often cut myself a thick slice off a slab of extra mature cheddar and eat it with nothing else, or a handful of walnuts; for this among many other reasons, I buy cheese that already has the flavour I like. If I wanted a more intense flavour I'd buy a more intensely flavoured cheese.

Anyway, grated cheese in a sandwich is simply annoying and wrong.

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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:50 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:48 pm
Zarte Siempre wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:30 pm
Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:14 pm
How does altering the surface area of the cheese give it more flavour? I posit that this is entirely a product of your imagination.
http://qi.com/infocloud/cheese
Even if true, I don't care. As a snack I'll quite often cut myself a thick slice off a slab of extra mature cheddar and eat it with nothing else, or a handful of walnuts; for this among many other reasons, I buy cheese that already has the flavour I like. If I wanted a more intense flavour I'd buy a more intensely flavoured cheese.

Anyway, grated cheese in a sandwich is simply annoying and wrong.
Although grated cheese on toast is nice
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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Zarte Siempre » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:52 am

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:48 pm
Anyway, grated cheese in a sandwich is simply annoying and wrong.
You'd think you'd enjoy something you have so much in common with ;)
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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:15 pm

It gets right on my tits that it's almost impossible to order just a hamburger, i.e. a lump of meat between two bits of bread, and nowt else. All these chains now by default provide a mass of crud with the meat, (cheese a given), and I end up paying for all the extraneous shit even after I request a 'special' burger without it all. Bastards.
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Re: Shouldn't have to ask

Post by Phil Reynolds » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:29 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:52 am
Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:48 pm
Anyway, grated cheese in a sandwich is simply annoying and wrong.
You'd think you'd enjoy something you have so much in common with ;)
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