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Edsel Ford Fong, world's rudest waiter


Kent Wang
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Edsel Ford Fong, aka Eddie Fong, worked as the head waiter at Sam Wo in San Francisco's Chinatown. He was made famous by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen as the "world's rudest waiter".

The Wikipedia article reports that:

As head waiter, Fong greeted visitors with an admonition to "sit down and shut up." He is also known for calling patrons "retarded" and "fat", criticizing people's menu choices before telling them what they should order, slamming food on the table, complaining about receiving only 15% tips, and groping female patrons.

Do you have any personal experiences with Eddie Fong to share?

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Fortunately, I never had a run-in with him.

But a relative of his must've worked here in Honolulu at a venerable Chinese restaurant that shall remain nameless (and is now out of business). This particular waiter flat-out refused to bring my husband lemon wedges for his lobster (although the restaurant clearly had lemon wedges available because they were served in its water glasses).

After being asked politely twice and refusing, my husband told the waiter that if he wanted to get a tip, he'd better bring us the lemon. The waiter said, "I don't care," turned his back and walked away. :shock:

We didn't leave a tip, reported him to the manager, and I like to fancy that we had something to do with the restaurant's going out of business shortly thereafter.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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But a relative of his must've worked here in Honolulu at a venerable Chinese restaurant that shall remain nameless (and is now out of business). This particular waiter flat-out refused to bring my husband lemon wedges for his lobster (although the restaurant clearly had lemon wedges available because they were served in its water glasses).

After being asked politely twice and refusing, my husband told the waiter that if he wanted to get a tip, he'd better bring us the lemon. The waiter said, "I don't care," turned his back and walked away.  :shock:

Mr. Fong is not just typical bad service, his is rude service on another level. Perhaps even more advanced than the Soup Nazi.

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A number of years ago I was in Boston on business and I was told that a certain place had the best prime rib. The place was packed and one sat at long refectory tables, cheek by jowl as it were, and the waitresses were famous for being rude.

An English lady followed me in accompanied by a lady friend and they wanted to sit side by side because the place was so noisy, but was told she HAD to sit on opposite sides of the table, or no service. She tried to argue but the waitress yelled "Sit where you're told, or get out!".

For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the place, does someone remember it? Is it still there?

The food was great and served in enormous portions.

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Edsel waited on me several times. Always slapped down a pencil and paper in front of each person. Telling the men to write down their order in exacting detail, then telling the women to put down their name, address and telephone number.

I watched him chase a man down the stairs once, yelling at him that the tip wasn't big enough. The guy coughed up another buck.

I always enjoyed the walk through the kitchen to get to the stairs up to the dining rooms.

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A number of years ago I was in Boston on business and I was told that a certain place had the best prime rib.  The place was packed and one sat at long refectory tables, cheek by jowl as it were, and the waitresses were famous for being rude.

An English lady followed me in accompanied by a lady friend and they wanted to sit side by side because the place was so noisy, but was told she HAD to sit on opposite sides of the table, or no service.  She tried to argue but the waitress yelled "Sit where you're told, or get out!".

For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the place, does someone remember it? Is it still there?

The food was great and served in enormous portions.

Durgin Park

http://www.durgin-park.com/

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  • 3 weeks later...
Edsel waited on me several times. Always slapped down a pencil and paper in front of each person. Telling the men to write down their order in exacting detail, then telling the women to put down their name, address and telephone number.

I watched him chase a man down the stairs once, yelling at him that the tip wasn't big enough. The guy coughed up another buck.

I always enjoyed the walk through the kitchen to get to the stairs up to the dining rooms.

LOL - this was the story I was going to tell. Living in the south Bay for 16 or so years, Sam Wo's was one of our go-to places after a night of hard-partying or seeing a show at the Warfield, Old Waldorf, etc. (We also loved Brandy Ho's and Hunan, but that was before the night began, and a different story!)

And that's exactly what Edsel would do - you'd climb the stairs after walking through the kitchen and the pad got slapped down - it was a show, and a great one at that. And the chow fun (for many of us, an exotic, fantastic dish) was seminal. We always had a great time, and great food, at Sam Wo's. I even remember taking my mom there - that was a mistake!

BTW, the food was delivered via dumbwaiter (no, not Edsel) to the upper floors - just brilliant. Oh, for those wanting to know, a dumbwaiter is this.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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A number of years ago I was in Boston on business and I was told that a certain place had the best prime rib.  The place was packed and one sat at long refectory tables, cheek by jowl as it were, and the waitresses were famous for being rude.

An English lady followed me in accompanied by a lady friend and they wanted to sit side by side because the place was so noisy, but was told she HAD to sit on opposite sides of the table, or no service.  She tried to argue but the waitress yelled "Sit where you're told, or get out!".

For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the place, does someone remember it? Is it still there?

The food was great and served in enormous portions.

The restaurant was surely Durgin Park.....

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A number of years ago I was in Boston on business and I was told that a certain place had the best prime rib.  The place was packed and one sat at long refectory tables, cheek by jowl as it were, and the waitresses were famous for being rude.

An English lady followed me in accompanied by a lady friend and they wanted to sit side by side because the place was so noisy, but was told she HAD to sit on opposite sides of the table, or no service.  She tried to argue but the waitress yelled "Sit where you're told, or get out!".

For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the place, does someone remember it? Is it still there?

The food was great and served in enormous portions.

Durgin Park

http://www.durgin-park.com/

It was..........

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Sadly, they've taken most of the mean out of Durgin Park.

The prime rib is still good though!

I hope they haven't gotten rid of the long rows of tables!

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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