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weinoo

Restaurant/Bar Annoyances

265 posts in this topic

She responded with "x item is really popular."

Mc Donalds is popular. TGI Friday's is popular. Subway is popular.

Maybe popularity is a marker for junky food.

I think more than junky, "popular" menu items, be they foods or drinks, are more of a marker for "safe" items. When people ask me how a "safe" item is that I think is unexciting, I always tell them that it is in fact "popular" (and in all likelyhood artfully executed :raz:) but that I think items x, y, and z are more interesting.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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My complaints are mostly semantic.

Don't tell me something is artfully prepared. THE WORD "ARTFUL" DOES NOT MEAN "FULL OF ART"! It means "deceptive". Remember the Artful Dodger in Alice and Wonderland? I will not eat something that is deceptively prepared.

Actually, I think you'll find the Artful Dodger is from Oliver Twist. Moreover, my dictionary gives "skilful, clever" as the first definition for "artful," and "crafty, deceitful" as sense 2.

:wub: <----I am totally pretending that this is the "blushing" emoticon.

I mixed up the Artful Dodger and the Mad Hatter. Wasn't that artful of me?? :laugh:

I don't have any dictionaries here, I only have the web, and we all know you can't believe everything that's written on the web, especially apparently what I write. :wub: <----blushing again.

I thought that even when artful meant skillful or clever, it meant it in the negative sense, skillful as in a skillfully executed con, clever as in deceitful. And the word has ties to the old timey definition of artist, which is closer to con-artist than the meaning of the word today. But it seems I am wrong, and that's what I get for hollering online. :laugh:

@Runnwestierun, I guess it's all in the personal interpretation of the word "artful". I would not hesitate to say that, eg. "dcarch's dishes are artfully prepared and presented." Craft as art, no?

(By the way, the :blush: emoticon will show up when you select "show all" at the bottom of the emoticon list.)%^) (that's a grin with glasses)


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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In the bar:

It annoys me when bar staff don't have a basic familiarity with their liquor stock. I can't count the number of times I've asked about their single malt or bourbon selection, only to hear the likes of Johnnie Walker Black or Jack Daniels on the list and frequently topping it. It would be better and faster if they just gave me a drink menu, instead.

I suppose I should stop asking for my whisky neat since a lot of the younger bar staff don't know what the term means. Some aren't even real sure about "straight" either and pour it over ice. "Oh, I thought you meant without Coke."

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Staff who haven't even tried the food and fall over themselves to admit it. I still remember a time over 15 years ago at a casual steakhouse, asking about an item on the menu. The waitress said, with no prompting at all, that she was a vegetarian and had not tried anything except the one lone vegy entree.

Even worse - "I don't like <x>, so I haven't tried it." Had that one thrown at me at a fish place once. "I don't like fish so I can't say!"

If you're going to work at a restaurant where you can't/won't eat the majority of the food, at least put some time into finding out about the various choices so you can answer questions. And if it's a high-end/pricey place? I want the waitstaff to try everything and have the ability to talk intelligently about the choices.

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. . . .

I don't have any dictionaries here, I only have the web, and we all know you can't believe everything that's written on the web, especially apparently what I write.

. . . .

What?! There are the dictionary.com, and Merriam Webster sites, all online. And many others, too, some hilariously inaccurate.

And I nearly forgot: In bars, I sort of hate it when I get the curling lip and hairy eyeball if I request a sweet liqueur. I know, I know, it's considered sort of gauche/tacky, but it's not as though I'm asking the bartender to drink the Mozart liqueur or Creme de Violette. And it's sort of freaky to be watched by bar/waitstaff while drinking, it too, as though I were a particularly unwholesome-looking vagrant drinking cheap cologne straight from the bottle.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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When you go to a casual restaurant, no reservations required, and it's almost empty and the host/hostess decides that all diners want to get cosy and everyone is guided towards the same corner of the restaurant. :wacko:

Edited to fix grammar - sort of.


Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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When you go to a casual restaurant, no reservations required, and it's almost empty and the host/hostess decides that all diners want to get cosy and everyone is guided towards the same corner of the restaurant. :wacko:

Edited to fix grammar - sort of.

There is sort of a practical consideration here though--a place that empty is likely to have only one or two servers working, and having all their charges grouped together makes the service more efficient and makes you less likely to get forgotten or overlooked because they are having to detour to your table while the others can all be surveyed with a sweep of the eyes.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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My pet peeves as a the service personnel is

1.Customer asking us " What's nice here ?" Of Course everything listed on the menu is nice, nobody wants to waste time selling an item that is not nice. So what I train my staff to say is "Everything is nice but so so dish is popular here"

2. Customer asking mentioned earlier is the food fresh . Do you think the waiter will tell you that the prawns have been in the fridge for a week or so, and lose your business.

3. Customers holding up the waiter asking questions when there are ther tables waiting to order. That's why put pictures of the dishes in my menus.

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My pet peeves as a the service personnel is

1.Customer asking us " What's nice here ?" Of Course everything listed on the menu is nice, nobody wants to waste time selling an item that is not nice. So what I train my staff to say is "Everything is nice but so so dish is popular here"

2. Customer asking mentioned earlier is the food fresh . Do you think the waiter will tell you that the prawns have been in the fridge for a week or so, and lose your business.

3. Customers holding up the waiter asking questions when there are ther tables waiting to order. That's why put pictures of the dishes in my menus.

azmilsyahmi - when asking politely about freshness (as pertains to fish and seafood in a fish/seafood type restaurant) - good servers will confide in me that "I'd choose the snapper" or when I ask "do I want the A or the B" will say "if it's between A and B I'd choose B". Mind you, that's NOT the same as telling me what you, the server, likes to eat (which happened a couple of times this year in FL) - it's confiding in me that you know that what's in the kitchen isn't all equal, and since I asked, you're willing to to trust me to use that info discretely to my dining benefit. And I appreciate (and tip extra generously) when that all leads to a delicious meal.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Having recently returned to live in England I notice things about restaurants/bars that are perhaps less evident to those who have lived through the gradual change brought about by the passing of time. In particular I've found it alarming that the meat course (or equivalent) is now simply referred to as the 'main' in many establishments, from McDonalds and on. I am perhaps old fashioned but for me 'mains' implies not a list of dishes but rather a key part of a sewerage system. The aroma that greets one on entry to the restaurant area of a cross channel ferry these days is perhaps indicative of problems with the plumbing disguising what might, in other circumstances, have been something more enticing.

Best practice in my experience with regards restaurants is demonstrated through waiting staff who are attentive but entirely unobtrusive, glasses are never empty but their replenishment is achieved without intrusion. Serving staff understand and can explain the food in clear and concise terms. Service is team work between kitchen and dining room. The diner is central to an orchestrated performance. Such experiences can be had in modest establishments as well as those marked out by awards.

There are numerous adjectives now applied to food and drink in England that seem to have become embedded in the language during my absence. I guess this is a demonstration of English as an ever evolving language, whether American or English in origin.

I've only recently joined this forum and already I sense that I have learnt enormously from those who progress the various discussions. Wonderful to have come across an intelligent and informed community. Many Thanks,

Diana

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Do you think the waiter will tell you that the prawns have been in the fridge for a week or so, and lose your business.

Well, I'd like to know what type of restaurateur or chef is selling week-old prawns?

I've only recently joined this forum and already I sense that I have learnt enormously from those who progress the various discussions. Wonderful to have come across an intelligent and informed community. Many Thanks,

Diana

Welcome to eGullet, Diana B., and thanks, from all of us, for your comments :smile: .


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

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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My biggest pet peeve is the auctioning of dishes to the diners by the waitstaff. "Who gets the salmon" is not hospitality. Please use position numbers and put the plates down where they go. Please.

I HATE this too. Really, really hate it. It gets really bad at large parties. Food starts to arrive. Everyone engaged in conversation at one latge table. Runners don't know where the food goes. People at the table are oblivious to the fact that the food arrive. Runners ask who gets what. They get no response. Eventually, someone in the group decides to join in an yell out "who got the enchiladas?". Then people forget what they ordered.

I hate that.

This really makes me come to another annoyance. Dining in large groups. Maybe I'll have more on that later.

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Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Peeves with both the restaurant staff and my fellow diners:

1. I want - no, need - to order a drink as soon as I am seated. ESPECIALLY if the rest of the party is not there yet.

2. Like Mike, I want time to drink that cocktail before ordering food.

3. I'd like to have the wine list from the get-go.

4. I'd like the wine to arrive before the appetizer - it's a disaster when you've just finished your apps and the wine arrives only then.

5. I'm not interested in learning the waiter's name.

6. I can't stand it when someone at my table asks the waiter, "Would you recommend this, or this?" How on earth is the waiter going to know what a total stranger will enjoy? also, hasn't everyone read Anthony Bourdain? haven't they heard of "merchandising"?

7. Endless wait for the check... followed by endless wait for the check to be picked up with credit card.

Man this makes me come off like a total misanthrope.

(edit): P.S. Restaurants that allow - and in fact encourage - patrons to eat dinner at the bar. The bar is for drinking, and ideally for having a drink while you're waiting to be seated. It's often not appetizing to be having a cocktail while two people are chowing down next to you, and it seems to force the bartenders to play dual roles that don't go well together.


Edited by patrickamory (log)
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(edit): P.S. Restaurants that allow - and in fact encourage - patrons to eat dinner at the bar. The bar is for drinking, and ideally for having a drink while you're waiting to be seated. It's often not appetizing to be having a cocktail while two people are chowing down next to you, and it seems to force the bartenders to play dual roles that don't go well together.

This comment opens a big can of worms. There are plenty of people who when dining alone, like to dine at the bar. The bar is for drinking, I agree, but when it's in a restaurant, it's for eating too.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

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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They forget who gets what because THEY DIDN'T FREAKING WRITE IT DOWN when they took the order...which is one of my peeves.

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They forget who gets what because THEY DIDN'T FREAKING WRITE IT DOWN when they took the order...which is one of my peeves.

Yup.. They get WHAT was ordered, but not WHO ordered it. OR they get that, but the runners don't pay attention? I dunno.. It's really annoying. And it's not like the group is playing games by switching seating positions after ordering.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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(edit): P.S. Restaurants that allow - and in fact encourage - patrons to eat dinner at the bar. The bar is for drinking, and ideally for having a drink while you're waiting to be seated. It's often not appetizing to be having a cocktail while two people are chowing down next to you, and it seems to force the bartenders to play dual roles that don't go well together.

This comment opens a big can of worms. There are plenty of people who when dining alone, like to dine at the bar. The bar is for drinking, I agree, but when it's in a restaurant, it's for eating too.

A fairly recent development though, wouldn't you agree?

For solo diners, I guess I see the point. Filling up the whole bar with eaters, as if it were an extension of the restaurant, really kills the vibe in most instances.

A truly great restaurant would make a solo diner at a two-top feel at home. In France, it's never been a problem... and frequently been the rule.

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All good ones.

I hate "Is this you first time here?". Who frigging cares what they have to say next. It won't matter.

Ughhh...Many bad ones here but that one's the worst. Especially when asked at a place I've eaten several dozen times. Yeah, I realize you don't recognize all of your repeat customers but I have to wonder if they pay any attention at all. :hmmm:

I like like the guys that try to get cute or funny, either. Once my brother and I were eating at a big chain and ordered some buffalo wings. When the server came back to take away the plate he says, "Nicely done!" WTF does that even mean? You like the way I eat wings? Explain why I'm supposed to care. If I'd have been dining alone I'd have asked for the check immediately and left.

Lastly I hate servers that have no ability to gauge a patron. Sometimes I'm fine with bantering with the server, but other times I just want to dine in peace. I really dislike the server that starts in like we're long lost buddies before I even get the menu open. How's my day, how about that weather, got any plans for the weekend...What is my server doing, writing a book?

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"You guys" as in, "What can I get you guys?" 1) I'm not a guy. 2) I'm not eating at McDonalds.

Also bugged when servers, after taking the table's order, singles out a child and asks "Would you like a soda?" Might as well offer a kitten. Grrr . . .

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I hate cold syrup on warm pancakes. Why would I want to cool of my pancakes? And hard butter.

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Where to start...

(Trying to avoid duplication....)

1) Servers who reek of cigarettes.

2) Patrons seated next to me who take cell phone calls. And then have loud, long, animated conversations about their colonoscopy.

3) Precious people who bring their miserable little rat dogs into restaurants. Leave the damned dog at home. Even worse are the precious people who have their miserable little rat dogs certified as guide animals so they can bring them into restaurants/airplanes/etc. when they have no reason whatsoever for doing so. I'm not talking about guide dogs for the sightless and the dogs that warn owners about impending seizures. I'm talking about the misbehaving teacup "pocket dogs" that Paris Hilton wannabees bring to restaurants. The yappy, biting, piss-over-everything curs that have no business at the table next to mine.

4) Patrons who have no clue what a dress code implies. We get this in Vegas all the time -- morons who dress like Larry the Cable Guy at a Michelin-starred restaurant. I don't want to see hairy armpits and tattoos that read "Born to Lose" while I'm trying to enjoy my meal.

5) Couples who decide to have the "big pre-divorce blowout" in the restaurant.

6) The parents of 90% of the children in restaurants. Can't get a hyper, spoiled, loud, shrieking miserable whelp to sit still for two hours? Take the little bastard to Chuck-E-Cheese.

7) Elderly men who loudly insist to their mistresses that, "Ten percent is a perfectly acceptable tip. I'm not tipping a dime more." Yeah, buddy, last time 10% was acceptable, the tip WAS a dime. The Great Depression has been over for a very long time.

8) Drunkard cheapskates who drink 3/4 of a bottle of wine, then try to send it back as "corked."

9) Groups of six or more who arrive completely blotto and shriek and howl during the entire meal.

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Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Skip, well put, and thank you!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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[6) The parents of 90% of the children in restaurants. Can't get a hyper, spoiled, loud, shrieking miserable whelp to sit still for two hours? Take the little bastard to Chuck-E-Cheese.

My sentiments exactly!!!

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I agree with most of these as well.

There's a local sushi restaurant, which is actually very good. One of my favorites. But on their fresh sheet the last two times, they've listed Copper River Salmon. Copper River Salmon season starts in May and ands a few weeks later. There is no way this is fresh. I ask the waitress about it nicely if it is fresh or frozen and she tells me it is fresh. I'm with clients at that time so I don't push the issue but it annoys the hell out of me.

I sometimes sit sideways at an open bar because I have a knee issue, but I would immediately turn forward if somebody came in looking for that spot.

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Please dont tell me 'how the menu works'. If its designed properly, I can figure it out faster than you can describe it.

Why do you care if I've been here before? Does the food get better?

If I have, and my guest hasnt, dont you trust me to explain things, given I liked the place well enough to return?

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"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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