Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Embarrassed or bugged by dinner companions


Ruby
 Share

Recommended Posts

Over the years with many different friends, love interests and dining acquaintances, I've had my share of moments where I've felt embarrassed or bugged by something they did in a dining environment. Present friends excluded (in case they're reading  :smile: I thought I'd share some. In no particular order:

-- A guy friend cares zilch about atmosphere. If we're seated near the coat check or bathroom, it's okay with him and if anyone else protests he says it's not important and to lighten up. Once in Hawaii he accepted a table in a rotten area when we could have been seated outside on the deck with an ocean view. I protested and we sat outside.

-- After playing 'table tennis' and exchanging bites of food, one ex of mine started to eat off my plate until I hardly had anything left to eat.

-- Another guy friend says "not bad" when you ask him how the food is. It doesn't matter if it's La McDonald's or La Cote Basque. I finally told him that "not bad" was not complimentary and if I ever cooked anything for him he'd better say something else. He replied there are different levels of 'not bad' but he finally changed his wording to "pretty good."

-- One woman acquaintance keeps leaving the table to have a smoke at the bar; even when somebody is telling a fun story which disrupts the attention span. She just gets up and disappears for 15 minutes. When she comes back she wants the storyteller to recap what she missed. We don't invite her too often.

-- Two former girlfriends of mine brought a $2.99 bottle of sparkling cold duck to my New Year's Eve party and proceeded to drink all the good Champagne my other friends brought.

-- Too many countless stories about dining acquaintances who don't divvy up their share of the check or inspect the check like an IRS auditor to see what they ate/drank.

I'm sure I've done things at the table too and these anecdotes are written lightheartedly.

So, what has annoyed/bugged you at the table. Did you do anything about it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wondered why Tommy was made to sit at a different table on Friday night.  Forewarned, eh?

from what i understand, having me in that seat made it easier for macrosan to throw a chicken carcass at me.  very well thought out indeed.  :wow:

in the interest of being a bit on-topic (and to divert attention from myself) i'll offer the following:

cooking thai food for a guest on day, the wife of my friend yells into the kitchen from the living room "what are you cooking, it smells like feet!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The kicker of the story (tommy has told it to me already) is that it REALLY DID smell like feet.  It was just impolite of the guest to point that out.

Isn't this the third or fourth major mention of "feet smell" here in the past few weeks?  Sheesh.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing wrong with sharing food, if it is done with delicacy.  I do object when someone spears something on their plate which either they don't like or which they think I will like, and flips it onto my plate without asking or warning me.

Yes, cigarette breaks during the meal, especially when a course arrives while the smoker is absent  - very annoying.  It is no fun either to wait for their return while everyone's food gets cold, or tuck in while watching their food get cold out of the corner of my eye.

I have mentioned this before, but here goes:  people who try to order off menu, not because they have exhausted the possibilities of the restaurant's kitchen, but because they just haven't got the concentration to order from what they've been offered.  "Do you think they could do a spaghetti bolognaise?"

And ordering appetizers for the table in a restaurant where it is clearly inappropriate.  Ideal for Mirchi; not at Jean-Georges, please.

What about the people who always, always insist that I order the wine, even when I frankly say I have no competence (I don't know my way around Italian lists, for example), but then complain?  "Ooh, it's a bit dry isn't it?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about the people who always, always insist that I order the wine, even when I frankly say I have no competence (I don't know my way around Italian lists, for example), but then complain?  "Ooh, it's a bit dry isn't it?"

judging by your comments earlier (click me) regarding tasting wine, i would think that you'd get more comments like "Ooh, it's freakin corked you idiot."  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :raz:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have friends who never bring wine to a BYO. When they get to the restaurant they say "We're not drinking wine tonight and then proceed to drink." We  always have two bottles--just in case. When we meet these people we bring inexpensive wine because we know they will not bring any and they will drink ours.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about the people who always, always insist that I order the wine, even when I frankly say I have no competence (I don't know my way around Italian lists, for example), but then complain?  "Ooh, it's a bit dry isn't it?"

judging by your comments earlier (click me) regarding tasting wine, i would think that you'd get more comments like "Ooh, it's freakin corked you idiot."  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :raz:

I am going to report this post to A Moderator.   :raz:  :raz:  :raz:  :raz:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i razz because i love.

rosie, re: people not bringing wine.  happens all the time.  some of my friends are simply non-drinkers, in the sense that they don't drink often and would have no idea what to bring.  so they bring nothing, explaining that they'll have none.  2 glasses later and i'm a half bottle down!  and you know how i get with my wine.  :wink:

i had one associate come to lunch.  we ordered an app for the table basically.  it was a big enough dish for the 4 of us to have a bit.  this was at Sushi Samba in NYC if i recall.  anyway, the check comes, and this guy doesn't want to chip in for it.  i mean, he *had* some of it but claimed "well, i didn't order that".  i think i was more embarrassed for him and the guy who brought him than i was actually offended.  from then on, no one at work can invite someone out with me unless they undergo some sort of test first.  a screening if you will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have friends who never bring wine to a BYO. When they get to the restaurant they say "We're not drinking wine tonight" and then proceed to drink. We always have two bottles--just in case. When we meet these people we bring inexpensive wine because we know they will not bring any and they will drink ours.

You don't mean us, do you?  'hic

Link to comment
Share on other sites

-- One woman acquaintance keeps leaving the table to have a smoke at the bar; even when somebody is telling a fun story which disrupts the attention span. She just gets up and disappears for 15 minutes. When she comes back she wants the storyteller to recap what she missed. We don't invite her too often.

-- Too many countless stories about dining acquaintances who don't divvy up their share of the check or inspect the check like an IRS auditor to see what they ate/drank.

Nothing bothers me more than a dinner companion who is cheap or inattentive.  And then there's the friend who's both.  I mean, why go out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My nightmare is being with a person who treats waiters,and other restaurant workers,like a subhuman breed,or talks about them when they are in earshot.It places them in a difficult position;if they answer back,they can lose their job.When you hear stories from waiters,about how some people talk to them,it's a wonder that more fistfights aren't breaking out in restaurants all over town.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have friends who never bring wine to a BYO. When they get to the restaurant they say "We're not drinking wine tonight" and then proceed to drink. We always have two bottles--just in case. When we meet these people we bring inexpensive wine because we know they will not bring any and they will drink ours.

You don't mean us, do you?  'hic

No. Did you drink my wine??? I was talking about friends we have had for over 20 years. The pattern has been set. And Tommy even if they aren't frequent drinkers don't you think that after 20 plus years it might occur to them to bring one bottle? :wow:  Now we have other friends who bring their Turley.We go out with them as often as possible. :biggrin:

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was talking about friends we have had for over 20 years. The pattern has been set. And Tommy even if they aren't frequent drinkers don't you think that after 20 plus years it might occur to them to bring one bottle? :wow:  Now we have other friends who bring their Turley.We go out with them as often as possible. :biggrin:

Rosie, you've got friends that bring their own toilet paper???

:raz:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say that the most recent embarrassing thing that happened to me was on a recent visit to the otherwise near perfect Grammercy.

I was with a good friend of mine who also happens to be extra ordinarily beautiful.  A real head turner.

The poor waiter was quite smitten with her and kept coming back to the table to ask if everything was alright and I mean like every 2 mins.  He was no problem and he was not making her uncomfortable.  I mean he didn't try and grab he chest or anything, but it got progressively more ludicrous and the evening wore on and in the end I even forewent pudding and we buggered off

More amusing than harmful.  I just hope he has a girlfriend next time I take her there

S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

-- One woman acquaintance keeps leaving the table to have a smoke at the bar

Apologies in advance ...

You should have brought her to THE WOMEN :wink:

Christopher,

Hah, that's so funny! I think she's one of The Women!

:biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My horror story, it pains me to recollect it.

It was a first date between two couples, as I knew the husband of the other couple and we thought it might work to introduce the spouses. I should have known something was going to work out when he said, "Don't plan anything after, we take our time".

A 7:30 reservation, and we didn't leave until 12:30. Our butts were heavily asleep. Mind you, we were seated in a great booth and I sorta knew the chef, and was horrified because I'm sure they wanted to turn that table. It was as if they could take one tiny bite of food, then they'd have to put down the fork and chew and think and chew and think...and maybe five minutes later, contemplate another bite. Excrutiating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Liza, you reminded me ofsomeone I used to dine with a lot for work reasons.  He freely confessed to having "food issues".  He would slice and chop everything on his plate until he had the smallest possible mouthful to put in his mouth.  I think he was really phobic about eating!  I have seen him slice peas!  Also time-consuming and somehow horribly fascinating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank goodness he could admit he had issues. Nothing worse than hearing a litany of them (no spicy food, must be within five blocks of home, no chicken dishes over $15, etc) and then to be told, "But I'll go anywhere you like".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My moment was a couple of weeks ago with an American colleague in London.

After discussing in the U.S how getting your left overs 'to go' just didn't really happen in the UK, my colleague - without warning -  pointed to her left over entree of a scallop rissotto in a London restaurant and asked them to 'pack it'. after much interpretation, I explained to the waiter what she meant, and after about 5 minutes, the left over single scallop (not the rissotto) was presented in perfectly folded tinfoil.

Now this is embarrassing on 3 counts -

1. She asked with out taking advice, when I'd already told her we don't really do it in England.

2. Why did the waiter only present the scallop when there was a fair quantity of rissotto left also.

3. Why don't we do it in England? We pay for it, it's ours, so why don't we get it 'to go'? :confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...