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.

Ruby

Embarrassed or bugged by dinner companions

Recommended Posts

Quick one. In a Japanese restaurant. Table beside us had a pompus blowhard treating the waitressess like they were idiots. We're regulars there, so spent our time sympathizing with the waitstaff. Final straw though, was when Mr. Blowhard saw meticulously made sushi arrive at OUR table, and proceeded to tell HIS table that our dinner was a "biology experiment," "unlcean," and "a sure way to get yourself killed." Inlcuded in his diatribe was a statement on how dirty the kitchen must be.

I think I fell in love with my boyfriend when he quietly folded his napkin, turned to the man and said:

"Sir, every person is entitled to their opinion, but the volume at which you are expressing yours is hindering our enjoyment of our meal. If you would be so kind as to restrain yourself to a polite level of conversation, it would be appreciated."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NVNV -- How bad was the cleanup from everybody spitting out their drinks?  :laugh:

:wacko: Suzanne, considering that probably about 90% of everyone who was around us was gay, I just felt that it was an incredibly amazingly stupid thing to say aside from his obvious asshole-itis. We coulda been killed! I've tried to make better choices in my life since then, esp when I fly across the country with someone :blink:

I think Suzanne was talking about this:

my little 3 yr old nephew I took to a local place in Yountville where I know everyone at the restaurant concerned...I'm just going to get something to go and sit down to have a glass of wine while I wait....for SOME reason, he chooses that time to ask me, in front of the bartender and several other lucky diners, "Aunt Seana, how come Mommy has hair on her potty thing?" UGH!....Maybe that's why i don't have kids...... or a boyfriend

That definitly cracked me up...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as I'm concerned it shouldn't be on at all.  It's so rude to be on the phone while your meal companion gazes into space.

We were recently at a restaurant here in town where a couple solved that problem pretty effectively. They both had phones with games on them, and they played them throughout the meal. Barely even looked up at each other.

Gee, is it me or is that extremely sad? Why bother going out to eat in the first place?


Iris

GROWWWWWLLLLL!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dining late night in DC's Chinatown, one of my crasser friends gave his order to the waitress and actually said "I'm hungry, chop chop". I slid under the table.....


Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the early 80s in Raleigh NC, this high school aged guy was in a Japanese restaurant having sushi with his girlfriend. He was obviously trying to impress her by ordering the most bizarre sampling of fish he could possibly find on the menu. When his plate came, you could see a look of fear behind his veneer of confidence and familiarity. He coached her on the "proper" use of chopsticks and dug in. Piece after piece went into his mouth-- you could see his forced smile even when he tried the sea urchin which he stared at for quite some time before giving it a try. Then he did the unthinkable. His chopsticks reached for the odd looking green blob on his plate near the saucer of soy sauce. He looked it over. He looked over at his perplexed girlfriend. With a wink, he casually tossed the green blob into his mouth.

It began with a slight twitch at the corner of his mouth. His eyes widened. The nostrils flared. Slowly a wave of redness seemed to come out of his shirt collar, up his neck, and over his face. Tears began to well up in his eyes. A look of panic began to spread over his face. He reached as calmly as possible for his water glass and gulped it down.

A few minutes later he was sucking on an ice cube when his girlfriend asked why he wasn't eating anymore. He instisted he had had his fill-- also it was quite normal to cry when eating sushi.

I can still taste that hunk of wasabi.....


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as I'm concerned it shouldn't be on at all.  It's so rude to be on the phone while your meal companion gazes into space.

We were recently at a restaurant here in town where a couple solved that problem pretty effectively. They both had phones with games on them, and they played them throughout the meal. Barely even looked up at each other.

Gee, is it me or is that extremely sad? Why bother going out to eat in the first place?

It's not you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NVNV -- How bad was the cleanup from everybody spitting out their drinks?  :laugh:

:wacko: Suzanne, considering that probably about 90% of everyone who was around us was gay, I just felt that it was an incredibly amazingly stupid thing to say aside from his obvious asshole-itis. We coulda been killed! I've tried to make better choices in my life since then, esp when I fly across the country with someone :blink:

I think Suzanne was talking about this:

my little 3 yr old nephew I took to a local place in Yountville where I know everyone at the restaurant concerned...I'm just going to get something to go and sit down to have a glass of wine while I wait....for SOME reason, he chooses that time to ask me, in front of the bartender and several other lucky diners, "Aunt Seana, how come Mommy has hair on her potty thing?" UGH!....Maybe that's why i don't have kids...... or a boyfriend

That definitly cracked me up...

Yes. Exactly. Sorry I didn't make that clear. :blush:

As for the ex -- well, drawing, quartering, and throwing into boiling oil is too good for him. Of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Annoyance 1: One friend ALWAYS demands that we share when we are dining out - it doesn't matter how many people are there - she wants to share. Kiwis are generally shy and don't like to say no (though I am starting to more often now).

Annoyance 2: I went to a very fine restaurant with a friend one evening. Half way through the meal she picked up her napkin (cloth of course) and blew her nose on it! She then put it back on her knee and continued to eat.

Annoyance 3: Whenever I throw a party, there will always be 3 or 4 friends who bring one bottle of wine then proceed to drink 2 or more. They are also the same people who bring no cigarettes as they don't smoke, but then decide they socially smoke at my parties. They steal my smokes and don't even inhale! Most annoying (and expensive these days!)

One thing I do that might annoy others (though I hope not) is leave the table between courses (if it is a three course drawn out meal) to have a cigarette. I smoke fast (3 minutes) and never miss the next course - but I guess some people may find it rude.


Funny, Cool, Scary, Weird Top 10 Lists

http://listverse.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A girl I know picks up and sniffs everything. EVERYTHING. Then she puts it down, and makes a face. If it's something that has a sauce, or a garnish, or even pizza topping, she'll scrape it all off and just eat whatever's left.

Another friend refuses to eat anyhting 'spicy', and that includes black pepper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing I do that might annoy others (though I hope not) is leave the table between courses (if it is a three course drawn out meal) to have a cigarette.  I smoke fast (3 minutes) and never miss the next course - but I guess some people may find it rude.

I have to say, this drives me crazy :( Especially when friends leave people sitting there, alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing I do that might annoy others (though I hope not) is leave the table between courses (if it is a three course drawn out meal) to have a cigarette.  I smoke fast (3 minutes) and never miss the next course - but I guess some people may find it rude.

I have to say, this drives me crazy :( Especially when friends leave people sitting there, alone.

Yeah, I'm not sure it's quite in the "yellow card" realm, but it's certainly deserving of a whistle and a stoppage of play. It's not just that it's sort of socially awkward to do this, but very often said person will re-enter and will just literally *reek* of cigarette smoke, which will usually waft around for several minutes, thus at least in part destroying part of the allure of the evening.

I will, however, allow for doing this one time during the evening, and you don't have to apologize, or rush your way through the stick and rush back in...take your time and enjoy it (such as it is), and then mosey on back after you've aired out a bit, even if you're just in the bar area.

However, if you're sneaking out for a smoke between every course, yes: you need to consider that your presence at the table is part-and-parcel of what makes the evening great, and I don't like playing second fiddle to a Marlboro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently we had a family-type dinner with friends and family. A young lady (24 yo), who was the caretaker for the old, infirm matriarch of the family, spent most of dinner time on her cell phone using very "rough" language and speaking very loudly. It was not my place to say anything, but I was very angry, as were some of the other guests.

This woman made seven phone calls during dinner, and her conversation was liberally peppered with some of the foulest language I've ever heard - and I've heard some pretty foul language in my 60+ years.


 ... Shel


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gingerbeer and boagman: I don't necessarily leave between EVERY course. For example, at the Fat Duck I had two cigarettes over the period of 3 hours.

Also, when entertaining at my home I smoke at the table between courses and don't leave at all - though I remove the ashtrays once they are done with. At a friend's house I would never smoke inside unless invited to - and I only smoke in my own home when we have a party, so my friends who smoke don't feel obliged to go outside.

Oh - and I would never go outside for a smoke if it meant leaving someone at the table alone! :)

Oh - I also never use a cell phone at the table - it is always turned off. The smoking thing I do because it was, in the past, acceptable behavior and I used old fashioned manners as my guide in as much as possible.


Edited by jfrater (log)

Funny, Cool, Scary, Weird Top 10 Lists

http://listverse.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The smoking thing I do because it was, in the past, acceptable behavior and I used old fashioned manners as my guide in as much as possible.

A lot of "old fashioned manners" are considered rude these days...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One word...ketchup.

Some embarrassing ones-

We are out to a late lunch with my grandmother at a TGI Fridays. She orders a turkey club, doesn't like what the menu says is on it, so tells the waitress plain, just some mayo. What does she get? A turkey sandwich with mayo. Server checks in twice over the course of the meal and not a complaint. Check comes and grandma wants to know why shes being charged full price for the worst club shes ever had, nothing on it!. I wanted to crawl away.

Far to many run of the mill rule breakers from people who just didn't know better.

When I was younger I gave my mother one she still likes to embarrass me with. I was 8 and we were at a Red Lobster. I order, naturally, a lobster. As I'm eating I loudly proclaim that "This lobster sucks". Yes, I was 8 years old and could cook a better lobster. Did I have to let the whole place know? Probably not. Yes, I've learned better table manners since then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone!

*waves*

So first I have to own up to mine. I was eating dim sum with my mother. I turned to the aisle to try and find someone, since I had seen a little kid eating chicken feet. I think the staff figured a white person wouldn't want such a thing and didn't offer it. But oh, I did want them, and very badly. In my side view I see an Asian woman in a lace top and mention something to her about it, to which she replies:

"I don't work here."

I could have died. Grant you I am mostly blind (yes, really) but still! It hurts to this day. I almost wanted to follow her around and explain that I am just disabled and not a racist asshole.

As to other people, I knew this couple several years ago who loved nothing more than to complain about every single thing possible. Nothing made them happier than complaining. I am not kidding about this: once they bitched because the waitress had not filled their water glasses to their satisfaction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a reeeaaaallly long week, so being regaled with these insane stories tonight was just what the doctor ordered! I'm sure I can come up with something for you all, but til then, I have a question.

There has been more than one reference to Cold Duck on this thread. Is that the nasty pink bubbly from the grocery store? I ask because we have a product here (in Montreal, maybe the rest of Canada too?) that fits my description. But it's called Baby Duck. I wonder why that is? I'm trying to think of a French translation for Cold Duck that would make it hard for the Duck Wine Consortium to market it here, but I can't... (Apparently, that's the reason we don't have Taco Bell in Quebec. What a shame!)

Sorry this is O.T. Am I forgiven?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've had a reeeaaaallly long week, so being regaled with these insane stories tonight was just what the doctor ordered! I'm sure I can come up with something for you all, but til then, I have a question.

There has been more than one reference to Cold Duck on this thread. Is that the nasty pink bubbly from the grocery store? I ask because we have a product here (in Montreal, maybe the rest of Canada too?) that fits my description. But it's called Baby Duck. I wonder why that is? I'm trying to think of a French translation for Cold Duck that would make it hard for the Duck Wine Consortium to market it here, but I can't... (Apparently, that's the reason we don't have Taco Bell in Quebec. What a shame!)

Sorry this is O.T. Am I forgiven?

Cold Duck is the still version of Baby Duck - the bubbly version. Made by Andres Wines just down the way from me in Grimsby Ontario. One of the first 'wines' most Ontario teenagers of my vintage were introduced to. I was really surprised to discover a few years ago that it is still available. I wouldn't recommend the Baby Duck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure which thread I love more, this or the "Worst Meal at Someone's Home" thread...

In September, I went to Greece for a few weeks to translate for the owner of a musical instrument company who was displaying in the Salonica Trade Fair. Meals were...interesting. They were sweet, lovely people, but coming from a village in east-central Turkey, were very pedantic in their eating habits. And pretty much assumed that the way things were done back home was "the way," period.

So we're out at a restaurant, and of course, the first thing that comes up is the "pork spectre." Religious food restrictions are not something to play with of course, they need to be respected. But there are some Turks who seem to think that once you cross over a western border, there will be nothing to eat but vast, endless vats of pork. Even among the non-religious, it's taboo; maybe a bit like Americans and horsemeat. No actual restriction, it's just "not food."

I assured them that I wouldn't order any pork dishes. No matter, everything that came to the table - the cheese croquettes, the moussaka, the friggin' tzatziki for chrissake, was met with suspicious pokes, and the question, "there's no pork in this, is there?" By the end of the 2nd day it had become sort of a joke, so when ice cream came after a meal, I said jokingly, "oh, be careful, that's got pork in it" ...and one woman - who isn't even observant - actually spit it out in horror. My bad...

(However it seems that the scent of grilling souvlaki all over the place did not go unnoticed...and with the exception of one person, everyone was now not only not avoiding pork but now wanting every dish that had it...)

One night we were eating in a place where there were lots of restaurants all together. I'd been translating all day, it was now 11 p.m. and I had a migraine. The boss decided the (bottled) water bottles were too small. "Yaaa, you only get a few glasses out of these, tell the waiter to bring larger ones!" he says. Knowing that there won't be any, I ask the waiter anyway, and he tells me that there is only the one size. When I tell the boss, he says "Allah Allah, but look right over there, the other table has big bottles!" "Yes" I say, "but that's a different restaurant..." "Then tell the waiter to go bring water from there." "They won't do that." "Al-lah Alllaaaah, why are you so stubborn? It doesn't matter, then you can go get water from the kiosk." Finally I just said "you can trust me on this, the waiter is not going to go to the other restaurant to get their water." And he laughed at me like I was some sort of idiot, but there was no way I was going to tell the waiter to go to the other restaurant, or a kiosk, because someon didn't like the size of the bottles! :)

I had to use the bathroom -- when I came back, the food had arrived. I took a bite of fried eggplant and nearly gagged; it had so much salt on it. Boss's son says, "yaa, these Greeks don't put any salt in their food! I can't eat it without salt!" Fine, but there's such a thing as salting what you put on your plate...he'd turned it all into a slat flat...luckily there were a few things that hadn't arrived yet. I have an issue with people who immediately dump salt on everything without even tasting it (and here it's more or less de rigeur for many, even in restaurants that oversalt their dishes anyway), but I draw the line at doing it to everyone's food!


"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An ex-BF of mine had a couple of eating habits that made me cringe. First, he had to examine every speck of food he put in his mouth. To do this he would slide his very large glasses down his nose and stain to peer over the top of them holding the fork practically up to his forehead. He had to look at every morsel from every angle. I never figured out what he was looking for. The other thing was that he held his fork like people hold barbells or a shovel. This was to facilitate the thing he did by the end of the meal. He'd scrape and scrape and scrape the last of the meal to the edge of his plate so hard that it would make the ear splitting screeching sounds.

And I genuinely loath going out to eat with my mother. She will only go to this small Chinese restaurant near her house. She's been going there for 20 years. At the end of the meal she'll put one stack of bills on top of the check and put the tip in another neat stack. Then when the waitress comes she points to the check and proceeds to tell the waitress very loudly (because we all know if you think someone doesn't understand English just speak English extremely loud and they'll suddenly understand you) "DISS FOE CHECK" then points to the tip and screams "DISS FOE YOOOOO". No matter how many times the waitress says "Why thank you so much. Have a nice evening." in perfect English, my mom still doesn't get it. I want to crawl in a hole every time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really good question, and I'm glad the thread got bumped.

This happened probably ten years ago, perhaps more, and I don't see these people anymore.

At the time, this couple had a totally spoiled and obnoxious daughter of around five years old. Now, I adore children and will put up with a lot, but this was a child who threw a full-on, flinging self on the ground, pounding hands and feet, wailing and screaming fit literally every time anything displeased her in the least. Her father tried to reason with her, her mother thought it was a battle of wills that she could win. Not pretty.

Anyway, we were out for someone's birthday dinner at an indifferent chain restaurant with 11 people. The couple had invited everyone to dinner - "please come and help us celebrate!"Several people in the group were late, so we didn't order for at least an hour. This was a teetotaling crowd, so everyone was having soda or even water while waiting - after an hour, the table hadn't spent $10. This was also a busy Friday night.

Eventually, we ordered. It was a complicated order, with lots of special requests like "I'd like the taco salad, but no tomatoes and I'd like some sliced green olives on it" The couple was careful to tell the waitress "oh, we want separate checks - these three together, those two, those two, this one is a single..." At this point, I was more than a little suspicious of the "invitation." We must have spent three hours there, maybe more. The daughter was exhausted (understandably) and getting crankier by the second. The separate checks were sorted out. "Oh, we'll get the tip!" said the "hosting" couple. They proceeded to add all the checks together, and unapologetically placed 5% of the total on the table. I was horrified and disgusted.

After everyone else had left the parking lot, I went back in and gave the manager an adiitional 25% and apologized for the shameful omission. I don't know that I ever had dinner with them again, but I don't believe that I did. I've never been back to that restaurant. What was interesting and also disturbing was that I was the only one who did anything about it. Another person from that crowd would habitually invite someone out for dinner "I'd like to take you to dinner!" and after the check arrived, would look in her purse and declare "I left all my cash at home!"

What can I say? I was young(er) and feckless, This stuff doesn't happen to me much now, because I'm a known curmudgeon about restaurant behavior.

I also dislike, almost to the point of lecturing strangers, loud and usually unpleasant cell phone conversations, and people who while dining in one restaurant loudly extol the virtues of other restaurants, usually famous ones. Blech!


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Baby/Cold Duck 'connoisseurs'! lol! Just how did I go all my underaged drinking life knowing this? It's probably best to put the horrors of the early 90's behind me and revel in knowing better.

On a related note, I left my ID at home for the extremely snowy trek to the liquor store today and got carded. I told the guy I was 31, but he was unmoved. *God and Santa Claus, bless that man!* Thankfully, after trekking 6 blocks in the snow, my boyfriend was able to pay! A happy ending was enjoyed by all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend, who I love dearly, but is very difficult to eat with. First off, she doesn’t really eat very much and will agree to go out but then will just want a small green salad or a side of vegetables or even just a glass of wine and then will ask to try something of mine and will eat the things that the rest of us don't finish! The other night we went for Thai and she wasn't really hungry and wanted a green salad (not on the menu at all) and ate the left over shrimp tails from my soup :blink:


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in Las Vegas for the Dela Hoya fight and went to CraftSteak with some friends, one of whom my other friends had warned has been "unstable."

Well, to make a long story short, we ordered the tasting menu and during the time while our server was off to place our order with the kitchen, our friends' stability went right off the chart. Crying, yelling and generally creating a difficult scene before storming off and out of the restaurant. Wow, unstable indeed.

Much to their credit, our surprised server was more than accommodating about the departure of our friend - even though it was an extremely busy Saturday night.

Needless to say, I'll be more than a little reluctant to dine with that friend ever again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...