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Rosie

Restaurant/Bar Annoyances

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This is changing, slowly, of course, and it depends on where you go. Wine is generally my go-to drink and I work in the industry, but I think the idea of pairing meals with all sorts of beverages (including non-alcoholic) is very exciting. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Some restaurants seem to have the idea that they can make ordering a nonalcoholic drink exciting by not listing any on the menu. You know they've got something, even if it's just soda or bottled water. But you have to guess. At least at an Indian restaurant you can usually get a lassi.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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As a non-drinker myself, I have noticed that more casual restaurants now have "mocktails" on their menus. Now, I have a sweet tooth and do enjoy a nice sweet drink on it's own when I'm in the mood, but I do find most of the mocktails too sweet to have with a meal. For example, I like sweet lassi as a refreshing drink on its own, but with a meal I will choose salt lassi (or buttermilk if available) every time. That's not to say I won't drink a mildly sweet drink with my meal, but when half the glass is grenadine syrup, I'm not a fan.

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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.

I sometimes ask a form of this question so that I don't insult them by guiding them (even broadly) around a menu/wine list they might have seen before.

It opens up necessary dialog to many who might not offer up the fact they might be a bit turned around in a new environment.

Ultimately, it's reading the guest. :wink:

But you are right, most times I hear this, there is no connecting response.


Edited by clokwurk (log)

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I sometimes ask a form of this question so that I don't insult them by guiding them (even broadly) around a menu/wine list they might have seen before.

I still don't get it. Are menus so difficult to navigate that punters need guidance? Really?

Okay, if I'd never been to a restaurant at all before, then I'd understand it. As a consequence, the question "Have you eaten here before?" immediately translates itself in my mind as "Have you ever eaten in a restaurant before?"

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the question "Have you eaten here before?" immediately translates itself in my mind as "Have you ever eaten in a restaurant before?"

So answer the question, "No, I haven't eaten here before. Truth be told, this is the first time I've ever eaten at a restaurant. In fact, I just learned how to walk on hind legs. Would you please explain to me this concept of 'money?'"

That'll shut 'em up.

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

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the question "Have you eaten here before?" immediately translates itself in my mind as "Have you ever eaten in a restaurant before?"

So answer the question, "No, I haven't eaten here before. Truth be told, this is the first time I've ever eaten at a restaurant. In fact, I just learned how to walk on hind legs. Would you please explain to me this concept of 'money?'"

That'll shut 'em up.

Well that and make sure your food is spitshined, I make it a rule to show how good service was by the tip, if people really are that terrible just don't tip. Still seems like little annoyances, hardly any reason for full on rage.

I mean they're people, just because they serve you doesn't mean you don't have to show some respect.


Edited by Deus Mortus (log)

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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It's a fair question in restaurants where the menu structure is not intuitive. I've eaten in many restaurants, but even still, I find menus where, for example, there's no clear division between appetizers and mains, and so I have to ask the service staff for guidance on putting together a meal that will be neither too big nor too small. (I'm looking at you, Black Hoof.)

Obviously, if the menu is structured like most menus, this question can certainly come across as patronizing. Then, at the high end, you've got restaurants where the computer system can tell them whether or not you've been there before, so they can greet you appropriately with "welcome" or "welcome back". :wink:


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Heh, I don't think I'd have the cojones to implement Scoop's suggestion, but I like it. Given a non-intuitive menu (and really, even without an obvious split it's rare things are THAT difficult to follow) I still don't like the 'have you been here before' question as a concept. It suggests to me, almost certainly erroneously, that the answer to the question is going to contribute to the level of my enjoyment. Of course, that may be the case, but I don't want it spelled out that I'm not a regular if I'm not. I think 'let me know if you have any questions about the menu' is a far less patronising way of doing things.

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Here's on my List of Major Peeves:

1. Bartenders that cannot mix the following: Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Gimlets, or, above all else, a Perfect Martini.

2. Restaurants that do not take reservations - or phone calls of any sort, for that matter - before five o' clock. Hire a !@#$ secretary.

3. Steaks cut anything less than 1/2" thick. If I can see through my porterhouse, it's too thin.

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.

Cope. The only reason these restaurants exist is because of the slobs, not despite them. Michelin-starred restaurants are dependent on enormous traffic despite equally enormous pricetags; without the millions of poorly-educated buffoons flowing through Vegas, they would not exist at all - and neither would Vegas itself.

At least you have the option. I live in a city with an absurd percentage of nonfunctional restaurants, and I'd quite cheerfully eat dinner amongst the attendees to a professional wrestling enthusiasts' convention if it meant access to some really brilliant food.

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. . . .

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.

Cope. The only reason these restaurants exist is because of the slobs, not despite them. Michelin-starred restaurants are dependent on enormous traffic despite equally enormous pricetags; without the millions of poorly-educated buffoons flowing through Vegas, they would not exist at all - and neither would Vegas itself.

. . . .

Ignoring a dress code isn't poorly educated, it's rude, a really prime example of 'I have a right to "express" myself by doing what I want'.

A less than flawlessly executed version of a restaurant's dress code I can understand and cope with (trainers with your suit? Ugly as hell, but hey, you may have serious foot problems, and at least you tried in the other areas), but blowing it off altogether? Hell no.


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

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Cope. The only reason these restaurants exist is because of the slobs, not despite them. Michelin-starred restaurants are dependent on enormous traffic despite equally enormous pricetags; without the millions of poorly-educated buffoons flowing through Vegas, they would not exist at all - and neither would Vegas itself.

What does it take to put on a button casual shirt and a clean pair of pants?

My original gripe is a real story from Jasmine at the Bellagio. Took my MIL out for her 80th birthday. Geoduck, sharkfin soup, the works.

Sitting next to us was a Larry the Cable Guy wannabee in dirty jeans, a greasy flannel shirt with the arms haphazardy ripped off, and smelling of B.O.

Doesn't my right to enjoy a pleasant meal trump his right to "dress comfortably?"


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

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As a Bartender(Not to talk myself up, but a very good one in the upper end of the industry):

- Loud, rude customers who disrupt our carefully planned vibe and piss of our regulars.

- Messy co-workers, I want to be able to put a drink together for someone in as little time as possible, not spend 5 minutes cleaning a station before I can start.

- Arrogance, we're servers, not servants. People who treat hospitality crew like dirt are not people as far as I'm concerned.

- Creepy dudes. I like to run a safe comfortable bar for all demogrphics, mate I don't care if you just spent $400 on that bottle of wine, the lady politely said no....twice.

- Backseat bartenders/waiters....I've been bartending for 8 years, I'll go hell and high water to get you what you want (I and my co-workers have been known to borrow product from other bars as they do from us. When we have the time to do it people are blown away and appreciate it enough not to request it when we're busy) but for the love of god don't tell me that your pint of belgian lager has too much head. I know what I'm doing and in case I don't the manufacturers print on the glass makes it idiot proof.

- Farters. Don't share your gas with a room full of people.

- Annoying children. Parents, waiters aren't babysitters, and neither am I. Control them or leave the little rats at home.

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I don't understand why people are irritated by learning the server's name. I find it quite handy if "Josh" forgot the butter and you don't see him anywhere, to simply snag the next server past the table and ask him to "please send Josh to our table." Always works for me.

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Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Wow. Some of you hate it when.servers ask how is everything or how does everything taste. Others hate it that servers drop food off and never check up on you. Some of you hate it when water glasses aren't filled enough or often. Others hate it when water glasses are filled too frequently.

Tough crowd. I feel sorry for your servers

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Only if we're all at the same table. ;)


"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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I bet a lot of this depends on what city you're in.

My guess is New Yorkers don't want to know their servers' names, or be interrupted to ask how things are going.

My guess is that it might be different elsewhere in America.

A lot has to do with what kind of restaurant it is too - diner, casual, new hotspot, ultra-formal.

So far as the rest of the world goes, I'm in the dark.

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Screaming kids make my blood boil. In my view, if you have children under about 7 then you should either get a babysitter or refrain from going out.

I can go either way on the waiters coming by the table too often/not enough issue. In a perfect world, they would make enough passes by the table to gauge from the body language/eye contact whether they need to stop.

I mentioned this one in another thread, but the practice I seem to have only encountered in the US, of not waiting until the starters are finished before bringing mains to the table. Basically, my options are either eat from two plates, or let the main go cold while I finish the first course.

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James.

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Screaming kids make my blood boil. In my view, if you have children under about 7 then you should either get a babysitter or refrain from going out.

You're going to catch flak for that -- mainly from users with names like "TrevorsMom," "DylansMom," "PipersMom" and so on.


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

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I can cope with, even come to like, kids that are well behaved. But one crying baby or screaming toddler ruins it for everyone. Being a parent obviously comes with more than a few sacrifices, and going out is one of them as far as I see it. Let the flak rain down haha.

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James.

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Screaming children are no more nor less annoying than drunken swearing frat boys, loud ladies who lunch that have had a few too many, jerkoffs that won't stop hitting on the pretty girls at the bar that have made it clear they aren't interested, or blowhard rich guys trying to one up each other. Anyone that draws enough attention to themselves in a restaurant by their decibel level or choice of language should be asked to be quiet. Then they should be asked to leave. In no uncertain terms. For those that don't understand the message or can't leave under their own steam, their parents should have enough common sense to know when they need to be walked outside. The problem is the over-entitled stroller jockeys that don't seem to grasp that not everyone finds their screaming brat as cute as they do.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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The problem is the over-entitled stroller jockeys that don't seem to grasp that not everyone finds their screaming brat as cute as they do.

That is excellent. I'm adding "stroller jockeys" to my list of favorite idioms.


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

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Glad I could amuse. It definitely gets the point across, no? :biggrin:

I once had an incident while I was bartending where a group of young plastic surgery residents from one of our city's finest hospitals had a young lady with them who was impeccably groomed, smartly dressed and had a mouth on her that could make a sailor blush. And she was LOUD as well as foul mouthed. I had several other guests comment on how obnoxious she was. After asking them several times to keep it down, I told them to leave. One of the very few times I've had to eject someone from my bar. And looking at her or reading her credentials on paper she would be the least likely candidate. It doesn't matter. Crosses all boundaries.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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When our kids were little they'd be outside after one peep. A few months of that and the bad behavior stopped. They didn't want to be ejected and learned to act like decent humans. No violence, just a quick ejection so there was no doubt that they'd gain nothing by crying.

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At least they left, Katie. I used to tend bar at a pub in San Diego that was owned by yuppies who decided to cater to the professional soccer crowd. The players were great guys. Their fans, not so much. I had a drunken idiot lighting matches and tossing them at me while I was trying to serve. After I told him to get out and he threw another match at me, a huge NZ soccer player picked him up by the scruff of the neck and threw him out on the street. Everyone cheered.

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