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Rosie

Restaurant/Bar Annoyances

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i could care less about the busser also carrying food.

by cross contaimination, i imagine you're referring to germs between the diner recently finished and diner just about to start.

to me, that's relatively miniscule and overly extreme.

I'm not saying that all people have the same issues I do. I know, that when I am serving people in my own home, I clear the table after each course, but I do at least wash my hands before I serve food or put my hands on a clean plate. If nothing else, it's a courtesy.

Does this mean that I don't eat the food they bring me? No. I eat it and enjoy it. I'm saying I would rather know the waiter/waitress had at least made an effort to show that they understand that everything they touch goes into my body.

I can handle anything else that can and will go wrong with a waiter. Well, anything but an empty glass. There's water and something else. Make sure one of them has something in it. That and casual handling of hot liquids. Don't splash the coffee.


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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I dislike being led to a table before it has been cleared and laid, and then having to stand and watch the cleaning up.

I dislike even more being led around the dining room while the host or hostess looks around and tries to decide at which table to seat us.

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And speaking of tablecloths, how about the places that put a sheet of glass over the tablecloth? How often do you think that tablecloth gets washed? It does not affect the food, but it's the equivalent of dry humping a dozen strangers on a bus for 45 minutes.

:laugh:

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I dislike being led to a table before it has been cleared and laid, and then having to stand and watch the cleaning up.

I dislike even more being led around the dining room while the host or hostess looks around and tries to decide at which table to seat us.

i agree on both counts.

naturally, the lower priced the meal, the more it is tolerable.

actually, above $10 for the meal, it isn't tolerable for me.


Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Having worked in food service for many years in many capacities, I am very forgiving in most categories. One of the things that drives me insane, is walking into a place where there are workers "hanging out" at the same time there are unbussed tables. I just want to say to them, "If it looks to you like nothing needs to be done, punch out, we don't want you here."


Edited by HungryChris (log)

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I absolutely hate when a waiter/waitress removes an empty plate while others are still eating.  It drives me nuts!

i hate just the opposite -- i have friends and relatives that eat so slow it's painful. i hate having a dirty, empty plate in front of me for half an hour or longer while they linger over their food.

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I don't think this has been mentioned, but I hate a restaurant that writes the menu on a blackboard and then seats diners under it. I'm sure it is as uncomfortable to eat in that situation as it is to stand over someone's table in order to peruse the menu. I'd have to be desparate before I accepted that table! :angry:

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My husband and I ate at a popular Mexican restaurant last night. We were seated at a two top, placed against a wall, with glass over the linen table cloth. I immediately thought of you folks! Having not been there in years, I noticed that plastic cups had replaced the glassware and printed paper napkins were used instead of the colored cloth ones which were arranged in the stemware. I also noticed the addition of white duet blinds on the windows. They didn't fit the size of the windows and were terribly out of place with the rustic theme of the place. That said, the thing that really ticked me off was when I looked at the faux painted wall, I noticed rust flecks in the paint. I immediatley searched the area of the wall for more of this technique and did not find it. I soon realized that the rust flecks were either mole or enchilada sauce. Gross! Why can't staff pay attention to this sort of thing??? (I did not point this out to my husband, as I didn't want to be an annoying dinner companion.)

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One of my recurrent peeves is when I order coffee at the end of dinner and the server asks if I want cream and/or sugar to which I always respond, "No." Probably 8 out of 10 times, the cream and sugar appear on the table anyways. What bothers me about it is, the server is essentially telling me that they a) aren't really listening or b) don't care. It would be so much better if they just didn't ask and brought cream and sugar automatically.


Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Probably 8 out of 10 times, the cream and sugar appear on the table anyways. What bothers me about it is, the server is essentially telling me that they a) aren't really listening or b) don't care.

because 8 out of 10 times when the customer says "no", they then ask for "well, just a little sugar maybe" after the coffee arrives. :biggrin:

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Probably 8 out of 10 times, the cream and sugar appear on the table anyways.  What bothers me about it is, the server is essentially telling me that they a) aren't really listening or b) don't care.

because 8 out of 10 times when the customer says "no", they then ask for "well, just a little sugar maybe" after the coffee arrives. :biggrin:

Quite possibly true, all the more reason to not even bother asking and just bring the cream and sugar as a matter of course....


Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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This is one of my first posts and I do not think I am in the same league as most of you since I have been to very few fine dining establishments (although I hope to correct that soon). Most of my dining out takes place in local family owned restaurants. Now that you know where this point of view is coming from, here are some of my pet peeves.

I can't stand when I order something such as a salad or maybe a meal that comes on bread or a wrap and the server asks "what kind?" without either telling me what my options are or having them printed on the menu. I am not a mind reader and while I can assume that certain dressings or types of bread are probably available, I do not want to miss out on something they may have that I was not told about.

I really hate when a server sits down at my table and gets all chummy. I am there to dine with the people I came with. If I wanted the server to join me then I would ask them to (which I have done on a few rare occasions).

I do not want a server to be a comedian and try to make me laugh. I am out for a meal, not a show. This would not be such a pet peeve of mine if the ones who did this were funny. Too often they think they are a whole lot funnier than they really are. I do not mind some humor, but do not make a show of it.

That is it for now aside from saying that I have loved lurking on these boards for the past few weeks. I have gained so much insight and such a better understanding of all things food from everyone here. This has really opened my eyes to a whole world that I crave to experience and for that I think you all!


Eat with your eyes as much as your mouth. Check out my photography here.

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I usually prefer beer, rather than wine, with meals. My pet peeve is restaurants that have wine lists but no beer list. Then, what really gets me, is when I ask the server what kinds of beer they have and I get the reply, "All kinds!" I usually then ask for something like a Hanssen's Oud Gueuze or Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus. What the server really means is Bud, Miller, Coors. But doubly frustrating is getting this reaction in brew pubs or upscale places that do in fact serve quality micro-brewed or imported beers. The server needs to be as educated about the beer selections as they should be about the food menu.


Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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This is one of my first posts and I do not think I am in the same league as most of you since I have been to very few fine dining establishments (although I hope to correct that soon).

Welcome, and don't assume that all of the regulars go to Michelin 3-stars morning, noon, and night.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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All the points, from both sides, are interesting.

I have to admit that when a waiter comes up, all chummy, and says "Hi! I'm Kevin and I will be your waiter this evening", I have the urge to introduce myself, and all those at the table, by responding: "Hi! I'm Jo-Ann, this is my husband, Jim ---- " and so on around the table!

Why do we say "Ill have THE Steak, orTHE chicken, or whatever?

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Why do we say "Ill have THE Steak, orTHE chicken, or whatever?

Presumably because there's only one steak or one chicken dish on the menu. If there's more than one, we'd need to identify the dish in more detail.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Why do we say "Ill have THE  Steak, orTHE chicken, or whatever?

Presumably because there's only one steak or one chicken dish on the menu. If there's more than one, we'd need to identify the dish in more detail.

Even with meat choices --- people will say "I'll have THE Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms" or "THE Chicken with Orange Glaze" or "I'll also have THE Grilled Lamb with Onion Marmalade" --- meaning there is more than one of the dish.

I don't know if we've heard this way of ordering and it caught on, if it is an affectation or what. If I don't catch myself, I fall into the habit, but I try not to.

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You simply omit the "the"?

I don't see it as an affectation. If you use "the" before a specific menu item, you're merely identifying that item as unique on the menu.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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the "the" isn't an addition, but rather the word "dish" is being left off at the end. one might say "i'll have the lamb chop dish", or, "i'll have the lamb". or "i'll have lamb", not much unlike a robot. doesn't bother me though, although i tend to use "the" without "dish".

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My pet peeve is the "table turn" so called fine dining places that expect you to have the table back to them in under two hours.  The record is the much mentioned and much more to be mentioned ( in my small minded attempt to drive the sucker out of business - I loathe him that much ) Mirabelle, where MPW's people informed us we could have the table if we turned up at 7.15 but they wanted it back by 8.30 and " by the way that will be £85 of your English pounds per head for the privilege, sir"<p>Gordon "scots git" Ramsay's places are little better.<p>I now make it a habit of asking if they specify a time by which you have to leave the table.  If they do, I cancel the booking, if they do not, I refuse to vacate the table when they start getting angsty about it, particularly when I am spending good brass<p>

Two peeves with one stone.

I don't approve of restaurants giving the customer a time to vacate. Nor do I approve of a customer lingering over an empty table out of spite. Neither seem very civilized.

In the current economy, restaurants do need to turn the tables over in order to make ends meet. Reduction in turnover results in fewer covers results in decreased profits results in restaurants closing results in people unemployed. Having waited tables, I know how the "Godot" tables made a cut in my bottom line. But I wouldn't dream of tossing their asses into the street.

We all like being led to our table at the time we reserved -- and hate to be kept waiting for our table. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all live in a world just slightly larger than ourselves and think about how our actions affect other people. Then maybe restaurants wouldn't feel the need to evict customers. And I'd get my table at the time reserved.


Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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I have to admit that when a waiter comes up, all chummy, and says "Hi! I'm Kevin and I will be your waiter this evening", I have the urge to introduce myself, and all those at the table, by responding: "Hi! I'm Jo-Ann, this is my husband, Jim ---- " and so on around the table!

We did that once, in a restaurant in Provincetown, MA. No, actually it was Larry, husband of my college friend Andrea, who perkily replied, "Nice to meet you! I'm Jim, this is my wife Rowena, and these are our friends, Seymour and Lucy."

That was the start of a downhill slide for the waitress, who, after knocking over a (full) ice bucket among other oopses, disappeared in the middle of our meal.

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Going to somewhere nice,appropriate in every respect, and ending up with the evening from Hell. Perhaps it might not be anyone's specific fault, but you know what I mean. You get in your mode of transportation to go home, and the first thing someone says is "Well--wasn't that interesting." :sad:

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The "Hi, I'm" is annoying, but I always assumed it was some dumb rule imposed on wait staff and certainly not worth badgering or taunting them for. But come to think of it, any place where that happens is pretty well never worth a second visit.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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Hey eGullet,

I have heard a few funnies in restaurants, and the one I hear most often is a customer who wants extra "au jus" for their mashed potatoes, etc. If I am not mistaken, "au jus" means "with the juice", i.e. with the gravy, sauce, etc. Well, I guess this is not so funny. I imagine "au jus" will eventually make it into Webster's as "gravy," the same way "bedroom soot" is now an accepted prononciation for bedroom suite, etc. Another one was a go-getter restauranteur who went on and on about the "verblanc" sauces his chefs made. Er, that's 'b&r 'bla(n), according to Webster's Online. I imagine such utterances come most often from genuine, widespread, and this somewhat excusable ignorance, a la "au jus," or sloppy pretentiousness masking as trade knowledge--thus "verblanc." Oh, and did I mention the same fellow kept talking about his restaurant's "steak ah pwah?" Webster's again: O-'pwäv(r&) Of course I find the pretentious gits funny, and the truly ignorant just, well.....slightly dismaying. Heard any good/frustrating ones lately?


Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"

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