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(Daily Mail)   Top 20 restaurant secrets. #21: You should probably just cook at home   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 218
    More: Sick, markup, restaurant owners, chefs  
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31976 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2013 at 5:41 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-14 10:36:20 PM
Uhhh... #5 is a lie in my town. "Specials" are usually recently caught fish, or used as the only way the chef can express himself from his regular menu items.

I almost almost always order a special precisely because I know it's something the chef wanted to make. (Depending on the item and the mood I'm in.)

And in my day, #`8 was heroin.
 
2013-07-14 10:55:24 PM
I never order fish on Monday, unless I'm eating at a four-star restaurant where I know they are buying their fish directly from the source. I know how old most seafood is on Monday - about four to five days old!

I don't eat mussels in restaurants unless I know the chef, or have seen, with my own eyes, how they store and hold their mussels for service. I love mussels. But, in my experience, most cooks are less than scrupulous in their handling of them. It takes only a single bad mussel, one treacherous little guy hidden among an otherwise impeccable group ... If I'm hungry for mussels, I'll pick the good-looking ones out of your order.

Brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights. How about hollandaise sauce? Not for me. Bacteria love hollandaise. And nobody I know has ever made hollandaise to order. And how long has that Canadian bacon been festering in the walk-in? Remember, brunch is only served once a week - on the weekends. Cooks hate brunch. Brunch is punishment block for the B-Team cooks, or where the farm team of recent dishwashers learn their chops.

-- Anthony Bourdain
 
2013-07-14 10:59:41 PM
Paging hubieto this threat, stat!
 
2013-07-14 11:09:30 PM
Many of these look to be specific to the UK
/US resident, restaurant guy, UK vacationer
 
2013-07-14 11:11:32 PM
These sound like expensive resturant problems.
 
2013-07-14 11:17:06 PM

The Goddamn Batman: Brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights. How about hollandaise sauce? Not for me. Bacteria love hollandaise. And nobody I know has ever made hollandaise to order. And how long has that Canadian bacon been festering in the walk-in? Remember, brunch is only served once a week - on the weekends. Cooks hate brunch. Brunch is punishment block for the B-Team cooks, or where the farm team of recent dishwashers learn their chops.


I worked at Castle Hill for Brunches in the 90's. It was a goddamn war-zone. The hollandaise was made the morning of, and all deliveries were made that Friday for Sunday service. Fresh melon and star fruit pre-cut for all 500 plates.

I had to expedite one day and nearly lost my mind. Well, I was 17. I'm sure restaurants do what Tony says, I've seen it, but you have to be selective of where you eat. Me? I don't give a sh*t of you drop my steak or poke the sh*t out of it. I've seen it and expect it.

Also seen a guy cum in the clam chowder before. I still order clam chowder. Because, f*ck it. I need the protein.
 
2013-07-14 11:35:17 PM
Kitchen Nightmares convinced me most restaurants are filthy cesspools run by crybabies and psychopaths.
 
2013-07-15 12:00:15 AM
Anthony Bourdain exposed far worse things in his book, "Kitchen Confedential".
 
2013-07-15 12:13:31 AM
Most of those read as bullshiat. Though if you're the type of jerk who thinks the folks serving you food don't deserve good wages, you deserve any bodily fluids you wind up eating.
 
2013-07-15 12:22:14 AM
Obvious tag bowing to the porcelain god
 
2013-07-15 12:47:46 AM

Chariset: Paging hubieto this threat, stat!


I was happily slaying grubs in Gears of War: Judgement, and then suddenly felt the call...

i.dailymail.co.uk

It should be noted, that this is a UK paper, and their commentary MAY be skewed from my own American/Caribbean experiences.

1) In America, we have these things called spoons. Yes, I often taste dishes--there's a cup with spoons on the line. You replace spoons as you use them. Often they are plastic, and cheap, and the dishwasher only has to stock the suckers from the To Go line. It is a major health code violation to use spoons in this fashion, at least in the US. Plus...ewwwww...

2) Pizzas are cheap as f*ck, especially if you make your own dough. Yes, I'mma charge you. Generally speaking, restaurants make about a 10% profit margin, if you are lucky. I generally charge a bit more than three times the item cost--30% goes to pay for food, 30% goes to pay for labor, and another 30% goes to keeping the lights on and the rent paid. I can shave off here and there, yeah, I will. My goal is not a 30% food cost, but more like 25%-26%. I do that by keeping market cost on items that are cheaper, to make up for the cost of higher priced ingredients. Every time you send back a steak, and I have to throw another one on, because someone doesn't REALLY know what a medium-rare is, and if it's been to the customer, it goes away, because I'm not getting f*cking hepatitis from some schmuck who comes in off the street. If the customer has touched the plate, it goes into the trash, and I cook another. That comes out of the restaurant's end, so yeah, I'm going to make up my cost on other items. That's the f*cking business,  Francesca Infante, you dolt.

3) See the above. Veggies aren't always cheap though. Neither is squid ink pasta, or the sauces.

4) The bar manager also has to make his cost, see the above, so, yeah, we charge what the market will bear on wines and liquor. It's a business, you dolt.

5) Specials are not about desperation, it's about creative use of inventory. You have only a few peaches, you make a peach salsa, you already have chicken in house, and viola, Peach and Mead Salsa with grilled chicken. Food that goes to waste, is food I still have to pay for. Sunday and Monday are when you see creative use of product, because the weekend is gone, and you may still have three or four ribeyes left, or you see a beef special that makes use of the prime rib you served on Saturday. It's a business, you dolt. If it's in inventory, it's not getting anyone paid. You move product. The same as bookstores. Move product. On the other hand, I get word that asparagus is coming in, or some candy cane beets, and yeah, I'm going to make room on my specials board to make use of local product that's in season. You don't order too much, because when you run out of something, that means that it's paid for.

6) Some restaurants might, but oddly enough, it's more the bar telegraph. Restaurant people hang out with restaurant people. We gossip. We talk. We DO leave notes if there was an incident, and incident reports are SUPPOSED to be filed, not to catalog how rude you were, but to cover asses if there is a complaint lodged with management, the owners, or a lawsuit. You are drunk and disorderly? We log that, so that if a lawsuit comes our way, we have a written record. Same goes with bars. Same goes with bouncers. You log incident reports, the same way you log accidents. It's covering your own ass. It's a business, you dolt.

7) No sh*t, Francesca. Yes, waiters will distract you if the kitchen is backed up, or they forget to put your order in. Duh. Same goes for the f*cking mechanic or your nail salon.

8) And this matters, exactly how? You ask what the house red or white IS, instead of assuming, you dolt.

9) This is why there are these things called wine cabinets. You don't serve wine from a display. Or if you're going to someplace that is, you really need to raise you standards.

10) Yup. Some places do charge for water. And bread. And often, everything in those places is generally a la carte.

11) And this is a "secret?" Way to pad out your list, Francesca.

12) This is so f*cking British, I'm not even going to touch it. Seriously. This is deep English psyche sh*t.

13) If the place is run by incompetents or thieves, that may be so. If someone tries to pad out your bill, you dispute the bill. You pay the f*ck attention, Francesca, you dolt.

14) If your hostess or the owner are shallow asshats, this may be so. Or perhaps this is another terribly British thing. In America, you rotate seatings by section, so your waitstaff get a fair shake on distribution, so that they can make some money. Your seating is more likely due to whose turn it is to get a table. And maybe showing up in a "Too Drunk to F*ck" t-shirt and skinny jeans with your hubby in a wifebeater and more skinny jeans, might get you put in the back, but that's to keep the staff from just laughing at you all night long. Dress appropriately, and maybe try NOT being a dick to the hostess. That goes a long way.

15) I give f*ck all to the Michelin Guide. It is important to some folks, but more and more, restaurateurs are simply put, giving up on the damn thing. The standards are arbitrary, they are often petty, and it's something that is passing, save for society pages, and wannabes who just want to be seen at a cool place, or a rated place, and aren't interested in the food really. I helped the Bluenose Inn get their stars, and it was a pain in the ass, it made everyone's lives miserable, and the "you can charge anything" line, doesn't even touch the extra cost that goes into maintaining that rating--in china, in silver, in labor, in the folding of the f*cking toilet paper after every patron leaves. Yeah, it's THAT much of a pain in the ass. I serve food, a serve decent food, and if you want to kvetch that the table service isn't up to your standard? Door is right there. Don't let it hit you on the ass on the way out, you pompous git.

16) Your half drunk bottle of wine, in the US, goes down the f*cking drain. Maybe in Britain they have laxer laws about that sort of thing. If someone does that here, it's a fair sized violation.

17) Oddly enough, yeah, we do. Because if we're saving tables, we're turning folks away, and, again, it's a f*cking business, you dolt.

18) Cooks and waitstaff, drink, smoke, yes, you see coke, you see heroin, you see a LOT of weed, but most often, it's just plain alcohol. Because we're cooks, and we work hard, and we play hard, and we have access to booze, and most of the cooks I employ smoke weed. Coke? That's for waitstaff. Cooks are often damaged folks, and yeah, you're smoking a cigarette, and a cute waitress wants you to do a line off her boobs, you do it. And laugh all the while, and get back into the kitchen, suck down some coffee, maybe cut with a little bourbon, and get on with the night. We're not saints. Professionals? Yup, but the life is often fraught with danger, and substance abuse is a big one. Lots of stress, lots of opportunities, getting out late at night, with friends who work in bars, are in bands, and friends with waitresses who have boyfriends or buddies who deal, yeah, we often all party together. I wonder if Francesca realizes how many bankers do blow?

19) WTF are you nattering on about, Francesca? WTF? This is an oddly British turn of phrase...

20) In the US, we run about 30% for female chefs. That doesn't mean cooks, that means accredited chefs. That's something that the UK might want to look at.
 
2013-07-15 01:47:14 AM
A friend once saw a flake of deodorant fall from the armpit of a guy in a sleeveless shirt reaching for something at the Golden Corral buffet line. We now call it Eccoli Corral.
 
2013-07-15 02:00:51 AM
Worked in restaurants in the US for almost a decade before I gave it up. hubiestubert hit most of the high points, but here we go:

#1: Yuck, no. In every restaurant I've worked in, cooks have a cambro of clean spoons at their station, and a cambro of sanitizer at their feet. Clean spoon comes out for a sample, dirty spoon goes into the sanitizer. The bucket of dirty spoons in sanitizer goes through dish at the end of the night.

#5: That's the business. You've 86ed an item on your menu because you are missing an ingredient? The rest of the ingredients get thrown into a special. Great dishes are born this way.

#7: Duh

#9: If the restaurants you visit are selling their display wines, you might want to go to another restaurant.

#13: Bullshiat. Any items added are a legitimate mistake. No waiter in the US, who relies on your tips to make a living, is going to do this and risk pissing off his or her customer. There is literally no profit in it for the waiter.

#14: Bullshiat in high volume corporate restaurants. Maybe at your fancier restaurants in urban areas, the trendy kind that very carefully manage their reputation and charge enormous amounts for the privilege of being seen there, but not at any "normal" restaurant.

#16: Bullshiat, and gross. Any restaurant doing this in the US would catch a health code violation. Plus the staff is guaranteed to blab it about town. Half empty bottles are thrown in the trash, I've never seen even the poorest waitstaff try to take one home.

#18: Yup. Deal with it.

#19: Bullshiat. A bottle of wine that the house charges $20+ dollars for is the last thing that is going to walk out of the restaurant, and any staff taking one will be fired. The most common alcohol that walks is hard liquor from open bottles, because it is harder to inventory. And usually only if you are cool with the bartender or manager; restaurants frown heavily on employees walking out with product.

Overall, this list of "secrets" was about three times as bad as your average Cracked list, and that's saying something.
 
2013-07-15 02:55:08 AM
hubiestubert: Chariset: Paging hubie to this threat, stat!

I was happily slaying grubs in Gears of War: Judgement, and then suddenly felt the call...


Thank you for your service to this thread, culinary soldier.  As you were.
 
2013-07-15 03:03:32 AM
Either Britain's entire restaurant business consists of cheap, seedy greasy spoons, or this woman is a freaking moron.  Half of this crap is common knowledge sensationalized, and the other half is rare horrors presented as common.

What farking chef uses a tasting spoon more than once?  Is this woman so stupid that she's confused by the fact that restaurants often have sets of spoons that *gasp* all look alike?  For fark's sake...

A vast number of factors will determine which table you get.  If reservations are light, and you come in early, you may be seated in a window to drive up walk-in business by making the place look desirable.  VIPs will probably get a specific table if they they want one, meaning you can't have it.  It may be necessary to push certain tables together later in the evening for a large party, so they may not be available to you just because they're currently empty.  As hubie said, some restaurants seat on a rotation so servers get equal seating and don't get overloaded, which can impact the functioning of the bar and the kitchen.  Restaurants run on a delicate balance that all starts at the door, so if a hostess takes you to a particular table, there's a good reason for it.  Sit the fark down, stop weighing the impact of every farking detail on your social status, and shut up.

Restaurants keep a "black book" and refuse reservations based on it?  God, I wish that were true.  The closest thing I've seen is a place using Open Table or something similar to keep track of people who take forever at the table every time they come in. These people may only be offered reservations at times when this won't cause problems for other guests.  The bright side is, the same restaurant used the database to keep track of people's food allergies, preferences, birthdays, anniversaries, and other info that could be used to do nice things for them when they visited.
Look, if you're worried about ending up in a book of rude, difficult people that act badly enough that a restaurant doesn't want your business.... try making "not being an asshole when you go out" one of your priorities.

News flash:  all wine in restaurants is marked up between 50 and 200% over retail, ("retail" meaning local retail which varies dramatically depending on your state's liquor laws).  The cheapest bottles almost always have the highest mark-up. That's business.  Know what has an even higher mark-up?  Soda.

hubiestubert: 16) Your half drunk bottle of wine, in the US, goes down the f*cking drain gets polished off by the staff after the shift for educational purposes, usually at the som's discretion.


Let's be honest about this one, shall we?
Also, a lot of states are passing laws now that allow you to take your unfinished wine home with you which is best for everyone, including the other drivers who have to share the road with you after you go out.

To sum up:  Go home Francesca, you are drunk.
 
2013-07-15 03:10:42 AM
Yeah, kitchen confidential was way more alarming.
 
FNG [TotalFark]
2013-07-15 03:26:44 AM
How surprising, restaurant workers do disgusting things to the food you will be eating.
 
2013-07-15 06:12:16 AM

NewportBarGuy: And in my day, #`8 was heroin


That's certainly one helluva way to increase sales of house wine. And repeat business.
 
2013-07-15 06:15:36 AM
I didn't realize there were resident chefs here.

Questions: What do you do for vegetarians? Is it ever worth it for a vegetarian to go to a high-end restaurant (as in, will they ever get something besides a few sides of steamed vegetables)? Do they annoy you (as in, you have to cook something you don't want to)?

All of the high-end restaurants near me are heavy into meat. Not only meat, weird types of meat. Fear Factor type stuff. All meat is Fear Factor territory for me, but some is weirder than others. It's hard to even find a salad these days that is vegetarian!
 
2013-07-15 06:18:17 AM
Wow, British restaurants must be way worse than the ones here in the states. Well, except for the coke.
 
2013-07-15 06:21:19 AM

swingerofbirches: I didn't realize there were resident chefs here.

Questions: What do you do for vegetarians? Is it ever worth it for a vegetarian to go to a high-end restaurant (as in, will they ever get something besides a few sides of steamed vegetables)? Do they annoy you (as in, you have to cook something you don't want to)?

All of the high-end restaurants near me are heavy into meat. Not only meat, weird types of meat. Fear Factor type stuff. All meat is Fear Factor territory for me, but some is weirder than others. It's hard to even find a salad these days that is vegetarian!


I don't know from high-end restaurants, but I've cooked in good places. You have to choose a restaurant based on physical location. Find a nice restaurant near coffee shops, libraries, rock n roll bars, etc. If there are virgins with money around, restaurants will serve good virgin food. If not, we'll slip bacon grease into your food just to be dicks.
 
2013-07-15 06:24:52 AM

NewportBarGuy: Uhhh... #5 is a lie in my town. "Specials" are usually recently caught fish, or used as the only way the chef can express himself from his regular menu items.

I almost almost always order a special precisely because I know it's something the chef wanted to make. (Depending on the item and the mood I'm in.)

And in my day, #`8 was heroin.


#18 is the only remotely true thing on that list. And I can't believe that comes as a shock to any moderately sentient life form.

/just finished my second double shift in a row
//drug free
///sigh
 
2013-07-15 06:26:22 AM

NewportBarGuy: And in my day, #`8 was heroin.


The house wine was HEROIN?
 
2013-07-15 06:26:59 AM

swingerofbirches: I didn't realize there were resident chefs here.

Questions: What do you do for vegetarians? Is it ever worth it for a vegetarian to go to a high-end restaurant (as in, will they ever get something besides a few sides of steamed vegetables)? Do they annoy you (as in, you have to cook something you don't want to)?

All of the high-end restaurants near me are heavy into meat. Not only meat, weird types of meat. Fear Factor type stuff. All meat is Fear Factor territory for me, but some is weirder than others. It's hard to even find a salad these days that is vegetarian!


OK, a slightly more serious answer: find yourself some time. Hit the restaurant bars at 3:15 pm. You'll see either the x chef or the sous chef there, either drinking and f*cking off between lunch cleanup and dinner prep, or doing actual projections and prep lists with a bourbon in hand. Ask the chef if he has any good virgin food he'd be willing to cook for you if you promised not to give a sh*t about your ticket time. Odds are, without the time pressure, he'll come up with something amazing for you. Just, please, if you're a picky eater, just stay the f*ck at home. No chef in the world wants to make a "fabulous" virgin dish, except the customer doesn't like f*cking vegetables.
 
2013-07-15 06:27:10 AM
my mere eight years of experience (and more as "cook" than chef) is nothing next to hubiestubert, or his wit, but i am just here to second the notion that this list was half comprised of blindingly obvious truths that would surprise noone, and half comprised of simply idiotic notions that barely make any sense at all...
 
2013-07-15 06:28:19 AM
DAILY MAIL. All content may be misrepresented, exaggerated, or simply made up.

On the basis of my college experiences:

#1 Very very unlikely in anywhere with any standards, not to mention a health violation
#2,3,4,5,7,8 well, duh
#6 Yes, this happens
#9 Maybe in a terrible Chinese restaurant where you're paying £8 a head for three courses
#10 I have never seen a table fee or unavoidable bread in a British restaurant. Was this translated from Italian?
#11 Yup
#12 Ditto
#13 No, not worth the hassle. Turning round tables and earning tips is more profitable for all concerned than arguing the toss over 'mistaken' items
#14, 15 Only in Mayfair
#16 Illegal, plus all kinds of gross crap ends up in table served bottles
#17 Untrue
#18 Seemed to be mostly alcohol and Marlboro Light to me
#19 ???
#20 Yes, ditto bus drivers. Not terribly relevant to the experience of using their services.

hubiestubert: 12) This is so f*cking British, I'm not even going to touch it. Seriously. This is deep English psyche sh*t.


Wait, are you asserting that it's not reasonably common to have dishes to share in US restaurants?

/confused
 
2013-07-15 06:31:54 AM

swingerofbirches: Questions: What do you do for vegetarians?



"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn.  To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It's healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I've worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold.

Oh, I'll accomodate them, I'll rummage around for something to feed them, for a 'vegetarian plate', if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine."
--Tony Bourdain
 
2013-07-15 06:33:21 AM

swingerofbirches: I didn't realize there were resident chefs here.

Questions: What do you do for vegetarians? Is it ever worth it for a vegetarian to go to a high-end restaurant (as in, will they ever get something besides a few sides of steamed vegetables)? Do they annoy you (as in, you have to cook something you don't want to)?

All of the high-end restaurants near me are heavy into meat. Not only meat, weird types of meat. Fear Factor type stuff. All meat is Fear Factor territory for me, but some is weirder than others. It's hard to even find a salad these days that is vegetarian!


A decent chef know that over half their best recipes have no meat in whatsoever. Sure, there is butter, cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar,  Oh, sorry, got carried away

Anyway, a good chef worth their salt will make amazing vegetarian options. Mushrooms are amazingly versatile as a meat substitute. I eat meat. Lots of meat but even I know that many dishes are meat free and really tasty. A restaurant that puts some meat on every plate is just trying to get money because people are willing to pay more for meat dishes.

Salad? £2.50
Chicken breast? £2
Chicken salad? £6
 
2013-07-15 06:34:52 AM
#22:  McDonald's

t.qkme.me
 
2013-07-15 06:37:35 AM
On a side note, I am vegetarian and I eat meat. I try to do it healthily though and avoid cheap cuts or anything too fatty.

Anyone who says vegetarians can`t eat meat does not know what the word means...
 
2013-07-15 06:38:16 AM

staplermofo: Kitchen Nightmares convinced me most restaurants are filthy cesspools run by crybabies and psychopaths.


Years working in restaurants has convinced me that most customers are self entitled ill-mannered assholes, so guess we're even.

/yeah, we're all crybabies who somehow manage to work 14 hours a day on our feet being pleasant to douchbag customers
 
2013-07-15 06:41:15 AM
The vegetarian society founded in Manchester, UK, in 1847, says that the word "vegetarian" is derived from the Latin word vegetus meaning lively or vigorous.

I am lively and vigorous and I eat meat.

Ergo : I am vegetarian.
 
2013-07-15 06:42:35 AM

dready zim: On a side note, I am vegetarian and I eat meat. I try to do it healthily though and avoid cheap cuts or anything too fatty.

Anyone who says vegetarians can`t eat meat does not know what the word means...


lh3.ggpht.com
 
2013-07-15 06:44:22 AM
Francesca sounds like a stupid kunt with an axe to grind.
 
2013-07-15 06:50:03 AM
+++ for hubiestubert
 
2013-07-15 06:54:00 AM
#18 - Its true that a lot of restaurant workers use drugs. In my experience that is absolutely true.
 
2013-07-15 06:54:21 AM
Having worked in restaurants for almost a decade as a younger man, I very rarely go out to eat anymore... I prefer to prepare my own food, as I can attest to the quality of the raw ingredients and the cleanliness of the preparation and cooking of it. If I do go out to eat it's usually to a place I'm very familiar with.

Boring, I know.
 
2013-07-15 06:55:18 AM
img.photobucket.com
 
2013-07-15 06:57:09 AM
Rude people being blacklisted. That's just so rude.
 
2013-07-15 06:57:35 AM

dready zim: The vegetarian society founded in Manchester, UK, in 1847, says that the word "vegetarian" is derived from the Latin word vegetus meaning lively or vigorous.

I am lively and vigorous and I eat meat.

Ergo : I am vegetarian a farking idiot.


Fixed that for you.
 
2013-07-15 07:00:41 AM
#21- Olive Garden isn't that bad
 
2013-07-15 07:02:20 AM
That was a screwy Daily Mail article. I'm not sure who it was aimed at and who I need to hate. Am I a woman who should be shocked at the unsanitary conditions of my restaurant? Am I a man angry that my woman is making the food industry shiate? Daily Mail you are too confusing today!
 
2013-07-15 07:06:42 AM

dready zim: On a side note, I am vegetarian and I eat meat. I try to do it healthily though and avoid cheap cuts or anything too fatty.

Anyone who says vegetarians can`t eat meat does not know what the word means...


Uh...

A person who does not eat...meat...

What do you think it means?
 
2013-07-15 07:07:36 AM
Ah, Daily Fail.

My restaurant tips:

> Be pleasant and friendly to the staff, and they will generally be pleasant and friendly to you.  Treat them with respect and you should get it back.

> You're not perfect, and neither are they.  Mistakes will happen.  They are unlikely to be the end of the world.  Chill out.

> If you trying to eat in a hurry just before an event, you're an idiot and bad things will happen.  Eat after the event or WAY ahead of time.  Plan properly.

> If you have special requirements, explain them clearly and in a friendly and polite manner.

> When you've had great service, don't just leave a tip - call the manager over and tell them.  Next time you walk in, you'll be treated like royalty.

> If you've had a bad experience, call the manager and explain calmly and politely what has happened.  Things go bad sometimes - that's life - but telling people what went wrong may prevent it happening to others, and they may learn from it.

> A meal out is as pleasant or as unpleasant as YOU make it.  Yes, YOU.  Be a dick, get a bowl of dicks to eat.  Be happy, have a happy time.

One experience stands out in my memory vividly.  I was in a very nice fish restaurant in Hartford (CT) with seven others.After looking at the menu, I made my choice and thought no more of it.  About five minutes later, the young waitress came back, looking quite forlorn and worried, and told me my fish choice was unavailable.  To my amazement, the other seven diners looked aghast, thinking this was a terrible thing and obviously awaiting an explosion from me.  (I'm not sure which was more surprising to me - the way the waitress was afraid to approach the table, or the fact the others expected my to lose my temper, which I've never done in public.)  I smiled at her sweetly, told her not to worry, looked at the menu again and made another choice.  She scurried off and when I turned back to my dinner companions, there was a general stunned look.  "You didn't yell at her - you were so calm - why?"  "It wasn't her fault, why take it out on her?", I replied, still baffled by their reaction.

Five minutes later, the waitress was back.  This time, she looked like the condemned heading for the gallows.  In a shaking voice, she explained that my second choice was, again, unavailable.  The intake of breath from everyone else at the table was audible.  This poor girl was literally quaking with fear (a sure sign that behind the scenes, the manager was probably a bit of a bastard).  I simply smiled at her and said, "These things happen, please don't worry - what's your favorite thing on the menu?  I'll have that", while smiling and talking in a soft, friendly voice.  She smiled back and went to the kitchen, looking like she'd just be given a governor's pardon.  The others had their jaws on the floor.  "Why didn't you complain or make a fuss?"  "What good what that have done?  Would she have gone out and caught the fish I wanted? No."

I had a lovely swordfish, a great evening, and made a young waitress very happy - result all around.  But I will never understand why the others thought it would be appropriate to act like a twunt and throw my toys out the playpen because I couldn't get a particular fish.  Life is way too short to act like dick over things that are utterly unimportant.
 
2013-07-15 07:14:14 AM

karmachameleon: dready zim: On a side note, I am vegetarian and I eat meat. I try to do it healthily though and avoid cheap cuts or anything too fatty.

Anyone who says vegetarians can`t eat meat does not know what the word means...

Uh...

A person who does not eat...meat...

What do you think it means?


www.comedy.co.uk
Stephen Fry would like to have a word with you...

Series G - Green breakdown and semi-transcript. You can find the vid on YouTube, but I think most vegetarians agree to a minimum of animal these days.
 
2013-07-15 07:15:28 AM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: "Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It's healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I've worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold.

Oh, I'll accomodate them, I'll rummage around for something to feed them, for a 'vegetarian plate', if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine."


I really like him as a food/travel presenter, and I don't know why he has to be such a dick about it. I've had great vegetarian food in road side stalls in Thailand, beach shacks in Indonesia, pizzerias in Italy, Buddhist hangouts in Taiwan, and all over the world. For someone who spends a lot of time immersing himself in culture, it seems almost pathological to refuse to admit that a sizable chunk of the world exists with little to no meat, either through religions like Hinduism and Buddhism or simply economics, and they don't lead sad lives because of it.
 
2013-07-15 07:18:38 AM
meh. I think I can live with most of those.

ive made it thus far in life not worrying about stuff like this and im in rude health
 
2013-07-15 07:19:32 AM

Life_is_a_carnivore: +++ for hubiestubert


Yarp. As soon as I saw this, I was hoping he'd weigh in :)

Closest I ever got to waitressing was a mall food court, and decided without a counter between me and the masses, there was no way I was delving further into food service. I salute all of you for your fortitude.

/my poison is retail
//oh god, the Pokemon year...
 
2013-07-15 07:19:58 AM

ElPresidente: "What good what that have done? Would she have gone out and caught the fish I wanted? No."


Maybe.  If you'd YELLED LOUD ENOUGH!!!!

But seriously, good on ya.  I farking hate douchbags that get an ego trip from yelling at staff.
 
2013-07-15 07:24:11 AM
Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich:
I really like him as a food/travel presenter, and I don't know why he has to be such a dick about it. I've had great vegetarian food in road side stalls in Thailand, beach shacks in Indonesia, pizzerias in Italy, Buddhist hangouts in Taiwan, and all over the world. For someone who spends a lot of time immersing himself in culture, it seems almost pathological to refuse to admit that a sizable chunk of the world exists with little to no meat, either through religions like Hinduism and Buddhism or simply economics, and they don't lead sad lives because of it.

vegetarian food is great. good vegetarian food can't lean on reliable ol' Meat to take the starring role so has to be imaginative about creating flavour. we're probably going to get a vegetarian restaurant to do the canapes at our wedding, and neither of us are veggie
 
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