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fujii
16th Aug 2016, 11:48
Some things done in restaurants really annoy me. I don't know if it is peculiar to where I live but here are three for a start.

You sit down and the waiter immediately tries to put the napkin on your lap. I don't want it done then and am quite capable of doing it myself. It's not service, it's just annoying.

Menus which show the price without the zero. E.g. 16.5 instead of 16.50

Food served on a flat piece of wood from where it drops off the edge. Give me a proper plate.

SpringHeeledJack
16th Aug 2016, 12:05
There's only so many ways to polish a turd! Ultimately the simple things done well will win with customers, but before and after will be the 1001 restauranteurs trying to entice customers with gimmicks. Attentive service that is unobtrusive wins every time. I had lunch the other day in a place that seemed to oblige their staff to walk in a circle almost continuously checking up on the tables. Very annoying and I would've complained bitterly, except for the fact that the waitresses were all gorgeous.

SOPS
16th Aug 2016, 12:05
I can't stand the napkin in your lap thing.

Fareastdriver
16th Aug 2016, 12:12
I stuff it in my collar so it protects the shirt.

TWT
16th Aug 2016, 12:17
You walk in,wait for a short time while no-one takes any notice of you.Then you select your own table.No-one comes with a menu,so you grab one off a desk.After 20 minutes of being ignored,you walk out.

emeritus
16th Aug 2016, 12:26
What really gets "up my nose" are waiters who lean across in front of me, ie approach on my right and place something on my left.:=

Should come under the heading of justifiable homicide !!

Emeritus.

meadowrun
16th Aug 2016, 12:26
Some restauranteurs and chefs seem to consider producing food to be an art.
It isn't - at its best it is a craft.
I hate pretentious food and will never go to a restaurant that claims to be "nouvelle cuisine" because I know the chef will have a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass in his kit along with his knives and he will spend more time and thought in arty placement than cooking. I shudder to think how much food is wasted in this style of preparation in order to produce a small plate on the menu as "Legumes Sublime de Printemps - 19". The 19 is the price, eliminating any decimals and $ signs entirely.


The fanciest I ever go is for is a done well Chicken Kiev.

onetrack
16th Aug 2016, 13:57
fujii - Hear, hear! - on all three annoying points. Glad to see I'm not the only one annoyed by them.
Add to the list - food given fancy names and higher-than-normal prices - that when it turns up, is no tastier or enjoyable than that served by the cafe around the corner, with its simply-named, cheaper, tastier, and well-presented food.

Ancient Mariner
16th Aug 2016, 14:05
If fancy restaurants are such a pain in the ass, why go there?
Per

oldchina
16th Aug 2016, 14:28
Mariner, you have a point.
I've nothing against fine restaurants with good service.
What I can't stand are poor restaurants that try to compensate by attempting posh service. e.g. I am not yet so
feeble that I can't pour my own wine. Plus I hate waiters who hover and stare at the customers the whole time.
Over here the good inexpensive restaurants are always so busy there's never any time for all this irritating crap.

sitigeltfel
16th Aug 2016, 14:37
You walk in,wait for a short time while no-one takes any notice of you.Then you select your own table.No-one comes with a menu,so you grab one off a desk.After 20 minutes of being ignored,you walk out.

Twenty minutes? Three minutes without the menu and a carafe of water sees me out the door!

Ancient Mariner
16th Aug 2016, 14:46
Mariner, you have a point.
I've nothing against fine restaurants with good service.
What I can't stand are poor restaurants that try to compensate by attempting posh service. e.g. I am not yet so
feeble that I can't pour my own wine. Plus I hate waiters who hover and stare at the customers the whole time.
Over here the good inexpensive restaurants are always so busy there's never any time for all this irritating crap.
Fair enough, part of good service to me is having the glasses filled at all times without noticing it being done.
Per

ChrisVJ
16th Aug 2016, 16:05
Went to a 'family' restaurant last night. Had to wait nearly ten minutes to get served. Result: Free meal (including beer.)

Actually we had a gift card earned through points but now we still have it so we have to go back to spend it and they do really good ribs so we might put up with the service anyway!

Metro man
16th Aug 2016, 16:13
A common trick is to keep you waiting for your table and suggesting you have a drink in the bar while you wait. The mark up is the usual horrendous one on something you would not have bought if you'd gone straight to your table.

Hygiene standards in fancy restaurants can be appalling whilst fast food chains are usually fairly good.

The old test when in a foreign country of whether the locals (not tourists) are prepared to line up still stands. For good recommendations look to local Internet forums for reviews by people who live in the location and know the cuisine. A tourist may know if a hotel is of a good standard but is unlikely to know the best place for a romantic dinner in a city he's never been to before.

Sallyann1234
16th Aug 2016, 16:29
Excuse me for putting on my pedant's hat, but there is no 'n' in restaurateur.

ATNotts
16th Aug 2016, 16:49
Leaving aside the pretentious segment of the market, what really gets my goat is when your waiter / waitress comes over half way through the meal, sometimes even sooner, before you've had a chance to take a bite - and asks "is everything okay?".

For pity's sake, if I wanted "okay" food, I'd cook it at home - I go out to eat food that is better / more interesting than I can make at home.

I was in a restaurant a few years ago in Ponta Delgada, Azores - it was actaully the training restaurant of the city's college of food. A poor, unfortunate trainee went up to a (German) diner and asked him, in her best English, which was pretty good if his food was okay. He responded by saying that he didn't expect okay food, and proceeded to give her what must have been a dozen other / better ways of asking a diner how their meal is - all of them English.

I felt really sorry for the girl, but I feel sure that she never again asked anyone if anything was okay!

Tankertrashnav
16th Aug 2016, 16:50
Hygiene standards in fancy restaurants can be appalling whilst fast food chains are usually fairly good.

Read the first part of Down and Out in Paris and London where Orwell was working in a posh Parisian hotel. Pretty horrendous, and though I expect it's not so bad now I should imagine the principle still applies.

I've given up going to upmarket restaurants because my back (and bum) gets sore after sitting around for a couple of hours interspersed with short periods of actual eating. I also no longer see the point in paying £50 a head for a meal which Mrs TTN and I can knock up at home for a tenner.

ImageGear
16th Aug 2016, 17:09
Some good, some excellent, some very bad.

NEVER send anything back unless you want the Chefs to play football on the kitchen floor with your steak/lamb/pork/ribs,etc and then stick it back on the grill for 5 minutes.

Play other disgusting games with any other items on your plate, and/or contribute some additional, definitely unwanted, "sauce" to your order.

Personal insight from a family member who worked in a very posh English Golf Club restaurant with high prices and significant cache.

Just take it or leave it

Imagegear

747 jock
16th Aug 2016, 17:26
Excuse me for putting on my pedant's hat, but there is no 'n' in restaurateur.

Best you take that hat off again because there can be an "n" in there.

Restauranteur | Definition, meaning & more | Collins Dictionary (http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/restauranteur)

restauranteur
(ˌrɛstərɒnˈtɜː)

Definitions

Collins English Dictionary

noun
another name for restaurateur

lomapaseo
16th Aug 2016, 17:31
I suppose that one man's rant is another man's pleasure

but for me I can't stand after just being seated that the server asks would you like to order a drink without even giving you time to put your napkin on your lap. Add to that a drink menu of only exotic drinks with no prices on anything until you get slapped with the check later.

Meanwhile I shun places with plastic menus and pretty pictures and tabletops with streaks of whatever on them.

Did you ever try and walk through a pancake or waffle place without one of your feet sticking to the floor and the salt shaker condiment dispenser that sticks to your hand.

Ancient Mariner
16th Aug 2016, 18:22
I suppose that one man's rant is another man's pleasure

but for me I can't stand after just being seated that the server asks would you like to order a drink without even giving you time to put your napkin on your lap. Add to that a drink menu of only exotic drinks with no prices on anything until you get slapped with the check later.

Meanwhile I shun places with plastic menus and pretty pictures and tabletops with streaks of whatever on them.

Did you ever try and walk through a pancake or waffle place without one of your feet sticking to the floor and the salt shaker condiment dispenser that sticks to your hand.
Indeed, my wife and I would always like an aperitif while we ponder the menu.
We do not go to restaurants just to be fed, but for the experience. Be it Michelin star one or a local family restaurant. Always something to learn which can be testet later back home.
Per

Pontius Navigator
16th Aug 2016, 18:40
"Do you do children's portions?"

Yes, half of any adult portion.

"Can I have half the baguette?"

No, not the baguette.

"If I have two?" (Two children)

No, if we did it for you we would have to do it for everyone.

!!!!!!

This a street cafe and not a soul under 18 in sight.

Don't mind the napkin thing. On cruise ships my chair is pulled out I sit and he has put the chair where I will sit. Then the napkin followed by water, bread rolls, menu and wine waiter. Water kept topped up as it wine glass. Don t even need to put sauces or pepper on the food, all done for me.

Rwy in Sight
16th Aug 2016, 18:58
When the waiter manages to see though you and manage to acknowledge do come along for you to order something.

ExXB
16th Aug 2016, 19:33
You guys are just going to the wrong restaurants.

ricardian
16th Aug 2016, 19:50
Some things done in restaurants really annoy me. I don't know if it is peculiar to where I live but here are three for a start.

You sit down and the waiter immediately tries to put the napkin on your lap. I don't want it done then and am quite capable of doing it myself. It's not service, it's just annoying.

Menus which show the price without the zero. E.g. 16.5 instead of 16.50

Food served on a flat piece of wood from where it drops off the edge. Give me a proper plate.
fujii - you may find this website (http://wewantplates.com/) interesting (or infuriating)

james ozzie
16th Aug 2016, 19:51
When the waitron interrupts conversation with shrieks of "FISH?" "STEAK?" instead of having a seating plan or seat numbers on the order pad. (I have on occasion taken the wrong plate through forgetting what I ordered or misunderstanding the pretentious dish names)

When the waitron stretches across me instead of walking around.

But, yes, I guess I go to the wrong places. Budgets, ya know...

Pontius Navigator
16th Aug 2016, 20:00
Watched the professionals in the mess at Akrotiri, Greek and Turk. Lots of tables, two rows, most occupied. When not serving the stewards would stand in a line along the kitchen wall.

They would be surveying the diners at each table BUT when it came to their table their eyes would slide over and see nothing; they had it to a fine art.

Sallyann1234
16th Aug 2016, 20:10
747jock

The French word for a person who owns or runs a restaurant is restaurateur, with no n, and this is the spelling used most often in English, especially in edited writing. Restauranteur, with an n, appears in English about once for every ten instances of restaurateur. But while this spelling is common and has a long history, many people consider it wrong.

Restaurateur vs. restauranteur - Grammarist (http://grammarist.com/spelling/restaurateur/)

Rossian
16th Aug 2016, 20:29
......surely you are not dissing the gorgeous George??

"Good evening sirs you are very welcome in this officers' mess at Akrotiri"
Very attentive he was. Especially if you replied in Greek.

The Ancient Mariner

747 jock
16th Aug 2016, 21:33
Sallyann1234
But while this spelling is common and has a long history, many people consider it wrong.

All that states is that many people consider it wrong and not that it is wrong.
As long as the spelling in question appears in dictionaries then even though it may be rarely used that way, it can be if someone wishes it.
As your link also states, restaurateur is simply the spelling used most often in English, and it doesn't say that it's the only spelling used in English.

Local Variation
16th Aug 2016, 22:14
There is a trick played in certain restaurants, typically curry houses, where diners in largish groups receive bottles of beer that haven't been asked for. They quietly find their way onto the table unrequested, unnoticed and on purpose.

Had this happen on more than one occasion.

Effluent Man
16th Aug 2016, 22:17
I have always used it sans the "n", but I was just being pretentious. What I hate is waiters taking the wine bottle away and pouring it for you. I usually say quite grumpily "just leave it".

Sue Vêtements
16th Aug 2016, 22:35
For me it's when you sit down and the table next to you, or for that matter one as far away as possible from you leaves and the busboy comes and cleans the table, including spraying it with windex.

Except that he doesn't spray the table he atomises windex into a vaguely toxic cloud that sooner or later permeates the entire restaurant and destroys any chance you have of enjoying your food. It's like sitting in the middle of a hazmat spill.

I also hate the "wine dance" - you know where they pour you one milliliter of wine so that you have the option to taste it and say "Yes that's good". tryng to refrain from adding "Now fill up my fooking glass you [email protected]".

And the refilling of wine glasses. LEAVE IT ALONE; IT'S NOT YOURS :*

I almost punched out a waiter at TGIFriday's once because he was just such an annoying ****! I was able to stop myself because it was a work do so would have looked bad.


Another one. I went into an Italian place and the waiter wrote his name on the (paper) table cloth in wax crayon. I wish I'd told him to get me another one - and no, I don't CARE what your name is.

Paper table cloths. I've graduated from the kiddies table ffs. What'll be next? I get my drink in a sippy cup?

Sue Vêtements
16th Aug 2016, 22:43
Bus boys who roll out that disgusting cart full of unrecognisable bits of (hopefully) once-food then proceed to clear the table by hurling everything into the disgusting grey bowl, like they're back in the prison canteen again and making so much noise you can hardly talk over it.

And one place I went into was so dark that I stood up, walked into the aisle between the tables and held the menu up to the 10W light bulb to see if I could read it. Than I still had to guess what was on there so I just ordered Lasagna because EVERY Italian place has Lasagna.

I went to an Italian place once (not with Bobby Fischer) and actually said "Well it's Italian and you know ... it's impossible to do bad Italian, so I'll have the sampler platter so I can see what their stuff is like". I kid you not EVERYTHING was shyte! how can you fek up Italian? So add any bad Italian place to the list.




Bobby Fischer: so I went out to a nice Italian restaurant last night with Bobby Fischer, you know the kind of romantic place with candles and a red and white checked tablecloth. I asked him to pass me the salt ... and it took him ten minutes!

WIDN62
17th Aug 2016, 00:30
"May we have the menu please?"

"Menu! Kebab or Half Kebab. How much Kokkinelli?"

RedhillPhil
17th Aug 2016, 00:42
You walk in,wait for a short time while no-one takes any notice of you.Then you select your own table.No-one comes with a menu,so you grab one off a desk.After 20 minutes of being ignored,you walk out.


Just had the opposite.
We had a family meal in what was recommended as a really excellent pub/diner. The service was indifferently slow up to the point where Mrs. RedhillPhil was brought the wrong meal. Eventually it was sorted out and, "would you like to see the dessert menu""? Yes please. That was the last we saw of the waitress and her colleague. We hung around for twelve minutes waiting for someone to appear before it was, "you lot go and wait in the car whilst I pay the bill at the bar". Said bar person totally ignored me and carried on chatting to other people. I gave up and walked out. I still wonder if anyone realised what happened.

Metro man
17th Aug 2016, 01:10
Some of the best food I have eaten has been in Thailand, the Thais seem to be able to do other cuisines just as well as their own and an Italian or Greek meal in Bangkok is unlikely to disappoint.

No need to spend much either, one of the best Thai meals I ever had was in the canteen at a factory outlet shopping centre in Phuket. Two old ladies on the beach under an awning did a fantastic stir fry as well. Shopping centre food courts are a good bet as the food is authentic but the hygiene standards are far superior to street sellers who have no access to running water or refrigeration.

Speaking of drink scams, bottled water is high on the list. Evian, which costs more than some cheaper wines is the brand of choice in many cases where chilled and filtered tap water is all that is wanted. In Paris order a carafe of water or you will get some poncy over priced designer brand.

Pace
17th Aug 2016, 02:04
I hate it when you ask to pay the bill and after 10 minutes someone walks all the way to your table with just that the bill!
As I only pay cash on small items and restaurant bills are high items they then have to go all the way back to get a card machine
These machines are set up to take as much as possible
Add a gratuity 10% 15 % ?
Do you wish to contribute to XYZ charity ?

V2-OMG!
17th Aug 2016, 02:31
Remember binos? He called me the ultimate food snob. Maybe so, but you may find this list useful some day:

Restaurants to Avoid:

- restaurants with a big sign

- restaurants plunked beside a freeway/motorway interchange. The food is usually so horrible that they hope you will die in a car accident and won't have a chance to pen another bad review

- anything with "Family" or "Home Cookin'" in the name/tagline

- restaurants with a "Cook Wanted" sign in the window

- restaurants with "Daily Specials" handwritten on dollar-store poster board stuck in the window

- "All You Can Eat" anything, or bring your shovel. Ewww. Just ewww.

- restaurants you have a hard time getting into. This happened recently - the lock kept engaging.
None of the customers inside bothered to get up and open the door for me. Were they trying to tell me something??

Sure enough, a week later the place was closed down by the health department

John Hill
17th Aug 2016, 06:13
Intercontinental Hotel Kabul c1999

Diner "May I see the menu?"
Waiter "Certainly sir" ...and brings a menu that must have been printed in 1966.
Diner "Do you have all these dishes?"
Waiter "No sir, only lamb kebab and chicken kebab."
Diner "Lamb kebab please"
Waiter "Sorry sir, no lamb kebab today, lamb kebab tomorrow"
Diner "I would like to try the chicken kebab."
Waiter "Yes sir, will you be wanting lamb kebab tomorrow?"

The chicken kebab was very nice considering the circumstances as was lamb kebab the follow evening.

Krystal n chips
17th Aug 2016, 06:49
I'm never sure whether to laugh or cry when JB produces this sort of thread...as they always seem to bring out the, well, pretentious frailties so readily evident in many.

First, if you are daft enough to eat at an "upmarket restaurant" then you deserve to be parted from your money. You are paying for a brand name, the food is secondary. True, being able to tell the neighbours / work etc "of course, we went to ( insert venue of choice here ) does, in theory, enhance your perceived social "standing" which seems to be the reason many of you wish to be fawned over in the first place.

The fact is, there are plenty of restaurants, pub restaurants, cafe's where you can eat remarkably well, in comfort, without having to get over dressed in bling and at a fraction of the cost.

Then there's service......only on JB could you find people complaining about being asked a perfectly reasonable question as to the quality of their meal.

And if you can't actually pull your own chair back, and that of a lady first, then maybe it would be a good idea not to eat out in the first place.

Hydromet
17th Aug 2016, 06:54
Easier to talk about what makes a good restaurant. One that we used to frequent until it moved had the following things going for it:

Good food, not too fancy but plenty of variety, not overcooked.

Appropriate sized portions, no attempt to substitute quantity for quality, but adequate size.

Friendly but not familiar staff.

Unobtrusive but prompt service. Offer of a carafe of water immediately after seating, invitation to order drinks when the water comes, orders taken when guests have stopped scanning the menu, not before, not too long after, entrées arrive quickly. The staff are attentive, without lurking.

Wine glass not refilled without asking.

Good acoustics. I enjoy the buzz of a busy restaurant, but like to be able to understand the conversation at my table.

I don't know what it was about the wait staff at this restaurant. Most of them seemed to be students who moved on reasonably frequently, but they were obviously well screened/trained, as they were unfailingly excellent.

ATNotts
17th Aug 2016, 08:12
Can I add to the "avoid" list:-

Pub restaurants owned / operated by large publicly quoted corporations where menus are uniform across the national business, and the extent of the chef's competence is frying some chips, cremating steaks and heating up meals delivered in a Brake Brothers van.

Restaurants where you have to go to the counter to order

Restaurants where you're expected to go to the bar to order drinks - they should be order at table and delivered.

Anywhere where they swipe your card before you've had a chance of tasting what you've ordered.

Places with ball pits and other kids amusements - placed there for families who's kids haven't been taught how to sit down and eat at table

The UK is full of "restaurants" like this, largely run by employees paid so little that they have no interest in the job they are doing, negligible training and less knowledge of what they are serving.

Takan Inchovit
17th Aug 2016, 08:24
The restaurants that pretend to be posh with that waiter who regularly asks if everything is alright when your mouth is full.

Pontius Navigator
17th Aug 2016, 08:26
The hotel in Downton, ordered a Bull Burger (there's a clue), Mrs PN ordered ham and egg, GD ordered I can't remember. Over 40 minutes later, one over cooked sausage and one fried egg and ordinary cold shop bought ham with over cooked chips. GD, aged 5, nothing, they forgot.

Instant melt down. I wish we had walked out.

ATNotts
17th Aug 2016, 08:43
I'm never sure whether to laugh or cry when JB produces this sort of thread...as they always seem to bring out the, well, pretentious frailties so readily evident in many.

First, if you are daft enough to eat at an "upmarket restaurant" then you deserve to be parted from your money. You are paying for a brand name, the food is secondary. True, being able to tell the neighbours / work etc "of course, we went to ( insert venue of choice here ) does, in theory, enhance your perceived social "standing" which seems to be the reason many of you wish to be fawned over in the first place.

The fact is, there are plenty of restaurants, pub restaurants, cafe's where you can eat remarkably well, in comfort, without having to get over dressed in bling and at a fraction of the cost.

Then there's service......only on JB could you find people complaining about being asked a perfectly reasonable question as to the quality of their meal.

And if you can't actually pull your own chair back, and that of a lady first, then maybe it would be a good idea not to eat out in the first place.
I agree there are plenty of pubs and cafe's that do a great job, but they are comparatively hard to find among the Wetherspoons, Mitchels and Butlers, Eating Inn, Hungry Horse, Harvester etc. etc. brands that sell poor quality food, in indifferent atmospheres, employing poorly paid staff who can't actually care a sh1t. There will be some exceptions to the generally indifferent quality in some of these outlets but I generally avoid them like the plaque.

As a general rule if I go for a pub restaurant it is independently owned and managed, so the owners and staff have a closer connection to the business, and therefore a genuine interest in looking after the customer properly otherwise they go under.

I have no problem being asked if my meal is to my satisfaction; but why the term OK? OK isn't good enough to justify paying for.

By the way, don't even get me started on the like of TGI Fridays, Frankie and Benny's and the like - where you're paying for the theatre at the expense of the food.

Hydromet
17th Aug 2016, 09:04
To ATNotts' list, may I add "Anywhere with a moving floor (eg revolving restaurants).

419
17th Aug 2016, 09:58
There is a pub/restaurant (I won't name it but it's well over 100 years old and right next to a graveyard) not too far from Gatwick airport and it used to be very well known for its food which was all freshly cooked on the premises.

Not too long ago I was in there and ordered a chicken curry and when I tried it, it was a bit too mild for my taste so I asked the waitress if she could bring me a bit of chilli sauce, to which she replied that they didn't have any.
I then asked if there was any dried chilli powder. No, Fresh chilli, No.

I turns out that they don't even have a chef. All the food is brought in, precooked in bags and simply reheated.
If I wanted a bland boil in the bag meal I'd have popped into my local Tesco and bought one.

DirtyProp
17th Aug 2016, 10:02
As an ex-worker in the restaurant industry for several years, I can attest the fact that running a successful operation is anything but easy.

Too many ppl think that simply because they are good in the kitchen, they might as well start opening one for business.
Huge mistake!

Also, if the servers behave in a certain way is mostly due to management rules.
There are certain things they have to do according to SOPs, and if you don't like them just say so.

Allan Lupton
17th Aug 2016, 10:20
We only eat out when away from home as it is so difficult (as those 50 posts show!). We do not enjoy the "dining out experience" and in particular, being vegetarian, having to select food we don't much like from a list of food thought of as "vegetarian option" which usually displays no understanding of value, financial or nutritional.
Time was when English pubs could be relied on to offer simple wholesome fodder but not only have many joined the pretentious gang, but they've gone for non-English cuisine. French is worst for us veggies, although at least in France they can usually knock up an omelette!
For some reason hardly a month goes by without another eating place or coffee shop opening in our town's shopping area. Apart from my surprise that a town of 33,000 can support so many, I can hardly believe that all are non-English cuisine apart from a couple of fish and chip shops.

ExXB
17th Aug 2016, 10:26
I also hate the "wine dance" - you know where they pour you one milliliter of wine so that you have the option to taste it and say "Yes that's good". tryng to refrain from adding "Now fill up my fooking glass you [email protected]".

More's the pity that few wait-persons, and even fewer customers understand the "wine dance".

If it's done properly you should be shown the label to ensure it is what you ordered. No points if you've already forgotten. You should nod, or say yes (or oui, c'est ça). If it's not what you ordered (and that is much more common than you think) you should refuse it.

The cork* should then be removed and the wp should look at it and smell it (not touch it) to ensure it is not 'off'. If it smells mouldy or vinegary it is likely off. If so s/he should then either bring another bottle, or summon the sommelier (or superior) to confirm.

A small amount should be poured for a customer. Swirling the wine in glass and looking though it (hopefully at a candle) to see if there is brown hue in red wine showing the wine is past its prime. (White wines that have darkened to a deep yellow or brownish straw color are usually oxidised). A quick taste to ensure that it isn't corked and nod to confirm. The wp then should fill the glasses (ladies first) ending with the tasters glass.

If you don't like the taste of the wine - tough. If it isn't off it's yours.

*If the wine doesn't have a cork (or has a plastic cork) some of these steps can be omitted.

Stanwell
17th Aug 2016, 10:41
One of the better threads for a while (I'd only just arrived on here).
Couldn't stop chuckling.

I'd like to invite Sallyann and Sue out to dinner, together with at least another few volunteers from our contributors to this discussion. (My shout).
It would be interesting to have your opinions on what passes for "Haute Cuisine" here in Sydney.
I suspect that the staff would take refuge behind the kitchen doors until it was such time for the bill to be paid.

onetrack
17th Aug 2016, 10:52
Hang on, I've got more .......

1. The restaurants and cafes where the 18yr old in the kitchen has got control of the house music and has slipped the latest disco/rap CD into the player, and has cranked it up ... because it's entertainment for the staff, innit?
Nothing worse than trying to eat a quiet meal when high-volume dance/rap music is blaring and even drowning your conversation.
But I've got asking the staff to turn the rap down to an agreeable level, down to a fine art, now. :) And they normally do, too.

2. Places where you can see the kitchen staff working and slaving their guts out for you. However, I prefer not to see you handling and placing all my food on my plate with your bare, uncovered hands, that I just saw you picking your nose with, or handling grubby bank notes, just 5 mins before. If you're going to do that, do it in a kitchen locked away from the prying eyes of customers.
I often feel like asking where their kitchen signs are, that show food handling guides, that show people using disposable gloves to handle food.

3. People smoking outside and letting the smoke drift in over you, as you try to enjoy your meal. Yes, your rotten, filthy, secondhand, carcinogenic smoke, can even drift fifty metres on the wind into the non-smoking areas of restaurants. Fancy that.

4. The places where the person on the till is hovering around it constantly and has your bill total, fully worked out in their head, before you even ask for it - and it's presented .00005 of a second after you front the till.
Yes, I know you need money to survive, but I appreciate and prefer the emphasis on the food quality and presentation, not the money.

I'm sure there are more, but I need more time to reflect on the hazards of dining out ...

Tankertrashnav
17th Aug 2016, 11:04
"All You Can Eat" anything, or bring your shovel. Ewww. Just ewww.

The Hong Kong Hilton did an "all you can eat" Sunday lunch for HK$15 (just over £1) and even in 1968 that was cheap. As an impoverished flying officer I used it several times and loved it, but maybe I was easily impressed in those days. Incidentally Hiltons were Hiltons in those days, not like the jumped up motels they have become.

I have to put in a word for Wetherspoons. The Truro one is just opposite the theatre and is ideal for pre-concert/play eating. Maybe its a Cornish thing, but the staff are cheerful and efficient, and the service is quick. Of course its not fine dining - for a tenner a head including a drink what do you expect, but I've paid a lot more and eaten far worse (and sat around for ages waiting to eat).

funfly
17th Aug 2016, 11:42
What about your fellow diners, two types get up my proverbial;

The person that spends all the mealtime tap tapping on their mobile phone :=

The person who uses their knife and fork like chopsticks and holds them by the extreme ends. Knives have a cutting edge for goodness sake and it's not at the pointed end :=

Is it me?

I do tend to agree that when out for a meal the cooking should be of professional quality and thus better than you are able to achieve at home even if you are something of a gourmet yourself (like me)

P.S. what is a 'gourmet'? :confused:

funfly
17th Aug 2016, 11:49
And here a good word for MacDonald's. As a large concern they just cannot afford any hygiene problems so their system forces the standards to be generally pretty good.
If you have a Big Mac, you are getting some protein, some bread and maybe some cheese. Maybe not the finest quality but it's alright and it's cheap.
Kentucky stuff is pretty greasy but remember that anything cooked in hot oil will be bug free hence the popularity of the good ol' fish & chips.

419
17th Aug 2016, 12:01
but remember that anything cooked in hot oil will be bug free
Not always!

http://esq.h-cdn.co/assets/cm/15/05/54cafc1f5d767_-_grasshoppers-091907-lg.jpg

FullOppositeRudder
17th Aug 2016, 12:01
I've yet to encounter anything just quite like this:

zJ4U5tQ6Ke8

alternateprocedure
17th Aug 2016, 12:33
Waiters who hover and take every little item from the table as soon as they think it is finished with, eg side dishes with an item or two left on them, and especially waiters who remove plates of individual diners before whole table is finished. I find that rude to those who are still eating.

Can't stand glass being refilled, particularly beer from my bottle in front of me.

Places (at home in UK) where it feels that as well as paying for a meal, you are also paying for the privilege of providing a free English lesson to some passing through student. If you do not understand the items on the menu, or have the language needed to discuss or describe them, should you be in this job?

Places that think hamburgers should served in cake instead of bread. What the hell is so good about a "Brioche" bun anyway? Just cause this craze has taken over the US, doesn't make it right or good.

Place that advertise "pie" on the menu, only to deliver a china dish (or worse still a splodge on a plate) with a token bit of separately produced pastry placed over the top. A pie is a full pastry case with the chosen filling inside.

Like others have said, basic done well beats poncy and over designed anyday.

alternateprocedure
17th Aug 2016, 12:38
Oh, and sausage and mash served in a dish, not a plate, with the mash completely buried under the sausages and the whole thing swimming half way up the depth of the dish in a sharp bitter gravy which I can't avoid no matter how hard I try.

Just keep it basic and well done, for gawd's sake...

Hydromet
17th Aug 2016, 12:50
If you don't like the taste of the wine - tough. If it isn't off it's yours.
Quite agree. However, once went to a restaurant where that happened - We didn't like the wine that I'd picked and asked for a different one. The wine waiter recommended one, didn't charge for replacement. Possibly because I didn't try to bluff, just admitted my ignorance. I suspect he and his colleagues enjoyed the wine that I didn't.

Tech Guy
17th Aug 2016, 12:57
I have found a restaurant that not only does a superb Sunday lunch, but the waitresses appear to be wearing blouses a size too small, as one can clearly see the buttons struggling to remain in control!

Still, I guess it does wonders for their tips. :)

sitigeltfel
17th Aug 2016, 13:13
To be avoided:

Places where pictures of the dishes are on a board outside.
Any establishment (except take-aways) that want payment before you eat.
Buffet restaurants where the food has been sitting under a hot lamp for ages and has been stirred and poked by dozens of diners before you.
Themed eateries where the walls and ceiling are festooned with the remains of a jumble sale.
Any place that claims its fare is "just like mamma used to make".
Places you walk into to find that all the vacant tables have the detritus of the previous diners still sitting there.
Anything Italian, there is only so much you can do with pasta ;)

Geordie_Expat
17th Aug 2016, 13:55
Places where pictures of the dishes are on a board outside


However, this can be useful if you don't speak the language (like the citizens of most English-speaking countries) to both assist you in knowing what is what and getting this through to the staff.

wings folded
17th Aug 2016, 15:09
Tech Guy,

I expect that tight blouses stimulate their tips.;)

Metro man
17th Aug 2016, 15:23
Serving food which has been prepared in an off site kitchen instead of on the premises is far more common than the catering industry would like to admit. There are advantages such as economies of scale, consistency, quality control and employing specialist staff for different foods.

Little is left to be done beyond heating and serving by lesser skilled restaurant staff who can be paid less than a good chef.

Complicated cakes can be offered as well as specialist dishes which would be beyond the ability of an average chef to prepare to a good standard.

This brings up the argument of why go to a restaurant if you were able to buy the same food from the same source and there is an increasing number of specialist food outlets on the UK high street who can supply some very appetising dishes pre prepared at well below restaurant prices. Eaten at home with a bottle of wine from an off licence and the savings are considerable, not having to worry about drink driving is another plus.

funfly
17th Aug 2016, 15:52
Still, I guess it does wonders for their tips.

Sorry, I read this wrong first time!

NorthernChappie
17th Aug 2016, 16:01
Ahh yes Frankie & Bennies Me - after 12 hours on the road and then setting up an exhibition stand, and it was opposite the Premier Inn so I could not be bothered finding somewhere else.


Me : Can I have a large glass of the Sauvignon Blanc please?


Waitress : Yeaah ok sir.


Waitress on return a couple of minutes later : That savignon blanch - that's the white one innit?

Windy Militant
17th Aug 2016, 20:47
Anywhere that serves food with squiggles as a friend of my mum describes it.
They went for an anniversary do at a place hyped in the local papers, after the main course had been and gone the son in law said when's the food turning up and when told that, that was it, they repaired down the road to the local chippie as they were still famished.
I think Rhod Gilbert did one of his programmes from there and on seeing the food served on what he described as old roofing slates asked how they got a Michelin star if they couldn't afford proper crockery!
The other is gastro pubs that serve Castell Howell (Brakes brothers in England) ready meals and pass them off as their own.
Took my mum along to her hairdressers a while ago, who gave a real blasting to a local pub she and her friends had recently eaten in.
Shortly after the meal she threw an eighteenth birthday party for her son and went to the aforementioned Castell Howell to buy some comestibles for the do. What really made her boiling mad was that she had been charged more for a small slice of cheese cake than it cost to buy the whole thing. She'd worked out how many slices they could have got out of the whole thing and how much they would have made and it was gobsmacking.
Although I make one exception to the squiggle rule. On my way between Belfast and Glasgow I stopped at a farm which had holiday chalets as it was half way and I'd come off an evening ferry. Wandered up to the restaurant (not posh me) which was in what looked like an Atcost shed off the farm shop. At one end was the bar stroke function room they entertained people from the caravan site up the road at the weekend and at the other was an extremely pleasant bar and grill. The food was very well presented in reasonably sized portions, fresh from the farm. As was the breakfast served there fresh cooked the following morning. :ok:

Pontius Navigator
17th Aug 2016, 21:00
There is a pub/restaurant (I won't name it but it's well over 100 years old and right next to a graveyard) not too far from Gatwick airport and it used to be very well known for its food which was all freshly cooked on the premises.

Not too long ago I was in there and ordered a chicken curry and when I tried it, it was a bit too mild for my taste so I asked the waitress if she could bring me a bit of chilli sauce, to which she replied that they didn't have any.
I then asked if there was any dried chilli powder. No, Fresh chilli, No.

I turns out that they don't even have a chef. All the food is brought in, precooked in bags and simply reheated.
If I wanted a bland boil in the bag meal I'd have popped into my local Tesco and bought one.
Horley? '

rans6andrew
17th Aug 2016, 21:10
my pet hate is "soup of the day". WTF is that all about? A stupidity often compounded when the waiting staff don't know what "flavour of the day" is without going away to ask. We have even encountered this in places that print off a new menu (day and date printed at the top) every day!

I am allergic to mushrooms, I have several issues this causes. Often there is mushrooms in dishes which are not mentioned in the description (steak and ale pie, seafood pie!, gravy etc), sometimes the staff cannot tell me if there is mushroom in something (mushroom doesn't seem to be high on the list of things folk are expected to list on the sensitiviy warnings), I have sometimes been told I can't have the steak without the mushroom as it is an integral part of the dish (even if I don't mind paying the normal price) and lastly, some places can't keep the mushrooms away from the other food as it is all cooked on the same hotplate.

Pontius Navigator
17th Aug 2016, 21:45
One restaurant, well renowned, now closed, asked what we would like to drink. Mrs PN, the driver, asked for orange juice. Pregnant pause, then someone went to the Coop and bought a carton.

After a undistinguished meal, anything else? Coffee? Yes please

After another trip to the shops . . .

Sailing club in Limassol they had to go shopping for wine.

broadreach
17th Aug 2016, 21:50
What I like... ...as opposed to all the negative stuff.

A) restaurants that have been around a loooong time.
B) and where there's a good smattering of silver hair amongst the waiters.

What A and B tell me is that the place is good enough to have survived hard times and to keep its staff. I'm not much of an experimenter with regard to restaurants. Find a few good ones and stick to them, remember the waiters' names, show respect.

obgraham
17th Aug 2016, 22:19
Cruise ships can hardly be equated to restaurants, but they are one of the few remaining places where true "service" can be found.

Sometimes that service can be so old-fashioned it's ridiculous. On one upper end line not long ago, the "sommelier" was great at ignoring the women and being attentive to the men. Thus thoroughly pi$$ing off Mrs Obg.

So the next night, he shows up at my side with the wine list. "The lady will choose the wine" says I. And then "The lady will do the tasting". He looked like I had kicked him in the bollocks.

Somehow we had a different fellow for the remaining nights.

radarman
17th Aug 2016, 22:29
Four pages and nobody has mentioned that appalling habit of young waiting staff dumping the food on the table then ordering me to 'Enjoy'. Usually done with a facial expression that reads 'I hope it chokes you'.

John Hill
17th Aug 2016, 22:32
The usual comment around is they say "There ya go." I think it is something that has only recently crept north of the Waitaki River.

Local Variation
17th Aug 2016, 22:38
MackyD's in Liverpool have decided to operate in the same was as Argos.

You order, get a receipt with a number on it, watch the screen and wait. When your number appears you collect.

So here we go.....

I am the only person in the queue. I order a coffee. The girl serving me made the coffee herself and rather than hand it to me, placed it in the new dispatch waiting area.....coffee sat their now all by itself. This area is an arms length from the till. I could reach it.....she could reach it and pass it to me. On the bright side, the dispatch area has signs, labels and bright colours. They've been laminating too so the signs can be wiped clean. All very impressive. Argos would wonder why they didn't do that.

We both stand there looking at the coffee and looking at the screen. Still no-one in the queue and coffee sat looking lonely. But we have a new process to follow.

Bingo my number comes up and she hands me the coffee.

The subsequent conversation was lost on her. Maybe she did the laminating. T'was like a scene from 'come fly with me' with the dippy character trying to serve burgers and fries.

Ancient Mariner
17th Aug 2016, 22:38
If you are unable to find restaurants with true "service", you haven't been looking very hard. I've found at least one in every country I've visited, which i believe is roundabout 90.
Then again the missus and I go out, determined to enjoy ourselves, and maybe our positive attitude rubs off on the restaurant crew?
I have a hard time getting annoyed over napkins being place in my lap, wine and water being poured, chairs being pulled, or questions being asked as to our satisfaction. We would say our fair and frank opinion on the latter, and thank you to the rest.
Sometimes things don't go according to plan, but I find that a few discreet and friendly words, and a bit of patience will solve most problems.
Mind you, we shy away from "family", "theme" and chain restaurants.
Per

Captain Dart
17th Aug 2016, 22:41
Ditto on the 'Enjoy', the token 'How is everything' (read 'This is me being attentive now I expect a tip') either before I've even started or while I have a mouthful of food, and the background music often seemingly laid on for the benefit of the staff.

G-CPTN
17th Aug 2016, 23:13
If you are unable to find restaurants with true "service", you haven't been looking very hard. I've found at least one in every country I've visited.
I worked for a company based in Southern Germany and regularly went there for training courses.
As there were other people like myself from various locations, we elected to go out and find a country inn, where we had an excellent meal.
The next time we decided to go out again, it was suggested that we returned to the previous place 'as it was so good', however I suggested that we looked for a different one.
"But what if the food is not good?" . . .


Anyway we adopted a regular custom of trying to find an inn with bad food - we never did.

jimtherev
17th Aug 2016, 23:16
methinks people are missing summat. "Is everything all right?" or "How is everything" is getting their retaliation in first. If, after a few mouthfuls, the food is unsatisfactory, then now's your time to complain. Waiting until the end of the meal and then complaining about the quality or whatever is then futile: the defence can then be "Well, we did ask you. Pay up!"
Good business practice, wouldn't you say, even if irritating?
Er-and-me also share The Mariner's attitude. If we take the trouble to eat out, we go with the hope of enjoying ourselves. Seldom disappointed.

Metro man
18th Aug 2016, 00:14
Australia lacks the advantage of cheap east European labour in the hospitality industry, and with government set pay rates which increase substantially on weekends and public holidays, eating out has become very expensive. In order to save costs, ordering and paying at the till and being given a number to display on your table, or even a buzzer which activates to let you know when to go and collect your meal from the counter has become normal.

Many restaurants cannot afford to open on a public holiday as they will lose money due to increased staff costs, those that do open often have a 20% surcharge .

Effluent Man
18th Aug 2016, 03:08
I can agree on restaurants in Southern Germany. We spent several holidays in the area between Freiburg and the Swiss border at Basel. Everywhere served excellent food based on local ingredients. If anything the breakfasts were even better than the dinners with a huge choice of meats, cheeses, breads and cereals invariably served with local honey and yogurts.

Pontius Navigator
18th Aug 2016, 08:40
the background music often seemingly laid on for the benefit of the staff.
Actually we complained once and she smiled saying she'd just been waiting for a complaint; silence :)

In another coffee shop, now thankfully closed, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas CD was stuck and kept looping after a couple of bars. They never noticed. Amazing what the brain can tune out.

Pontius Navigator
18th Aug 2016, 08:44
G-CPTN. That is the conundrum. You experience excellent; was that really the best with everything else inferior?

It applies to meals and holidays where you don't have the opportunity to try before buy.

Ancient Mariner
18th Aug 2016, 09:16
Decided on a whim to drive to Paris for the TdF finals on Champs Elysees. Booked hotels on a web site and set off. One night at an old castle in Germany, excellent food, hotel in Paris in a rather worn down area near Gare Saint-Lazare, small but surprisingly nice hotel.
Tired after driving and went to nearby restaurant suggested by hotel receptionist. Not fancy, but trad Bolougnese meny.
Water, bread, aperitif, order. Wife selected veal kidney.
Huge mistake. She'd never tried it before, and probably never will again.
Mature matron saw wife struggle and asked the obligatory, everything's OK?
Wife ashamedly had to reply that although the dish probably was exactly as intended, it was not her cup of tea.
Matron whisked away the wife's plate and mine :eek: (sausages, cow/pig? stomach), came back to the table with the chef who discussed alternatives with wife.
New dish prepared while mine was kept warm, her highness very satisfied and me too, because she was.
They only charged two main courses. The wine was excellent, as was the Armagnac.
Did I tip? Yup! Did I sleep well after 1300 km driving? Oh yes!
TdF was good too.
Per

ATNotts
18th Aug 2016, 09:23
I can agree on restaurants in Southern Germany. We spent several holidays in the area between Freiburg and the Swiss border at Basel. Everywhere served excellent food based on local ingredients. If anything the breakfasts were even better than the dinners with a huge choice of meats, cheeses, breads and cereals invariably served with local honey and yogurts.
The principal difference between Germany, and the UK, and I guess other countries such as USA, Canada, Australia is that overwhelmingly the german offerings are family owned Gasthofs and Hotels where the owners are working at the coal face, along with staff they have employed directly, and who also feel they have a share in the success of the business.

These smaller institutions aren't answerable to pension funds and city investors looking for their pound of flesh, and the aren't constantly looking for ways to save money and provide uniform menus across multiple locations.

In all my many years using hospitality in Germany, both on business and leisure trips the worst standards of food and hospitality have been found in Novotels, Moevenpicks, NH Hotels and the like. The best at small independently owned establishments, both in urban and rural areas. And they don't cost a fortune. We rarely pay more than € 85.00 for a double room with breakfast and evening meals - 2 courses of rarely more than € 25.00. Hardly a king;s ransom.

Versus UK, the ridiculous VAT take of 20% on hospitality doesn't help cost-wise, but doesn't account for the generally poor levels of service and food standard in averagely priced mainstream restaurants.

UniFoxOs
18th Aug 2016, 10:32
Place that advertise "pie" on the menu, only to deliver a china dish (or worse still a splodge on a plate) with a token bit of separately produced pastry placed over the top.

Especially when it's PUFF pastry, FFS!

And a sauce to "compliment" your steak - to tell it how nice it is? They get a bit puzzled sometimes when I ask them how "complimentary" (i.e. free) can cost £2.

cumulusrider
18th Aug 2016, 12:17
I used to be a sales rep driving many many miles across the UK. Finding somewhere for a mid day meal that was pleasant and affordable became quite an art. The place to look out for was usually where the local taxi drivers, couriers, police etc. went. There was one place in Bristol that you had to drive through a car park, across a railway line and onto the dock side to reach. Always busy, excellent food, sensible prices and quick service.

Super VC-10
18th Aug 2016, 12:22
food given fancy names

Ah yes, can't beat "witte bonen in tomatensaus op geroosterd brood" :ok:

TWT
18th Aug 2016, 13:48
'Pan fried'.As opposed to steel bucket fried ???

'Jus' : sauce

'Drizzled with': dressing sloshed on

'Medley of' : a bunch of stuff on the same plate.

Metro man
18th Aug 2016, 13:57
Oven baked - What else do you bake in ?

Seared - Slightly burnt.

Diced - Chopped into small bits.

Wilted - Immersed in boiling water until it goes a bit limp.

Fusion - Mix of different cuisines which may or may not go well together.

G-CPTN
18th Aug 2016, 15:07
My recently deceased sister-in-law spent time living, working and studying in Germany (Braunschweig University).

During a visit to us in England we took her out for a meal where she encountered 'panfried' on the menu - which she read as 'panfreed' and so enquired of the waiting person what constituted 'panfreed' veal (or whatever the meat was).

Curious Pax
18th Aug 2016, 15:20
Oven baked - What else do you bake in ?

Seared - Slightly burnt.

Diced - Chopped into small bits.

Wilted - Immersed in boiling water until it goes a bit limp.

Fusion - Mix of different cuisines which may or may not go well together.

Chargrilled - burnt

RedhillPhil
18th Aug 2016, 15:55
The Hong Kong Hilton did an "all you can eat" Sunday lunch for HK$15 (just over £1) and even in 1968 that was cheap. As an impoverished flying officer I used it several times and loved it, but maybe I was easily impressed in those days. Incidentally Hiltons were Hiltons in those days, not like the jumped up motels they have become.

I have to put in a word for Wetherspoons. The Truro one is just opposite the theatre and is ideal for pre-concert/play eating. Maybe its a Cornish thing, but the staff are cheerful and efficient, and the service is quick. Of course its not fine dining - for a tenner a head including a drink what do you expect, but I've paid a lot more and eaten far worse (and sat around for ages waiting to eat).


Perhaps it is a Cornish thing as the one in Penzance is quite good too. Incidentally, if ever you're in PZ during the day just about the best eatery in Pz is the Polish place at the top of Causeway Head on the right. They're only open during the day though.

RedhillPhil
18th Aug 2016, 16:02
MackyD's in Liverpool have decided to operate in the same was as Argos.

You order, get a receipt with a number on it, watch the screen and wait. When your number appears you collect.

So here we go.....

I am the only person in the queue. I order a coffee. The girl serving me made the coffee herself and rather than hand it to me, placed it in the new dispatch waiting area.....coffee sat their now all by itself. This area is an arms length from the till. I could reach it.....she could reach it and pass it to me. On the bright side, the dispatch area has signs, labels and bright colours. They've been laminating too so the signs can be wiped clean. All very impressive. Argos would wonder why they didn't do that.

We both stand there looking at the coffee and looking at the screen. Still no-one in the queue and coffee sat looking lonely. But we have a new process to follow.

Bingo my number comes up and she hands me the coffee.

The subsequent conversation was lost on her. Maybe she did the laminating. T'was like a scene from 'come fly with me' with the dippy character trying to serve burgers and fries.

Then there's the coffee places where they ask you your name.
So far I've been Primrose, Ptolemy, Mustapha and Jingle. It's worth it just to see the looks on their faces.:)

Effluent Man
18th Aug 2016, 17:26
I always made a point of choosing family run gasthofs as opposed to chains. Usually large timber built places, often with an indoor pool and sauna. I liked the atmosphere, walls often decorated with photographs of solid burghers and their dirndl skirted fraus, looked like Weimar period.

trident3A
18th Aug 2016, 17:32
Restaurants where you order a bottle of wine and the waitress has no idea how to operate a corkscrew

Ancient Mariner
18th Aug 2016, 17:40
Restaurants where you order a bottle of wine and the waitress has no idea how to operate a corkscrew
Then give her a helping hand and make a new friend. Been there done that.
Per

Rwy in Sight
18th Aug 2016, 18:37
Effluent Man,

a former colleague went to a particular case of hotel (where you spent few hours) and he was asked for a name. He gave one (not so impressive like yours but not his real one). His turn came, he ignore the call because he did not recognize the name and some time later he went to complain only to point out to him his turn had passed.

obgraham
18th Aug 2016, 20:07
Then give her a helping hand and make a new friend. Been there done that.
Per
Yes, I well recall such an event in the Middle East during Ramadan. Wait staff had no clue how to operate bottle opener for their Lebanese wine. In addition to their being half dead of hunger, they couldn't bring themselves to accept help.

DType
18th Aug 2016, 20:54
Soup of the Day

There is a restaurant on the Island of Arran where, so far as we can tell from our annual visits over some 20 years, "The soup today is tomato with basil." It's hard to keep a straight face!

Ancient Observer
18th Aug 2016, 20:57
We're now on page 6. Don't you think we're making a meal of this?

Gertrude the Wombat
18th Aug 2016, 21:56
Intercontinental Hotel Kabul c1999

Diner "May I see the menu?"
Waiter "Certainly sir" ...and brings a menu that must have been printed in 1966.
Diner "Do you have all these dishes?"
Waiter "No sir, only lamb kebab and chicken kebab."
Diner "Lamb kebab please"
Waiter "Sorry sir, no lamb kebab today, lamb kebab tomorrow"
Diner "I would like to try the chicken kebab."
Waiter "Yes sir, will you be wanting lamb kebab tomorrow?"

The chicken kebab was very nice considering the circumstances as was lamb kebab the follow evening.
Anywhere in Jamaica, any time you like.


As above, but they've only got jerk chicken rice and peas, no matter what's on the menu or on the board.


Apart from the place that said "curry goat in you come back tomorrow". So we said yes, we'd come back tomorrow for the curry goat.


And we did. But they hadn't believed us, so didn't start cooking it until we arrived - good thing we had nothing else to do that evening.

Gertrude the Wombat
18th Aug 2016, 22:01
French is worst for us veggies
Well, there are parts of Europe further east where the choice seems to be 57 varieties of pig and nothing else - and least in France you do get the omelette, and if you're in one of those places which really really can't get "veggie" through their heads you can pick the bits of ham out.

Gertrude the Wombat
18th Aug 2016, 22:04
Hang on, I've got more .......

1. The restaurants and cafes where the 18yr old in the kitchen has got control of the house music and has slipped the latest disco/rap CD into the player, and has cranked it up ... because it's entertainment for the staff, innit?
Nothing worse than trying to eat a quiet meal when high-volume dance/rap music is blaring and even drowning your conversation.
But I've got asking the staff to turn the rap down to an agreeable level, down to a fine art, now. :) And they normally do, too.
A restaurant in Helsinki, we were the only punters.


Half way through our meal the lights dimmed down and the volume of the music went up. So we asked if they could put it back how it was, as that would please 100% of their customers.


"No can do" was the answer - they claimed that both lighting level and music volume were controlled remotely by computer from head office, and they couldn't make any changes.

TWT
18th Aug 2016, 22:30
Re ordering a takeaway coffee.I was the only person in the place ( a chain coffee outlet),apart from the staff.I ordered,they insisted on having my name.I was standing 2 metres away from the 'barista', waiting.She screamed out my name at the top of her lungs then plonked it down on the counter and disappeared out the back,instead of just quietly handing it to me.Must have SOP's.Next time I think I won't give them my name but give them a number.I think I'll be number 43.

While I was waiting,I spotted a bloke in a wheelchair trying to get in the door which was an automatic sensor type.The sensor wasn't detecting his presence.I glanced at the other 2 teenage girls behind the counter who were engrossed in gossip and had failed to notice this.I went over and hit the manual open button to let the guy in.They didn't even notice what had just happened ,they were totally oblivious.

Stanwell
19th Aug 2016, 05:20
Gertrude .. your #105,
Probably the reason it took so long was that they first had to catch the goat, then get it around to the back lane .. and do the business.
Tasted fresh, did it?
You may be consoled to know that the remains fed the extended family for a week.

UniFoxOs
19th Aug 2016, 07:52
I think I'll be number 43.

I'll be "Mike Hunt".

Hydromet
19th Aug 2016, 11:54
Then give her a helping hand and make a new friend. Been there done that.
Per
Ancient Mariner is online now Report Post Yes, she may appreciate help with a screw.

WIDN62
19th Aug 2016, 12:11
A few years ago 4 of us were on a road trip in Colorado. Just before midday we arrived in a one-horse town and decided to have an early lunch at the local diner.
There was one other person in ahead of us and he was just having coffee. The lady who took us to our table gave us menus and said "The special today is New York Rib, your waitress will be Annabelle and she will be right with you". That sounded good so when the waitress arrived we ordered 4 specials. Back she came a couple of minutes later - "Sorry the special is off"!
A few minutes later the Sheriff came in with somebody whom he was clearly trying to impress. The same happened to them - the lady still said "The special today is New York Rib, your waitress will be Annabelle and she will be right with you". When they ordered it Annabelle (who was clearly destined for higher things) remembered and told them that the special was off. The Sheriff glared at us and we told him it was off when we got there. He looked around at the almost empty diner and shook his head.
At least when the next group arrived the lady modified her welcome speech to "The special today is - err off - your waitress will be Annabelle and she will be right with you".

trident3A
19th Aug 2016, 12:40
Then give her a helping hand and make a new friend. Been there done that.
Per

Sure I could do but then what am I paying for? If the soup is cold should I go and show the chef how to heat it up too?

sitigeltfel
19th Aug 2016, 13:46
Sure I could do but then what am I paying for? If the soup is cold should I go and show the chef how to heat it up too?

I know someone who complained about cold Gazpacho.

And another who asked for their steak tartare to be well done.

:rolleyes:

fujii
19th Aug 2016, 13:57
I know someone who complained about cold Gazpacho.


I saw that episode of Red Dwarf as well.

sitigeltfel
19th Aug 2016, 14:06
I know someone who complained about cold Gazpacho.


I saw that episode of Red Dwarf as well.

I must have missed that one.

Ancient Mariner
19th Aug 2016, 14:09
Sure I could do but then what am I paying for? If the soup is cold should I go and show the chef how to heat it up too?

We don't let minor issues stop us from having a good time, but by all means, if one is determined to be offended, go for it.
Per

rans6andrew
19th Aug 2016, 14:31
Quote:
I think I'll be number 43.
I'll be "Mike Hunt".

I am known as "Cupid Stunt" at several free wifi points where some sort of registration is required to get a connection.

Rossian
19th Aug 2016, 14:40
......I'm with you Per, there does seem to a preponderance of VERY easily offended people right from #1. Only out of curiosity I've read through this thread in mounting disbelief. Can't any of you say "No" to any of the BS you all seem to be deluged with? I don't seem to have been deluged in the same way. Come in, smile, tell people in advance what you want, then they can plan in advance for you even if it's to say "no". Simple.

The Ancient Mariner

Ancient Mariner
19th Aug 2016, 14:44
Ancient Mariners, unite!:E
Per

trident3A
19th Aug 2016, 15:24
I've just thought of another one. Serving staff who say "What can I get you guys?" even though it's a mixed party. Utterly inexcusable.

dazdaz1
19th Aug 2016, 15:24
In response to OP #1 The recognised body language to the waiter (leave the napkin for me to place) is to place the left/right arm (waiter position) the waiter will understand you desire to place the napkin yourself when seated. (UK)

I fear peoples 'fine dinning' education is lacking

sitigeltfel
19th Aug 2016, 15:28
I fear peoples 'fine dinning' education is lacking

True, noisy restaurants are a curse ;)

Effluent Man
19th Aug 2016, 15:46
It's the fashion for wooden floors, they amplify the sound then everyone raises their voices to be heard. Big mistake for a restaurant IMHO.

Stanwell
19th Aug 2016, 16:08
And that's the other thing...
You must understand that the brats have determined that lots of noise stimulates people's appetites - and if you don't understand that, then...
Not far down the track, they're standing there wondering why it's only the echoes of their own voices that can be heard.
Some people aren't too bright.

wings folded
20th Aug 2016, 13:24
Restaurants which offer a "menu" and "a la carte". Items on the "menu" are not as numerous as on the carte, but are identical to those on the carte. The sum of items chosen off the carte is greater than the price of the menu.

So if you fancy something appearing on both listings you name the dishes you want and get asked "is that from the "menu" or from the carte? Who cares?

Well I do, because, I do not eat pudding. Dislike sugary things. So I just want entree and main, which ends up usually from the carte costing more than the menu with a dish I don't want, with identical entree and main.

So now I order off the "menu" and ignore the pudding.

Well, actually, no. I mess around with it so they cannot wheel it out for a subsequent punter.

lomapaseo
20th Aug 2016, 13:43
Restaurants which offer a "menu" and "a la carte". Items on the "menu" are not as numerous as on the carte, but are identical to those on the carte. The sum of items chosen off the carte is greater than the price of the menu.

I couldn't keep up with the words

Could you express this in simple mathematical terms ?

onetrack
20th Aug 2016, 13:45
Ancient Mariners, unite!

I personally think the problem may be, you Ancient Mariners deem a fabulous unforgettable meal, as a can of cold baked beans, eaten straight from the can, while you wrestle with those jibs and sails. :)

sitigeltfel
20th Aug 2016, 13:57
Many establishments here allow you to split the main menu along the lines of...
Starter & main or main and desert for €15
All three courses, €20

This gives the diner more flexibility and lets the restaurant concentrate on the core/favourite dishes.

BTW, there is one restaurant in Menerbes that doesn't do starters at lunchtime, but if Hubert knows you he will rustle up a little salad. ;)

wings folded
20th Aug 2016, 13:59
Try this, lom,

Off the carte:

Half a dozen snails €10
Escalope of veal €18
Creme Brulee €4
Total €32
Total without pudding €28

Then from the menu:
Same dishes €18

So I get charged €10 for not wanting a dessert

:\

Effluent Man
20th Aug 2016, 14:02
Sometimes the a la carte option has larger portions. Especially where say a mid week lunch menu offers very good value you often find, fir example, it's a much thinner steak or a smaller portion of fish. You generally don't get something for nowt.

The best value meal I ever had was in the Auvergne. A 50 franc lunch ( mid eighties probably) of four courses that included the well stacked cheese board being deposited on the table with instructions to help ourselves.

One thing I found with French restaurants was the cutlery protocol. Posh restaurants brought you fresh fighting irons for every course while cheap ones you kept what you started with. The problem was ones in the middle where if you left them on your plate they unceremoniously chucked them back off, if you did the opposite they looked at you as if to say "what sort of place do you think this is?"

wings folded
20th Aug 2016, 14:07
Sometimes, maybe, but my eating companion likes puddings and chooses off the menu if the dishes appeal. I choose off the carte, and our entrees and mains are usually indistinguishable.

Metro man
20th Aug 2016, 14:26
A really posh place will only have the prices on the menu given to the host, the guests can't see how much what they're ordering costs. Obviously lobster costs more than spaghetti bolognaise so a little bit of discretion can be applied if you're being treated to a meal.

olympus
20th Aug 2016, 14:39
Some years ago the restaurant critic Egon Ronay recounted 'the most chilling words you can hear in a restaurant'.

It seems he was sitting at a table close to the doors to the kitchen when he heard the waiter returning to the kitchen say to the waiter coming out of the kitchen 'he's eaten it...'

cattletruck
20th Aug 2016, 14:44
Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants.
Avoid smorgasbords.
Avoid places that try and work a table twice sometime thrice during a session.
Avoid places that squeeze their table uncomfortably close to nearby tables.
Avoid places were the waiter(s) are unhelpful.
Avoid places near major road intersections.
The dining experience will be significantly better if you eat Asian in the company of Asians (and let them order for you).
Best restaurants usually become noticed from local advice.
Don't wear tracksuit pants when dining out.

sitigeltfel
20th Aug 2016, 14:50
Some years ago the restaurant critic Egon Ronay recounted 'the most chilling words you can hear in a restaurant'.

It seems he was sitting at a table close to the doors to the kitchen when he heard the waiter returning to the kitchen say to the waiter coming out of the kitchen 'he's eaten it...'

Another sound to beware of is the ping of a microwave oven. Respectable joints will have had the ping suppressed! ;)

Rossian
20th Aug 2016, 15:14
......I'll have you know that we are both chaps of good taste AND discernment who have travelled the world and sampled many cuisines.
We have better digestion because we do not suffer from the suppressed anger and bile which so many on this thread seem to suffer from.
Also brief the waiter "don't ask me if everything is OK because if it isn't YOU will be the first person to know about it". Said with a smile.
Don't sweat the small stuff.

The Ancient Mariner

lomapaseo
20th Aug 2016, 15:42
A really posh place will only have the prices on the menu given to the host, the guests can't see how much what they're ordering costs. Obviously lobster costs more than spaghetti bolognaise so a little bit of discretion can be applied if you're being treated to a meal.

You mean like a quick glance at the menu and say I'd like the surf & turf and a side of spaghetti, having covered all angles?

Oh and then state to your host that you're not really hungry so you'll skip desert

Private jet
20th Aug 2016, 16:06
I'd add that I also avoid restaurants that have the name of a "celebrity" chef in the title (Carluccio's, Jamies Italian, so & so at such & such hotel, you know the kind of thing)
Also the trend over the last decade has been for very "light & bright" contemporary style decors in restaurants. This seems to cut down on the "atmosphere" of the place quite considerably while at the same time makes it loud and echoey with peoples conversations, the clinking of crockery etc etc. A restaurant in, say for example Cambridge has no need to look like the inside of a house in the Hollywood hills. The concept just doesn't work.

Ancient Mariner
20th Aug 2016, 16:07
I personally think the problem may be, you Ancient Mariners deem a fabulous unforgettable meal, as a can of cold baked beans, eaten straight from the can, while you wrestle with those jibs and sails. :)

Nah, we had cooks on board, and female stewardesses (wife was one) to serve us exquisite hot meals thrice daily.
The Merchant Navy was good to me. 😉
Per

yellowtriumph
20th Aug 2016, 19:24
Some years ago the restaurant critic Egon Ronay recounted 'the most chilling words you can hear in a restaurant'.

It seems he was sitting at a table close to the doors to the kitchen when he heard the waiter returning to the kitchen say to the waiter coming out of the kitchen 'he's eaten it...'



Andouillettes? (known as a French trick in our household),

yellowtriumph
20th Aug 2016, 19:32
If I may diverge ever so slightly. My Dad used to be a removal man, one day they had to move the great British actor James Robertson Justice. JRJ went in the van with them. They stopped halfway somewhere on the journey and sat on the nearby pleasant green verge and Dad and his pals got out their packed sandwiches and flasks etc.


JRC got out a tinned Fray Bentos steak and kidney pie, 'unpeeled' the lid off it and proceeded to eat it raw and completely uncooked. The image has never left my mind.

Ancient Mariner
20th Aug 2016, 22:20
......I'll have you know that we are both chaps of good taste AND discernment who have travelled the world and sampled many cuisines.
We have better digestion because we do not suffer from the suppressed anger and bile which so many on this thread seem to suffer from.
Also brief the waiter "don't ask me if everything is OK because if it isn't YOU will be the first person to know about it". Said with a smile.
Don't sweat the small stuff.

The Ancient Mariner

Amen!
Per

Stanwell
20th Aug 2016, 22:32
That post from olympus quoting Egon Ronay still has me chuckling.
Some years back, there was a well known pet-food brand which, in its TV ads, used the line "Some dogs will eat anything".
I'll just leave you with that one.

sitigeltfel
20th Aug 2016, 22:43
JRC got out a tinned Fray Bentos steak and kidney pie, 'unpeeled' the lid off it and proceeded to eat it raw and completely uncooked. The image has never left my mind.

I remember a fire safety presentation where the fire officer said he had lost count of the number of call outs he had attended because someone had put the tin in the oven with the lid still on. :ugh:

sitigeltfel
20th Aug 2016, 22:56
I am reminded of the Celebrity Mastermind competition a few years back where Michelin 2* chef, Michel Roux Jnr. chose the celebrated French chef Escoffier as his specialist subject.
He could only answer four of the fifteen questions put to him! Cringeworthy and hilarious in the same measure.

Tankertrashnav
20th Aug 2016, 23:13
Ancient Mariner and Rossian - I get really annoyed by PPRuNers who get really annoyed at other PPRuners who get really annoyed by various experiences in restaurants when the whole point of the thread is for PPRuNers to tell other PPRuNers what really annoys them in restaurants.

;)

Ancient Mariner
20th Aug 2016, 23:46
Ancient Mariner and Rossian - I get really annoyed by PPRuNers who get really annoyed at other PPRuners who get really annoyed by various experiences in restaurants when the whole point of the thread is for PPRuNers to tell other PPRuNers what really annoys them in restaurants.

;)

Now that was so annoying that I had to pour myself another small(ish) Otard VSOP. As you probably know, Otard (Ottar) was a friendly Viking on a sight seeing trip to French shores to consider business opportunities, and the local womenfolk.
That was exhausting, might consider another wee dram.
Per

RedhillPhil
21st Aug 2016, 00:32
I am reminded of the Celebrity Mastermind competition a few years back where Michelin 2* chef, Michel Roux Jnr. chose the celebrated French chef Escoffier as his specialist subject.
He could only answer four of the fifteen questions put to him! Cringeworthy and hilarious in the same measure.



Much the same happened to Murray Walker answering questions on F1 racing. I thing he got three.

yellowtriumph
21st Aug 2016, 16:05
It was our 30th anniversary and me and Mrs yt were on the Queen Mary 2 having treated ourselves to a substantial upgrade. On our first night we went to the rather nice restaurant (no riff raff here) and were seated at our table. We glanced through the menus and I noted they had a rather nice steak dish complete with french fries but with some vegetables I didn't much fancy.

I had noticed another dish that had petit pois with it and so when I ordered my steak I asked if I could have the petis pois from the other dish as a substitute for the veg. The waiter nodded sagely but did look a bit confused I have to admit. A short while later Mrs yt's dish arrived and so did my steak complete with fries but no petit pois.

I queried this with the waiter who by now looked very flustered. He assured me they were on there way and would be with me shortly. He returned to the waiting station and there were more concerned looks and shuffling of feet among all the waiting staff who were looking very bemused at our table. I wondered what huge blunder I had committed - this was our first outing at the restaurant and the other nearby diners had noticed the kerfuffle.

With a flourish the waiter returned with a multi-stacked set of dishes which he proceeded to put next to my steak.

This was the first, and indeed the only time, that I have had a steak accompanied by small chocolates. Yes, petit pois had been genuinely misheard to be petit fours. All of us, including the waiter had not laughed so much in ages.

oldchina
21st Aug 2016, 17:14
yellowtriumph:

Who's to blame? The pretentious prat who wrote the menus of course.
Assuming that QM2 is a largely English speaking environment, why not call a pea a pea?

yellowtriumph
21st Aug 2016, 18:22
yellowtriumph:

Who's to blame? The pretentious prat who wrote the menus of course.
Assuming that QM2 is a largely English speaking environment, why not call a pea a pea?

Oh I don't blame anyone really, it was reminiscent of a Brian Rix farce, no harm done. My wife says I do tend to mumble although I rather like to think I'm being cool and sexy.


We went on to have very friendly relations with all the waiting staff. In fact as we departed the ship in NY we asked to be photographed with them. Our particular waiter gave us his 'table clearing thingy' as a farewell present (It's a sort of rounded 6" long metal scoop for clearing off crumbs etc from the table cloth). I was very impressed with it and kept gently joshing the waiter as to how often he might be required to change the batteries in it!). Another couple we became friendly asked their waiter if they could have one - they didn't get it, the wife said to her husband that he had 'over asked' a nice expression I had not heard before. I'm a great believer in treating others as I would like to be treated myself.

Largely english speaking on board, but a lot of german passengers (25% ish?) and most of the crew were of far eastern origin from what I could tell. For what we paid for the trip I want my small peas to be called petit pois - 'small peas' wouldn't cut the moutard.

G-CPTN
21st Aug 2016, 18:34
most of the crew were of far eastern origin from what I could tell
Probably the basis of the original misunderstanding.

Even if they were fluent in English there are many English accents that are more or less difficult for foreigners to understand clearly.

sitigeltfel
21st Aug 2016, 20:14
Y.T.

You might want to look up the difference between moutard and moutarde! ;)

rans6andrew
21st Aug 2016, 20:27
mange tout Rodney!

SWBKCB
21st Aug 2016, 21:20
What other business makes it so difficult to pay and get out?

Pontius Navigator
21st Aug 2016, 21:39
Also Cunard, this time QE 2. Ordered my usual treat, waffles, maple syrup and bacon.

Consternation.

Eventually a plate of waffles was delivered with a dish of maple syrup. The bacon arrived much later. Same breakfast - tea Sir? Yes please.

Then, this tea tastes of coffee. Yes Sir, it might, this is a coffee jug. BUT IF WAS TEA.

Effluent Man
21st Aug 2016, 22:20
Clearing away the crumbs before the dessert course is something of a ritual in French restaurants of any status, the sort of places where you get fresh cutlery for each course.

Gertrude the Wombat
21st Aug 2016, 22:29
What other business makes it so difficult to pay and get out?
Walked out once, in the hope that that would attract attention. It didn't, so I had to go back in and try to find someone.


That was a looong time ago. These days I have things called "business cards", which makes it easier - if I can't get anyone to take my money I just leave one on the table. It's about 50-50 whether they later contact me and ask me to pay (which I then do, of course, but no tip).

G-CPTN
21st Aug 2016, 22:38
Business entertain in Denmark (in the 1980s) seemed to be done without cash changing hands - the hosts simply proffered their business card and the bill was sent to the company for payment.

Islandlawns
22nd Aug 2016, 02:34
Steak on top of the chips.
Pourquoi?

Ancient Mariner
22nd Aug 2016, 07:18
Business entertain in Denmark (in the 1980s) seemed to be done without cash changing hands - the hosts simply proffered their business card and the bill was sent to the company for payment.
Years ago used to take customers, with spouses, for dinner at local posh restaurant and they would mail the bill to my company.
After one particular succesfull dinner with a director of a national oil company, who's name starts with an S, as did mine, I asked for the check.
The response?
"Sure Mr. Per, we'll send it to S*****l as usual."
Well that happened to be my guest's company, not mine.
Seems like neither company had particularly good routines in their accounting departments.
Oh well, with the price of alcohol in Norway, and the number of times I had entertained employees from that company, my company had saved thousands of NOK.
Nothing more came off it, but I had words with the restaurant owner.
We had that restaurant to ourselves for a very "reasonable" price for no. 2 daughter's confirmation. :E
Per

oldpax
22nd Aug 2016, 10:18
Very large pepper grinders!!!

sitigeltfel
22nd Aug 2016, 10:50
Very large pepper grinders!!!
I once asked an Italian waiter why they used them. He said it was because normal sized ones would have to be refilled ten times a night.

Ancient Mariner
22nd Aug 2016, 11:15
Very large pepper grinders!!!
Wife bought one of those half-meter Peugeot ones in Manila when the maitre'd at the Mandarin refused to sell theirs.
I never understood why. Bragging rights?
Still on the table and in daily use
Per

Stanwell
22nd Aug 2016, 11:33
Phallic symbol? I wondered.

Ogre
22nd Aug 2016, 12:09
Going back a few years, we used to take working trips down to a certain flying club home in deepest darkest Norfolk. The company rules were that you could have ONE drink with a meal on the company card but any more than one and there would be words had when you got back.

One night we got back mid-evening after a long day doing something technical, and we dived into the bar /restaurant about 30 minutes before they stopped serving. We ordered the main course and a couple of pints, then another couple of pints, then a pint each to go with the main course, then another pint to go with dessert. At the end of the meal I handed over the company card and said "stick one round of drinks on the bill, I'll pay the rest separately". The waiter came back with the bill and handed it to me to sign, and I quickly skimmed over it.

It didn't look right to me, there was a bottle of wine which we didn't order and a couple of starters that I don't remember eating. I called the waiter back and asked if he'd given us the wrong bill, but his reply was "You lot work for XYZ don't you? Well we know you're only allowed one drink each so we just made the bill say that". Sure enough, the actual cost was right but the items reflected a meal that was more acceptable to management...

G-CPTN
22nd Aug 2016, 12:19
Going back a few years, we used to take working trips down to a certain flying club home in deepest darkest Norfolk. The company rules were that you could have ONE drink with a meal on the company card but any more than one and there would be words had when you got back.

One night we got back mid-evening after a long day doing something technical, and we dived into the bar /restaurant about 30 minutes before they stopped serving. We ordered the main course and a couple of pints, then another couple of pints, then a pint each to go with the main course, then another pint to go with dessert. At the end of the meal I handed over the company card and said "stick one round of drinks on the bill, I'll pay the rest separately". The waiter came back with the bill and handed it to me to sign, and I quickly skimmed over it.

It didn't look right to me, there was a bottle of wine which we didn't order and a couple of starters that I don't remember eating. I called the waiter back and asked if he'd given us the wrong bill, but his reply was "You lot work for XYZ don't you? Well we know you're only allowed one drink each so we just made the bill say that". Sure enough, the actual cost was right but the items reflected a meal that was more acceptable to management...
Been there - done that.

We used to frequent a country pub with business visitors (who were our 'hosts' for such visits), and the landlord was very accommodating when it came to the receipt.

One day, our supplier's big boss came and insisted that we should go to the same place as usual.

When it came to paying the bill the big boss insisted on paying, and he wasn't impressed when the landlord asked him "how much do you want the receipt for?"

Ancient Mariner
22nd Aug 2016, 12:35
All 150ish employees stuffed into remote hotel for a weekend of "teamwork".
Five drink coupons each for Saturday night, but we're Norwegians and that won't do.
Sales director next room to me and hence knew his room number. Charged subsequent drinks to his room. Word got around.
Come Sunday I happened to stand next to him upon check out. The look on his face when the printer spewed out page after page?
Priceless.
With an evil eye in my directiion he declared: if this is the case I will pay the drinks for everyone.
Nice guy, we're still friends and meet up a couple of times a year to talk about them olden days, over a drink.
Per

olympus
22nd Aug 2016, 13:56
Back in the eighties I made a number of visits to Manila and usually stayed at the Hyatt Regency on Roxas Blvd. After a dinner of chicken satay in the coffee shop one evening, I mentioned to the waiter how much I enjoyed the meal and that I thought the satay sauce was particularly good and would he convey my thanks to the chef?

Next thing the beaming chef appears bearing two large jars of said satay sauce which he presents to me with his compliments and gratitude for my kind remarks! Not all restaurant experiences are bad!

As an aside, the night club at this Hyatt was on the top floor and as you exited the lift you were faced with a large sign inviting patrons to 'check your firearms here'! Slightly unsettling.

Sue Vêtements
22nd Aug 2016, 14:49
Tapas restaurants :*

Went to one once with a big group and the bill was enormous. Got to thinking about it the next day and realised that ( i ) there was a lot of alcohol and ( ii ) there was a lot of general chaos and ( iii ) that either ( iiia ) the restaurant had stiffed us by making up a random bill or ( iiib ) certain members in the party had eaten more than their fair share.

Subsequently resolved to ( 1 ) never go to a tapas restaurant again or ( 2 ) if ( 1 ) proved to be impossible to add to the role of designated driver the new role of designated Receiving Department as follows:

Rule 1 - All participants are required to read and sign a written copy of the Tapas Operation Manual (as described below)

Rule 2 - All orders must be relayed to the staff through the Receiving Department in writing (duplicate)

Rule 3 - All orders must be received by the Receiving Department and duly signed for (by both parties) in a spreadsheet. Said spreadsheet to also list the name of the person requesting each order

Rule 4 - Receiving Department is allowed no alcohol for the entire evening, but all food will be provided free of charge and this duty will rotate as per published roster

Rule 5 - Bill must be presented to Receiving Department who will review against signed list of written orders, reject any superfluous ones, ignore any missing ones and issue appropriate payment vouchers

Rule 6 - Bill will be reviewed by Receiving Department for anomalies such as excessive purchases by one party and any found will require an explanation and if necessary a surcharge during the Monetary Collection Process (see separate document).

UniFoxOs
22nd Aug 2016, 16:51
A dozen or so of us went to a tapas bar in Barcelona. Waiter said he'd bring us tapas until we were full. One of us, worried about an open-ended bill, asked him to limit it to £10 per head. We stopped him bringing dishes out before he got to the limit - we were stuffed. Maybe we were lucky.

Pontius Navigator
22nd Aug 2016, 17:06
You don't always use clean cutlery for each course?

Pontius Navigator
22nd Aug 2016, 17:12
Steak on top of the chips.
Pourquoi?
Or steak on a piece of Chinese roofing slate, chips in a diddy little chip basket.

G-CPTN
22nd Aug 2016, 17:16
My first visit to a Greek restaurant (in the UK) we decided to order the 'Mercedes' - which promised a number of dishes.

We started with various 'dips' served with pitabread - which seemed inadequate so more was requested (and supplied).

When it came to the 'main course' - involving meats - were were both 'stuffed'.

DirtyProp
22nd Aug 2016, 17:31
You don't always use clean cutlery for each course?
Only to impress the ladies...:cool:

Krystal n chips
22nd Aug 2016, 17:52
" You don't always use clean cutlery for each course?

Well of course one does...one always licks ones fingers clean before the next course !

For those on here who seem to be "confused" when it comes to menu's and prices, one recommends this establishment, indeed one recommends just about any truck stop catering facility......true, it doesn't quite have the same pretentious resonance when offering all and sundry the venues dined at, but, there again, one has never suffered this condition.

Click on the pics to enlarge....

AWJ Penrith Truckstop (http://www.awjtruckstop.co.uk/foodanddrink.html)

This place however was actually featured in the ST no less !......notably for the breakfast ...which I may have sampled "once or twice" over the years.

Discerning readers will note you can still get fried bread ! .....look at the pics ! :ok:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g580405-d2562007-Reviews-Hollies_Truck_Stop_Transport_Cafe-Cannock_Staffordshire_England.html#photos;geo=580405&detail=2562007

Pontius Navigator
22nd Aug 2016, 22:15
Sadly real truck stops are in decline. The Bawtry Cafe, a hangover from the old A1, was a regular venue for a post-dining-in full English for officers from RAF Finningley. We would dine in full mess dress with truckers not batting an eye.

radeng
22nd Aug 2016, 22:21
There used to be a superb pub at Hough-on-the-Hill, between Grantham and Lincoln. The bill always read 'Bed, Breakfast and Evening meal'. That satisfied both management, HR and accounts..........

UniFoxOs
23rd Aug 2016, 07:33
Sadly real truck stops are in decline.

Certainly not many of the old ones left. My long-time fave keeps going - Jack's Hill Cafe, on the A5 near Towcester. I also reckon Stobart's have done quite a good job with the one near Rugby radio station on the A5.

sitigeltfel
23rd Aug 2016, 08:32
There are still plenty "Relais Routiers" at the roadsides here, but many of them have been gentrified to attract non truckers.

Metro man
23rd Aug 2016, 08:44
Little Chef haven't exactly filled the void left by the truck stops demise. Unfortunately they are the only option at a Travelodge I stay at now and again. Typical low end chain restaurant fare. Give me a real meal over processed rubbishy every time.

sitigeltfel
23rd Aug 2016, 08:50
I was once refused an omelette at a Little Chef and I'm not sure if they were kidding when they said they hadn't been delivered.

wowzz
23rd Aug 2016, 09:11
Yup, Little Chef used to have omelettes delivered to them pre-made, so they just had to be warmed up. So, if you saw a ham and mushroom omelette on the menu, and asked for mushroom only, it couldn't be done!

Effluent Man
23rd Aug 2016, 10:00
That's normal for many restaurants, the clue is the length of the menu, if it's into double figures for main courses be very suspicious that it's boil in the bag. The best places seem to offer half a dozen options that change regularly. The main suspects are dishes in a sauce, I doubt if ten per cent of restaurants offering Duck a' Lorange cook it themselves.

I briefly ran a French style restaurant in the late eighties, it was great fun but hard work, especially as I was running a garage as well. Sadly someone made me an offer for the property that I would have been mad to refuse.

G-CPTN
23rd Aug 2016, 10:36
In the 1950s, road transport was effected by slow lorries restricted to 30mph, meaning that long journeys had to be broken for overnights which were taken in 'digs' where landladies would provide meals (and, sometimes, other comforts) in addition to a bed.
Lorries didn't have bunks like they do nowadays, though some hardy souls would kip in the cab, maybe leaving the engine running to provide warmth in winter. The benefit was the driver got to keep his overnight allowance, but he still needed feeding, so there were 'chains' of (independent) transport cafes alongside the major routes where drivers could eat (and use the toilet) whilst reading a newspaper to keep up with the news (no radios in the cabs and no reliable portable radios).
There were no regulations to restrict the number of hours that drivers could drive without taking breaks, just the endurance of the driver.

Then drivers' hours were introduced and it was not legal to sleep in the cabs, so the 'digs' persisted until sleeper cabs became legal.

Over time the sleeper cabs developed with microwave ovens and truck drivers became independent and self-sufficient.
Also, motorways were built that by-passed the usual trunking routes, trucks became faster (the 30mph speed limit was abolished) so journeys could be accomplished in much shorter times. Truck stops still provided the opportunity for drivers to spend their non-driving time socialising, with the opportunity for showers as well as toilets, and they could park securely rather than in lay-bys.

So, there are still transport cafes, but mainly for 'day drivers' driving trucks doing local deliveries without sleeper cabs - and discerning members of the public (sales reps included).

Gertrude the Wombat
23rd Aug 2016, 11:46
We had a pub landlady who would just send the bills to the company. The boss didn't mind, he was perfectly happy for his staff to drink the profits, that way the tax man didn't get them.


She was a bit lazy though. We had trouble persuading her that for non-business occasions we actually wanted to pay ourselves, rather than have the company billed. And on one such occasion she said "I can't be arsed to work it out now, pay me tomorrow". So about three days later she finally got round to charging us .. but had to ask us "OK, so what did you lot drink last Tuesday?". We guessed, but I don't suppose we remembered everything.

Paul Wilson
23rd Aug 2016, 12:41
Putting the wine in a nice bucket of ice, out of reach - but then failing to keep glass topped up.

Putting the wine on the table, then interrupting the conversation to ask to top up the wine.

Interrupting conversation to ask if everything is OK.

The whole tasting wine thing, when it's got a screw top. It's not corked chap - it hasn't got one.

Rocket with everything - it has its place, and that is with a small number of dishes where the peppery taste works with the rest of the dish e.g. Carpaccio.

Any Italian restaurant outside of Italy. Most of touristy Rome in this context is outside of Italy.

Gertrude the Wombat
23rd Aug 2016, 12:47
So, there are still transport cafes ... for ... discerning members of the public
My favourite was the Water End Café, on the A1, which I imagine disappeared when the relevant bit of bypass was built (somewhere near Hatfield wasn't it?).


There were of course different classes of transport caff


- high class ones where you could get tea WITHOUT SUGAR, low class ones where it was an impossible ask, top class ones where they actually remembered that you were this weird bloke who drank tea without sugar


- low class ones that served tinned tomatoes, high class ones that served fresh tomatoes ... and I once came across one that offered a choice.

Eric T Cartman
23rd Aug 2016, 13:00
@ Gertrude
Don't remember the Water End but there was a transport cafe on the A1 at the end of our school fields in Hatfield (near College Lane). In my last year at school, 1964, myself & 2 pals used it most lunchtimes - the rice pudding & jam was magic :-). We got to know the odd visitor & frequently ate with the local bin men ! The lady owner would watch out for us & if she saw blue blazers approaching (prefects looking for kids out of bounds without permission), she' d tell us to go wait in the bedroom corridor till they went away :-). Good grub at good price - no complaints from me :-). Oh, & I reckon her teapot would hold about 3 pints !

G-CPTN
23rd Aug 2016, 13:00
- low class ones that served tinned tomatoes, high class ones that served fresh tomatoes ... and I once came across one that offered a choice.
I used to visit an on-site works canteen (a posh name for what was a portacabin on a construction site).
I was informed that "Tinned tomatoes are off - you'll have to have fresh ones.".

Ancient Mariner
23rd Aug 2016, 14:36
Corcked has nothing to do with the actual cork, but everything to do with TCA (2,4,6 - trichloroanisole).
This you may have with any type of cork, be it cork, plastic or metal.
Bits of cork in the wine is another matter.
Per

Pontius Navigator
23rd Aug 2016, 14:44
There is a buttie van outside Northampton, don't remember the road, beautiful bacon buttie AND home made bread - it had the paddle hole in it.

And in Lincoln, at Wickes, not a truck stop but a good buttie.

Allan Lupton
23rd Aug 2016, 14:56
Gert (I'll leave the rude bit out!):
Water End was a couple of miles south of Hatfield just off the Barnet Bypass (A1 by the time I was there) and I don't recall a Transport Caff but there were two pubs (the Woodman and the Maypole).
The crossroads half a mile north with the road to Welham Green had a caff on the corner which may be the one. The original three-lane bypass is now the southbound carriageway of that bit of A1(M)
I think Eric's place would have been Peter's Cafe, now the location of a magnificent modern Hotel - I remember driving past it, but we Hatfield Tech students of the 1950s had access to a refectory which had a menu with Transport Caff leanings, so we usually ate in.

Effluent Man
23rd Aug 2016, 21:34
The main cause of corking is the wine being stored upright rather than horizontal. Stored correctly the cork doesn't dry out and allow air in. In theory at least with modern screw tops it shouldn't be possible.

obgraham
23rd Aug 2016, 22:16
In theory at least with modern screw tops it shouldn't be possible.
In my land of wineries here, many have spent ages testing corks, plastic plugs, and screw tops. Almost all, both at the low and high end of the industry, conclude the screw top is the most effective way to cap wine bottles, not to mention being less costly. But wine snobs and sommeliers just can't bring themselves to "smell the foil cap". So corks persist.

meadowrun
23rd Aug 2016, 23:51
Cork trees are not a sustainable resource for use in plugging bottles.

Metro man
24th Aug 2016, 00:31
Wine in bottles? Now that's really posh, what's wrong with a good 5 litre cardboard cask ?

Paul Wilson
24th Aug 2016, 01:02
Corcked has nothing to do with the actual cork, but everything to do with TCA (2,4,6 - trichloroanisole).
This you may have with any type of cork, be it cork, plastic or metal.
And
Stored correctly the cork doesn't dry out and allow air in. In theory at least with modern screw tops it shouldn't be possible.


Which was essentially my point, with a screw top the chance of it being corked are so low, that they might as well to see if it's turned into cider, when was the last time a waiter asked you to test the sparkling water to check it wasn't flat? Broadly same odds of your sparkling water being flat as your screw top wine being "corked" both caused by a poor seal in the screw type "enclosure"

In fact I might try that next time, ask waiter why he didn't ask me try the water, but seemed keen on me trying the wine.

Sue Vêtements
24th Aug 2016, 01:10
The lady owner would watch out for us & if she saw blue blazers approaching (prefects looking for kids out of bounds without permission), she' d tell us to go wait in the bedroom corridor till they went away :-). aye aye! Did she 'just happen' to have her plus size sexy black lingerie hanging up to dry in the corridor? Then it's "Quick lads them prefects are getting nosy. Nip in the bedroom and hide for a while".

Phwooooarrr!



but back to restaurants . . .

Hydromet
24th Aug 2016, 02:27
Wine in bottles? Now that's really posh, what's wrong with a good 5 litre cardboard cask ?

Then you can play 'Goon of Fortune (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqFFyW01FXA)'.

Ancient Mariner
24th Aug 2016, 06:50
If tasting your wine is such an ordeal, why not politely decline?
Whoopsie, forgot. Nothing to whine about then.:E
Per

Effluent Man
24th Aug 2016, 08:16
I always decline the taste offer. On only two occasions in forty plus years of eating out have I received bad wine, both in French restaurants, and both in the same year. The first time they were a bit sniffy about it but obviously changed their minds after taking the bottle away and tasting it and became profusely apologetic.

Rwy in Sight
24th Aug 2016, 10:35
Until ExXB, I think, wrote it here most people just didn't know either how to do the wine tasting (which ExXB so accurately described it) plus they didn't know what to look for. You order a specific Bordeau, you must know how it tastes and if the taste you have in your mind does not meet the taste from the bottle you should send it back.

ExXB
24th Aug 2016, 17:02
Runway in Sight.
If you send it back, and it isn't corked, expect to pay for it. You are not tasting it to see if you like it, you are tasting it to ensure it is not off.

Rwy in Sight
24th Aug 2016, 17:45
ExXB

I think we are saying precisely the same thing if it is off it is not what you order taste/body wise.
And if I remember correctly from my wine tasting days the right statement to the waiter is "yes that's what I order" not "yes it is good".

ExXB
24th Aug 2016, 18:14
Oui, c'est ça

TLDNMCL
24th Aug 2016, 18:24
If I find myself seated at an uneven table, I can't settle to eat until it is sorted out, or take another table, it drives me bonkers!

However, on a positive note, one of the best dining experiences I had was in a restaurant I had walked past at least twice a day for five days, ignoring it because they had a lady in national dress, menu tucked under her arm, as a greeter (this was in Vietnam).

I usually avoid restaurants with greeters at the door, or those where they employ people to "persuade" you to enter. Then it dawned on me that each time I passed, there hadn't been one occasion where the menu was wafted at me, nor did the greeter approach me, she just produced a smile and "Afternoon Sir / Evening Sir" as I walked past. The place looked and smelt great, so I took the plunge and asked for a table early one evening.

A young waiter introduced himself to me in Vietnamese and English, asked me where I would prefer to sit, and would I like a drink while choosing my meal? (Apart from the introduction, the rest was in English, which made life a lot easier).

He brought my G&T and pointed across the room, "I'll be standing just over there when you are ready to order Sir, I'll leave you to choose your meal."

Meal and wine selected without fuss, and the waiter brought the starter "Let me know if anything is unsatisfactory, I'll be back when you want me to clear your table."
This attitude prevailed throughout the meal, no repeat interruptions, no over the top fussing, but the guy was available if I needed him, or if busy he acknowledged me immediately and was back at the table in very short order.

Eating over, he asked if everything was satisfactory which it was, and would I like the bill. "Actually, I'd like another coffee and a brandy, I fancy relaxing with my book for half an hour before I make my way; is that alright?" "Of course Sir."

As I was about to leave he asked a favour - would I be prepared to answer a simple three point survey?

1. Please rate the quality of your meal (1-5).
2. Ditto for staff and attention (1-5)
3. Please qualify one of rating you have provided previously.

No. 3 was easy; "Polite, efficient and un-fussy service, never rushed, never ignored and a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy a leisurely meal."

I too try to go out to enjoy rather than find fault. Mind you, if that table had been wobbly...

Effluent Man
25th Aug 2016, 02:41
I am not entirely convinced by wine "experts" . It is fairly easy to tell the grape variety and country/area of origin. Naming individual chateaux or estates is quite a lot harder and naming a vintage year all but impossible for anyone but a serious taster. I recall seeing Kingsley Amis do a blind wine tasting on TV and declaring a very expensive St Emilion to be "Hair Oil". He had been introduced as an expert

Metro man
25th Aug 2016, 04:37
With a blocked nose, even an expert couldn't tell the difference between red and white.

ExXB
25th Aug 2016, 09:11
If I find myself seated at an uneven table, I can't settle to eat until it is sorted out, or take another table, it drives me bonkers!

At the local dyi shop they sell small wooden wedges for use in carpentry (and levelling furniture). They are quite small, come in a couple of sizes and are dirt cheap.

I've got a couple of each size in my kit bag. Solves the wobblies quickly. And if I forget to get it/them back on departure - they are cheap.

ExXB
25th Aug 2016, 09:12
With a blocked nose, even an expert couldn't tell the difference between red and white.
Well this 'expert' can. I do have eyes!

PS - I am not an expert, my tastebuds and smell have deteriorated too much over the years. Now my wife, she can smell a rotting grape in the neighbour's fridge. She usually tastes the wine.

Cazalet33
25th Aug 2016, 10:15
I'm delighted to see one of my favourite restaurants in Scotland has been given The Good Food Guide's top prize for Best Local Restaurant.

The Whitehouse, Lochaline.

I was there just last week and it was as good as ever.

Pontius Navigator
25th Aug 2016, 10:48
In one French gourmet restaurant we were offered a different wine with each course. Come the pate it was a sweet wine similar to a Sauterne. Having drunk it we were asked if we knew the wine. Yes, I said, Montbazillac. Stunned silence.

Then we confessed; we were en route to Bergerac with every intention of buying more of the same. :)

Effluent Man
25th Aug 2016, 12:40
Possibly a Montbazillac?

Bergerie1
25th Aug 2016, 12:43
TLDNMCL and ExXB,
Pinch a knife from an adjacent table and use it as a wedge. Simples!!

trident3A
25th Aug 2016, 13:46
I'm delighted to see one of my favourite restaurants in Scotland has been given The Good Food Guide's top prize for Best Local Restaurant.

The Whitehouse, Lochaline.

I was there just last week and it was as good as ever.
I went there a few years ago, it was fantastic, they couldn't do enough for us and the seafood was divine

Cazalet33
25th Aug 2016, 14:33
From their website:
https://s15.postimg.org/sj66zr4sr/Whitehouse_Seafood.jpg

A brilliant place, even though potentially difficult to get to with an electric car.

G-CPTN
25th Aug 2016, 16:36
A brilliant place, even though potentially difficult to get to with an electric car.
What? no signal?

Ancient Observer
25th Aug 2016, 16:45
Reading this Thread tells me one thing - Never, ever, invest in a restaurant.

Too many moaners out there.

meadowrun
25th Aug 2016, 17:30
Yes, a lot of moaners but not if you are skilled in customer service.
At least 50% of restaurants go belly up in the first year. Here's what you need to do:


Have a nice venue in the appropriate place.
Cook good food at reasonable prices. Good wine and drinks.
Have staff that are skilled in good customer service, actually like people and actively weed out the employees who prove to be pretentious, uncaring and ignorant despite your best hiring efforts.
Have excellent business skills.


You will still get boorish and problem customers but the good will outweigh the bad. A read of the above posts is a good indicator of what folks are looking for and why they would return as repeat clients.

Stanwell
25th Aug 2016, 17:37
Spot-on, meadowrun.
Having had a bit to do with the hospitality biz myself, your sentence on staff choice, particularly, I think, is profound.

G-CPTN
25th Aug 2016, 18:19
8l5twcFiYd0

Farrell
25th Aug 2016, 18:59
"Give me a proper plate"

We Want Plates (http://wewantplates.com)

LeftBlank
25th Aug 2016, 19:01
Now excuse me if I missed it amongst the previous pages but can anyone who has worked in the restaurant trade answer me this - why, when entering a restaurant with perhaps one, single diner already seated do waiters ignore all the other empty tables and sit you right next to the poor individual (or other couple). It is rude and often down right embarrassing :(
Experienced it in many countries but British restaurants seem to train their staff to do it….why? Even one table away would still allow them to keep an eye on customers.

Pontius Navigator
25th Aug 2016, 20:00
Left Bank, you may find the converse too where diners are scattered throughout the restaurant so that a number of waiters have an equal load.

419
25th Aug 2016, 20:19
"Give me a proper plate"

I honestly think that if I was served up some of those dishes in a pub or restaurant and hadn't been advised before ordering of how they would be presented, I would simply refuse to accept it and walk out.
I'm all for establishments doing things to make them a bit individual and to help them stand out from the crowd but sweetcorn and fries served in old chipped and rusty mugs?

ex_matelot
25th Aug 2016, 20:37
Re ordering a takeaway coffee.I was the only person in the place ( a chain coffee outlet),apart from the staff.I ordered,they insisted on having my name.I was standing 2 metres away from the 'barista', waiting.She screamed out my name at the top of her lungs then plonked it down on the counter and disappeared out the back,instead

I believe the "staff" answer to that question is, in all circumstances - "Spartacus" and watch carnage ensue.

Gertrude the Wombat
25th Aug 2016, 20:52
Now excuse me if I missed it amongst the previous pages but can anyone who has worked in the restaurant trade answer me this - why, when entering a restaurant with perhaps one, single diner already seated do waiters ignore all the other empty tables and sit you right next to the poor individual (or other couple).We've had the reverse, on two occasions.


(1) In the USA, we ordered a vast amount of alcohol to go with our meal - a whole litre of house wine between just two of us. They did actually serve us, looking somewhat aghast at our blatant immoral behaviour, and all subsequent families entering the restaurant were seated at the far end where they were as far away as possible from these outrageous drunken foreigners.

(2) A certain hotel in York which may remain nameless. It had a very long thin breakfast room, and was clearly seating all the married couples at one end of the room and all the people on dirty weekends (like us) at the other. And this was the late 1980s, not the 1950s FFS.


Edit:

Oh, and there was the occasion on which they did put us next to the only other two people in the restaurant, being my MP and his wife, who had deliberately gone to a restaurant he knew would be empty in order to get away from the punters for a couple of hours. So we said "hello" to them and then ignored them.

obgraham
25th Aug 2016, 21:30
Never, ever, invest in a restaurant.
Too many moaners out there.
and
Here's what you need to do:
Have a nice venue in the appropriate place.
Quite the contrary. If you want to make money as a restaurant, better to adjust your venue and product downwards.
Been very successful for McDonald's

DirtyProp
25th Aug 2016, 21:31
Now excuse me if I missed it amongst the previous pages but can anyone who has worked in the restaurant trade answer me this - why, when entering a restaurant with perhaps one, single diner already seated do waiters ignore all the other empty tables and sit you right next to the poor individual (or other couple). It is rude and often down right embarrassing :(
Experienced it in many countries but British restaurants seem to train their staff to do it….why? Even one table away would still allow them to keep an eye on customers.
It's called "Herding the cattle"...;)

Hydromet
25th Aug 2016, 23:53
Having had a bit to do with the hospitality biz myself, your sentence on staff choice, particularly, I think, is profound.+1.

At my favourite restaurant, it's the staff (and the way they've been trained) who make all the difference.

Metro man
26th Aug 2016, 00:03
Some restaurants have a large table for those dining alone, possibly to make the best use of available seating and also to enable singles to socialise. Cruise ships are very keen on this option and you can get to meet some interesting people this way.

Women on business trips often find it agreeable to be seated with other women in the same situation.

It used to be quite boring when dining alone to sit staring into space between courses, these days however the smart phone provides a diversion.

Sue Vêtements
26th Aug 2016, 00:32
but not as much of a diversion as a stripper!





It WAS Miami Beach though :(

Effluent Man
26th Aug 2016, 08:35
The problem with staff is that it is regarded as a low skill, low status job with rewards to match. There are some people prepared to dedicate themselves to a seven quid an hour job, often with split shifts, but not many. Restaurant staff in France are noticeably more professional.

ExXB
26th Aug 2016, 09:08
Re plates.

I just hate it when restaurants decide that they want form over function with theirs. Give me a plate that I can park my cutlery on, for goodness sake!

Stanwell
26th Aug 2016, 09:24
Seems those kind of plates aren't needed these days.
The brats have decided that table manners are passé.

The preferred dining technique now seems to be:
Elbows on table, waving one's eating irons around while trying to talk loudly with a full mouth.
It's awful. I just can't watch.

Sallyann1234
26th Aug 2016, 09:55
At our local High Street that has a few restaurants, the staff will always try to seat early arrivals close to the windows. I presume this is to persuade passers-by that the place is well patronised.

ATNotts
26th Aug 2016, 10:01
Seems those kind of plates aren't needed these days.
The brats have decided that table manners are passé.

The preferred dining technique now seems to be:
Elbows on table, waving one's eating irons around while trying to talk loudly with a full mouth.
It's awful. I just can't watch.
If you have the misfortune to find yourself, usually at a family gathering, lumbered with "Sunday Lunch" or a "Carvery" at one those dreadful chain pubs, take a look at the younger element using, or rather trying to use, cutlery. Many seemingly can't use a knife, nor hold a fork properly! They are about as proficient as me trying to use chop sticks. Don't even start me on the phones and even tablets that they constantly have to fiddle with throughout the meal.

My relatives are absolutely no exception as regards the technology, they can thankfully use cutlery!

I blame the fast food, eat with your fingers culture that is now all pervasive in UK today, whether eating at home or out.

TWT
26th Aug 2016, 10:22
Sallyann,they also prioritise 'attractive' people to those front window tables.In much the same way as posh hotels always leave a Ferrari,Bentley or Lamborghini parked in the front driveway adjacent to the the 'No Parking' signs.

Stanwell
26th Aug 2016, 10:22
You're pretty close to it there, ATN.
What was wrong with their parents and educators?
Where did WE go wrong, I then have to ask myself.

Just as a BTW, whatever happened to that rort, "Cuisine Minceur" ?

Carry0nLuggage
26th Aug 2016, 10:41
Stanwell: There's a common variant to that which is sitting sideways, spearing with a fork whatever comes in range.

It would be fun :E to watch these people try and eat a curry without cutlery. (I never quite mastered the technique myself, the final step with the thumb tended to go a bit awry :uhoh:)

ATNotts
26th Aug 2016, 10:50
You're pretty close to it there, ATN.
What was wrong with their parents and educators?
Where did WE go wrong, I then have to ask myself.

Just as a BTW, whatever happened to that rort, "Cuisine Minceur" ?
"We" (Mrs ATN and I) had a strict regime where meals were eaten at table, with eating irons, never finger food, aside the occasional pizza. There was no TV in the dining area. Actually our daughter never had a high-chair, she was sat on a bar stool when she was old enough to sit and realised pretty quickly that moving around wasn't an option.

I see so many families sat, fingerfood on lap, gawping at the idiotbox. Like puppies, if they are not trained from a young age, they'll never learn!

obgraham
26th Aug 2016, 17:09
I blame the fast food, eat with your fingers culture that is now all pervasive in UK today, whether eating at home or out.On the other hand, you folks eat your pizza with a knife and fork!

Gertrude the Wombat
26th Aug 2016, 18:53
I blame the fast food, eat with your fingers culture that is now all pervasive in UK today, whether eating at home or out.
The reason one of my kids ate with his fingers until quite a late age was that that was how some of the kids at school ate all the time, and the staff weren't going to make some kids but not others use cutlery.

Gertrude the Wombat
26th Aug 2016, 18:54
It would be fun http://cdn.pprune.org/images/smilies/evil.gif to watch these people try and eat a curry without cutlery
Um, yes, that's that chapatis are for - I never ask for cutlery when I got to the Kash in Bradford.

Pontius Navigator
27th Aug 2016, 15:01
Venice is probably in a league of its own. Rialto Bridge, tea time, sat down for beers, four of us. Be off, dinner time, you go.

St Marks Square, well just before the Square. Sat down, yes Sir, beers, please to sit inside. As no one was sitting outside we declined, said we only wanted a quick beer.

In the event people saw us and came and sat down. We were gone before the outside space was half full.

sitigeltfel
27th Aug 2016, 15:21
P.N. Everyone who has been to Venice will recognise that scenario. Four of us ordered coffee in one of the lesser known squares and my wife asked for a small glass of water so that she could take a paracetamol. When the bill came, there was an extra 50c for the water! They know you won't be back, so they screw you for all it is worth.

Effluent Man
27th Aug 2016, 15:42
My friend got his bill in Venice and found five euros had been added. When he queried it the answer was that they had some musicians playing live music to the diners. He refused to pay, which they accepted. Presumably most people didn't notice the addition to the bill or didn't query it.

Gertrude the Wombat
27th Aug 2016, 16:02
playing live music to the diners
Hotel restaurant in Hungary, Gypsy band comes in and starts playing to the diners.


Somehow (I forget the exact conversation) with the connivance of some Germans at the next table I communicate to the Gypsies that Kate is a violinist, and would like to have a go.


Gypsy looks rather worried as he hands over his violin, but then relaxes as Kate joins in and he sees that she does actually know what she's doing.


After which we felt that a larger than usual tip to the band was in order ... but the other diners didn't tip Kate!