A friend posted a link to this article on Facebook: The 44 Worst People in Every Restaurant. It’s about the worst traits of restaurant customers and we’ve all seen these people. Some of us have been these people, or one or two of them at least. Some of them are pretty funny. A few of my favorites:
The Ethnic Menu Over-Pronouncer
Do you really think that by calling prosciutto “pra-shoot” that the Italian waiter will go back to the kitchen and regale the chefs with praise-filled stories of the man at table 16? Also, you’re from Wayland, MA.
I do make an exception for this, though. If you’re of Latino descent, you get to do that trilling R thing. Mostly because I can’t do it and it always impresses me.
The Defiant Phone Caller
“No, don’t worry about it, I’m not busy. I’m just sitting at dinner with three other people in a restaurant, so obviously I feel like this is the right time to talk openly and loudly about why divorcing Doug was the best thing I’ve ever done for my sex life. Hold on, I’m getting another call.”
Seriously, this person needs to be euthanized. Preferably on national television as a warning to others.
The 18-Way Check Splitters
“We’ll do $39 each apiece these 10 cards, the debit cards are all $20 and we wrote down the pin numbers in alphabetical order, then the remainder is in Canadian dollars, and the steak knife is for you to murder us all when this finally causes you to snap.”
Yeah, that will make any server get stabby.
Did the words “well done, and please bring ketchup” really just come out of your mouth? That’s a $60 rib eye! The waiter looked like he wanted to cry.
Okay, you can order it any way you want, of course. But as Anthony Bourdain pointed out in Kitchen Confidential, the cooks usually have this one piece of gnarly steak that they keep throwing to the back of the drawer just for those who order steaks well done. And that’s the one you’re going to get. And you’re not going to notice it because it’s been turned into shoe leather anyway. And this is totally my dad, by the way. His steak is done when there’s no moisture left within a 50 foot radius.
But this has inspired me to create a similar list for the worst traits of restaurants as well. I love dining out and I’ve had extraordinary meals in $150 a plate restaurants and in BBQ joints in an old gas station. But there are some tendencies I’ve noticed in some of them that drive me batty. In no particular order:
The diner pretending to be French Laundry
Really, you’ve got a “Kobe beef London broil” on the menu for $19.95? I’m sure that will go over well with gourmands in Greenville, Michigan. And while we’re on the subject, if you pay $75 for a burger because it’s made with “Kobe beef,” you’ve got far more money than taste or good sense.
The exaggerated fame
No, I’m not buying the idea of “Chef Dave’s world famous cole slaw.” Especially since you’ve been open for all of three weeks. These first two, by the way, are from a real restaurant in Greenville, Michigan, about 15 minutes from my house. I swear, the owners must have a copy of Shitty Restaurants for Dummies.
Could you be more pretentious?
No, I’m not paying $80 for dessert because you’ve sprinkled it with gold leaf. Why the fuck would anyone want to eat gold leaf anyway? Patton Oswalt nailed this perfectly:
Food with cute names
I blame this all on Denny’s and their Moons Over My Hammy breakfast. Just. Fucking. Stop.
Happy bloody birthday
This is my biggest pet peeve of all, restaurants that send their poor humiliated servers out to sing happy birthday to some poor schmuck who clearly does not have enough attention in his life. Seriously, this should be a felony. And if anyone ever pulls that shit on me, they’re going to take a steak knife in the temple.