Originally Posted by Huntsman
Where do you people eat? Yeah, if I'm in Friday's or Bennigans, or heaven forbid Red Lobster I expect this, but if I'm eating out, I eat at a restaurant (always modest) but I don't even get this.
You expect bad service from some places, then?
To answer your question, reservations for foreign visitors are seldom made at chain restaurants, only if the person is in town for several days and the secretary ran out of ideas for places to go for a quick lunch. The napkin thing was in an established restaurant in downtown St Louis, the plate being taken was, granted, at a "Bravo" (so I guess I had it coming), and the list of specials was at a local Italian that, for our city, would qualify as better than most. As to selecting restaurants in cities where we end up on business, it's not always easy to find the right place, especially if they have to accommodate a large party.
The foreigners unused to America typically only raise an eyebrow, some inquire or make an observation, which I attempt to explain as best I can as being part of the culture, certainly without taking sides. Only once did it get really ugly, in Honolulu, an Austrian trustee got downright nasty towards the waiter (who was incompetent, but still) and that took place in what could be termed an "upscale" restaurant. I sure was glad when that dinner ended. I took a long walk along the seashore to clear the bad vibes.