Originally Posted by globetrotter
for every story that you can come up with about poor US service, or let us say over familiar US service, I can come up with 2 about strange non-US service. as a good example, off the top of my head, a lot of places in germany have very bizzaire systems for ordering beer, that are specific to that city, and a foreigner, even one who speaks german, can find himself uncomfortable with trying to get served. such is life, and it is part of seeing new things.
I don't know if this was partially directed at me, GB, but I guess I was too subtle: I meant that I passed behavior that I think is unacceptable as "Cultural" so as not to put oil on the fire. If people like to have their plate taken as soon as they are done even while others are still eating, I suppose this is now becoming the American way. However, if someone pulls a plate as the last bite is about to be absorbed, I find it rude, but maybe I'm wrong and it is acceptable in America, what do I know, it seems anything goes.
I am one who appreciates cultural differences. And maybe here my own difference is that I like to take my meals slowly and enjoy conversations at the table without being rushed and without being continually interrupted. That's all I ask for. And for the different parts of the meal to arrive in such a way that I don't have to rearrange things on the table, and for my water to be refilled. I'm really easily satisfied, and lately, I suppose I've had nothing but bad luck? How did the restaurant industry change in the past 20 years, if someone can answer?
Also, for those who talk about standards and types of restaurants: as of what amount is one entitled not to see the wine arrive at the table 10 minutes after the steak was served?