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US waiters' worst conduct

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kennethpollock, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Saucemaster

    Saucemaster Well-Known Member

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    I think that they are close.
    I also think that after one eats in USA chain restaurants for more than 2-3 times, and still does not recognize the Giant Chains Hick Service being what it is, a phony, hyped, sales-pitch and robtic con-job, but thinking that the waiter really is being "personal" and genuinely warm and enthusiastic towards one, makes that person so naive, unworldly, mindless and unsophisticated as to deserve being called a REDNECK.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/bumpkin...nsophisticated


    Let's try extending this logic to another form of human relationship and see if it comes off similarly crass and cynical:

    "I also think that after one has had more than a few girlfriends, and still does not recognize female sexuality for what it is--a phony, contrived, gold-digging, transactional exchange of sex for money and status--but thinks that the woman is being 'loving' and genuinely warm and enthusiastic, makes that person so naive, unworldly, mindless, and unsophisticated as to deserve being called a redneck."

    Yep!

    Who says these horrible unsophisticates don't realize what's going on? Just because many people play a game doesn't mean emotions can't be genuine. Plus, even when they aren't genuine, sometimes it's nice to pretend, no? If given a choice between a surly and subservient waiter who makes no effort to view me as anything more than a tip machine and a waiter who fronts as a friendly, engaging person in order to comply with corporate mandates... I can imagine many people choosing the latter despite knowing full well what's going on, because plenty of people prefer familiarity regardless. It makes them more comfortable, and that's part of what they look for in their dining experience.

    I think that, rather than being ignorant, unsophisticated rednecks, most of them are probably operating one step beyond you. They just don't get bent out of shape about it.
     
  2. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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    You consider making your own drinks at your table less unsophisticated than taking some of your food home so it doesn't go to waste?

    I VERY, VERY discreetly hold the glass under the table and pour the contents of one of the bottles into it. I do not think anyone has ever noticed, but a few waiters have been rather startled to see that the beige drink they served me a few minutes before had become bright green (when I am making a Perroquet). A Moresque is about the same color as the original drink.

    Those of us from the 1950s, who had to keep a brown bag under the table in many "dry" cities, are rather adept at doing this.
     
  3. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    I VERY, VERY discreetly hold the glass under the table and pour the contents of one of the bottles into it. I do not think anyone has ever noticed, but a few waiters have been rather startled to see that the beige drink they served me a few minutes before had become bright green (when I am making a Perroquet). A Moresque is about the same color as the original drink.

    Those of us from the 1950s, who had to keep a brown bag under the table in many "dry" cities, are rather adept at doing this.

    Do you use the same discretion when substituting your own wine glasses?
     
  4. whoopee

    whoopee Well-Known Member

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    That's cooler than the cap-wearing crowd's visual rebellion.
     
  5. whoopee

    whoopee Well-Known Member

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    I also want to add that in some countries it is becoming popular to bring one's own utensils to restaurants for sanitary and environmental reasons.
     
  6. 4Mica

    4Mica Well-Known Member

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    Xactly.


    Gimme, o gimme, o gimme a redneck girl.
     
  7. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Well-Known Member

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    I VERY, VERY discreetly hold the glass under the table and pour the contents of one of the bottles into it. I do not think anyone has ever noticed, but a few waiters have been rather startled to see that the beige drink they served me a few minutes before had become bright green (when I am making a Perroquet). A Moresque is about the same color as the original drink.

    Those of us from the 1950s, who had to keep a brown bag under the table in many "dry" cities, are rather adept at doing this.

    I am not familiar with the liquor control or licensing regulations in Georgia, but I believe this behavior would be a violation of law in both my present state of residence and the previous. [​IMG]
     
  8. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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    I am not familiar with the liquor control or licensing regulations in Georgia, but I believe this behavior would be a violation of law in both my present state of residence and the previous. [​IMG]


    I doubt it. Both the Orgeat and mint stuff are just [non-alcoholic] syrups, just like the stuff used to make snow-cones for kids. It would be equivalent to adding some orange juice or Pepsi to an alcoholic drink.
     
  9. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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  10. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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  11. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    KP, your ideology is not wrong, but you are not versed well in enough in the ideology that you are as passionate about to be able to follow it. Given, you are years ahead of me in age, but it is more than likely that I am far more well traveled than yourself (and I try to say that in as humble a way as possible.) More importantly, I am European, and so unless you are going to go back on your own words, I know better.
    Firstly, let's take the concept of using a Michelin Guide in the USA, the idea in itself is nonsensical; I'm sure I don't need to tell you why.
    Then let's get down to the point of your behavior. One's own behavior, and the way in which each individual person carries them is perhaps the most important part of a fine dining experience.
    Excuse me, but I'm going to slightly diverge here, why do want service like you are dining in Les Ambasedures at the Crillion, or 1880 at the Bentley Kempinski, when you're not.
    Anyway, as I was saying, carry yourself in a respectable way, before you pass critique on others. In context, you speaking French, if, given the rare circumstance that you are dining at 1880, the vast majority of diners at 1880 are going to be well heeled. That is to say, they are going to know that you are not a native French speaker (anyone with vague cultural horizons can spot a non-French accent speaking French). In much of a much ness, this simply makes you look stupid.
    Secondly, archaic etiquette would say that if you do not like what or how things are being served at a restaurant, then it would be proper not to dine at that establishment. This makes forth for the case that you bringing your own wine glasses, syrup and spoons are again misdemeanor.
    That's not to say you're all wrong, archaic etiquette also agrees with much of what you want, but unless you're dining at the Palm Room at the Ritz, Oriental at the Dorchester, or similar establishments, it just does not apply.
    What's worse is you have clearly very little formal education in this type of thing. The waiter putting the wine cork by your nose is perfect protocol in a fine establishment, after all how else are you going to be sure if the wine is corked, you also my find it interesting to know that moving your elbows more that 35 degrees is poor demeanor when dining, so if you thought you could take the cork yourself, wrong. This brings us back to the point of wine glasses, if you were sitting in Petrus getting cutlery from your wine box, you're the one who people are going to talk about, not the waiters.
    3 Michelin starred restaurants serve rose, what does that say about your self induced "˜rules'.
    El Bulli, one of the finest restaurants in the world has a predominant selection of Spanish wine, which is hardly sought after. This shows how far your logic of, rose is cheap, so it is uncultured to drink it.
    These days, 3 Michelin starred restaurants in Europe (not that there were any in any other part of the world, last time I checked! So I really don't know why you're claiming to be dining at these types of places in the US) concentrate on using the finest local ingredients, and this is how they receive the accolade. The Fat Duck in Bray focuses on game that is native to Berkshire, El Bulli on produce that is native to the Catallina region. If I was dining at a 3 Michelin Starred restaurant in Anjou, I'd expect mostly rose on the wine list.
    Correct protocol also demands that once one is seated, the diners should be offered "˜an aperitif or champagne' in those exact words, I'm not going to have a fuss if the waiter does not say that to me at the Cipriani, Sketch, the Ivy, Drones, Bleeding Heart or Nobu (all fine dining establishments in their own right, and as expensive, if not more that places like Petrus, 1880, Savoy Grill, Mirabelle, or Racine), but at the same time, if I went to somewhere like Alain Ducasse at the Essex House or Masa, I'd find it odd if they said that to me. I think you are getting very confused between fine dining and expensive dining.
    The most important observation I have made is that it seems that you are afraid of how these, in your words, "˜petty' waiters are judging you. I mean you feel it is wrong to take food away with you, and you don't want to order rose, for no other reason, I think, that to make yourself look good in front of the wait staff. The same way you bring your wine glasses and syrups, this is simply because you want to cover for your insecurities, you feel the waiter is doing things wrong, and so somehow you have the right to do things wrong yourself. The wineglasses and syrups are just your safety net to say, in your own mind to the waiters you think don't know anything, that I know more than you, and am more sophisticated than you. Whereas, this is clearly not the case, you don't. If you think it impresses other diners in the restaurant, you are again wrong, assuming ceteris parabus, i.e. you are actually dining in 3 Michelin stared restaurants, then you would not really last more than 5 mins. Unless the people in that restaurant were insanely polite.
    Basically, you don't fit in with the general US dining public, but its also sure as hell that you don't fit in with us Europeans.
     
  12. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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    LE CAB
    2 Pl. du Palais Royal
    Paris
    Tel: 58 62 56 25
    info@cab.fr
    www.cabaret.fr

    Jet-setty Jacques Garcia's original look for this louche boudoir-like bar-restaurant across the street from the Palais Royal has just been updated by Franco-Japanese designer Ora Ito. And assuming you get past face control, it's a sexy and very chilled-out place to spend an evening. Who can resist lounging on one of the big donut-shaped banquettes or the cozy bedlike niches while sipping a caipirinha or a Pisco sour? Frequented by models and their followers, it also pulls young aristos, both local and visiting. The result: one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful crowds to be found anywhere in Paris on any given night.


    E*****t's comments about this place:

    "you can add that the service WAS AWFUL
    "1= no tap water!!!!!! no carafe!!!! The waiter told me "we have no carafe"
    "So i told him = "I have a glass to you can bring me water"
    "2= they bring you some desert on tha table and ask you to choose, even if you didn't ask any desert, as if you must take a desert!!!!! So people feel obliged to take what they bring and not what is on the carte !!!!!!
    "I took no desert and told them it was not normal to bring us deserts as if they were free."
     
  13. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, let’s take the concept of using a Michelin Guide in the USA, the idea in itself is nonsensical; I’m sure I don’t need to tell you why.

    Michelin's first red guide to New York came out last year; it lists 5 *** places, I think. I have eaten in two of them, Jean-Georges amd Le Bernardin.

    Anyway, as I was saying, carry yourself in a respectable way, before you pass critique on others. In context, you speaking French, if, given the rare circumstance that you are dining at 1880, the vast majority of diners at 1880 are going to be well heeled. That is to say, they are going to know that you are not a native French speaker (anyone with vague cultural horizons can spot a non-French accent speaking French). In much of a much ness, this simply makes you look stupid.

    My French is not great, but the English of most Paris waiters is not too great, either. I think it is better to use a common language than for them to speak French and have me respond in English.

    Secondly, archaic etiquette would say that if you do not like what or how things are being served at a restaurant, then it would be proper not to dine at that establishment. This makes forth for the case that you bringing your own wine glasses, syrup and spoons are again misdemeanor.

    I only take my glasses to places that have inferior ones; not to the Ritz-Carlton or Seeger's in Atlanta. As to the two syrups, the same: only 2-3 places have them in Atlanta. I never take grenadine, used with Ricard, etc., to make a "tomat," as all restaurants have it. Few restaurants here have espresso spoons; I am often told that the guests steal them.


    The waiter putting the wine cork by your nose is perfect protocol in a fine establishment, after all how else are you going to be sure if the wine is corked,

    I have eaten at more than 100 starred restaurants in Europe and have never seen this; only in Atlanta.

    3 Michelin starred restaurants serve rose, what does that say about your self induced ‘rules’.
    El Bulli, one of the finest restaurants in the world has a predominant selection of Spanish wine, which is hardly sought after. This shows how far your logic of, rose is cheap, so it is uncultured to drink it.
    These days, 3 Michelin starred restaurants in Europe (not that there were any in any other part of the world, last time I checked! So I really don’t know why you’re claiming to be dining at these types of places in the US) concentrate on using the finest local ingredients, and this is how they receive the accolade. The Fat Duck in Bray focuses on game that is native to Berkshire, El Bulli on produce that is native to the Catallina region. If I was dining at a 3 Michelin Starred restaurant in Anjou, I’d expect mostly rose on the wine list.


    I drink rose myself in the South of France. By "blush," I meant White Zinfandel, a really dreadful product.

    Correct protocol also demands that once one is seated, the diners should be offered ‘an aperitif or champagne’ in those exact words, I’m not going to have a fuss if the waiter does not say that to me at the Cipriani, Sketch, the Ivy, Drones, Bleeding Heart or Nobu (all fine dining establishments in their own right, and as expensive, if not more that places like Petrus, 1880, Savoy Grill, Mirabelle, or Racine), but at the same time, if I went to somewhere like Alain Ducasse at the Essex House or Masa, I’d find it odd if they said that to me. I think you are getting very confused between fine dining and expensive dining.

    I do not disagree with this. Of all the places listed by you, I have only been to Drones and to Racine (twice). Both were very pleasant, but neither has a Michelin star.

    The most important observation I have made is that it seems that you are afraid of how these, in your words, ‘petty’ waiters are judging you. I mean you feel it is wrong to take food away with you, and you don’t want to order rose, for no other reason, I think, that to make yourself look good in front of the wait staff.

    If you think it is okay to ask to take home the leftovers in France, I submit that you know little about French fine dining customs.

    The same way you bring your wine glasses and syrups, this is simply because you want to cover for your insecurities, you feel the waiter is doing things wrong, and so somehow you have the right to do things wrong yourself. The wineglasses and syrups are just your safety net to say, in your own mind to the waiters you think don’t know anything, that I know more than you, and am more sophisticated than you. Whereas, this is clearly not the case, you don’t.

    Again, I only use these things when the restaurant does not have them (or good ones, in the case of the glassware).

    If you think it impresses other diners in the restaurant, you are again wrong, assuming ceteris parabus, i.e. you are actually dining in 3 Michelin stared restaurants, then you would not really last more than 5 mins. Unless the people in that restaurant were insanely polite.

    I try to be subtle and rarely do other diners notice. A couple of times, I have heard them ask the waiter why they did not also get a wine basket or such large glasses, as I did. I was not ejected from the two *** restaurants in France (three if you count Arpege-but it only had ** when I ate there), the one in Belgium or the one in Germany. I did not need to take any of these things to Europe, as they have them. Furthermore, they gave me the type of service that I would like to get everywhere here.
     
  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    B,

    it is actually worse that that - in a post last year, KP talked about how he and his sophisticated friends, americans all, spoke french to one another in resteraunts in atlanta, to show their sophistication to the heathens.
     
  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    Michelin's first red guide to New York came out last year; it lists 5 *** places, I think. I have eaten in two of them, Jean-Georges amd Le Bernardin.



    My French is not great, but the English of most Paris waiters is not too great, either. I think it is better to use a common language than for them to speak French and have me respond in English.



    I only take my glasses to places that have inferior ones; not to the Ritz-Carlton or Seeger's in Atlanta. As to the two syrups, the same: only 2-3 places have them in Atlanta. I never take grenadine, used with Ricard, etc., to make a "tomat," as all restaurants have it. Few restaurants here have espresso spoons; I am often told that the guests steal them.




    I have eaten at more than 100 starred restaurants in Europe and have never seen this; only in Atlanta.



    I drink rose myself in the South of France. By "blush," I meant White Zinfandel, a really dreadful product.



    I do not disagree with this. Of all the places listed by you, I have only been to Drones and to Racine (twice). Both were very pleasant, but neither has a Michelin star.



    If you think it is okay to ask to take home the leftovers in France, I submit that you know little about French fine dining customs.



    Again, I only use these things when the restaurant does not have them (or good ones, in the case of the glassware).



    I try to be subtle and rarely do other diners notice. A couple of times, I have heard them ask the waiter why they did not also get a wine basket or such large glasses, as I did. I was not ejected from the two *** restaurants in France (three if you count Arpege-but it only had ** when I ate there), the one in Belgium or the one in Germany. I did not need to take any of these things to Europe, as they have them. Furthermore, they gave me the type of service that I would like to get everywhere here.


    I hate to take this tone, espetially if you were a diner in the 50's, you are certainly my senior by a few years, and I hate to be disrespctful.

    what I tell my son is, if something is wrong, then as a gentleman one doesn't do it, even if there is good motivation. it seems to me that you are saying "the only reason I bring my own glasses and drinks is because the resteraunts I frequesnt do not have glasses or drinks like I like, so even if it may be wrong, I a simply forced to bring my own".


    I understand your desire to have the type of beverages that you enjoy, and I understand your desire to drink from quality glasses. but the fact that you believe that you have justifiable motiviation, doesn't make what you do very cultured. I would believe that pretty much anything that you do in a resteraunt under the table so that others don't see you is probrably not a good idea.

    but that is just me.

    the point being - you yourself are taking very large liberties with the way things should be done, and yet you are insisting that the whole world follow those rules which you have decided shouldn't be broken.

    where is the logic in this?
     
  16. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    BTW, the rednecks I know tend prefer less talk from waitstaff, with the exception of that at Hooters. Just FYI.
     
  17. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    Michelin's first red guide to New York came out last year; it lists 5 *** places, I think. I have eaten in two of them, Jean-Georges amd Le Bernardin.

    I am aware that Michelin has now started it's guide in the US, but to base anything on a year old guide is ridiculous. In my opinion the Michelin guide has no relevance to the US dining scene, and how would they determine it anyway, surley they just base it on some other US system.

    In France, no problem, from what others are saying it seems you are speaking French in the US, whether or not this is true, I don't know. I'm just assuming, and I apologise if this is the case.

    Just don't dine in such places if it causes you so much distress. I don't take a wine glass with me when I go to a dim sum house in chinatown!

    So I'm assuming you are waving your hands all over the table. Or perhaps there is some misunderstanding here; sure the cork should not literaly be put to your nose, it should be displayed to you.

    That's like saying you can drink Pouilly Fumee but not Fruscati.

    Racine now has 1.


    I would not do it, where did I say I would? That is not to say that it is wrong. As far as tradition goes, there is nothing to say it is wrong either. This is somewhat a controversial point, like mobile phones in restaurants. In terms of tradition it is those who get irritated with those using mobiles who are behaving is an incorrect manner. I don't like people having loud conversations on the phone at tables, but if you think about it rationally there is nothing to say they cannot have a conversation on a mobile phone at a reasonable volume
    As far as protocol is concerned, there is nothing wrong with mobile phone conversations and taking food home, you may feel embarrassed asking to do so in Pierre Gaignaire, but that is because you are too conscious of yourself, and perhaps even uncomfortable with the type of service which you love so much, now isn't that irony.
    The reason I would not do it is because I rarely have food left over. However, if my financial situation was tight, which it is not, so again, another reason why I have never taken food from a restaurant home with me, and I was dining in such a restaurant because it is a special occasion, in terms of archaic etiquette, there is nothing wrong in having the left over food packed.


    As above.

    Being subtle is worse.

    What I find most ridiculous is that I tell you I'm European. I have been born and brought up here, and then you have the audacity to tell me that I am not as accustomed with European dining customs as you are. Sorry to have to be rude to you, but seriously, what are you talking about?
    I also find it interesting to observe the fact that you ignore many points in my previous post, and only respond to that which you have an answer for.
     
  18. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    I hate to take this tone, espetially if you were a diner in the 50's, you are certainly my senior by a few years, and I hate to be disrespctful.

    what I tell my son is, if something is wrong, then as a gentleman one doesn't do it, even if there is good motivation. it seems to me that you are saying "the only reason I bring my own glasses and drinks is because the resteraunts I frequesnt do not have glasses or drinks like I like, so even if it may be wrong, I a simply forced to bring my own".


    I understand your desire to have the type of beverages that you enjoy, and I understand your desire to drink from quality glasses. but the fact that you believe that you have justifiable motiviation, doesn't make what you do very cultured. I would believe that pretty much anything that you do in a resteraunt under the table so that others don't see you is probrably not a good idea.

    but that is just me.

    the point being - you yourself are taking very large liberties with the way things should be done, and yet you are insisting that the whole world follow those rules which you have decided shouldn't be broken.

    where is the logic in this?


    I could not have said it better myself.
     
  19. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Well-Known Member

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    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
    I doubt it. Both the Orgeat and mint stuff are just [non-alcoholic] syrups, just like the stuff used to make snow-cones for kids. It would be equivalent to adding some orange juice or Pepsi to an alcoholic drink.
    I misunderstood, Mr. Pollock. Please forgive my stupidity. (edited for comma. [​IMG] )
     
  20. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    B,

    it is actually worse that that - in a post last year, KP talked about how he and his sophisticated friends, americans all, spoke french to one another in resteraunts in atlanta, to show their sophistication to the heathens.


    That is ridiculous! [​IMG]
     

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