Eating With Assholes

by Rodzilla on January 28, 2013 · 11 comments

Cheese, honeycomb, fennel, cornbreadFrom now on, the only asshole I’m eating with is myself. Really. The only thing I hate more than shitty service are people who treat the service like shit. Rant started.

*pictures taken from a great tasting menu at Sky Room under Chef Luke Johnson. Full set here

Oyster - salsify, grapefruit, chiveNow, blatant negligence is one thing; otherwise don’t be an ass. There’s nothing wrong with offering feedback on likes and dislikes, that’s a way to ensure quality or make things better. It’s even okay to be critical so long as it’s meant to be constructive, not insulting.

So here are a few things to keep in mind before giving your thoughts on that restaurant, meal, dish, or component that wasn’t quite to your tastes. At least, if you’re planning to offer them to me.

Lentil - onion, pig, yamYou’re not the only diner in the restaurant
-As much as I’m sure the chef would love to provide a custom tasting menu accommodating your 17 different dietary restrictions in the middle of rush on a holiday weekend, it’s not always feasible.
-The waitress at the neighborhood bistro let your water glass stay empty for an entire minute?! That shit would never happen at Per Se…but you’re not at Per Se, and you’re not going to die of thirst.

Nobody is trying to serve you bad food
So don’t act like it.  You won’t like everything, and mistakes will happen, but I promise you the Chef isn’t scheming in the kitchen to figure out ways to piss you off.

Gnocchi - beet, veal, lemon, parmesanThere’s more to a menu price than ingredient costs
Oh you know the wholesale price, or saw it for less at the farmers market? You’re also paying for labor, skill, the setting, and the cost to keep the lights on.  If you’re expecting to eat “at cost” than you’re going to have to cook it for yourself at home.

Your actions reflect on your entire party
So if you act like a douche and you’re sitting at my table, I end up looking like even more of a douche by association. That’s like the last thing I need.

Venison - celery, pine nut, raisin, sageBeing an asshole isn’t funny
It’s not hard to be clever and cutting. No one is impressed with your witty simile comparing the food to something inedible, especially not the waiter. It takes a lot more skill to cleverly describe something you liked than be insulting.

Check your ego
-For all the talk of chefs with big egos, there are diners out there with bigger ones.
-I don’t care if you’ve eaten all over the world, or had better in LA, Copenhagen, or Spain for that matter.  That doesn’t make it okay to belittle. If your palate is so refined, mention a few things you like.  Every dish doesn’t have to be exquisite for it to be enjoyable, and your incessant  nit-picking is killing everyone else’s good time.

Gourd - chocolate, spice, streusel, chestnutTreat others like..
You know the rest of this one. If you’re disrespectful to the service team, you’re more than an asshole, you’re missing out on an opportunity to have a really enjoyable experience.

…and if you really don’t like it, don’t go back. There’s a natural cycle to these things, if it’s that bad then the place won’t last. You can save yourself the effort of trying to ruin reputations with your personal vendetta.  End rant.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicholas

Yo, call ‘em out. Who was this?

2 NerdsWithFood

I totally agree! And when said asshole is rude to the wait service and is being loud and obnoxious, I have to stay behind to apologize to the waitstaff because I’m a regular that has to show my face there again. Said asshole is then blacklisted from any and all future food outings. I always go back to that person and say: thanks for ruining my meal, JERK.

Do you blacklist people from meal times?

3 DiningOutSD

Roddy, LOVE IT….not sure how your really were feeling at first but by the 4th paragraph I was in tune. ;0) Can you make it tomorrow night to Chef Bands? Hope so!!

4 donuts4dinner

Couldn’t pay attention to anything you wrote, because I’m too busy NEEDING THIS TASTING.

The other kind of asshole is the one who tells her life story to the waiter while I awkwardly sit there next to her, clearly discerning that the server doesn’t care and wondering how she isn’t noticing it. Oh, you teach a Rumba class in Carroll Gardens on Tuesdays and Thursdays that keeps you looking so young that you got carded this one time at Applebee’s despite being the oldest one at the table? STOP TALKING.

But sorry, your situation sounds way worse.

5 Nick Rovo

Words can’t begin to describe how perfect this rant was.

6 Bianca

I’m a waitress at a Kosher restaurant. It’s an upscale place. I deal with this stuff all of the time. Men grabbing my arm, saying “We’re ready to order,” while I’m in the midst of serving another table that is actually in *my* section, so I reluctantly approach their table, and stand there for literally minutes (which is significant when there are people needing their glasses to refilled) waiting for their spoiled children to decide whether they want seeded or unseeded rye. Just have to smile and nod. Dealing with people is the hard part of the job.

7 sherm

+1 to Nicholas’s comment – I know this applies to more than a few people in the “foodie” world, but if this is directed at someone in particular – call them out.

8 Kevin

Epic rant is epic. Well said.

9 Darlene

Great post! So true and I agree that everyone needs to check their ego at the door.

10 Brian Michael

As someone who both spent a lot of time working in restaurants and as a diner, I can whole heart-idly say, this post needs to be made into a set of flashcards that is handed to people that are being a-holes. Before you address their concerns, hand them the cards and give them a moment to digest it.

11 Shannon

Who are you to say to treat others like you would want to be treated? You don’t do that yourself. You are the last person who is equipped to give out any advice about how to treat anybody. No one needs you telling them what to do. Who don’t you try being the change that you would like to see in the world before you try giving suggestions?

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