Thursday, March 3, 2011

Minor Annoyances #1...or What Gives Me Agita?

I figured I'd start a little recurring feature about things that slightly annoy me when I go out to a restaurant or to a bar or to a restaurant with a bar. Or to a bar that serves food that isn't a restaurant. Okay, maybe these things really annoy me. Because they're friggin' annoying. See if you don't agree - and maybe add a few of your own.

Last night, Significant Eater and I went out to a place called Palena Cafe. It's the lower-priced cafe attached to the restaurant called Palena (and that might be annoying, but at least it's a good restaurant...I mean cafe. I think). If you've never heard of it, that's because it's located in Northwest Washington, D.C. , and really, who follows D.C. restaurants except people who live here? And your occasional senator, congressman, lobbyist, etc. And Spike.

I digress...back to annoyances. So here are a few, which is not to say anything bad about the restaurant (cafe) since they can apply anywhere and often do. It just so happens that a few of them happened last night.

When we got to the restaurant, after putting our name on a wait list (20 minutes - quoted correctly - yay) we went to the bar. Big loudmouth guy, sitting sideways on a barstool, pontificating, taking up about 3 spaces at the bar. Done with his drink even, and not ordering another one. So there's No. 1 - sit straight unless there's nobody milling around trying to get a drink or a seat. It's a bar, not your living room, douche.

Which brings me to No. 2. Unless you're the only one there, take your handbag/coat/poodle/
Duane Reade bag off the bar stool. It's for people, not your personal coat check area.

Which brings me to No. 3. Take your damn umbrella or your damn pocketbook off of the bar. You probably had it on the floor of the subway before getting here; it's nice that you don't care about anyone else except yourself, and you might like eating off the floor, but we don't.

Oh, No. 4. Ask any bartender. The garnish tray is not your personal appetizer area. Keep your disgusting fingers out of the olives/orange slices/whatever.

Into the restaurant.

It really bugs me when the restaurant is out of the one thing I want to order. At 8 P.M. What did you do, make one of those? And then what I order sucks.

How about the reach? Across my face/body in order to fill a water glass or remove a plate.

Or maybe worse, to clear away my plate - when Significant Eater is still eating! You know, because she likes to eat alone. No partial bussing, please.

And here are a few of my favorite exchanges when dining out:

Server: "What will we be having for dinner tonight?" Me: "I didn't realize you'd be dining with us."

Server: "I like everything on the menu. It's all yummy."

And finally, at least for this installment...when I'm paying the bill, don't ask me if I want any change. From my $50. For the $30 check. Just bring it - your tip is likely to be bigger.

Now, I know I have a few more. I just can't think of them right now. But I always take a pen and paper with me, so I'll be writing them down and blogging about them more. And I'm sure you must have a few. Do share.


  1. I always hate when they ask, "How is your dinner so far?" I always respond with, "It's good so far, but should I be expecting trouble?" The partial busing also makes us nuts, especially as sometimes one of us might still want to eat those last two potatoes on the plate....

  2. @Gary - I like that one! So far. Awesome.

  3. I 100% subscribe to everything you've just said. Especially appreciating a correctly quoted wait time. Don't tell me it will be 30 minutes to keep me off your back if it will only be 5. That just interrupts my cocktail and makes me not like you.

  4. I hate it when sitting at a bar, the person next to me shoves their finished plate or dirty napkin right in front of me.

  5. You are my favorite curmudgeon! Is it just that we are NuYawkers and expect more than most...or is it just that the rest of the world are putzes? Either way, you hit on all the good ones and I agree totally!

  6. Last week a waiter asked me if I was finished with my plate. I told her no. She asked me if I was sure. I responded, I think I know when I am done! Geez lady, I'm still eating the bread @d I'm enjoying it and NOBODY is waiting for a table!

  7. you strike me as a guy that would eat his entire meal with a smile, then complain to a manager afterward.

  8. @ "Anonymous" - and you'd be wrong. But one thing that really pisses me off is anonymous commenters. Grow a pair.

  9. Hey Mitch,
    Anonymity is no worse than passivity.
    Grow a pair and
    1. kindly ask the person taking up 3 seats to make room for you and your eater if it bothers you that much
    2. kindly ask the person to take their belongings off the stool if it bothers you that much.
    3 Kindly ask the person to take their belongings off the bar if it bothers you that much.

    How would you suggest that hosts calculate an accurate wait time?

  10. @kitschnclassics:

    1: I never speak to drunk bloviators. Starts too many problems.

    2: I do

    3: I do

    I don't understand your final point. The hostess did calculate an accurate wait time.

  11. And I guess I'm not the only one...