Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Restaurant Pet Peeves

I love salt. I am not one of those who automatically salts my food before tasting, but I don't have any problem adding it until it tastes just right. Sometimes I do go a little overboard. I could probably drop my blood pressure medicine if I lost the salt shaker, but I would rather just take a little pill and enjoy my food.

I have decided that some waitstaff in restaurants don't want you to use the salt. If you do, then that means at the end of the day, they have to refill it and they don't like to. They will pack it in so tight, that nothing will come out. At Blue Mesa, they use sea salt and it is so large, it won't fit through the holes of the shakers. My favorite shakers are the new "grinders" that a lot of restaurants are using. The salt is fresh and comes out easily and it has a cap on it so hopefully if parents let their children play with it, their slobber doesn't get on the inside. How many times have you tried to get salt out of a shaker only to discover it is damp and stuck? I hate to think about what made it damp.

When I drink tea at a restaurant, I add Equal until I get it just right. I hate it when I am not paying attention and the waiter fills it up and messes with my mix. It takes time to get it just right again. I had a really nice waiter at La Hacienda Ranch last week ask me if it was okay before he filled it up. That was a first.

Another pet peeve is if my Dr. Pepper is empty and I don't have anything to drink, please just bring me another one. You don't need to ask, just bring it anyway.

A bad smelling restaurant will make me want to run out of the door fast. A seafood restaurant that smells is scary. A old musty smell makes me worry about the condition of the kitchen. Very rarely will I ask to be moved when seated, but a seat close to the bathroom will make me bolt quickly. At La Hacienda Ranch, there are several tables close to the bathroom. They have a very strong deodorizer that they use, so when you are at those tables, you don't smell fajitas, you smell deodorizer.

Last but not least, is when I don't order alcohol with my meal and I am given the snub. We go to a lot of nice restaurants. When you refuse the wine list, you can see the look on the waiters face. "Why did I get these people at my table. There goes the good tip I was hoping for." I give good tips, even when you have an attitude and don't give me good service. I will make it worth your while.

I would love to be a restaurant consultant. Eating out as much as we do, I definitely have strong opinions about dining experiences and service.


Brea said...

If you find a way to get that restaurant consulting gig, let me know! I'd do that in a heartbeat too! :)

annie said...

I agree with all your pet peeves, and have to add I hate when the waiter lingers too long making conversation... I'm a friendly person but it can really ruin the conversation at the table. We're coming down to Dallas this weekend. We usually don't get to go anywhere 'fun' to eat because of time constraints...