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Oct 14, 2006 04:24 PM

You are likely to not have a good meal at a restaurant if . .

1) The restaurant has a really bad name like "Pastabilities", "Sir Loin's", or "Best O' Thymes".
2) You can easily get seated for dinner in a really slick modern looking restaurant at 8PM on a Saturday Night (without a reservation).
3) Chicken Quesadillas are featured on the menu (and particularly if it's not a Mexican Restaurant).
4) They have to tell you on the menu that their food is: "delicious", "tasty", or "fresh".
5) It's German or Austrian.:)

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  1. I disagree with 5. It's only true if you don't like good food of that cuisine. I would be happy to eat your schnitzel, spaetzle and strudel und schlag for you. It's a cuisine sorely missing in the Boston area, and many Boston hounds sigh over that.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      And, in NY, we now have "high end" Austrian - Danube, Wallse, Blaue Gans (a little less highend - same crew). Definitely belies your number 5.

      1. re: Karl S

        good schnitzle is good schnitzle. Let's not forget a wonderful addition that German cuisine has given us, forgive the spelling please, shveinahassen, mainly served in beer establishments in Germany. It's the butt of a pig that's been roasted for a few hours in the basement next to the beer kegs. Serve that with some red cabbage and potatoes and you have a feast. Then some great weissewurst from Munich with a stein.

        Number 5 needs to come off.

        1. re: jfood

          Schweinhax'n is one of the best things on the planet.

        2. re: Karl S

          What's wrong with German Food.
          Here are my reasons not to have a good meal at a restaurant
          Young Wait staff ( Collage and HS students)
          Empty Rest at 8 pm on the weekend
          Any place with a childerns menu
          Wait staff with an attitude and you haven't said a word yet to them.

          1. re: FAL

            I object to reason #1. I waited tables all through senior year and college, always at quality restaurants - no chains, all well-established family bistros and cafés.

            Now if the _chef_ is in high school...

            1. re: FAL

              Re: "Young Wait staff (Collage and HS students)"

              Well, high school students might not make the best servers, but I have found that art students (whether they specialize in photography, sculpture, oils, collages or...) tend to have delightfully quirky, outgoing personalities that can add to the dining experience. Are you anti-art in general, or do you just dislike collage art?

                1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                  pretty sure that they meant college, not collage art.

                2. re: FAL

                  I learned to wait tables at the Men's Union at U of M, then spent Summers doing the same at private clubs. It was the next best job to getting through college. Next time, I will tend bar and make better tips!
                  The best thing from the experience to this day was learning how to eat WELL and understanding good service. That is eating Healthy Foods instead of the junk foods.

                  1. re: nutrition

                    Exactly Understanding good service. Once you recieve good service it's hard to have it any other way. My advice to anyone go to any high end rest and see how you are served a meal. That's why I posted HS and Collage students.( Sorry I should have explained myself better) Taking an order and dropping a plate is not the only thing a waiter does. There are waiter's in NYC that make more $$$$ then some chefs.Trust me when I get a good waiter he/she gets a 20 % tip. Plus I do not treat them like dirt. It is a 2 way street. Next time you walk in they are even more heplful. With out asking. As for bartending a good bartender always remember what a good tipper drinks plus customer always remembers a good bartender.

                3. re: Karl S

                  Austrian food can be really wonderful if you are lucky to have a good source or chef. And as Karl S said, I will happily eat your schnitzel, spaetzle, and strudel und schlag as well as drink your beer. Also fat sausages roasting in a pan, chicken boullion, marzipan....

                  1. re: JudiAU

                    And don't forget the spectacular pastries.

                  2. re: Karl S

                    Struedel MIT Schlag (and note that German nouns are always capitalised).

                  3. Again, disagree with #5 on your list too. Not something I'd eat on a weekly basis, but it sure is a nice hearty meal when that's what you're looking for.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Rick

                      I disagree with #5 also. I don't eat that type of food too often, but have hardly ever had a bad meal when going out for German type of food. Not trendy, gourmet or low cal but real comfort food.

                      1. re: jackie de

                        The last one was a joke (sort of). I understand that there any many Michelin starred restaurants located in Germany-Austria (and apparently some great ones in NYC too). I personally have had bad experiences with this cuisine in North America though.

                        1. re: Chinon00

                          To hell with Michelin.

                          Use your own taste.

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            To hell with the concept of "Germany-Austria."

                      2. 6. if the restroom is not clean.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Babette

                          That would exclude many Chinese restaurants with very tasty food, not to mention lots and lots of delicious restaurants in Southeast Asia and all sorts of other areas of the world. No way in Hell is that an indication that you are not likely to have a good meal. You still might not choose to have a meal there, though; that's up to you.

                          1. re: Pan

                            Yeah, but to me, the cleanliness of the bathroom is a good indication of the cleanliness of the kitchen. So if the bathroom is dirty, I won't enjoy my meal, that's for sure.

                            1. re: Frenchie

                              Well--- One of he quickest ways to clear out a restaurant is to send the cooking and prep staff out for toilet duty.

                              I once worked at a restaurant that spent more money in the dining and restrooms that nothing was left to remodel the kitchen. Being from a farm, the kitchen to me, wouldn't pass my inspection to be a hog barn. Fortunately the outfit was shutdown before someone got deathly sick.

                            2. re: Pan

                              they must be so busy in the kitchen preparing wonderful food that theres no time to clean the bathroom..

                            3. re: Babette

                              I think it depends on what you mean by "clean". I'll settle for running water, soap, and plumbing that still flushes. Less than that and you do have to wonder what the staff is sharing with you.

                              1. re: Lee by the Sea

                                Does that mean you would never buy any food on the street? Because man oh man is there great food to be had in stalls in countries like Malaysia.

                            4. 7. If the Heimliche poster is in neon

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  That would guarantee an unpleasant meal, but would it guarantee a _bad_ meal?

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    ..not willing to take my chances :)
                                    if the service BEGINS snippy, I get up and take my biz elsewhere. I prefer service w/a smile ;P

                                    1. re: Pan

                                      lots of chinese or hole in the wall/greasy spoon places where the flavor not the service is not prioritized. sometimes it is one or the other.

                                      1. re: Pan

                                        In my book it would!

                                        We went to an Italian place in the upscale suburb outside Des Moines one day for lunch, and the hostess gave us attitude from the minute we walked in. It was clear she thought we were corn-fed rubes as soon as we didn't understand her when she mumbled something to us about olive oil & cracked pepper with our bread, and we were treated accordingly from that moment on. She reached across both of us, grabbed the oil bottle, dumped some on a bread plate, ground a little pepper on it and threw one of her bread pieces on top of it, all with this sigh like "I can't believe you hicks are even allowed to come inside the West Des Moines city limits." (It wasn't that we were too stupid to know what she was talking about--WE COULDN'T HEAR HER!)

                                        The food wasn't actually too bad, but I wouldn't go back there on a bet.

                                        1. re: revsharkie

                                          I know exactly where you're talking about and I wouldn't go in there if they paid me.

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                            A few weeks later I was back in Des Moines and a friend and I went out to eat, at another Italian place not very far from the airport. The items and prices on the menu were comparable to the place in WDM but the attitude was not. The hostess and waitress were incredibly friendly and helpful, and we didn't get any attitude from anyone other than the attitude that they were glad to have us eat there and wanted to help us any way they could to have a good experience.

                                        2. re: Pan

                                          NYC has many restuarants that are famous for there brusque service, as well as their good food: Peter Luger's (home of the 8 inch plate drop), Katz's, JG Melon's, just to name a few.

                                          1. re: tbear

                                            I was at Katz's last week. My cutter (hand-cut the pastrami & made the sandwich) was the old Ukrainian who's been there 25 years. He was smart-alecky & full of backtalk, but it was in that good-natured charming manner that only can be pulled off in NY, or possibly an SF Chinatown place.