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May 8, 2007 11:04 AM

Eating Bread in a Restaurant......

How do you go about eating your basket of bread provided by a restaurant? I heard that the proper way is to first have it broken into a smaller bite-size piece --> spread butter on it with a knife --> put the piece into mouth. I've also seen many who just hold the piece of bread and just bite straight into it. Or some who spread butter on the bread, take a bite, then spread some more butter, and take another bite... i guess the possibility is endless. Just out of curiosity, how do you guys eat yours and do you think it matters when eating out at a higher-end restaurant?

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  1. I was taught, by my parents, to break the bread in half and then butter each bite as you eat the bread.

    1. generally, i will break off the piece that I am going to eat (not necessarily in one bite). butter that piece and proceed to eat it. Then when i am ready for another piece, i break off another and butter that one. piece sizes are usually about two bite sized.

      1. Well,
        I am no Emily Post but my good Southern Mother taught me 2 things about bread and butter:
        1. you eat it the same way at home as you do in public, and that includes other peoples homes and restaurants of any stripe.
        2. move the butter from the butter plate to your bread plate (a small pat at a time) using your butter knife. Then break just enough bread for a proper sized bite, butter it, put down your butter knife and then eat the bite of bread.
        I know you said you have seen variations and the possibilities are endless but not under the confines of good manners. I see plenty of elbows on tables, hats on heads, left arms protecting plates as from wolves, open mouths, ect. and just because the great unwashed does it doesn't make it right.
        I don't mean to rant, but I am known as Manners Man by my 9 year old daughter....

        2 Replies
        1. re: Tee

          tee is 100% right. variations on a theme don't mean those other folks are correct.

          1. re: Tee

            and I always thought that taking the butter from the dish, with the butter knife and placing it on the side of you bread plate, and then using yout butter knife to butter the bread was a Mater Beige-ism!!!

          2. So many places don't serve bread anymore that I can't remember what I do!

            1 Reply
            1. re: mojoeater

              Tend to agree with Tee, but do remember that ARMS (not elbows) on tables is one of those US vs Europe differences in proper manners. (and of course, I've seen both here, among polite people)...

              How about olive oil (with bread)? I put a bit on the bread dish and dunk the bread in it.

            2. What about places that serve a hunk of bread for the entire table? Depending on with whom I am dining, it could be gross to have someone else touch my bread....

              Not to mention that most places it's not even worth eating the bread, but that's a whole other story.

              9 Replies
              1. re: laurendlewis

                Pet peeve of the jfoods. When this occurs jfood takes the basket FIRST and give a piece to mrs jfood and then one for jfood. Then we wait for the others to finish. If we want a second piece we ask the waiter for another basket and then go for it first. Once it's touched by others its breado non grato for the jfoods.

                1. re: jfood

                  wow! what if a party of 8 jfoods were together? The bread baskets would cover the table!
                  I have this mental picture of jfood sliding headlong down the table to grab that dang breadbasket FIRST!

                  1. re: Tee

                    good news is that there are only 4 jfoods and if there were 8 people at the table then jfood would ask for 2 baskets.

                    in Commanders in NOLA last week and the server first offered us a pieces rom the basket which he placed on our plates, then placed the basket on the table. Nice touch. Only 3 jfoods present.

                    1. re: jfood

                      Indeed a nice touch.
                      Also, I did not mean to offend one single jfood!
                      (Tee is a little afraid of people who refer to themselves in the 3rd person!)

                      1. re: Tee

                        I read Jfood with a great deal of delight, I now know that I do not need to go see a therapist and there are other Germphobic folks out there. You never know where the other hands have been.

                        But then I remind myself that people have been sharing bread for a very long time and it has not killed anyone that I am aware of.

                        What happens of someone ios also like Jfood, do they have a
                        Mexican -Standoff?

                        1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                          Nope, just ask for a second basket. Been there done that.

                2. re: laurendlewis

                  Often the bread basket will have a cloth liner, use the cloth liner to grab the bread and tear the bread. Unclothed fingers should not touch the bread.

                  1. re: Alan408

                    That would be considered VERY rude in many cultures I know.

                    1. re: lagatta

                      Please explain why using the cloth liner/napkin to grab the bread would be very rude and which cultures consider it rude.