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Pet Peeve: Salad Fork Not Provided

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I am really annoyed with the lack of salad forks in mid-priced restaurants. I am not interested in eated my main course with a fork that is: 1-dinner sized, 2:had salad dressing in it.

When asking the server for a salad fork, I have told either that: we don't have them, or management instructs that they not be set on the table.

A few times, I have dropped the fork on the floor after the salad course in irder to get the server to provide a clean fork for the main course.

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  1. LoL. Thanks for the chuckle. You remind me of my 12 year old niece who throughout dinner sometimes will go through about 3 or 4 forks, knives, spoons, etc. in relation to what they've 'touched'. Nice to know that she'll probably never grow out of it...!!! But I think at a restaurant you should get (within reason) the amount and type of cutlery you're asking for. Maybe you need to re-think the restaurants you dine in? I've never had this problem. (Oh, and you probably don't have to actually 'drop' your fork, you can just tell your server it dropped and you need a new one...they're probably not watching you that close).

    15 Replies
    1. re: Greekfood Koukla

      I'll leave this one for the *Green* police to defend.

      1. re: Greekfood Koukla

        Dropping the fork on the floor was only done after the server refused a request for a clean fork for the entree.

        Also, often I don't have the choice of restaurant for a business meal. In the current economy, companies are trading down to cut expenses. One client who always hosts has switched from Ruth's Chris and Morton's to the Ruby Tuesday's level.

        Unlike the three or four year old who doesn't want a utensil that touched something, a salad fork is not the same size as a dinner fork. Just having a second fork is nioce, but not the same thing.

        A simialr annoyance is being served soup with a teaspoon, not a soupspoon. I've already given up on the hope that most non-elegant restaurants would have both cream soup and tablespoons for soup. Then again, most diners don't know the difference.

        1. re: bagelman01

          "Dropping the fork on the floor was only done after the server refused a request for a clean fork for the entree."

          wow, lol, kind of passive-aggressive? if i were your server, i would not have gone out of my to help you. sorry.

          when your hosts are dialing down from $100 pp dinners to $20 pp dinners, try to put that in perspective for restaurants. lost silverware is a huge expense. budget may be busted for the month and there simply is no money to replace missing salad forks. to set tables consistently or to reduce loss, diners get one fork, one knife. same angle for the soup spoons you so desire. this also means less washing to be done.

          chances are the servers denying you aren't being churlish. they're following management directives. cut them some slack.

          i've never eaten at a ruby tuesdays. but if i did, i would not be expecting asparagus knives and fish forks.

          as to the comment below about guests and silver? lmao.

          i have seen people try to eat steak with a cocktail fork, use a steak knife for buttering bread instead of the butterknife that is on their breadplate, eat mashed potato off a knife and drink wine directly out of the bottle. i've seen them wipe their mouths on the tablecloth instead of the napkin on their laps. i could go on... lol.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            >>>
            wow, lol, kind of passive-aggressive? if i were your server, i would not have gone out of my to help you. sorry.
            <<<

            Then if you were MY server then you would have gotten NO tip. It is the servers job to serve. If a patron asks for another fork it is your job to provide it...without excuses.

            >>>
            ...and there simply is no money to replace missing salad forks. to set tables consistently or to reduce loss, diners get one fork, one knife. same angle for the soup spoons you so desire. ..
            <<<

            What a bunch of bunk!!! Who said anything about "lost silverware"? We're talking about a fork that is in inventory and will be returned when the dinner is over. If I were refused a new fork, I would, and have, dropped mine on the floor as well. To not provide an extra fork or spoon when requested is poor service and just plain cheap. Maybe that why the place is "struggling." Try providing better service.

            >>>
            this also means less washing to be done.
            <<<

            Oh, PHULEEZE!! If every diner asked for an extra fork it might result in one extra run of the dishwasher. Hardly enough for the place to file Chapter 7 over.

            1. re: al b. darned

              by lost silverware, i meant stuff that winds up carelessly in the trash or wherever. i didn't mean in your pocket. if the place says they don't have salad forks, then they don't have salad forks. you have no idea how stuff like spoons, cocktail forks, butterknives, etc. simply vanish.

              i too was raised with proper table manners and would prefer separate forks for my app and my main. however, if that doesn't happen, i don't get all worked up about it. i figure it's policy of the place, and since my fork has only been used *by me* i'm not all hot and bothered and dropping my flatware on the floor like a baby so i get my way.

              i realize there is no intonation on the internet. but both yhou and the op sound rather hostile. if that's how you treat service staff, than i can understand them not wanting to help you.

              maybe i'm reading you wrong. i hope so.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                First of all I never said I wanted a "salad fork." If the restaurant doesn't have real salad forks, another diner fork is fine, but I want a fresh fork for the new course. Likewise, I want a new fork for dessert. If my spoon was used for the entrée or whatever, I want a clean one for my coffee. I do it at home and I expect it when I eat out.

                As I said in my post earlier today, this is one of my hard and fast rules, and not an unreasonable one, IMO. Restaurants have lots of forks, spoons, etc, and it takes only a couple of minutes for a dishwasher cycle.

                I'm not hostile when asking for a new utensil nor do I cause a scene, and the majority of the time the request is filled with a smile.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  You could not be more wrong. I spent years in the food service industry. I have cooked, waited tables, tended bar and managed. I am friendly towards servers, understand when the kitchen and/or management is too blame as well.
                  BUT, lazy is lazy....
                  It doesn't take much to say, 'I'm sorry we don't have salad forks, but I'd be happy to get you another clean fork.
                  I wouldn't use a fork that was in a garlic salad dressing, to then eat a delicate entree. Just cleaning the fork off, doesn't mask the odor, it needs to be washed in scalding water.
                  I cleanse my palate after such an appetizer course, it is not my job as a paying patron to cleanse the flatware.

                  It is the stupid answers by wait staff that infuriate me, or worse, when there is no response.

              2. re: hotoynoodle

                Not passive-aggressive at all. In fact it is a perfectly reasonable request.

                Each course has fresh plates and fresh utensils. Ifthe server does not respond to a simple request what should someone do? This should be expected from the low-high restaurants and jfood agrees that it is non-negotiable. BTW - when jfood switches from coke to water he expects a new glass as well.

                And if the server feels so inclined to act as you suggest in para 2, well we all know which way the tippo is going.

                1. re: jfood

                  ok, so clearly i'm crazy to think that purposely dropping flatware on the floor to get one's way is unacceptable behavior for an adult. an action the op admits doing more than once. i stand corrected.

                  making reasonable polite requests is not what i was responding to. i'm obviously the only one bothered by grown-ups acting like entitled a**hats.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    But if the OP made a reasonable request for a fork as he/she said they did and the waiter refused, I really can't blame him/her for responding by finding another way to get one. To me it's the waiter acting like an entitle a$$hat by refusing and expecting a tip.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      You are NOT crazy. It is completely inappropriate. If a server refuses a fresh piece of silverware, then politely speak to whoever is running the show that night, and vote with your dollars next time. But dropping stuff is just childish. If you want traditional fine dining, go pay for it.

                2. re: bagelman01

                  Last Friday night the jfoods were eating dinner on the water and major screw-up in apps. Calimari and salad ordered. Brought jfood's calamari and no salad. Jfood munched slowly on the cali and no sight of the server. Turns out mrs jfood's salad was never entered. It came 10 minutes after jfood was done with the cali. Two bites into her salad, the entrees (pasta and seafood types) arrived...jfood told the server to take it back. Server returned 3/4 through salad with same bowls...nope, jfood told server to tell kitchen to remake the dish not keep under the heat lamps. As soon as salad was over the third try at the pasta arrived. As jfood stared at it he thought of your drop the fork of the floor idea.

                  No he did not, but called server over, explained what happened was not the jfoods' fault and either remake thepastas or game over. Two new pastas were prepared and delivered. And with no broken plates.

                  1. re: jfood

                    About 10 years ago, I had a similar experience at Pasta Plus in Cheshire. The serer brought the main before the soup. My ex wife told the server to take the main away, as she wanted her soup, and to bring a fresh main after the soup.

                    Needless to say, the server brought back the same main which had sat 20 minutes under a heat lamp. My ex refused to accept it and tgold the server that she expected a fresh main. The server informed us that the owner refused to make a fresh main just because my ex insisted on eating the soup she ordered before the main. Quote: "You can't expect me to lose money on your meal, just because we forgot the soup." Instead, he lost a customer who ate their 3 times a month (my ex, not me), and she badmouthed the place all over. Problem was, the rare steak appiziola was now shoe leather after all that time under the heat lamp.
                    We got up and walked, the owner chased us to the car........
                    My ex said that if he refused to serve what was ordered and in the order they should be served he could stick the whole meal.
                    I had tipped the server for her failed efforts.

                    My ex was very pleased when the place folded. Later she worked as the accountant for a restaurant chain. The basta*d who refused the fresh main, came in to interview for a manager's position. My ex made sure he did not get the job.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      "My ex was very pleased when the place folded. Later she worked as the accountant for a restaurant chain. The basta*d who refused the fresh main, came in to interview for a manager's position. My ex made sure he did not get the job."

                      It's heartwarming stories like this that make my day. :-)

                  2. re: bagelman01

                    So you asked for a fork and the server said "no"? And that was that?

                    And I don't think "non-elegant" restaurants should be expected to have both types of soup spoons. They do have to buy these things, you know? And are you being a little supercilious with the comment "most diners don't know the difference"? Eye brow delicately arched :)

                3. my pet peeve which is similar is the lack of butter knives. I do not want to use a huge dinner knife to butter my roll and then re use it on the main dish plus a regular knife is too big.

                  1. My pet peeve has more to do with bathroom facilities. I don't mean the obvious -cleanliness and well-stocked - I mean number of toilets vs. number of customers.
                    One of our favorite breakfast places in Santa Monica used to be only one room. There was one single-toilet bathroom each for men and women. Then the restaurant opened a patio and, about a year later, takes over the space next door, but could only provide the same two toilets for all these new tables.
                    We never go there during busy times because I know I'll be spending my time in line for the bathroom. (Yes, I've gone ahead and used the men's room, since it has a lock, but I really do hate to have to choose between experiencing the men's room or having an accident).

                    1. My main pet peeve is white napkins that cover my lap with lint. Is it that hard to provide a dark napkin or at least a light napkin that doesn't shed like there is no tomorrow? None of these places seem to offer a lint roller, so you walk out looking pretty disreputable.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: queencru

                        OMG So funny you should bring this up. I was dining with friends and a very nice steak house. You know, the kind where they put the napkin in your lap for you. The places at the table were all set with standard white napkins. As we were seated, the host flicked the napkins with a flourish and draped them in our laps. Then he got to my friend that had on very nice black pants. Without missing a beat, he popped the white napkin from the table, did a little snap and flourish and the napkin he draped in her lap was BLACK!!! We were all impressed.

                        And, PS I have never had a request for a clean fork denied!

                      2. As a server my pet peeve is people who don't use the salad fork. You'd be surprised how many people use their bread plate for their appetizers and ignore the share plates and use the entree fork for the appetizers or salads. Of course, I just replace the unused salad fork with the entree fork for the next course.

                        1. This happened just last night. We got tricked into going to a dumbed-down Mexican in Canoga Park (CA) for dinner. Since I didn't want soup I got a salad (iceberg with carrots) with watered down blue cheese dressing. The salad was inedible and I buried my dinner fork under all the glop (having read this thread yesterday). The server made a point of USING HIS HAND to brush away the greens covering the fork and putting the fork back on the table covered with glop. Needless to say, I reached behind me to the next table and got a new fork. That gloppy fork remained on the table throughout dinner.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TomSwift

                            I don't know what is more apalling, the waiter's behavior or the fact that an iceberg and carrot salad with blue cheese dressing was on the menu at a mexican place. In california, no less.

                            1. re: Cebca

                              Ditto.

                          2. I think not having salad forks and not providing a clean fork when requested are two different issues. I have no problem with a restaurant not having salad forks (or seafood forks, butter knives, etc.) depending on the style of restaurant and price point. All that different cutlery is expensive to stock and I'd only expect it in a high-end place. On the other hand I can't imagine why they would have salad forks and instruct the servers not to set them on the table.

                            Not giving a clean fork when asked is just bad service.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: hsk

                              Or just fishing a used fork off of a plate and putting it on the table to be used for the next course....eeew. I find it incredibly off-putting and rude.

                              1. re: Snackish

                                That was a trick taught to banquet servers at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange, CT
                                Pick up the salad plate, and with a flick of your pinky let the fork fall onto the table to be used for the next course.
                                How embarrassing for the host paying $100+ pp for a wedding!

                            2. I admit, this thread makes me chuckle a little. I guess I just don't understand how a fork gets tainted by salad dressing, rendering it useless for another course. It's not absorbent.

                              15 Replies
                              1. re: im_nomad

                                Then there are those of us who often have a main course salad. I guess I should use the LITTLE salad fork for the little appetizer salad and the BIG fork for the big salad.

                                Then there's the business of not getting a separate teaspoon for your coffee (which I often drink along with my meal), so I have to wipe the sauce off my tablespoon to stir the coffee, or ask for a teaspoon.

                                1. re: Michelly

                                  If I was having a dinner salad, one with chicken breast for example, that I would cut with a knife, then I would use a dinner fork. Just greens and vegetables, I use a salad fork.

                                  A server who brings coffee without a teaspoon is not doing their job and it should be reflected in the tip. Not having salad forks is a management decision.

                                  Friday night, my wife and I dined at a beautiful Italian restaurant with crisp white linen, constant change of service plates, and heavy flatware. They set the table with 2 dinner forks. While a fork for the salad and a different one for the entree is nice, a salad fork is not as large as a dinner fork. I wouldn't expect to be served dessert with a dinner fork either. AND...when dessert was served the cake came with a salad fork.

                                  Someone needs to better train the servers.....................

                                  1. re: Michelly

                                    "Then there's the business of not getting a separate teaspoon for your coffee"

                                    Interesting. I hate getting coffee (in a mug) with a teaspoon sticking out of it. I drink my coffee black so I don't need a teaspoon. It only happens in very casual places but it still bugs me, I like to inspect my cutlery before I use it.

                                  2. re: im_nomad

                                    It isn't the food that taints the fork IMO. To me the gross part is putting it back on the table that has been wiped with who-knows-what kind of towel by the busperson. And hey, just give me another dang fork.

                                    1. re: Snackish

                                      I don't get it. The fork started out on the table and it's not going to get any dirtier by putting it back where it was initially.

                                      1. re: queencru

                                        The fork damn well not have started off on the table or it would have been rejected. The fork had better have been placed on the napking, or rolled up in the napkin.
                                        I would never accept utensils that were sitting directly on the table. Who knows what cleaning agent or rag was used on the table? YUKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                          and the napkin or roll-up is generally on the table. so do you not wipe your mouth or face while eating, because you're worried that the napkin was on the table, subject to "god knows what cleaning products?"

                                          hey, ya know, i've seen people ask for a cup of hot water and clean their flatware that way before deigning to use it...

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            More importantly, is there some illusion that the forks weren't on a surface prior to being put into the napkin?

                                            1. re: queencru

                                              restaurant utensils are actually kept quite clean. they generally soak in soapy water or sani-solution until enough of them are collected to do a hobart load. then they are usually run through a hobart with a heat sanitizing cycle twice-- once lying down, to get any food residues off, and then for a second cycle standing up in a stainless steel silverware caddy--when they dry vertically, it helps to eliminate water spots, so every restaurant does this to avoid the flatware looking dirty to the customers-- really it's less work in the long run. when the flatware is cool enough to handle they generally go in a 4 compartment flatware caddy made of the same foodsafe material as a bus tub. then it's generally the servers' jobs to set the tables, with the flatware on top of, or rolled into a napkin, and all of this happens in foh, away from the food prep areas.

                                              i think the hot water germophobes Hotoy describes are silly/amusing, but that said-- i'm a bit of a germophobe. i have every confidence that my restaurant fork, knife or chopsticks are clean from the get-go, but i avoid putting them directly down on the table whenever possible. even in a lower-end restaurant, if it's the type of place that has a paper placemat, i'll put the fork down on that, no problem. i also use a towel on lightswitches/doorknobs etc.

                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                Just speaking from my own experience going into restaurants early or between typical service times, I've seen servers put silverware directly on the table prior to putting them into the napkins. It doesn't bother me since I'm not a germaphobe, but I just think it's ridiculous generally to expect that a restaurant is going to be a pristine, sterile environment. Even places that should be sterile, like hospitals, tend to be full of germs.

                                        2. re: queencru

                                          In places with bare tables, no cloths, ian't the flatware usually on top of, or rolled up in, a napkin when it comes to you, rather than on the table? That's true in my experience.

                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            This is true, but at some point the napkin has to go in my lap and my silverware stays on the table. If you get all the silverware wrapped up in one set, it has to go on the table at some point.

                                            1. re: queencru

                                              NO, it doesn't have to go on the tabletop. The pieces I am using go on the plate, the other pieces go on the bread/appetizer or service plate. Otherwise, I ask for an additional napkin.

                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                You mean to tell me you have this expectation for a lower end restaurant as well as a higher end one? I can't say I really frequent places on a regular basis that have the service plate when there is no tablecloth.

                                                1. re: queencru

                                                  #1
                                                  As the post says: "bread/appetizer OR serice plate" Even Applebee's or TGIFriday's puts appetizer plates on the table.

                                                  #2 "Otherwise, I ask for an additional napkin"

                                                  Apparently you like to snipe without bothering to READ the posting. PLUS my original posting which started this thread was very specific in referring to MID-PRICED restaurants, NOT 'lower end' restaurants

                                    2. I recall a compliment I receved abut a similar matter at a restaurant in Dingle, Ireland.

                                      Server: You're a Yank, aren't you?
                                      Me: Not quite. I'm Canadian.
                                      Server: Well, you're the nly one I've ever seen from that part of the world who recognized a fish knife. Most everyone thinks it's for spreading butter."

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ekammin

                                        conversely, he might be amazed at the number of pretentious diners who ask for fish knives when eating boneless fish. grr.

                                      2. This topic harkens back to this one http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/450645 on manners.

                                        Growing up, Mom was big on table manners. One of the things she taught us was you had a salad fork and a dinner fork. Today I still do this at home, and expect it when I eat out.

                                        While I realize some places don't provide a separate fork, I ask for one when not porvided. It irks me, tho, when I intentionally leave my "salad" fork on the salad plate/bowl and the server takes it off and places it back on the table. I also don't expect an attitude when I ask for another fork. This is grounds for fork-dropping.

                                        No, I don't make a scene, but, sorry, this is one of my hard and fast rules.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: al b. darned

                                          I am glad to know that I am not the only one who was raised with proper table manners and instructions in the correct utensils for eating.
                                          I have tried to impart this to my kids as well. I set a formal table with the correct flatware for each item to be served. The eldest has been interviewing for employment and has told me this education has been invaluable. She has seen other applicants being flustered and/or embarrassed at interview luncheons when they don't know the proper fork, knife or spoon to use.

                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                            You are absolutely correct in the assessment of many at the interview lunch. And jfood is extremely greatful that he had some proper guidance while he was still young enough to learn proper versus improper table manners.

                                            Most people think an interview lunch is for eating, that is the last thing it is for. Jfood always mentors students to order something that will allow for a free flow of conversation, the perfect lunch order is risotto. Hard to get on your shirt, can swallow immediately if asked a question and not likely to get caught in your front teeth. DO NOT order long spaghetti. And if you have to cut into pieces, think teenie-weenie so you can swallow quickly.

                                            Jfood interviewed an MBA who actually picked up his bread and started eating his soup using the bread as the spoon. OMG...nixed. Or the stiff drink at lunch...nixed. Or holding a fork like a caveman (sorry Geico)...nixed. Jfood can write 1,000 words on smart kids who failed to get the job because of poor table manners.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              I remember 25 or more years ago and a final interview which occurred over dinner. (You're right: it's an interview not a meal.) I carefully planned what I was going to wear --- a step up from a business suit as far as elegance but not TOO much. And I really carefully considered what I absolutely would not order. This was pre-internet days so no checking ahead. I knew I wouldn't have spaghetti or the like, crab, etc. I was going to make sure that nothing hurtled across the table and dribbled down my chin :) Guess who got the offer???

                                        2. Do you use separate forks for each food at home? Who does the dishes? If you like salad dressing on your salad is it a lot of extra trouble to get it off the fork with the last bite of salad? Do you not want your foods to touch either? With what size fork do you like to eat your main course?

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: lgss

                                            Yes, I do use separate forks and/or spoons fopr each course at home. I do the dishes, why should my wife have to ruin her manicure?

                                            My main course is generally eaten with a dinner fork, unless we are having chops. The we use a 'grill service which has longer handles and shoter tines.

                                            My everyday flatware is a 1955 silverplate pattern called Twilight by Community. We have Salad forks, Dinner forks, Cake forks, Table spoons, Cream Soup Spoons, Teaspoons, Fruit Spoons, Dinnere knives and Individual Butter Spreaders. Each of my children know what should be set for the menu being served.

                                            In our holiday sterling we also have specialty place settings such as fish forks and knives, ice cream sporks, cocktail forks, etc.

                                            A beautifully set table with fine china crystal and silver makes the meal so much better,

                                            1. re: lgss

                                              Do you use separate forks for each food at home? Yes

                                              Who does the dishes? either jfood or mrs jfood

                                              If you like salad dressing on your salad is it a lot of extra trouble to get it off the fork with the last bite of salad? nope

                                              Do you not want your foods to touch either? love foods touching each other, makes them happier

                                              With what size fork do you like to eat your main course? jfood uses a regular sized fork

                                              And jfood only uses soup spoons for soup, not teaspoons, likes only teaspoons with ice cream and yogurt. If there is a separate cake for dessert then a clean fork there as well. Whats so hard about loading a few more forks and spoons into the dishwasher.

                                              And table cloth on the kitchen table every noght, placemats, each dinner is plated not thrown on the table, every meal should have full manners.

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                Yes, that's how we do things too. Though I do often serve food in serving dishes rather than plated, even though it's just the two of us. And I often pull out the Christofle these days just so I get to enjoy it. Two forks or four, four forks or eight - makes no difference in terms of putting them away after cleaned by the dishwasher. I also put a fork and spoon out on top of the plate if we are having dessert.

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  Christofle in the dishwasher? careful ms ruth with pitting

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    Oops - no - Christofle does not go into the dishwasher - that I wash by hand!

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      We set a salad fork if there is salad or a first course. We also warm plates (on top of the toaster- I hate cold plates with hot food). Good for you MMRuth for using the nice crystal. We use our sterling silver flatware everyday. I have always thought why wait for a holiday to use the things you love.

                                                      1. re: cassoulady

                                                        That is so clever about warming the plates on top of the toaster - I'm going to give that a try. My trick for warming the serving bowl for pasta is to put it on top of the boiling water while I'm tossing the pasta with the sauce in another pan.

                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                          it works really well, they get hot, I have a four slice toaster so I can do two stacks of plates. There is something nice about having a hot plate. This works for up top six plates for me, I need to find a better method for when I have more people over though.

                                                          1. re: cassoulady

                                                            For a quick stack, I either warm in the micro wrapped in a clean towel. If oven has been on then dishes go in there while carving or getting ready to plate up

                                              2. re: lgss

                                                Yes, I do use separate forks at home, and spoons when needed, etc. Just like the restaurant, we have a dishwasher. Our everyday settings include salad and dinner forks, soup and teaspoons, and table knives. Ice tea spoons when needed.

                                                >>>
                                                If you like salad dressing on your salad is it a lot of extra trouble to get it off the fork with the last bite of salad?
                                                <<<
                                                Licking the fork clean between courses is tacky, indeed.

                                                1. re: al b. darned

                                                  "Licking the fork clean between courses is tacky, indeed."

                                                  When I take a fork out of my mouth there aren't any bits of food or salad dressing remaining on it. If there were, *that* would be tacky.

                                                  In a perfect world I'd prefer new cutlery with each course but if I don't get it my day isn't ruined. I can also understand how some people might feel a bit more strongly about this issue. But if I was dining with someone who went so far as to drop a fork on the floor of a restaurant in order to get a new one I'd consider that a gross overreaction and I'd never dine with them again.

                                                  1. re: al b. darned

                                                    And esp when wearing lipstick - same principle used with chopsticks too.

                                                    If at a Chinese restaurant here, we change bowls, and sometimes chopsticks between courses

                                                2. Maybe you can do a survey of others in your area as to which restaurants provide salad forks and which don't. If the restaurant has a website, perhaps you can contact the manager with your concerns.

                                                  To each his or her own. I'm much more concerned with whether a restaurant has food I can/will eat than with their selection of flatware. I gladly eat with gluten-free injera as my "utensil" at Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurants that offer a vegan plate!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: lgss

                                                    I assume everyone's first concern is whether a restaurant has appropriate food for his or her tastes or dietary requirements. This thread is about restaurants supplying appropriate utensils for the food it seves, and injera fulfills that requirement perfectly.