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Picky Orderers: Are YOU One of Them?

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alkapal Jul 10, 2010 07:42 AM

Okay, here's the deal. Every time my sister orders a martini, she has to go into all the details about how it is to be made -- and is very serious that she imparts the details so there is NO room for an error. Here we go: "in and out" martini with Grey Goose vodka, two olives, straight up. If the server is not familiar with the "in and out" part, then she explains that technique to the server after expressing incredulity that the server doesn't know THAT. If I order a martini, it is simply, "Please bring me a "Sapphire martini on the rocks with a twist."

Now I love my sister an an awful lot, but her little cocktail ordering routine always makes me just sort of shake my head (invisibly, because she is very nice and I don't want to offend her). I mean, she likes it a certain way, alright?!

To be brutally honest, though, I have to admit that I am very picky when it comes to ordering Pad Kee Mao, because I need to make sure they are using fresh rice noodles ("River Noodles") -- and not dried rice noodles. Then I have to have minced chicken, and I like the noodles with good wok char (wok hai is a different thing, I think). Then I must have as condiment prik naam som (just the sliced chilies in vinegar). It's a bonus and I'm very happy if they have the ground red garlic chilie paste. (Can you tell I like the vinegar?).

What about you? Does any of this ring a bell?

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  1. The Chowhound Team Jul 15, 2010 11:59 AM

    Folks, this thread is getting pretty far away from the original topic, or anything to do with food, so we're going to lock it now.

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    1. buttertart Jul 14, 2010 12:10 PM

      I was thinking about this and it struck me that the guy who said "don't make me come back there and make sure bla bla" probably thought he was being the soul of wit, "don't make me come back there" being one of those catch phrases like "that's what she said". Sometimes people say dumbass things in a benighted attempt to be funny, and other people take them at face value.

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        Boychucker Jul 13, 2010 08:20 PM

        I really really don't like onions or green peppers. I usually avoid a dish on the menu that has them, or if I figure it's easy for the chef to leave them out of the dish, I sometimes ask. Lots of times, they are pretty easy to pick out and I do that.

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        1. re: Boychucker
          c oliver Jul 13, 2010 08:22 PM

          I do NOT consider that being picky ;)

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          1. re: c oliver
            Sooeygun Jul 14, 2010 07:24 AM

            Agreed. Picky is wanting the entire dish de/reconstructed to accommodate your tastes.

            Mr. S was working in a fine dining restaurant and the waiter came into the kitchen asking if they could make duck a l'orange. See, there was a lovely duck dish on the menu, but it didn't suit the customer.

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            1. re: c oliver
              coll Jul 14, 2010 08:18 AM

              Isn't picking things out of your entree the exact definition of "picky"?

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              1. re: coll
                c oliver Jul 14, 2010 02:38 PM

                Well, yeah, THAT kind of "picky" :)

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                1. re: coll
                  r
                  raleighboy Jul 14, 2010 02:45 PM

                  +1. Except in the case of allergies, I don't believe in changing a dish at all. We're all so used to the "Have it your way" lifestyle that we've lost respect for the art of creating a dish.

                  It's a bit of a stretch, but I'd almost go as far as to compare it to buying a print of the Mona Lisa with her hands folded a different way, smile fixed, and different background scene.

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                  1. re: raleighboy
                    o
                    ospreycove Jul 15, 2010 05:11 AM

                    Raleigh......Well said. I believe in a cook/chef working his craft. Especially in Italy, if you tried to redesign the dish not only is it rude but an affront to the cook and his Mother and Nona!!!!

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            2. b
              beachmouse Jul 13, 2010 12:18 PM

              Two of my big food hang-ups are that I don't like lettuce on warm sandwiches and that I've got a strong aversion to many egg products. Trap the lettuce between a warm protein and the bread/bun, and it starts getting all slimy, nasty, and gross and I'll have to get rid of it before I can enjoy the rest of the sandwich.

              As for the egg thing, I've had that issue since childhood and it's only gotten worse over time. (Save for that I've actually come to like some custard pies) The only time I can handle mayo is when there's a very small amount of it added to keep tuna salad from being utterly dry, and even then I'd rather use ranch dressing as a binder for tuna salad because it seems to have the level of egginess really knocked down to a manageable level. I'm the one who always asks if a salad has hard boiled egg in it, and will not eat it if the egg cannot be exculded. When I fail to ask about hard-boiled egg in a tuna salad sandwich and discover it's there, I have to throw the rest of the sandwich out. I'm just glad my local Thai place is glad to accomidate the no egg thing in pad thai because I really do like the rest of the flavors in the dish.

              And yes, I'm self-aware that I'm a freak in that regard. I don't expect every restaurant to work around my freakiness (I can't even really walk into a lot of breakfast places because of the smell of cooking eggs) but the ones that do will consistently get my return business.

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              1. re: beachmouse
                m
                Mestralle Jul 13, 2010 04:19 PM

                I love pickles, and I love hamburgers, but I can't stand pickles on my hamburger. I don't usually bother ordering it differently, since I can pick them off easily enough, but your post brought that to mind. Come to think of it, I can't stand pickles on any hot food except Cuban sandwiches or Yesterdogs (a local variant of a chili dog).

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                1. re: beachmouse
                  m
                  mtbwustl Jul 13, 2010 04:45 PM

                  Wow, we have identical food peccadilloes! Replace "mayo" with "all condiments except BBQ sauce", and I could have written this. Let's find an egg-free place to have breakfast together.

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                2. j
                  Janet from Richmond Jul 13, 2010 08:14 AM

                  I'm picky about a few things. I want my steak rare. I want red, not pink in the middle and if you're going to err, err on the side of underdone..I promise I will not complain. Too many rare steaks are sent out medium rare.

                  Mayo. I hate it. I don't want it near my food. It grosses me out.

                  Grilled cheese........I want VERY toasted and ALL of the cheese melted. I often order a "well-done grilled cheese" and that gets the message across.

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                  1. re: Janet from Richmond
                    MGZ Jul 13, 2010 08:38 AM

                    Wouldn't it be cool if one could just order by temp?

                    "I'll have the Porterhouse and a side of creamed spinach."

                    "Yes, sir, and how would you like that cooked?"

                    "Mmmm. I'd say 121-122, ok?"

                    "Excellent. And may I bring you another Gibson?"

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                    1. re: MGZ
                      j
                      Janet from Richmond Jul 13, 2010 11:53 AM

                      That would be cool!

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                      1. re: MGZ
                        cookie monster Jul 13, 2010 06:21 PM

                        Ha. I was at a restaurant recently where the servers were clearly working off of an annoying script ("Is everything tasting delicious?" "Are you through enjoying your appetizers?" etc.) . When I ordered the waiter asked me "what temperature would you like your steak?"; I looked at him blankly for several moments (thinking ummm . . . hot?) before I said medium rare. 128 degrees would've been a much better answer.

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                        1. re: MGZ
                          grayelf Jul 14, 2010 09:23 PM

                          MGZ, what are you doing for dinner tomorrow? ;-)

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                      2. alkapal Jul 13, 2010 05:19 AM

                        i neglected to mention my bemusement when i'm in line behind a picky starbuck's orderer.

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                        1. re: alkapal
                          Firegoat Jul 13, 2010 06:27 AM

                          Luckily that only happens when you're in a hurry :)

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                          1. re: Firegoat
                            alkapal Jul 13, 2010 06:40 AM

                            ha ha, right-o! starbucks actually printed a little guide about ordering. i took one for the humor aspect.

                            apparently, many people need guidance: http://www.google.com/search?client=s...

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                            1. re: alkapal
                              LindaWhit Jul 13, 2010 07:38 AM

                              God how I hate that tall, grande, venti crapola of Charbucks.

                              I'd deliberately say "I'd like a small coffee with two sugars and cream - figure it out."

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                          2. re: alkapal
                            j
                            jujuthomas Jul 13, 2010 11:53 AM

                            hanging my head in embarrasement.
                            I admit it... i'm a high maintenance starbucks girl!
                            i want a grande half cafe soy sugar free vanilla latte no foam. DH says I pay for my coffee by the word. lol

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                            1. re: jujuthomas
                              j
                              just_M Jul 13, 2010 02:14 PM

                              jujuthomas; I'll hang my head with you. My order would usually be an "iced, grande, half caf, quad, non-fat, no whip, white chocolate mocha. And if it was hot as heck outside I'd ask them if they would please pour it into a venti cup for hot drinks and top it with ice. Never had a problem and the cup thing caught on with a few others. Nice to have fellow freaks of the ordering world :-)

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                              1. re: just_M
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                                anonymouse1935 Jul 13, 2010 02:19 PM

                                I drink Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

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                                1. re: just_M
                                  j
                                  jujuthomas Jul 13, 2010 03:02 PM

                                  Lol Just_M! My DH walks up and says Large.Coffee.Black.

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                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                    j
                                    just_M Jul 13, 2010 03:16 PM

                                    Ahh to be so simply satisfied! Luckily they got to know me at my favorite Star Bucks locations (I was a Starbucks junkie) and have it ready when I got to the cashier.

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                                    1. re: just_M
                                      alkapal Jul 13, 2010 05:43 PM

                                      i am happy with dunkin's largest coffee with cream and sugar. be sure to get a card punch, y'all.

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                                      1. re: alkapal
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                                        anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 02:11 AM

                                        Card punch? Darn, I have to get a card next time I go. Is it good for a long time?

                                        Nuthin' better than Dunkin'!

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                                        1. re: anonymouse1935
                                          alkapal Jul 14, 2010 03:11 AM

                                          buy six coffees, get the next free.

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                                          1. re: alkapal
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                                            anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 03:18 AM

                                            Sounds good, thanks. Until they shrunk their donut sticks, I always got that special.

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                                  2. re: just_M
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                                    Parrotgal Jul 14, 2010 02:10 PM

                                    But Starbuck's actually offers all those options and expect that. To me, that's not picky at all. When you're paying that much for coffee you should get what you like!

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                                    1. re: Parrotgal
                                      j
                                      just_M Jul 14, 2010 09:04 PM

                                      True; but thats what I think about most specific requests. I'm sure if people heard me order they would think I'm picky because I'm specific when I order.

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                                  3. re: jujuthomas
                                    sugarandstockings Jul 14, 2010 05:57 AM

                                    As a former Starbucks barista, please allow me to assure you that the "complicated drink order" person is way less annoying than the "I'm at Starbucks but I refuse to use the *lingo* because I'm so sophisticated and above it" person.

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                                    1. re: sugarandstockings
                                      LindaWhit Jul 14, 2010 06:09 AM

                                      Actually, I'm *not* above it. The lingo is idiotic, IMO. Why create additional baloney when small, medium, large and extra-large will do?

                                      Either way - I don't drink Starbucks because they overroast their coffee, IMO. Not my cuppa tea, so to speak.

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                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2010 06:39 AM

                                        I agree. If anything, I think I am beneath it all (not above it all) because I like to use common words.

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                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          alkapal Jul 14, 2010 06:44 AM

                                          cee kay, that made me laugh. "beneath it all" indeed! yep, sometimes i'm right there with ya! and sometimes there's an awful lot of "it" to be beneath. ;-).

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                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                          Karl S Jul 14, 2010 06:49 AM

                                          Just warn them in advance that you will employ technical legal or medical jargon: small, medium, large, et cet. Ick is another one of those jargon terms.

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                                          1. re: Karl S
                                            LindaWhit Jul 14, 2010 06:51 AM

                                            Tee hee! They're gonna have to pull the manual out if I use the terms small, medium, and large, Karl. It just confoozles them. I'll just not drink their coffee. Way easier for me. And them. ;-)

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                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              alkapal Jul 14, 2010 06:54 AM

                                              wherever i get coffee, i ask them "for the largest coffee you sell."

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                                              1. re: alkapal
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                                                anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 06:58 AM

                                                But it's still overpriced coffee. Why bother?

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                                                1. re: anonymouse1935
                                                  alkapal Jul 14, 2010 07:14 AM

                                                  actually, it's only a bit more than dunkin's (maybe like 10 cents). sometimes it is just more convenient. i like their breakfast blend and the christmas blend, especially.

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                                                2. re: alkapal
                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2010 07:05 AM

                                                  You know what they think when you speak like that, right?

                                                  Oh here come a showy and yet unsophisticate person. Showy because he tries to show off he has a lot of money by buying the largest coffee. Unsophisticate because he cannot order using the word "Venti".

                                                  P.S.:
                                                  I actually had to google to find out if Grande is bigger or Venti is.

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                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                    alkapal Jul 14, 2010 07:15 AM

                                                    they will know that i'm buying the largest coffee because i need it!

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                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                      LindaWhit Jul 14, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                      You know what they think when you speak like that, right?

                                                      Oh here come a showy and yet unsophisticate person. Showy because he tries to show off he has a lot of money by buying the largest coffee. Unsophisticate because he cannot order using the word "Venti".
                                                      ~~~~~~~~~
                                                      Yeah, but this is one time alka can be PROUD of being showy and unsophisticated, at least according to the snooty baristas. ;-) Stick to your guns, alkapal! :-) (And I still don't know whether grande or venti is bigger.)

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                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                    Karl S Jul 14, 2010 07:04 AM

                                                    I rarely drink coffee, being a tea drinker, so I've never understood the fascination with these establishments.

                                                    And, while I can be picky about making my own tea, I usually accept what's given me (except for pre-sweetened iced tea - I am not a fan, sorry, I just don't like extremely sweet things that don't include a great deal of tart to balance them).

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                                                3. re: LindaWhit
                                                  thew Jul 14, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                  while i think the coffee at starbucks tastes like burnt cinders, i have to give them major props for having the cojones to call their small size "tall". that's some awesome marketing.

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                                                  1. re: thew
                                                    LindaWhit Jul 14, 2010 08:18 AM

                                                    "...having the cojones to call their small size "tall". that's some awesome marketing."
                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                    But also stupidity on the part of those who actually follow along like lemmings and CALL a small coffee a "tall". :-)

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                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
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                                                      anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                      ....But also stupidity on the part of those who actually follow along like lemmings

                                                      Ain't that the truth. Sadly, it don't just apply to Starbucks.

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                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2010 09:25 AM

                                                        I thought the whole idea is that there is no "small" on the menu. So everyone is like" large, larger and largest. Most of the car wash places, I have been to always have silver, gold and platinum services or something like super, dexlure and supreme. I always wonder where did "normal" and "average" go.

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                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                          Duppie Jul 14, 2010 09:42 AM

                                                          Or "Tin"and "Zinc" for that matter...

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                                                          1. re: Duppie
                                                            Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2010 10:44 PM

                                                            I just bought an small can of Sheer Bliss ice cream, which I have never tried before:

                                                            http://sheerblissicecream.com/product...

                                                            I just notice it is an "ultra super premium ice cream"
                                                            Wow. Ultra-super-premium.

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                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                              Duppie Jul 15, 2010 12:49 AM

                                                              Wow, they obviously have produced the best ice cream they can possibly make simply by running out of glowing descriptives.

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                                                      2. re: thew
                                                        onceadaylily Jul 14, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                        Actually, there is another size called a short (8 oz). It was taken off of the menu at the majority of the locations (and by then the regulars knew the 12 oz as the tall, and re-naming it would have been even more annoying), but most places will still sell a short upon request.

                                                        But you're right about the marketing. Otherwise why they didn't just call the short a small? Branding.

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                                                    2. re: sugarandstockings
                                                      chowser Jul 14, 2010 08:04 AM

                                                      If the lingo made sense, that would be one thing. But, why is a small coffee, a "tall?" How is "grande" medium? And, what does venti, which means 20, have to do with a large? And, I can never remember if the "correct" Starbucks term is non-fat or skim but inevitably, when I order the wrong one, I'm asked if I meant the other. Really, you can't figure it out that if I mistakenly say "skim" I mean "non-fat"? And, latte just means milk and it's messed up many an American who's gone to Italy and ordered a "latte" only to get a glass of milk. It's all a little too coffee nazi for me. It's not about being so sophisticated. It's about being confused. My parents took forever to learn how to order a coffee.

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                                                      1. re: chowser
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                                                        anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                        Your parents? Why did they bother? It's a gimmick, why do people buy into it?

                                                        Create a need and fulfill it. Starbucks deserves an 'A' for that.

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                                                        1. re: anonymouse1935
                                                          chowser Jul 14, 2010 08:18 AM

                                                          They very rarely do (countable on one hand). The problem is, in most suburbs, it's your only choice if you want to go out for coffee. I'd have to drive almost half an hour to go to an independent coffee shop, but have half a dozen starbucks within 10 minutes.

                                                          Starbucks deserves an A as McDonald's does.

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                                                          1. re: chowser
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                                                            anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 08:22 AM

                                                            That's sad. Unfortunately, Starbucks has put the local mom and pop coffee joints out of business.

                                                            But yes, McDonald's is as insidious and reprehensible as Starbucks.

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                                                            1. re: anonymouse1935
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                                                              bookhound Jul 14, 2010 08:34 AM

                                                              "Starbucks has put the local mom and pop coffee joints out of business."

                                                              This is completely untrue, at least in New York City. Before Starbucks there were very few local coffee shops selling premium coffee. Post Starbucks there are dozens of extremely good neighborhood coffee shops that get there beans from some of the best roasters in America and some that even roast there own. Starbucks introduced the idea that a coffee could be more than a $0.75 cup of swill you could get from any cart or corner to many people in this country. This made it possible for the Mud's, Abraco's, Joe's, Blue Bird's etc. of the world to charge a premium price for premium coffee. In fact, Starbucks closed many shops in lower Manhattan while local shops sprung up to replace them. You entire premise is false in my experience.

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                                                              1. re: bookhound
                                                                chowser Jul 14, 2010 08:39 AM

                                                                False in NYC, false in Seattle, false in many big cities or places with good diversity, but true elsewhere. There have been a couple of new mom and pop places in my area but they closed. People don't appreciate local owners for what they are. Starbucks introduced expensive coffee to a good part of America, just as McDonald's introduced the idea that cheap meals can be had w/out cooking. But, Starbucks also choked out the market.

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                                                                1. re: chowser
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                                                                  bookhound Jul 14, 2010 08:47 AM

                                                                  I'll ask some questions that I don't know if you'll have an answer to but I'll ask any way. Were these mom and pop coffee shops selling good coffee? Do they only buy from roasters that produce high quality products? Did they have highly trained baristas that really know what they were doing to pull a proper espresso? If the answer is yes to all the above, why do you think the locals rebuffed them for a chain? Is it just because of the marketing dollar of Starbucks? Do food chain predominate as well? I'm very curious on you thoughts. TIA.

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                                                                  1. re: bookhound
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                                                                    anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                                    Does Starbucks sell good coffee? Is it worth the money?

                                                                    Yes, the marketing and the sublime duplicity of the American consumer.

                                                                    TEHO.

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                                                                    1. re: anonymouse1935
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                                                                      Parrotgal Jul 14, 2010 02:16 PM

                                                                      No, and no. Like many have said, way bitter and burned-tasting. The only way I can drink it is to add all that crap, but I like black coffee!

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                                                                    2. re: bookhound
                                                                      chowser Jul 14, 2010 10:27 AM

                                                                      Better than Starbucks. The question is more about the market that doesn't know the difference. It's like you can get great Chinese food in NYC but I need to travel to get it because people rave about the Chipstix Express down the street. The locals go to what they know--Starbucks, Chipotle, Macaroni Grill, etc. I think it's suburbs, in general, the farther out you go from the city. I haven't thought about it as much but it seems to go hand in hand with McMansions. As you asked, I do think it's about the chains. I took my daughter and friend out to lunch. She wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory at 2pm and the wait was half an hour. I asked, "Why do so many people want to eat here?" and her response was, "Because they all know it's REALLY good." I think that's typical suburban attitude.

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                                                                  2. re: bookhound
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                                                                    anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 08:52 AM

                                                                    Oh the horror, my mistake. MOST mom and pops, then. Starbucks is on every street corner in America and then some, so do the math on the places put out of business or the coffee business that goes to them for their overroasted, overpriced swill that doesn't go to the remaining mom and pop places.

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                                                                    1. re: anonymouse1935
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                                                                      bookhound Jul 14, 2010 09:03 AM

                                                                      I can't think of a single local coffee shop that was selling premium coffee in Manhattan that closed because of Starbucks. I can think of at least 20 shops that have opened post Starbucks. Starbucks just closed 300 stores one year ago, 2 in my neighborhood in that same time 3 local shops have opened.

                                                                      Over-all Starbucks has been a net plus in Manhattan for people that like coffee.

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                                                                      1. re: anonymouse1935
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                                                                        bookhound Jul 14, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                                        Do you think coffee culture has suffered or has been elevated since the rise of Starbucks?

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                                                                        1. re: bookhound
                                                                          chowser Jul 14, 2010 10:30 AM

                                                                          I think it depends on where you live. I'm definitely more aware of coffee since Starbucks made an appearance. Having lived in areas where local coffee shops thrived, I also made a point to go there and not the Starbucks. But, popularity is not equal to coffee knowledge. People who have access to local coffee shops appreciate it--but which came first?

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                                                                          1. re: bookhound
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                                                                            anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 01:02 PM

                                                                            Suffered in terms of price and fostering of brands on those Americans who find them important. Suffered in terms of the Starbucks that have taken over where an independent coffee house would have thrived.

                                                                            Coffee houses have existed for 60 years, Starbucks did nothing but put a corporate stamp on the genre. I'm sure whomever came up with the clever idea of letting the sheeple call out their unique specialized coffee got a great big fat bonus.

                                                                            I don't like corporations, and I don't like gimmicks, and I don't like overpriced, undervalued anything. I feel sorry for the adults and young people who think it cool to be seen with their Starbucks cup. As long as there is Dunkin' Donuts -- and believe me, they are not the best either -- and the local coffee/donut shops which I frequent when I have a choice, I will never go to Starbucks.

                                                                            But hey, that's just me. Then again, I said I would never buy the ripoff 48 oz. containers of full of air ice cream, and didn't I just buy a disgusting whey propylene glycol laden abomination?

                                                                            It's a sad world.

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                                                                            1. re: anonymouse1935
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                                                                              bookhound Jul 14, 2010 01:16 PM

                                                                              In my experience coffee is multitudes better then it was 10 years ago. I can't speak about 60 years ago.

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                                                                              1. re: bookhound
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                                                                                anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                I almost can.

                                                                                And it isn't.

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                                                                              2. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2010 01:17 PM

                                                                                Just want you to know that Starbuck is also popular in other counties. So it isn't just "Americans who find them important"

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                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                  buttertart Jul 14, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                  Yep, I have photos of my husband in Starbucks in Taipei, Shanghai, and Suzhou!

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                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                    anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                    Then I feel sorry for the other countries that have bought into the branding hype.

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                                                                                  2. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                    thew Jul 14, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                                                    dunkin donuts is no less a corporate giant, no better than starbucks in that regard

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                                                                                    1. re: thew
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                                                                                      bookhound Jul 14, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                                      Worse if you consider the fact Starbucks offers health insurance to employees.

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                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                        linguafood Jul 15, 2010 06:12 AM

                                                                                        neither is the coffee. it's crap, too.

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                                                                                      2. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        Sherri Jul 14, 2010 04:23 PM

                                                                                        "Coffee houses have existed for 60 years"

                                                                                        Closer to 600 years, anonymouse 1935

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                                                                                    2. re: bookhound
                                                                                      thew Jul 14, 2010 10:19 AM

                                                                                      starbucks closed stores because they were working the walmart plan. oversaturate until you control the market, then get rid of the stores you don't need.

                                                                                      how would you know if a small coffeehouse that closed did so because of starbucks or not?

                                                                                      DTUT was a good coffeehouse. now it is gone. there was a small place on 72nd street whose name slips my mind that closed 2 years ago. starbucks or not?
                                                                                      i don't know. nor do you

                                                                                      starbucks has raised awareness of good coffee. no question. but not because they actually sell good coffee. to me it seems the sell over roasted crap coffee that disappoints me every time i break down and get some.

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                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                        b
                                                                                        bookhound Jul 14, 2010 10:36 AM

                                                                                        You've thought of 2 shops that closed because of Starbucks I can name at least 20 shops that have opened in the last few years because of the new awareness of good coffee and that is, in part, because of Starbucks. I stick by my statement that Starbucks is a net plus for coffee lovers in Manhattan and I say this as someone that could count on 2 hands the number of times I've been to a Starbucks. Although I've had Starbucks Coffee scores of times because that is what seems to be brought in for meetings in offices all over town.

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                                                                                        1. re: bookhound
                                                                                          thew Jul 14, 2010 11:03 AM

                                                                                          actually i said i do not know if they closed because of starbucks or not.

                                                                                          i also said that starbucks has raised coffee awareness, i agree. i just happen to find their coffee vile

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                                                                                        2. re: thew
                                                                                          Duppie Jul 14, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                                                          Starbucks has raised the awareness that coffee does not have to come in Hellenic blue cups and taste of stale Sweet and Low and have definitely given rise to the cult of the PC toting,loud Iphone talking,Vibrum 5 finger wearing,Pescatarian, adoptive parent of a depressed African nation {Aren't they all }orphan baby," Damn, I love Moby "music loving,$100.00 "tousled and highlighted" haircut "D bags... Bitter? not me....

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                                                                                          1. re: Duppie
                                                                                            coll Jul 14, 2010 10:56 AM

                                                                                            I really miss the Hellenic cups.

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                                                                                            1. re: coll
                                                                                              Duppie Jul 14, 2010 11:03 AM

                                                                                              Me too, still available at the Waverly Diner on 6'th Ave in the Village.

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                                                                                              1. re: Duppie
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                                                                                                anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 01:03 PM

                                                                                                Me too. The cups and the diner on 12th Ave. in NYC are both gone.

                                                                                                Sad world.

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                                                                                                1. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                                  coll Jul 14, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                                                                  I just read a long detailed story about the cups because the paper salesman who invented them just passed away. I believe it was in the NY Times. They said they only make them special order now, so at least they still exist somewhere. I've also seen them in ceramic, if you are ecologically minded!

                                                                                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/nyr...

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                                                                                                  1. re: coll
                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                    anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                                                                    Awwww, such a nice story. Thanks, coll.

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                                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                                      pdxgastro Jul 15, 2010 12:04 AM

                                                                                                      One thing about the Hellenic cups with their flat lids that you fold back-they dribbled when you drank out of them. At least with Starbucks introducing the dome lids, they do a better job of delivering the coffee to your mouth, not your shirt.

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                                                                                                2. re: coll
                                                                                                  Chris VR Jul 14, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                                                  You need one of these ceramic cups! http://www.uncommongoods.com/item/ite...

                                                                                                   
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                                                                                                  1. re: Chris VR
                                                                                                    coll Jul 14, 2010 01:27 PM

                                                                                                    I was trying to get the picture to print, thanks. I've been very tempted and I know someday I will make an impulse buy, love it!

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                                                                                                3. re: Duppie
                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2010 11:01 AM

                                                                                                  Duppie,

                                                                                                  I agree with you in the big picture. Despite Starbuck has pushed some small businesses, it is all competition. There is nothing with it.

                                                                                                  Yet, what is wrong with Hellenic cups? Doesn't Hellenic means Greek culture? What is wrong with that?

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                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                    Duppie Jul 14, 2010 11:57 AM

                                                                                                    Nothing, other than the cups became a symbol of cheap ,utilitarian and utterly horrid coffee in NYC from the diners to the breakfast carts ubiquitous to mid town.

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                                                                                            2. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                              c oliver Jul 14, 2010 02:37 PM

                                                                                              We live in a small resort community. Two of the three Starbucks have closed. I don't believe any of the M&Ps have.

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                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                anonymouse1935 Jul 15, 2010 04:04 AM

                                                                                                Good. Glad to hear it.

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                                                                                    3. re: chowser
                                                                                      thew Jul 14, 2010 08:11 AM

                                                                                      vente is 20 oz.

                                                                                      not that confusing.

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                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                        chowser Jul 14, 2010 08:16 AM

                                                                                        It is to anyone who doesn't speak italian. And, a cold venti holds 24 ounces. Maybe they should change it to venti quattro freddo.

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                                                                                      2. re: chowser
                                                                                        m
                                                                                        Missmoo Jul 14, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                                                        You should rent the movie "Role Models" where Paul Rudd has a confrontation about the venti size. It's hilarious!

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                                                                                        1. re: Missmoo
                                                                                          chowser Jul 14, 2010 10:28 AM

                                                                                          I'll check it out, thanks!

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                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                            LindaWhit Jul 14, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                                                            Looks like it's on Youtube (no surprise!) - I can't get it to come up as there are server errors but I'll try and watch it tonight.

                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkpDEn...

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                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                              chowser Jul 14, 2010 10:35 AM

                                                                                              That's funny, although I do feel bad for counterpeople who probably have to deal w/ that all the time. Take it up with corporate.

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                                                                                      3. re: sugarandstockings
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        soupkitten Jul 14, 2010 09:20 AM

                                                                                        reason in itself never to go to a starbucks, besides the fact that bux coffee sux. there are plenty of indie coffee houses that put out a much better product without the expectation that the customer internalize the nonsense lingo the chain has created. additionally, there are much better coffee *chains*-- i'll actually go to a caribou in a pinch (like if i'm visiting a hospital)-- but not a starbucks.

                                                                                        the first time i heard someone emit the robotic bux-order-chant, where twenty six syllables later, the person was handed a small cup and charged $5.40. . . . my head snapped around and i involuntarily blurted: "omg you are *insane.*" i still feel exactly the same way.

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                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                          LindaWhit Jul 14, 2010 09:32 AM

                                                                                          the first time i heard someone emit the robotic bux-order-chant, where twenty six syllables later, the person was handed a small cup and charged $5.40. . . . my head snapped around and i involuntarily blurted: "omg you are *insane.*"
                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                          LOL!!! That sounds like something I'd say - with a few choice other words. ;-)

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                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                            a
                                                                                            anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 09:43 AM

                                                                                            You said a mouthful, soupkitten.

                                                                                            ...the person was handed a small cup and charged $5.40. . . . my head snapped around and i involuntarily blurted: "omg you are *insane.*

                                                                                            Ain't it a hoot?

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                                                                                    4. chowser Jul 12, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                                                      If it can be ordered quickly, eg, salad hold the dressing, that's one thing. But, if it takes a long time to get the order right, you might as well eat at home. We had a friend whose girlfriend was like that. It took forever for her to order. It was embarassing, enough that most of us stopped eating out with them. She thought she was wonderful with how she ordered (well, with how she did everything). High maintenance doesn't begin to describe it. Thankfully, they broke up.

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                                                                                        heidip732 Jul 12, 2010 08:46 AM

                                                                                        I am pointedly picky for a few things. I'm a lover of freshly brewed iced tea. In fact, when I make it at home I add a container of lemonade concentrate for that tartness/sweetness factor. So when I order iced tea out, I ask them to bring a tall glass of iced tea with extra lemon. Then I tell them that basically, I like a little tea with my lemon. They laugh, and always bring plenty of extra lemon.

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                                                                                        1. re: heidip732
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          bookhound Jul 12, 2010 08:53 AM

                                                                                          You should just order a lemonade with a plash of iced tea or an Arnold Palmer which is a 50-50 combination of iced tea and lemonade. A few years ago there was either a blight or a late freeze, I can't remember which, that caused citrus prices to spike and your ordering extra lemon would have cost the restaurant real money. At one point lemons were something like $0.30 a piece. I have a friend that owns a bar and citrus prices actually affected his bottom line.

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                                                                                          1. re: bookhound
                                                                                            Firegoat Jul 12, 2010 08:57 AM

                                                                                            Hopefully my BF makes up for the slack. he always orders his ice tea specifically unsweetened and no lemons. We hate wasting food, and I don't want his lemon in my diet coke.

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                                                                                            1. re: bookhound
                                                                                              h
                                                                                              heidip732 Jul 12, 2010 09:22 AM

                                                                                              I like the Arnold Palmer idea! I'm going to try that drink next time. It sounds right up my alley!

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                                                                                              1. re: heidip732
                                                                                                j
                                                                                                jujuthomas Jul 12, 2010 09:25 AM

                                                                                                i love a good arnold palmer! My grandfather used to mix them for us in the summers, called them cocktails.

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                                                                                                1. re: heidip732
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  bookhound Jul 12, 2010 09:27 AM

                                                                                                  I think you'll really like it. I'm a fan of tart as well and I think the Arnold Palmer is perfect especially with unsweetened ice tea.

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                                                                                                  1. re: heidip732
                                                                                                    Karl S Jul 13, 2010 04:58 AM

                                                                                                    I boil up some flor de jamaica and keep it in the frig; when I want a drink, I add some sugar-free lemonade crystals, and seltzer.

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                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                      heidip732 Jul 13, 2010 08:21 AM

                                                                                                      I like the idea of the sugar free lemonade crystals idea. I'm going to have to try that one as well. More great ideas!!

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                                                                                                2. re: heidip732
                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                  Mestralle Jul 13, 2010 04:15 PM

                                                                                                  One thing I do at home is keep a bag of cut-up lemons in the freezer. I drink iced tea all day long and brew big pitchers with which I refill my glass. I find that by the time it needs more "ice," it also needs more lemon, so I just pop another one in - two birds, one stone and all that.

                                                                                                  Funnily enough, I love iced tea, and I love lemonade, but I can't stand anything sweet in my tea, so the Arnold Palmer is not for me. But I have friends who love it.

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                                                                                                  anonymouse1935 Jul 12, 2010 05:26 AM

                                                                                                  Yes, as I've shared, I have a new favorite drink, a Makers Mark Sidecar, up, cold, with a sugared rim. As many times as I've requested it, I've only gotten two perfectly made, outstanding resultant drinks.

                                                                                                  If you can specify your Pad Kee Mao, then of course your sister should request -- and get -- her perfectly made martini. Which, by the way, doesn't sound very difficult to me. I hope slidinginsocks is reading here!

                                                                                                  On your sister's incredulity, I'm with her. I'm discovering that some servers hear the main word in a drink or meal and not the ancillary requests.

                                                                                                  26 Replies
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                                                                                                  1. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                                    alkapal Jul 12, 2010 05:45 AM

                                                                                                    mousey, you may be right about servers assuming your order after hearing one or two key words... a lot of people do this if they are half-listening. (a lot of customer service people do this; they don't actually LISTEN to the words you use and the meaning you have tried so clearly to communicate. they respond to what they *assume* you said from hearing some of it).

                                                                                                    she could request a dry grey goose** martini, straight up, two olives.

                                                                                                    at restaurants in which i know they use the fresh noodles (which is all the local ones here in NOVA), i just ask for kee mao with minced chicken, well done noodles. usually the vinegar with chilies is on the condiment tray.

                                                                                                    ~~~~~~
                                                                                                    **
                                                                                                    ha! who wants a dry grey goose? it sounds like a christmas dinner gone very, very bad.

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                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                      MGZ Jul 12, 2010 06:27 AM

                                                                                                      Sadly, you are quite correct in noting that most people generally do not listen carefully, instead they are much more focused upon what they are going to say next. The consequence is that their comprehension suffers greatly (I’ve noticed the same thing seems to happen around here when it come to reading – and written words are significantly less fleeting). The problem is compounded when the person to whom you communicate your request has to relay it to the person who you are actually asking to effectuate it (remember the “telephone game”).

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                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        tastesgoodwhatisit Jul 13, 2010 12:30 AM

                                                                                                        I think it's fine if someone has a few things that they are particular about - and you are right about people not hearing things beyond a few key words. So simply saying what you want isn't enough, you have to be really emphatic about it. It's particularly necessary if you want something a little out of the ordinary. In the US, it's really hard to get a blue-rare steak. If you ask for rare steak, you get what one of my British friends would describe as medium. You have to use phrases like "wave the steak near the fire and serve it" or "I want it still mooing" to get the point across.

                                                                                                        And if someone has an allergy or similar concern, then they have to be similarly clear in an 'if you get this wrong I may die' sense.

                                                                                                        However, some people go overboard. If it takes 15 minutes to order because everything has to be specified down to the arrangement of the lettuce (iceberg only - no romaine) on the plate, then you are too particular. If you are asking the server to bring out a plate of tomatoes so you can select the perfect one, you're going too far.

                                                                                                        It also matters how easy your requests are. A very dry martini or a very well done or rare steak is one thing. If your demands are unreasonable (wanting the spaghetti sauce but with no onions or garlic) then you need to re-think things.

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                                                                                                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                          Duppie Jul 13, 2010 05:07 AM

                                                                                                          Depending on the cut ,I order it black and blue and so far never had a problem with it being lost in the translation. At least not in the States.
                                                                                                          Is this the same cooking method you're referring to?

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                                                                                                          1. re: Duppie
                                                                                                            MGZ Jul 13, 2010 07:05 AM

                                                                                                            "Black & Blue" has become the accepted order phrase. I am afraid that it is still a bit new for a few servers and/or kitchens.

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                                                                                                          2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            jujuthomas Jul 13, 2010 11:51 AM

                                                                                                            UGH - I agree w/ u completely. I once ate dinner with a friend who was VERY picky. She ordered pot roast, with no veggies. the server came back and told her there were veggies in the gravy (peas, carrots IIRC). What did she want him to do??? She said...

                                                                                                            STRAIN IT

                                                                                                            and she meant it. and she laughed about it after.

                                                                                                            we are no longer friends. I wanted to crawl under the table.

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                                                                                                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                              p
                                                                                                              Parrotgal Jul 14, 2010 02:07 PM

                                                                                                              That's so odd, because I've found that over the years the meaning of "medium" has become rarer and rarer, until it's almost impossible to get what I consider a steak that is actually cooked, and not just waved over the grill. I like it one second after the last bit of pink disappears (I'm old, sue me). And that is very, very difficult to get. I've sent back an awful lot of chewy red steaks.

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                                                                                                              1. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                invinotheresverde Jul 14, 2010 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                That's well done.

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                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                  q
                                                                                                                  queencru Jul 15, 2010 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                  I'm with you there. I'm in my 30s and no pink in the center is nowhere in the realm of anything I've experienced as "medium"- usually medium well is some pink still left in the center, and medium is likely to have some red in it depending on where you go.

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                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                    alanbarnes Jul 15, 2010 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                    In all fairness to Parrotgal, she isn't alone in her idea of what constitutes a "medium" steak. The USDA claims that that requires a 160F internal temperature - which is in fact the point at which the last bit of pink disappears. In other words, well-done.

                                                                                                                    As far as I'm concerned, a medium steak has a warm pink center. I don't know how old anybody else here is, but that's a definition I first heard about 40 years ago, and it came from somebody who was born before the previous turn of the century.

                                                                                                                    Maybe there's a geographical distinction that led to this confusion? I dunno. What I do know is that there really isn't any confusion any more; no restaurant anywhere would consider a 160F steak to be medium.

                                                                                                                    To Parrotgal, if you go to **any** restaurant in the US and you want your meat cooked until there's no more pink, just ask for it to be well-done. There may have been a legitimate dispute about what constitutes a "medium" steak at some point in history, but that dispute is over, and the "warm pink center" definition has definitely prevailed.

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                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                      invinotheresverde Jul 15, 2010 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                      You know they're totally erring on the side of caution, and trying to convince people to overcook their steaks to weed out any latent bacteria.

                                                                                                                      No pink is well done, plain and simple.

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                                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                        alanbarnes Jul 15, 2010 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                        >>"No pink is well done, plain and simple."<<

                                                                                                                        A pedantic statement like that really doesn't do much to further the discussion. Moreover, a little reading indicates that Parrotgal has a point - the commonly-accepted definitions of doneness do indeed appear to have crept downward substantially in the last half-century.

                                                                                                                        For example, in 1961, Julia Child defined medium-rare as being 145-150 degrees. (Mastering the Art of French Cooking, p. 331.) That's about fifteen degrees warmer than what we consider medium-rare today. In 1964, Irma Rombauer recommended roasting lamb to an internal temperature of 175-180, but noted that "Europeans like lamb slightly rare or at an internal temperature of 160 to 165." (Joy of Cooking, p. 405.)

                                                                                                                        I don't pretend to know what a steak with no pink would be called at every place in the English-speaking world at every time in history. But it's definitely incorrect to claim that it would always be called well-done.

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                                                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                          invinotheresverde Jul 15, 2010 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                          I don't care what temperatures were used to describe doneness 40 years ago. I wasn't even a blip on the radar then.

                                                                                                                          In the US, today, yes, a steak with no pink SHOULD always be referred to as well done (an oxymoron uf ever there was one). It's no longer considered medium well or medium. If the OP wants to receive her steak cooked throughout, she needs to ask for it by color or by the current terminology.

                                                                                                                          That's all I'm sayin', yo.

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                                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Jul 15, 2010 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                            Yo what's up. Except that the current terminology is not well established.

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                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                              invinotheresverde Jul 15, 2010 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                              Says who? I've worked in restaurants for the past 15 years and have never had anyone request a medium steak with no pink in it. I think the current definition is pretty clear cut.

                                                                                                                              Not that Wiki is the end-all-be-all, but they describe a medium steak as "pink and firm".

                                                                                                                              Other links:

                                                                                                                              http://www.tasteoftx.com/recipes/Steak_doneness.html
                                                                                                                              http://www.askthemeatman.com/images/donenesspixbeefsteak5levels30kb.gif
                                                                                                                              http://www.squidoo.com/steak-rare-medium-well-done
                                                                                                                              http://www.bukisa.com/articles/31720_...

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                                                                                                                            2. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                              alanbarnes Jul 15, 2010 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                              We are in total agreement on the most common terminology. Problem is, that isn't the **only** current terminology. Like I noted above, the USDA (which was based in the US last time I checked) considers a 160F steak to be medium. I'd call it well-done.

                                                                                                                              You can holler all you want that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, and that everybody SHOULD use the same terminology you do. Problem is, you're wasting your breath.

                                                                                                                              Different people have different definitions of doneness, and all the pedantry in the world isn't going to change that, yo.

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                                                                                                                    2. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                      bookhound Jul 14, 2010 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                      You're much better off describing what you want your steak to look like after cooking like you did in your post. My medium varies from yours but, cooked to "last bit of pink disappears", is pretty clear.

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                                                                                                                      1. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                        just_M Jul 14, 2010 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                        I think its medium well - meaning you don't want the pink but you still want it medium.

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                                                                                                                        1. re: just_M
                                                                                                                          invinotheresverde Jul 15, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                          Medium is hot and pink throughout. Medium well is a hot, slightly pink center. If the poster wants no pink, that's well done. There's no such thing as medium without pink.

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                                                                                                                        2. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                          thew Jul 15, 2010 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                          http://www.hilltopsteaks.com/images/d...

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                                                                                                                          1. re: thew
                                                                                                                            Karl S Jul 15, 2010 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                            Who knew the Hilltop was good for somethin' after all these years?

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                                                                                                                            1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              soupkitten Jul 15, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                              a bit out of date. those steaks should all be considered the next stage of done-ness, apart from blue rare. all the steaks on the right are ruined.

                                                                                                                              Parrotgal should order her steak "ruined, no pink"-- that's how the expeditor will holler it, and it's what the broiler cook will understand.

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                                                                                                                            2. re: thew
                                                                                                                              c oliver Jul 15, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                              Excellent! Maybe Parrotgal could have that printed and laminated and show it at restaurants. (Someone actually did that on a post long time ago.) Clearly what she wants is well done. She would save herself and the restaurants alot of frustration.

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                                                                                                                              1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Jul 15, 2010 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                                BRILLIANT picture, thew! A color printout of that page is what people should carry with them. :-)

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                                                                                                                              2. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                                Karl S Jul 15, 2010 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                Yes, that's not medium at all. That's well done. Just not *very* well done.

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                                                                                                                                1. re: Parrotgal
                                                                                                                                  c oliver Jul 15, 2010 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                  BTW, I'm 63 and have never thought that my preferred degree of doneness is age-related :) My daddy always joked that he was going to buy a steer, walk it past the fire, cut a steak, put a bandaid on the steer. We'd have a great steak and the steer would recover.

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                                                                                                                        3. c
                                                                                                                          Cathy Jul 11, 2010 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                          Only when given a choice, then I state my preferences: poached eggs and medium rare-more rare than medium- steak and burgers.

                                                                                                                          If they tell me they only do medium as the minimum cooking, then I politely ask that it be medium, but 'please take it off the grill before you think it is done'.

                                                                                                                          Usually works out perfectly.

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                                                                                                                          1. re: Cathy
                                                                                                                            onceadaylily Jul 12, 2010 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                            That is exactly how I order my steak 'medium rare, more medium than rare'. I remember the first time an establishment told me that they weren't "allowed" to serve medium rare steaks. I sat there feeling as if the world had gone mad, and decided to have salmon instead.

                                                                                                                            Rookie mistake. If the chef felt compelled by law to overcook beef, what do you think he did to the fish?

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                                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                                            joe777cool Jul 11, 2010 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                            I have some stories from my years working in the restaurant industry:

                                                                                                                            Had a customer that would order a BLT, but asked to "see the tomatoes" before they were put on the sandwich. YEs you heard me right, he wanted an array of tomatos cut, plated, brought out to him and then (as long as they met his approval) placed on his sandwich.

                                                                                                                            Had a customer order a grilled bagel, no cream cheese (it was always served on the side in an individual self-serve container) - and proceeded to say he would "throw the cream cheese across the restaurant if it was on his plate."

                                                                                                                            Steaks and eggs always seemes to be a point of contention.....people tend to have unreal expectations and/or dont know how to properly order these items.
                                                                                                                            "Extra well done steak, but not burnt"
                                                                                                                            "Over-easy eggs, but not too runny"

                                                                                                                            It never ceases to amaze me.......

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                                                                                                                            1. re: joe777cool
                                                                                                                              binkychow Jul 12, 2010 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                              I don't blame the tomatoe guy. I have had some BLTs where the T was the gross butt end of the T and mealy to boot. I know they want to use every scrap of the T, but come on. It's not even a T at that point. I think I will ask to see the T from now on as well!!

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                                                                                                                            2. Chemicalkinetics Jul 11, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                              alkapal

                                                                                                                              I can see that you try to verify "fresh rice noodle" and "minced chicken", but how the heck do you ask for or verify "wok char" or "wok hai"?

                                                                                                                              That is like asking a barbecue joint that you want a good deep smokey favor in the meat, who is going to say no to that?

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                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                alkapal Jul 11, 2010 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                cee kay -- i like to see caramelization on the edges (and bumps) of the noodles.

                                                                                                                                one thai place i go to, i like the folks but they cannot do it that way because they say too many noodles stick to the wok. (if they used less oil in the wok i think it would further my aim, but they say the noodles themselves are oily, which is a point. however, other thai places can do it with the same noodles).

                                                                                                                                also, i think i've understood that the high brown caramelization on the noodles' edges (i call it wok char) is NOT considered good form (wok hai) -- that in fact the noodles are not *supposed* to have any kind of char whatsoever. but i like it that way, so that's how i order it.

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                                                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                                                jeanmarieok Jul 11, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                I am not a really picky orderer - but I do like it the way I like it. One of my pet peeves - don't tell me the beer is cold if it's not. I'll send it back in a second. And if I ask for my food with no mayo, I mean it.

                                                                                                                                I used to work with a guy who made his point every time they got his order wrong. He would always order a cheeseburger, no mayo, no lettuce, no tomato. If they brought his order with mayo/lettuce/tomato - invariably with the excuse 'well, it's all on the side', he'd say thanks, and take all of the offending items off his plate and put them directly on the table. He didn't want those things even touching his food.

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                                                                                                                                1. Chemicalkinetics Jul 11, 2010 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                  Overall, I am a very relax guy. I don't even mind when the waiter bring in the wrong dish. I will tell them that it is the wrong dish, so they can make the change for the bill, but I will keep the new dish.

                                                                                                                                  I am kind of picky about two things.

                                                                                                                                  I prefer barbecue sauces on the side for my barbecue meats. I like to taste all the barbecue sauces on the table and I like to control how much I use. I usually make that clear to the waitress/waiter. This is not a problem at all down in the Southern states because everyone prefer to have sauce on the side, but it can be issues in the Northern states.

                                                                                                                                  I also prefer to be asked about my tea preference in a Chinese dim sum restaurant. I don't really care about the tea type, but I find it extremely rude when I am being shoved with whatever tea the servers think I need to drink. Now, if they have only one tea, then I don't mind. However, if they have numerous tea and decided to shove one to me, then I get offended.

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                                                                                                                                  1. Firegoat Jul 11, 2010 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                    I never thought I was a picky orderer. I like to order steak medium rare, but if it comes medium, or rare, I'm not going to cut a fuss. However, I was eating with a male friend one day and he mentioned that I was like Sally in "When Harry Met Sally"... but it all had to do with a salad. I didn't THINK I was being overly picky, but I did ask for the dressing on the side, and for a couple of the things listed in the salad to not be included. And I admit, I usually do that... so maybe it's a little bit of perception, too.

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                                                                                                                                    1. onceadaylily Jul 11, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                      I would be, if I listened to the people who tell me that my dirty vodka martini isn't a martini.

                                                                                                                                      ME: May I have roughly two or three ounces of Grey Goose, and anywhere from a half ounce of dry vermouth (though some places use a bit more, do whatever you normally do), shaken with another half ounce of olive brine, then strained into a martini glass, with a few olives for garnish?

                                                                                                                                      SERVER: You mean a dirty vodka martini?

                                                                                                                                      ME: Oh, no. It's *not* a martini, please don't call it that. Some find it offensive. It's a *cocktail*. It just doesn't have a name yet. While you're making my drink . . . could you name it for me? That would be super!

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                                                                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                                                                        mymomisthebestcook Jul 11, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                                        Back in my Starbucks obsessed days, I would order a grande, skim 180 degree, no foam latte. If my mouth wasnt burnt, Id ask them to make me another one.

                                                                                                                                        I want to see steam when I order soup.

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                                                                                                                                        1. re: mymomisthebestcook
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                                                                                                                                          ospreycove Jul 11, 2010 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                          Having been in the resto biz; the problem "picky" orders sometimes get very special attention.......attention you would rather not have or know about!! Do not piss off the chef during the rush, he/she is god.

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                                                                                                                                          1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                            greygarious Jul 13, 2010 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yes, reading this thread I wondered how many of these Special Snowflakes get a snot shot or splash of saliva in their drinks.

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                              joe777cool Jul 13, 2010 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                              I can confirm this..... dont piss off the waiter / cook. not a good idea.

                                                                                                                                              the movie "waiting" was not very far from the truth at all.

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                                                                                                                                              1. re: joe777cool
                                                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                                                anonymouse1935 Jul 14, 2010 02:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                Ha, I wondered if this was an urban legend or if it were true.

                                                                                                                                                Good thing I'm a great diner!

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                                                                                                                                                1. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                                                                                  q
                                                                                                                                                  queencru Jul 14, 2010 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I've had more than one friend tell me of her serving escapades involving saliva. (I am sure men do it too, but none of them have told me about it.) I have been extra careful to treat my server well ever since the first time I heard it.

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                                                                                                                                                2. re: joe777cool
                                                                                                                                                  visciole Jul 14, 2010 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I never saw anything like this go on at any of the restaurants I worked at. At worst, a complaining patron would be singled out to receive the mingiest-looking plate, or be poured the stingiest drink. Nothing worse.

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                                                                                                                                                  1. re: visciole
                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                    just_M Jul 14, 2010 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I'm with you visciole. Non of the places I've worked at have done anything like that, and that includes a Jack in the Box that was the only place open at bar rush in a college town. And let me tell you those people can be abusive.

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                                                                                                                                            2. Beach Chick Jul 11, 2010 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                              Yes, I am a picky orderer and proud of it!
                                                                                                                                              I like things a certain way but when I am ordering, I am very nice and to the point.
                                                                                                                                              As far as some posters saying that some need to hear their own voice, that is the most inane thing, I've ever heard of....its called asking for what you want and how you want it.

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                                                                                                                                              1. invinotheresverde Jul 11, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                You should tell your sister to ask for a glass of chilled vodka, since what she's drinking definitely isn't a martini.

                                                                                                                                                I try to be an easy ordered, except for my nut allergy. That shit'll kill me.

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                                                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                  Linda VH Jul 11, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Sorry but "in and out" does have vermouth but just the vermouth that clings to the ice. I am very picky re my steak as I want it very rare and will send it back if it isn't. I feel for the mustard allergy. I am not supposed to eat anything with tomatoes or a tomato product in it which is a small nightmare and no vinegar or citrus. Dang I hate it!

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                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Linda VH
                                                                                                                                                    invinotheresverde Jul 11, 2010 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, that's not a martini, doll.

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                      slidinginsocks Jul 12, 2010 02:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                      yeah it is...it's very common. and very much a martini. put it in the glass, coat the ice, drain it out, add vodka......my dear, that is a martini.

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                                                                                                                                                      1. re: slidinginsocks
                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                        bookhound Jul 12, 2010 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                        No, it's actually called a Kangaroo and not even a very good one.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. re: slidinginsocks
                                                                                                                                                          invinotheresverde Jul 12, 2010 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                          It's certainly NOT a martini. As book states above, it's a very poorly made Kangaroo.

                                                                                                                                                          Just because something is served up, in a cocktail glass, doesn't make it a martini. Vermouth is an integral part of a martini.

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                                                            linguafood Jul 15, 2010 05:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                            as is gin, no? or at least it used to be...

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Jul 15, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                              You're also not supposed to have to say gin when you order a Martini. A Martini is a gin cocktail. If you (are so benighted as to) want (just kidding) a vodka Martini, that needs to be specified.

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                                                                                                                                                    2. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                      jujuthomas Jul 12, 2010 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                      +1 on the nut allergy! I am a pain in the ass about that one. I tell them to make sure because they DON'T want to have to call 911!

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                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                                                                                                        chowser Jul 12, 2010 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Allergies are hard to deal with. My daughter is allergic to red dye #40 so we have to check if the lemonade is pink (pink might have red dye or not but I don't expect staff to know off hand so we just stay away from pink). It sounds so overindulgent when they say is it pink that she doesn't want it. It sounds like "Yeah, my daughter is so precious and picky that she REFUSES to drink lemonade if it's not yellow."

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                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                                          jujuthomas Jul 12, 2010 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                          well. IMHO, pink lemonade is just gross! ;)

                                                                                                                                                          i hate my food allergies and try to make as little fuss about them as possible. but in that instance, you have to.

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                                                                                                                                                    3. Perilagu Khan Jul 11, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I try not to be because I know what a pain in the ass it can be to waiters, barkeeps, etc. But there are exceptions. When I order most Indian dishes I stress that I want them prepared murderously hot. When I order hot wings I stress that they must not only be scorchingly hot, they must also be cooked very crisp. When ordering a gin martini I insist that it be stirred, not shaken. When ordering pizza I demand a very thin crust cooked to a char. I suppose those are my major peccadilloes.

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                                                                                                                                                      1. visciole Jul 11, 2010 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Back in the day when I tended bar I had a guy demand that I make him a "really, really dry vodka martini, NO vermouth!" Okay, Sir, I said. I proceeded to chill some vodka, added some olives, and served it to him in a martini glass. "This is the best martini I EVER had," he declared. I did not tell him he was drinking chilled vodka in a martini glass rather than a martini, though I would've, if he hadn't been such a bossy-boots.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. re: visciole
                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                          anonymouse1935 Jul 12, 2010 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, but if he asked for chilled vodka with olives, he would not have gotten it in a martini glass, and that would ruin the entire experience.

                                                                                                                                                          The guy was right.

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                                                                                                            visciole Jul 12, 2010 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Hey, I would cheerfully make customers whatever they wanted. If he'd asked for chilled vodka with olives in a martini glass, that's precisely what I would've given him. And, I would've told him that that's what he ought to ask for in other establishments, only his attitude really rubbed me the wrong way. So no, he wasn't right -- what he wanted wasn't a martini.

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: visciole
                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                              Missmoo Jul 12, 2010 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                              That's what most people ask for these days. And they act surprised when you ask if they want gin or vodka (if they don't specify).

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                                                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                                                          smartie Jul 11, 2010 04:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I'm a picky orderer with steak. It just has to be well well well done. I always say cremate it please you can't overcook it. Then I beg the waiter to tell the kitchen that I really want it right first time so I don't have to sit there eating the sides while my fellow diners are tucking into their food. Most steak houses just can't manage it but I will keep trying!

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                            pikiliz Jul 11, 2010 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                            that is all most like going to a Thai resto and asking for traditional heat in a dish,most resto's are always afraid that the dish will be too hot or in your case to burnt for the patron and they will not pay. You might want to frequent one steakhouse and become friendly with the staff and or chef so that they will know what you want or tell them you will pay first if this is there worry.

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                                                                                                                                                          2. mrbigshotno.1 Jul 10, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                            One joint I worked in we had this clown who would have a dry club a couple times a week, he would say (in all seriousness) "Don't make me go back there to make sure they don't put mayo on my sandwich" Yes sir, right away sir, God forbid sir.

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                                                                                                                                                              bagelman01 Jul 10, 2010 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Sometimes the picky orderer (sic) is NOT a clown, but protecting his/her health.

                                                                                                                                                              I insist that my sandwich not be cut. I like my sandwich cut, but am allergic to mustard. Too often, the knife used to cut assembled sandwiches before plating is not cleaned between uses, or just wiped.
                                                                                                                                                              I ended up in an ambulance about 20 years ago after a deli counterperson cut my sandwich with a knife that had mustard on it from the previous sandwich he plated.

                                                                                                                                                              So, I always stress DO NOT CUT THE SANDWICH!!!
                                                                                                                                                              If it comes cut, I tell them to make a fresh sandwich, but don't let the waitperson take the cut sandwich until the new one arrives. Some places would simply reassemble the possibly tainted meat on new bread.

                                                                                                                                                              Other than that, I always inquire if the salad dressing, etc are made with mustard, never order potato salad or crab cakes out (both of which often are made with mustard), and ask that my salad be assembled without olives.

                                                                                                                                                              I never ask that a new meal be created if I don't like the dish as described, I don't order it.

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                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01
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                                                                                                                                                                NicoleFriedman Jul 13, 2010 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Again, you are not being picky- you're allergic to mustard. I hope you explain this to your waiter when ordering.

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NicoleFriedman
                                                                                                                                                                  bagelman01 Jul 14, 2010 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I do not owe a waitperson an explanation when I order a sandwich not cut. The waitperson is there to serve me.
                                                                                                                                                                  My allergies are my own poersonal medical information and I do not have an obligation to share this with a stranger.

                                                                                                                                                                  If the waitperson inquired why I refused a cut sandwich when I ordered the sandwich NOT to be cut, I might explain, but really have nop obligation to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                  When taking my order the waitperson is free to refuse my request and also lose my business. That is the waitperson's decision not mine.

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                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                                                    Karl S Jul 14, 2010 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    While you are technically correct, a simple explanation is more likely to succeed and thus waste less of your time.

                                                                                                                                                                    Why? Because it's not the waiter who decided whether your sandwich is cut; it's the kitchen. The waiter can give the order to the kitchen. The kitchen may ignore the instruction. If waiter has an explanation of an allergy, the kitchen (1) is less likely to ignore, and (2) less likely to get passive aggressive about a re-do (like, putting the re-do at the end of the queue).

                                                                                                                                                                    So, while you are right, if you provide the allergy explanation, you are less likely to be frustrated. Your choice which is more important.

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                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                                                                                      bagelman01 Jul 14, 2010 06:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Having worked in restaurants, catering and deli, the waitperson who both takes my order and delivers my food is responsible to see that it is delivered as ordered.
                                                                                                                                                                      If I order the sandwich uincut, and the waitperson puts the order in that way, and then the kitchen staff plates a cut sandwich, the waitperson is supposed to tell the kitchen staff the order is wrong, NOT bring it to me and hope I'll accept it.

                                                                                                                                                                      It is the waitperson's obligation to check plates against orders before delivering it to the table.

                                                                                                                                                                      My medical condition/history is really none of the waitperson's or kitchen staff's business, if all I'm doing is ordering a sandwich not cut.

                                                                                                                                                                      I use to have customers who ordered sandwiches cut in quarters or thirds to accomodate children with small mouths. Why it was ordered that way was none of my business, making sure it was served that way was my obligation.

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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                                                        c oliver Jul 14, 2010 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you. I've looked with amazement at times when my soft-poached eggs came out damn near hard boiled. Why did the server serve them to me? Just so I'll send them back - which I do?

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                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                          pikawicca Jul 14, 2010 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          You have restaurants that still poach eggs? I can't begin to tell you how lucky you are.

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                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                            c oliver Jul 14, 2010 08:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            We went to breakfast in Reno on Saturday. House-made corned beef hash which to me demands poached eggs. Nope. But, yeah, usually no problem.

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                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                                                      chowser Jul 15, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I agree to some extent but there is a difference in that special precautions need to be taken with the allergies. If you orders ice cream with no nuts because you don't like them, they can use the same utensils as ones made w/ nuts. But, with someone with an allergy, they need to wash the utensils. You don't have an obligation to share your medical information but it's useful.

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                                                                                                                                                              2. elfcook Jul 10, 2010 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I really try not to be - I choose something that either I like as described, or that lends itself to customization (thinking of my favorite flatbreads that are ordered topped as you like). In that case, it isn't picky, it is just telling what you want.

                                                                                                                                                                However, I do recognize that I can seem picky about coffee. Not what is in it, as I drink it black, but the fact that I must have decaf. I rarely order coffee when eating out, because I have had bad experiences. I do frequent my local coffee place for a to-go cup, because I have reliably gotten decaf each time from them. On the rare occasions I order coffee from somewhere else, I order a "decaf, black" and then when presented with the coffee, I will always ask "decaf, right?". It may seem annoying to the server, but the heart arrythmia is annoying to me if they get it wrong.

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: elfcook
                                                                                                                                                                  n
                                                                                                                                                                  NicoleFriedman Jul 13, 2010 09:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  You're not being picky when it comes to your health. I always double check when it comes to ensuring the coffee is decaf.

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                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: elfcook
                                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jul 13, 2010 09:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Heart arrythmia indeed is annoying if not scary, and it can be triggered by caffiene for many people. Just a word of caution, decaffienated coffee still have caffiene in it.

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                                                                                                                                                                    occula Jul 10, 2010 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't THINK I"m a picky orderer, but I have FELT like one - I was ovo-lacto-vegetarian for ten years in a small midwestern town, so I feel like I spent a lot of time inquiring whether there was meat in (the soup, the quesadillas, the salad, etc). Most of the time it was a simple yes/no (usually yes!), but sometimes it was accompanied by a surprised look, a silent DUH, occasionally "I have to ask," and at least once, lies from the server - which made me feel like a high maintenance ordering diva, for sure! :)

                                                                                                                                                                    One of the other comments reminds me of why I always get scrambled eggs in restaurants instead of how I really prefer them, fried: so I won't have to go through the "fried, broken, over hard, cooked through, dry, honestly it's impossible to overcook my fried eggs" routine. Although I will sometimes say "scrambled, well done." It's still faster and safer.

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                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: occula
                                                                                                                                                                      Firegoat Jul 11, 2010 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      You sound like my BF.... everytime we order out breakfast I know its gonna be two eggs over realy really really really hard....

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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: occula
                                                                                                                                                                        tracylee Jul 13, 2010 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        My ex was allergic to undercooked egg whites - so much so that he wouldn't eat scrambled eggs. He always ordered his eggs over hard, and it was amazing how often they'd be served under-done.

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                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                                          c oliver Jul 13, 2010 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          How can one possibly be allergic to undercooked but not overcooked? Not being critical;just asking.

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                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                            Sooeygun Jul 14, 2010 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Because some of the proteins in eggs change when cooked. Some people react only to these proteins in their raw form.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                                                                              c oliver Jul 14, 2010 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks.

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                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                                                                                tracylee Jul 14, 2010 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, Sooeygun. As I was posting, I was wondering why he even bothered eating cooked eggs at all, but he had so many neuroses, that that was pretty minor.

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                                                                                                                                                                          ospreycove Jul 10, 2010 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Reminds me of an associate; we would meet most mornings before work for breakfast. His order to the waitress would go something like "Hi Suzy, I would like 2 eggs medium/easy over, crisp but not dark bacon, slightly brown edged rye toast light butter, hash browns lightly done but not soft". The waitress would yell to the cook. "A number 2, over, bacon, rye, hash browns." My friend would get his order, finish every morsel and say, "That was great".
                                                                                                                                                                          I guess some people just have a need to hear their own voice.

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                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                                                            EWSflash Jul 10, 2010 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            "I guess some people just have a need to hear their own voice." True that, ospreycove!

                                                                                                                                                                            At least he gobbled it all down and said "That was great"- a lot of the time the rabid order-givers will find that what they so carefully ordered did not meet their standards.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                                                              thew Jul 11, 2010 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              reminds me of this classic:

                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZwOGV...

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