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Food you stand in line or wait for

I wish I had a story for you , but I haven't. I wish I had. So your favorites or stories wherever you live. How long have you waited and how good was it.

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  1. I regularly wait 10-15 minutes for the pollo asado or al pastor burrito at the Tribeca Taco Truck in NYC. Plump beans, perfectly cooked rice, and meat seasoned just right. I guess that's not much of a story, but they make a damn good burrito.

    1. The Halal carts @ Columbus Circle, however long it takes.

      1. I waited 22 minutes on Monday for a corned beef sandwich at a local deli in Boca which wasn't even busy, and wasn't happy because I only get 30 minutes for lunch. By the time I got back to work I barely had time to wolf it down. I know the time because my receipt had the order time on it. Pretty sure they forgot to make mine as the 2 people that came in after me got theirs first.

        2 Replies
        1. re: smartie

          Whether sit-down or carry-out, people who arrive after me yet get waited on/served before me is one of the things I find most irritating (excepting call-in orders, naturally). There are restaurants that I have refused to return to after this happened, especially if bringing to a manager's attention does some bring positive result.

          But on the upside, there is a Serbian restaurant in my city that makes everything from scratch, so a one-hour wait for a burek is not uncommon. But it is definitely worth the wait.

          1. re: smartie

            When Tom Jenkins was in Boca Raton I was waiting in line to be seated and a lady drove up in her Mercedes and walked in and tried to cut in front of the line - the owner's wife saw this and came out around the counter and severely scolded her, telling her to get in the back of the line. I'm sure no body had ever spoken to her in that fashion.

          2. Wirtshaus "Zur Henne" in Berlin. Almost always packed to the rafters, you have to get a rez a few days ahead, and you wait anywhere between 30-45 min. for the Best Damn Fried Chicken in Berlin. Totally worth the wait.


            1. My best "waiting in line for dinner" story happened when I lived in San Francisco in the late 70's / early 80's. Paul Prudhomme (and cajun food for that matter) was just becoming well-known outside New Orleans. He brought his "traveling restaurant" to San Francisco. I had just been to New Orleans a few months before this and had been to K Paul's Kitchen and was enthralled with it, so I was determined to go. Several friends were meeting me there, but I volunteered to get there first and save our place in line. I got there about 4:30 and there were about 30 people ahead of me, all of whom, as it turned out, like me, were holding a spot for an additional few people each. My friends arrived. The first seating happened, we weren't anywhere near able to get in for that. We waited and waited and got hungrier and hungrier and started making friends with others in line. Eventually, we ordered a pizza with our newfound friends to keep ourselves from starving to death. We decided what we wanted to eat from the menu posted outside. By the time we got seated, at 11:30 pm, they had run out of what we'd wanted to order. I remember what I ended up having was a pasta done with tasso ham, which I had never heard of before, and other delectable stuff. We all loved what we ordered. The staff was all from New Orleans and were thrilled to be in SF - they were throwing Mardi Gras beads everywhere. It was a very festive atmosphere. We all thought it was TOTALLY worth it!

              1. La Carnita tacos at the Toronto Underground Market. Friends and I waited (in shifts) nearly an hour on two occasions for them and it was so worth it. There's a paucty of good tacos in Toronto, and the versions from this pop-up business are such a treat. Hope they expand soon!

                1. 5 1/2 hour wait to get a table at Pizzeria Bianco in Pheonix. Luckily there were some bars to nosh at in the area, but the food was definately worth the wait once seated.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Novelli

                    Put our name down, went to the Arizona Center to watch Avatar, came back had a drink at Bar Bianco and *then* our table was ready.

                    Sadly, that's no longer true now with Chris offering lunch service. I'm almost nostalgic for the good ol' times.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      wow ipsed

                      I'm surprised I thought they'd always said they'd not do that.
                      my first pizza arrived burnt.

                  2. Still waiting for Catherine Zeta-Jones. I wait. I wait. I'm patient. Not that patient, the phonics patience.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Veggo

                      I'm still waiting for Antonio Banderas, so I guess we're in the same boat ;-)

                        1. re: RetiredChef

                          As a general rule I don't stand in line for food either. There are exceptions however: movie theater, ballpark, state fair, and at a restaurant where we have reservations but still have to wait for a bit.

                          1. re: RetiredChef

                            right there with you. I really hate waiting in line for food. Will do it on rare occasion to appease my wife. There has been a few food truck rallies in neighboring towns. As much as I'd like to try them they are mobbed and run out of food in a couple of hours. I don't care what you are serving from your truck, I'm not standing in line for 30-60+ min for it. It's not worth it.

                            1. re: RetiredChef

                              Are you emphatically stating when you were a restaurant owner your food was not worth waiting for?

                          2. Weekend breakfast line at McCarthy's in Stowe, VT. Nover really a long wait, but usually packed. Great specials, extra friendly service and reasonable prices. Worth it.

                            1. Pizzaria Bianco PHX AZ
                              Margarita Pizza

                              4 hours in line

                              voted best pizza in the US of A so I had to see if that was right. < it was :)


                              *anyone remember the breakfast lunch joint on the main drag about 20 years ago where the line was always out the door

                              known for breakfast and their pastries&pies

                              Palm Springs, Ca

                              *insert woman's name > and add "kitchen" like Lillie's kitchen or Rosie's kitchen or Lidia's Kitchen or Irene's Kitchen, can't for the life of me remember the name

                              an hour in line on the street, all family style, breakfast with hub&kids...duh bom


                              Seattle Washington

                              line is out the door always and you patiently wait and wait and wait

                              for the sandwiches, the glorious delicious meats and cheeses, so good


                              Cafe Dumonde New Orleans

                              beignets and coffee (the chocolate beignets are stupid good)

                              20 minutes maybe in line, moves pretty fast



                              Broadway Square park across the street

                              San Francisco

                              eggs Benedict with huckleberry jam on every table, so good

                              line always out the door, wait about 30-45 minutes

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: iL Divo

                                We discovered a take out window at Cafe Du Monde when we were there last year. We got Cafe Au Lait and Beignets to go and they were wonderful. It was around NYE and we still had to wait but not as long as the line to sit.

                                1. re: sueinca

                                  We were in New Orleans in October and discovered Sunday morning is NOT the day to go to Cafe Du Monde. The takeout line was even longer than I was willing to wait. We've had beignets several times but I was interested in trying the Cafe Au Lait, although I decided the wait was too long for coffee with milk.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    Next time pick up a can of it somewhere and when you make it, just add hot milk. So good! I have even seen it for sale at cost plus in CA!

                              2. I'll stand in line up to 30 minutes for a really good brunch. But any more than that and I'm out, no matter how good the food is.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: piccola

                                  Now that John G's has moved to Manalapan, I wonder if people still line up for brunch at the old location in Lake Worth. I'll bet they do, out of habit.

                                2. i would probably wait for 45 minutes to an hour at Levain bakery if i had to.

                                  but then again to get to the line id have already sat at the fort lauderdale airport, flown to nyc, navigated laguardia, and arrived at Levain, so another 45 minutes wouldnt really be that big of a deal i guess...

                                  1. i've waited up to 2 hours to sit at the skinny little packed counter at old school Swan Oyster Depot, to be rewarded by wonderful sourdough and butter, oysters on the halfshell, crab louie salad, white clam chowder, half a cracked crab and its butter, smoked whitefish, and a cold Anchor Steam or Muscadet.

                                    1. Lots of people here in Austin wait in line every day for the best bar-b-q brisket in Texas @ Franklin's BBQ.
                                      There's a discussion of the pros and cons here, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/818199
                                      and a hilarious video of the situation here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780710

                                      1. hour wait in line at Black's BBQ in lockhart, Texas, and a 40 minute wait at Smitty's across town... we smelled like smoke by the time we got to order:) But it was awesome!

                                        1. I'd probably wait a while for one of those Shake Shack burgers in order to see if their reputation, 'is all that'. That's #1 on my list if I ever go to NYC.

                                          1. Maybe a good story....but not a great experience. The following is copied from my original comments on a thread about a hot dog institution, Rutt's Hut in New Jersey, but the comments pertain to waiting @ Pink's in Los Angeles for 1 hour and 45 minutes to order and an additional 10 minutes to be served....... I have a similar story and wait time @ Philippe's for their Dip Sandwiches. Never again for either place.

                                            Great Hot Dogs at Rutt's Hut? Fuhgedaboudit! ...http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4654...


                                            .......I have not been to Chicago, so I cannot comment on the dogs there, but I have been to Pink's at the original location in Los Angeles and I have been to Rutt's Hutt many times, as it is my favorite hot dog. You are comparing apples to oranges when you say which is better. First, Pink's is a all beef and Rutt's is a beef and pork combination. Pink's is boiled and steamed in water, where as Rutt's is deep fried. Rutt's is all about the hot dog plain and simple. It's not about the toppings as evident by the additional cost for sauerkraut or chili. I for one absolutely love their house relish of cabbage and carrot. If you could suggest a better store bought condiment, please do, I am sure others in this discussion would be interested as well.

                                            When I went to Pink's a few years back, there were roughly 40 people ahead of me in line. It took one hour and forty-five minutes to reach the front and place my order, which took an additional 10 minutes to complete. To this day, my brother does not let me forget the experience, but as a food lover and being in the food business, my curiosity got the better of me and I needed to see how long the line would take and I wanted to realize why anyone would wait so long for a hot dog. Pink's hot dog is very good, and their Jalapeno dog was very good and different, but Pink's in my opinion is about the toppings and the combinations available. Bacon, okay but Pastrami, Corned Beef, Lettuce, Tomato and Guacamole on my hot dog? No thank you. The ordering process is chaotic at Pink's. When you place your order, one attendant handles everything....the dogs, the fries and the sodas. The employees literally bob and weave down the line like a prize fighter to avoid being hit. Very inefficient. I personally believe this practice is not changed to create the lines and the appearance of sensation.

                                            Rutt's on the other hand, serves their customers quicker and more efficiently with their less labor intensive process with stations and much more limited menu. My observation from an overall business perspective, I believe Rutt's is a better and more profitable place to own. I would not wait on the line at Pink's again if I believed it to be more than ten minutes to reach the front of the line and place my order.

                                            As for all the other toppings available, I'll leave them for when i order nachos.

                                            I WOULD wait in line for a hot dog at Rutt's Hut and a Pastrami Sandwich @ Katz's Delicatessen.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: fourunder

                                              Love Hot Doug's in Chicago and cheerfully wait in line for the doors to open.

                                              Hot dog lovers and patient queueing seem to just go together!

                                            2. For me it's the Hair of the Dog special at Man Bites Dog in Austin TX. How about a 1/4 lb hot dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried, loaded with chili, cheese and a fried egg on top. Yeah I'll wait form that!

                                              1. FWIW and not to be argumentative; Pinks is not a CH fave, but I love it. Waiting in line is part of the fun/experience. Same w/Tito's; Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant; Phillippe's; and so many other places. Part of the Southern Cal experience.

                                                1. There isn’t much I would wait more than 30mins for………….too much good food in this world to wait for someone else to allow me to eat….

                                                  The one exception was beer……..I admit to waiting in line for 2 hours to fill a few growlers of beer……good beer……I’m not ashamed……

                                                  1. Mostly lineup averse but routinely queue for Hong Kong BBQ Masters char siu and/or ribs (though the line moves quickly). It's in Richmond BC in case any of you are out this way. Now I want some.

                                                    1. Di Fara's pizza...always worth the wait, especially now that I live in Portland OR, and only get there once a year

                                                      1. The old Magnasan's House of Seafood shrimp platter, but that is it. I hate standing in lines, even at Galatoire's. I will make reservations, and just dine upstairs, rather than queue up.


                                                        1. The first thing that popped into my head was not a restaurant but I have willingly stood in line to purchase freshly-dug white truffles in Croatia. More than once. Same with zucchini blossoms, wild asparagus and wild mushrooms.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                            1. re: emglow101

                                                              Red's Eats in Maine for their famous lobster roll. We got off our plane and drove to Red's. It was before noon and there was already a line about a block long. Husband wasn't too thrilled about the idea of waiting, but there was no way that I wasn't going to have one of those lobster rolls. It was totally worth the wait.

                                                          1. i have waited about an hour several times for brunch at sabrina's in the italian market of south philadelphia. they have other locations with similar waits but the brunch is worth it! byob too for a nice relaxing sunday.