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The Ten Most Annoying Habits of Fellow Diners.

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http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui...

I must admit, I truly hate the Chat and Cut!

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  1. I could put up with any of the other 9, but this one is my biggest pet peave:

    "--Mean People:
    Diners who are rude to waitstaff (this includes poor tippers!) count among the worst of the worst in our Book of Manners. Do us all a favor and stay home."

    Amen!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ttoommyy

      OK, that is my Number 8. Good one!

      Hunt

    2. OK, so, admittedly, I'm kinda a "caveman". Hell, I only pick up the knife and fork on a good day. But, that doesn't stop me from hating "tedious orderers". I'm more likely to ask a server to bring me what they "would eat if they were sittin' in my seat", than haggle over micro managing my dinner.

      25 Replies
      1. re: MGZ

        Just like the people I know and see looking at a 20 page menu and ordering off the menu or picking a dish and making several substitutions... and of course, dressing on the side! micromanage... yeah... microwave out to eat...

        1. re: Gastronomos

          If I am dieting and in a place where the salad is mediocre and just a choice is a bunch of bottled crap, I don't mind asking for it in the side.

          1. re: melpy

            I always ask for it on the side, even when I know the dressing is good. That shouldn't count as a special request.

            1. re: Isolda

              I do too - usually - but when I am at a really great restaurant where they know how to properly (I hate the use of this word in food descriptions, but I can't think of another one right now) dress a salad by lightly coating each leaf with a beautifully made vinaigrette, I have to forget the "on the side" thing.

          2. re: Gastronomos

            Except for Caesar salad (which I'll only order from a place I could trust to do it correctly) or perhaps a house specialty salad I'm trying for the first time, I will always otherwise order salad dressing on the side because most places just use way too much of the stuff. I want to taste the _salad_, not a (usually) cloying dressing.

            1. re: Gastronomos

              I always ask for dressing on the side if I'm getting a salad (even a side salad). Why? because most restaurants drown the salad in the dressing so by the time it gets to you, it's soggy.

              1. re: juliejulez

                exactly! I made the mistake of dining at Panera lately and ordered their asian chicken salad. The amount of dressing was disgusting, there was a pool of it in the bottom that was at least a 1/4 cups worth. Thankfully they took it back and replaced it with an undressed one but they gave me FOUR containers of dressing "on the side". Four?? yuck. I barely used half of one.

                1. re: foodieX2

                  That reminds me of a time ages ago when my sister and I both ordered a main course type salad at a diner/restaurant and happened to want the same dressing. We asked for it on the side and the waitress brought out a gravy boat full of it- and I mean full! We didn't use a third of it between us. We've wondered if she would have brought that much if we were thin.

                  1. re: janmcbaker

                    LOL! and she dumped the unused portion right back into the tub in the kitchen....

                    1. re: Gastronomos

                      I've taught my children that about pickles. EVERY time you eat in a Diner, bite your pickle! Because if you don't, back in the barrel they go!! I'm serious.........if you could perform DNA age testing on pickles I GUARANTEE you there are pickles still in circulation from the Nixon administration. Stop the pickle recycle, bite your pickle people!

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        Oh c'mon. You're gherkin my chain!

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          You can relish in the fact, I'm not gherkin your chain.

                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            Well I am glad to hear that. I'm kind of a big dill.

                            1. re: Firegoat

                              I prefer pickled onion slices, but to each there own. . . .

                              1. re: MGZ

                                I prefer pickled cherry tomato's better known as tomalives! Garnishing my VODKA martini of course! :-)

                                Sorry Firegoat I'm outta pickle references. On a side note; I know a girl from Jersey named Snooki who might be right up your ally.

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Man I hope you're referrin' to the original Snookie at Nunzio's:

                                  http://www.nj.com/ledgerlive/index.ss...

                        2. re: jrvedivici

                          at least the pickle was made in a factory... the coleslaw... is made in a large tub not dedicated to food prep... and is ALWAYS recycled back into the bin.
                          "If you don't eat it, the next guy will"
                          I've made many posts on this subject on these boards. I'll stop by the local diners and take pictures next time and post those.
                          Oh, btw, why bite the pickle? Just cut it up ... don't actually put it your kids mouth....

                          1. re: Gastronomos

                            I didn't want to go there but in all honesty the general public has no idea how much of unused food is recycled. You are 100% correct regarding the coleslaw as well as virtually everything else that can be recycled. In my opinion it is the diner that has perfected this method of recycling products. You walk into any diner's kitchen and at the dish washers station will be anywhere for 6-12 white buckets that the recycle-able items will be tossed into from the bus buckets or tray's brought into the kitchen.

                            I remember years ago having a conversation about food waste/cost etc. with a gentleman who owned a few Chinese restaurants. His comment was something along the lines of "Our costs are so much lower because we don't need the use of a garbage can in our kitchens".

                            Regarding why bite the pickle, you have to add a sense of mystery and adventure to it for the kids. Just cutting it is rather anti climatic when your think about ending a tour of duty that could have spanned 10-20 years!! Bite the pickle, let it's end of service be the way it was naturally designed.

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              I seriously want Chinese buffet right now.

                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                thank you for your thoughtful reply.

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Going back to my days in the US Army, we had a breakfast one day, and a table-mate broke off his fork in the sausage, which was inedible, and not able to be cut with the plastic dinnerware we had. He dumped the whole thing in the trash bin, when done.

                                  The next morning, another table-mate got a sausage with a plastic fork tine embedded in it. We all assumed that it had been retrieved from the trash, and reheated, to be served the next day... but maybe the cook had lost a fork tine in a fresh sausage... or maybe not?

                                  Hunt

                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    I am positive the fried rice is made from recycled white rice off of customers' plates.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      eh, it's been fried at high temps.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        I still don't want restaurant food from somebody's plate later ending up on my plate.

                                      2. re: John E.

                                        I used to deliver food from restaurants many years ago and the rice is truly recycled from customers plates to make fried rice. Although fried rice is traditionally made from leftover rice, it doesn't mean that I gotta eat someones leftovers at a premium price.
                                        It's been many years and I still don't order fried rice in these places. And I usually avoid these places in the first place. Much like the diner...

                    2. 1. People who do each part of the 'having dinner' activity in short but disruptive bursts. They'll talk to you (more commonly at you) for ten minutes, then take a break to furiously pile food into their mouths wordlessly, and then at a distinct but unexpected moment pause eating again to begin a new conversation. Difficult.

                      2. Vicarious eaters. People who convince you to get the double-brownie with extra ice cream, saying that you only live once and go on, it's worth it, and then order a fresh mint tea for themselves and spectate.

                      3. People who order stuff 'to share' or 'for the table' without asking if the others want it first - of course expecting the cost to be shared when paying the bill...

                      Frankly I'd happily take a few loud kids or a picky orderer over these specimens!

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: Elster

                        Food voyeurs are the worst.
                        "I don't know if I really want dessert"
                        "Oh but you HAAAAVE to, the triple fried chocolate cream pudding tart brulee bomb here is the BEST, you'll spend your entire life wondering what went wrong, fixated on this moment of decision, ruing the day if you don't order it."
                        "oh, ummm... ok"

                        Waitress brings dessert, two spoons, food voyeur pushes theirs away and stares at you as you very self-consciously take a bite.
                        And god forbid if you don't moan in ecstasy after.

                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                          Actually, what's worse is when someone says they don't want dessert, but then proceeds to attack yours when it comes. Get your own if you think it's so delicious!

                          1. re: Isolda

                            You don't enjoy the one dessert four forks method?

                            1. re: Isolda

                              To quote comedian John Pinette,

                              "Oh I don't want a dessert, I'll just try a little of yours."
                              "Yeah and lose your hand in the process!"

                              1. re: Isolda

                                Yes!! Or any other part of the meal for that matter - appetizers and entrees included. I often have friends who will have "just ate" if we go out for happy hour or a quick lunch break and then proceed to eat off of everyone's plates.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  LOL. I know a foodie who does this. His defense is that he is a foodie and wants to try everything, not just one thing. But he never chips in on the bill!

                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                    That's called a freeloader!

                                    1. re: grampart

                                      Or an a-hole

                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Ohh yeah, I love that - I have a bunch of friends who will organise lunch meet-ups - i.e. inviting me along - and then when we get to looking at menus they'll all start preaching about how they ate a big breakfast and they're not really hungry and maybe someone would like to share a starter with them for a main course...

                                    But they knew they were coming out for lunch, so I'm not sure I buy the idea that they'd have a huge waffle bonanza just an hour before, somehow... :P

                                    1. re: Elster

                                      Oh yes I hate when people ask to share but I'm an only child who just has a thing about that more so when I know that I'm hungry and the meal will barely keep me full and realize they will like enjoy at least 1/2.

                                      1. re: Elster

                                        I get so much of the I had a big whatever meal... So I'll just a small salad and water. If you knew about this days ago why?
                                        Also tedious orders are annoying however indesicive companions are more annoying. They can take time to plan their order, but holding the server because you won't admit indescion or change the your order multiple times.

                                        1. re: holypeaches

                                          I would absolutely place indecisive orderers high above tedious orderers on the annoying scale. "Can I get egg whites in the omelet, no cheese and substitute fruit for the potatos?" is far easier for me to handle than "uhhhh.... well.... you said the french toast has cinnamon? huh... ("sir, I can come back")... no! I'm ready, I'm going to go with the- what did you get X? Oh, right... ok, well, maybe I'll do something different then. Do you think the granola or the yogurt is better? The yogurt? Ok, I'll get the.... granola. No! I'm going to do the pancakes. Yeah. I think."

                                          1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                            Exactly!

                                    2. re: Isolda

                                      Is having "just a taste" -less than one spoonful, and naturally only with the explicit permission of the other person- considered "attacking"?

                                  3. re: Elster

                                    Yes Eister...your number 3 frosts me. We have some friends who do this. They'll select and order 2 or 3 starters for "everyone to share" without asking others what they would like. I generally hate sharing, except occasionally with my partner. I've recently spoken up and say "count us out" when they do this.

                                  4. I am sure that I am on somebody's list. I make an "mmmmmmm" sound whenever I eat something that I am truly enjoying. In my defense, it is not my fault, it is something that I've literally done since birth. Usually I am not even aware of it. Ocasionally, especially when we are out to dinner, my wife will look at me and say, in a loving way of course, "you're making that sound again".

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                                      "Kama" is a sound you make while you eat?

                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        so much for voice recognition software. It doesn't know the difference between a diety from India and a punctuation mark. I usually catch it during proofreading. I usually only say kama when I'm singing along to an old Culture Club record.

                                        1. re: PotatoHouse

                                          Oh, "comma." I wouldn't have gotten that in a million years. That's so funny.

                                    2. Children who cannot be restrained from making extraneous noise.

                                      Slurping. Any mouth noise, really. Eating really doesn't sound that good.

                                      Cellphone addicts, as well as anyone at another table who generates digital noise.

                                      Rudeness to waiters. I broke up with someone over this, or at least, that's how he sees it. But it was really just the tip of the iceberg of other narcissistic, sociopathic behavior.

                                      Cheap tippers. I have a friend who prides himself on his cheapness. I always ask for separate checks when we eat together.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        I've unfriended people for cheapness and chronic lateness but rudeness to waiters is one I can not abide by and I will speak up to my dining companions if they pull it.

                                        1. re: southernitalian

                                          I had a first date with a guy I'd known for years at a restaurant that I patronized regularly. He paid and got the tip. I was horrified and found and excuse to run back inside the restaurant and added more to the tip. Never saw him again.

                                        2. re: Jay F

                                          A great cure for the cell phone addicts,,,, everyone puts their cell phones on silent and stack them all face down in the center of the table. First one to pick up their phone, pays the check for the entire table!! As for cheap tippers,,, having worked in the restaurant business, I am probably more likely to over tip on marginal service, but never to under tip good or great service.

                                          1. re: KowboyK

                                            Hey, I like that - ante up, then the looser pays!

                                            Why did I not think of that?

                                            We are fortunate, in that we dine with people, who respect other diners. My poor wife is on call 24-7, but will always excuse herself, before taking any call. That is just how it is. She also knows that the entire table is likely to stop, waiting her return, so she keeps, all but the most urgent calls, to an absolute minimum. Now, the bad news is that when she leaves the table, and heads out the front door, there are likely to be 2-3 people, who will try to grab her, and talk, as she heads back.

                                            Hunt

                                        3. Either I'm a very lucky man or the most unobservant old fart in the universe, but I am never aware of the seeming myriad of annoyances that have become so common a complaint on these boards. It's like some folks seek them out or something. My only "issues" are, occasionally, with the quality or lack thereof, of the dish I've been served and it's not like I've ever been described as an easy-going guy. Far from it. Now if some idiot chose to change a smelly diaper at the table next to me......

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: grampart

                                            Seriously, my friend, you find it comfortable when someone at your table is a shit to the server?

                                            "Hey, asshole, fill my cup some time this year. willya?"

                                            As to the diaper, I might be able to look the other way, but when Dad get's all bitchy and pours out his coffee after takin' a baby to a coffee shop at ten p.m., not so much.

                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              Never happens.

                                              1. re: grampart

                                                Fair enough. I have a different brother than you. I once took mine outside.

                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                  I have two brother-in-laws like that. They're both otherwise great guys, but how my sisters put up with it I'll never know. I refuse to go out to eat with them.

                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                    I have one sister. She was a waitress in a greasy spoon diner, moved around a lot (always upward) and ended her server career at the Ryland Inn. Later, coaxed out of "retirement", she was the hostess at The Clinton House. All this between the 1960's and the middle 1970's. she's 6 years older than I and a takes no crap from anyone type of woman. I was indoctrinated early on in the proper way to interact with waitpersons. However, if one of them gives me attitude, I deal with it effectively also. My family behaves similarly and it serves us well.

                                            2. Have family/friends in these categories?? Those who get impatient after relatively short wait? Those who are "fast eaters"... their entree is GONE and I'm about half way thru mine? Those who WHINE about what they got but never say anything about it to waitstaff?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: kseiverd

                                                clearly you've met my brother in law!

                                              2. Loud Chewers, Food Spitters, and Full-Mouth Talkers
                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                A guess a bit of a combo: loud talkers annoy me.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  My MIL is a wonderful, wonderful woman that raised five kids, but somehow the notion that you don't chew with your mouth open never got communicated. To any of them. To top that off, half of them will suck air throught their front teeth at various intervals. It seems to be a family OCD behavior. One day I will kill one of them for doing that, although I love them all very much.

                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                    I have found that many will wait until one is chewing, to ask a question. I have found that holding up an index finger will put them on "hold," until it is proper to answer.

                                                    Hunt

                                                2. Noisy eaters. With the noisy eaters it's never a low volume smack, but a high volume in your face smack that I wonder how they have gone along this long without some mention to calm it down. I often request some minor changes on a menu, but

                                                  Tedious orderers. I will sometimes ask for a minor substitution but the people who go on and on not only asking about a dish but then creating a whole new dish drive my crazy. My mom is like this and my dad and I sit there and just wait "patiently."

                                                  I probably commit another annoying habit which is similar to the tedious orderers but not in the list - I am usually the person to ask the waitress what they recommend or to provide information if I'm deciding between a few dishes. This drives a few of my friends crazy but they usually say one or two things which immediately make up my mind on a choice and I limit it to probably maximum 1 minute at most.

                                                  1. What is the chat and cut?

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: melpy

                                                      Follow the link in the OP and then take a look at the clip from Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm to see an example.

                                                      1. re: pamf

                                                        sorry, I have no desire to head off on a treasure hunt across the internet to find the meaning of some obscure phrase of which I've never heard.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          I think the idea is that a picture (or in this case a video clip) is worth a thousand words.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            It's when somebody walks up and starts chatting with somebody in a buffet line and uses that as an excuse to cut into line.

                                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                              Thanks for that!

                                                      2. I Give-Up Parents are probably my #1.

                                                        Also, Screamers. Especially when they're having a rather personal conversation but are having it loud enough for everyone around them to hear.

                                                        19 Replies
                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                          Mine too, probably because I witness more of that than the other ones.

                                                          I'm also annoyed at the article throwing in the placating "adorable as they may be" in there. No, a kid running free and misbehaving in a restaurant is not "adorable", FFS.

                                                          1. re: Nudibranch

                                                            If I get seated next to well-behaved kids I am the happiest person in the world. It just rarely happens.

                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                              "well-behaved" is subjective. The parents always think so, but most others disagree.

                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                When we get seated next to well-behaved small children, we often stop to commend the parents on our way out - they deserve it!

                                                                1. re: WNYamateur

                                                                  We do the same. You can tell almost immediately when the kids are going to be well-behaved by observing the parents. When the parents seat themselves between the children, and make the effort to engage the children in conversation, you can be pretty sure that the kids will be just fine.

                                                                  1. re: WNYamateur

                                                                    similarly, the best compliment I got from the people who sat in front of us (with 2-year-old in tow) on a transatlantic flight was "gosh, I didn't even know there was a little kid sitting behind us!"

                                                                    1. re: WNYamateur

                                                                      Did similar, some years back. We were seated "below" a pair of youngsters and their governess, in Hawai`i. We were worried, but those two children were so well behaved, that I went up the stairs, to the table, and commended the governess on that behavior. They were both a perfect lady and gentleman. Not what we had feared.

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                        My "kids" from age 5&7 got dragged thru some of the finest hotels and Michelin starred restaurants of Europe for about 5 years..and then another 5 thru the US. People would sometimes look aghast when we entered, but we never had a problem..as someone here said, you engage the children and make them part of the scene. Sometimes, yes, they had only soup and some bread since the menus were not to their liking, but most places could be very accomodating..we also ate early and left early. Got many compliments. It's not hard.

                                                                        Having said that, when my sister in law and her husband and brood would show up to visit, we wouldn't dare to go to many of those places.

                                                                        and yeah.on the trips....our kids got their wild times and sometimes dinner in a small "kid-friendly" type of place. We would try and balance museums with fun-parks.

                                                                        Worked for us........but maybe as much credit to goes to our now late 20's something kids as to their parents handling of them.

                                                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                          I commend you!

                                                                          That is the way that it should be.

                                                                          I was introduced to "fine dining," when I was about 5. My mother would declare an "evening in New Orleans," and that meant the track for my father, and shopping for my mom. I was free to go with either. However, the evening would end with Galatoire's, Antoine's, Arnaud's, Brennen's, or similar, and my father and I had to behave, so as to not ruin the meal. Then, we would catch the train back to the Gulf Coast. I think that being in military school would have been easier, than to pass my mother's test, when dining. Worked for me.

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                            We weren't "tough" on them, but they saw how we behaved and bless their little hearts, went along with us. The rest of the time, of course, they were your typical "hellions on wheels"

                                                                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                              Maybe I was a bit of a "timid child," but all it took to get me back in line was "The Look!"

                                                                              I knew what that meant, and calmed down quickly.

                                                                              Upon reflection, I am glad for the fine-dining experiences, and even for "The Look." I learned a lot, and 60 years later, the impression is still around.

                                                                              Good job! In other situations, kids need to be kids.

                                                                              Hunt

                                                                    2. re: Firegoat

                                                                      And that is when I chat with and give a compliment to the parents about what good kids they have been, Firegoat. The parents are often visibly proud, and often the kid(s) will give a beaming smile knowing that someone else recognized they were being good.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        I have seen the same thing too. When complimented, usually the parents react positively first, and then often share the praise with the children.

                                                                        Same for children on an airplane. When good, they deserve praise, usually through the parents, or guardians, and we offer that. Otherwise, we just grimace, pull out our earplugs, and vow to check the passenger manifest more closely...

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                          So how have you been able to circumvent an airline's privacy policy whereby you have the ability to review said airline's passenger manifest? That is not able to be viewed by the public, for security and privacy concerns.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            I kinda thought Hunt was just expressing a bit of dry humor on the manifest thing. :)

                                                                            1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                              I'm sure some enterprising NSA analyst will soon have his/her fortune made by selling manifests on the net that delineate where the unruly kids and/or incontinent babies are seated. And for an extra fee, you can find out about the obnoxious furniture salesman who drinks too much and is returning from the convention is located.

                                                                              Yes Linda....tongue in cheek

                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              It was a joke.

                                                                              As a person who is 1K on UAL, Chairman on US Air, and has Gold status on Virgin Atlantic, I fly enough to know that such details are not available.

                                                                              Hunt

                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                thank goodness you were able to share this new morsel with us.

                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                  Geez Bill, I'm triple platinum on the International Space Station, after all I live in Houston, a mere forty miles from NASA in my neck of the woods, which qualifies as next door neighbor status around here. By the way, they come up with the dining menus here, maybe they can launch you and see how some fine vintages stand up to zero gravity for months at a time.

                                                                    3. How about this one: My husband and I recently visited a local Mexican chain restaurant, and there was a lady changing her baby's crappy diaper right next to the hostess stand on the banquet meant for a waiting area. There was a perfectly good changing station in the ladies room. I guess you just can't buy class and manners.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Coribdx

                                                                        I've seen a mother change her baby's diaper on a table at a Starbucks. And I know for a fact there's a changing table in the bathroom.

                                                                        1. re: causeimhungry

                                                                          What I don't get is why nobody seems to speak up when this happens, which apparently is pretty often. At a chain restaurant named for its desserts, I was being seated as the party to my left was getting up to leave and the waiter was apologizing to the party on my right, saying he couldn't find the manager. They looked so upset that I asked what the problem was. They called my attention to the wet diaper left behind on the table by the departing party. The rest room was perhaps 10 steps away. No way I would have remained silent had I seen someone starting to change the baby's diaper in the dining room. If other diners scolded the offending partywhen this happens, it wouldn't be such a common occurrence.

                                                                      2. We go to a restaurant, maybe a seafood restaurant, and there is always at least one at the table that will look at the seafood menu and although they do eat seafood, will, just out of pure misery that we are all ordering seafood of some kind, order a steak. Then look at all of us enjoying our seafood and not eat their steak. WTF? ...and variations on that theme.

                                                                        26 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                          I truly don't understand this. Are you saying that a person who *likes* seafood orders steak for what? Spite? Martyrdom? A then doesn't eat it, basically throwing away good money and going hungry?

                                                                          Can you give another example of a variation on this theme?

                                                                          Color me confused.

                                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                                            I've seen just the opposite when a group goes to a steakhouse and someone orders seafood or even worse a vegetarian dish. How about going to a clam shack and ordering a hot dog!

                                                                            1. re: treb

                                                                              Yep

                                                                              1. re: treb

                                                                                Ordering chicken at a steakhouse :-P

                                                                                1. re: treb

                                                                                  Traveling late at night between Warsaw and Krakow, we found a kielbasa stand open. Wonderful aroma with the sausages on the grill, a big pot of kraut, and perfect rolls to put it all on and my SIL asked for a hamburger! To top it off, they were having a bit of a problem with the mad cow thing at the time.

                                                                                  1. re: treb

                                                                                    I get it if you don't eat meat but the OP said they liked seafood, ordered a steak and then didn't eat it.

                                                                                    1. re: treb

                                                                                      What's so strange about someone ordering seafood in a steakhouse? A group of people decide to go out for dinner. Most people in the group like a good steak, but one person doesn't eat red meat and would veto any restaurant that only serves meat. In order not to lose the business of a group like that, the steakhouse has a seafood and/or vegetarian dish on the menu and the person you see ordering it is the non-meateater in the group. Most seafood places will have some form of steak on the menu for similar reasons.

                                                                                      1. re: nocharge

                                                                                        What about the person who wants to be a part of the group going out but doesn't necessary enjoy meat or seafood...but enjoys your company? Luckily, the restaurant you've chosen has something for everyone to eat.

                                                                                        Unless there's something more I'm missing.

                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                          I hope people aren't reading into my food choices. There are typically lots of things that I would like to have in restaurants - I read over the menu so that I can suggest things that I think that my husband would like, or that if something sounds good, I can try to make if for myself at home.

                                                                                          However, because I have multiple food allergies, the vast majority of the time, my restaurant order is a steak, baked potato, and steamed veggies - most places have these and I can get a relatively good meal without making a fuss.

                                                                                          The difference may be that I don't then stare longingly at my fellow diner's foods. Though if they are eating something that looks good to me, I may ask them questions so that I could try to make myself a safe version at home.

                                                                                      2. re: treb

                                                                                        I've done that quite a few times:) I'm not a big steak lover, so when I'm taken to a steak house (yes even the insanely expensive ones) Ill almost always order seafood. And you know what? Seafood at steak houses is delicious.

                                                                                        1. re: treb

                                                                                          treb:
                                                                                          i AM that person.
                                                                                          even though i don't eat meat, i will go to a steakhouse because sometimes my friends/dining partners want steak.
                                                                                          i can be very happy ordering side dishes and salads.
                                                                                          (i especially like it that GOOD steak houses often serve huge, freshly baked, baked potatoes with sour cream and chives. also, very often steak houses will serve a wedge of iceberg lettuce with high quality blue cheese and dressing.)

                                                                                          sorry if i offend you.
                                                                                          thankfully, my friends are happy that i joined them and that i found food to eat that I enjoyed.

                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                            The point you make here is very important. There are many reasons why a person might be in a certain restaurant at a certain time, and it isn't necessarily that they WANT to be in that restaurant, or even expect to get great food there. There are many cases when one has the restaurant choice imposed upon them, by family members, friends, by business associates. As a business traveler, I have often been taken to places I would not personally choose, and often dinner arrangements are made by an administrative assistant who won't actually be at the dinner. I have dietary needs due to celiac disease, and in these cases, I just have to do the best I can, even if the restaurant in question is not the best choice for my personal needs. And while as chowhounds we like to think the point of being in a restaurant is the food, in many cases, a patron is in a restaurant for the family gathering, the business deal, or a thousand other possible reasons, which are not about the food.

                                                                                          2. re: treb

                                                                                            In fairness, in the latter case the person could be a vegetarian, and is very happy to find something he or she can eat.

                                                                                            1. re: lagatta

                                                                                              Mrs. Potato and I went to a steakhouse last night for supper with my FIL and his girlfriend. My Girlfriend-In-Law ordered a grilled chicken salad. Her salad in no way diminished my enjoyment of my steak fillet (Waitress: "How would you like that cooked?" Me: "Two minutes on each side with a moo in the middle!") and Lobster Cakes with Shrimp and Champagne Sauce.

                                                                                          3. re: foodieX2

                                                                                            Spite? Martyrdom? IDK. It's annoying tho.

                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                              Methinks you are easily annoyed, no?

                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                LOL. No. Just reiterating the OP "...Most Annoying Habits of Fellow Diners"

                                                                                            2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                              I have a family member who does this type of thing. We'll take him to a place and tell him what their specialties are. but he will NEVER order them.
                                                                                              One example: We took him to our local favorite diner, which consistently does very good omelettes and waffles. He says great, I like a good omelette but then orders steak, well done. He doesn't like what he ordered, and is pretty vocal about it. He tells everyone he knows what a lousy place it is and that they shouldn't go there.

                                                                                              1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                                EXACTLY!!!

                                                                                                1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                                  After having worked with the public for the first half of my professional career, I am convinced that people like the family member you describe have a much bigger psychological problem than meets the eye. Just my opinion.

                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                    I suspect you are correct. Some people want to dislike things. I have no idea why, but it happens.

                                                                                                    1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                                      I think it speaks to their general dissatisfaction with their lives.

                                                                                                      Disclaimer: I'm not a psycologist; I just play one on CH. :)

                                                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                      My ex hated almost all of the restaurants I liked or wanted to try, save for maybe one or two. He either wouldn't eat whatever he ordered and sulk, or send it back. Same with wine. Always sent the wine back in places I chose and he deigned to humor me. Yeah, not a big loss.

                                                                                                      1. re: marcia

                                                                                                        Marcia,

                                                                                                        That is sad - both the restaurants and the wine.

                                                                                                        Many, many years ago, my young wife and I were not on the same page, regarding many restaurants. Over the years, we have moved much more closely together, and now love almost exactly the same things. Other than her inability to handle bi-valves (no oysters, scallops, mussels or clams), we love most of the same things. Time heals almost anything, including a "husband... "

                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                  In a deserted village in Belize, on the water, we stepped into a shady, dirty looking cafe to get out of the 100 degree heat. I ordered a lobster burrito and my friend said I was crazy and ordered the safest bet, a hamburger. I saw plenty of lobsters while staying there but never a cow:)

                                                                                                  1. re: Meltlady

                                                                                                    The term "cow" can be loosely used for other bovines. LOL

                                                                                                3. We and another couple were at their favorite Mexican restaurant one night. It was well after nine, but there were two women and several children in an adjoining booth, except that one or two of the kids would periodically get down and run yelling around the room. And one little girl was standing up looking at us over my friend's shoulder, while kicking the back of her - and his - seat. We uttered some mild suggestions, which were stonily ignored. The other guy went to talk to the manager, but she just shrugged and said they were regular customers. He said, "So WERE we," but that went right over her head. We eventually wound up out front in a screaming match, to my eternal shame, but there it is. Culture clash: we weren't allowed to behave like that (we said), and therefore (they said) we'd had miserable childhoods … Neither we nor the friends have been back since.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                    I work in a service industry and always treat others with respect, but there are times that are beyond self control. The time with me was the cable company, screaming at the phone rep for sure stupidity, the next rep fixed my problem in minutes. Will, don't lose any sleep.

                                                                                                  2. People who stand with the door to the restaurant open and have a 10 minute conversation. Especially in the winter.

                                                                                                    I have a relative who refuses to read the menu. He waits for the waiter to come to the table and then just starts naming dishes until he gets to one that is actually on the menu. Then he has to customize it. Makes me nuts.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: iambecky

                                                                                                      are you sure your relative can read?

                                                                                                      1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                        Hmmmm. Good observation.

                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                          Quite seriously. I think many folks would be surprised at some of the folks in their circle who are illiterate/functionally illiterate who've gotten by for years "faking it".

                                                                                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                            also, as people age some may need reading glasses and some of those are too vain to admit it.

                                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                              Just saw these comments. Nope- he can definitely read! He's a HS teacher! Just totally oblivious to his surroundings in general.

                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                This is my dad...he refuses to replace glasses (that he lost) and instead asks others to order for him.

                                                                                                      2. "Mean People" and "Tedious Orderers" are definitely at the top of my list.

                                                                                                        I can't stand it when people are so freaking uber specific about a menu item. I actually love it when restaurants have a "no substitutions" policy - it speeds up service for all the other guests when the cooks and servers don't have to fuss around with special orders all night.

                                                                                                        1. Power trippers: People who go out of their way to make things difficult for the staff having them jump through hoops. They do this to either make themselves feel important, to show off their expertise, or to try and impress their guests or even other diners.

                                                                                                          1. Having experienced all those habits mentioned in the list a find it difficult to choose one I find more appalling than the other. But on second thought it probably is the "cute kids" and oblivious parents.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Edwardrae

                                                                                                              I would tend to agree. If I even see that's where I'm going to be seated I know the night is ruined.

                                                                                                            2. I used to work with a woman who, if we were eating a meal together, would immediately and always reach over and eat something from my plate. Nothing could dissuade her from this disgusting practice. At work if I got a Coke from the machine, she would reach over and pick it up and take a drink of it. I am happy to tell you that she is dead.

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                Did you lose your temper once and finally do her in?

                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                  What did you put in your Coke?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                    My wife does this

                                                                                                                    She also exchanges bodily fluids with me

                                                                                                                    Is that also annoying?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Jo_nathan

                                                                                                                      A spouse is one thing, my husband and I do it. But a coworker? I would never allow that. Now, the "happy to tell you she is dead" part is another thing altogether!

                                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                        I stand corrected - a co worker is out of line but really you are only their victim once

                                                                                                                        inform them (tactfully) that they are making you feel extremely uncomfortable
                                                                                                                        most people will back off and most will respond to an HR reference if resistance is encountered
                                                                                                                        and why would you keep eating with them anyways?

                                                                                                                        the death comment is just callous and crude

                                                                                                                        as if we never made mistakes we wish we could take back
                                                                                                                        not funny and a bad delivery at that

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jo_nathan

                                                                                                                          I thought it was pretty funny.

                                                                                                                          1. re: donovt

                                                                                                                            Being glad a coworker is dead is funny? Ok.

                                                                                                                  2. I can't believe the phoney phoners and text-er timwits wasn't on the list! Tech addicts doesn't really cover it. Doctors get calls, Lawyers get that last minute Governor reprieve, Cute coeds get hot dates........BUT!!!!!!!! a look is fine. a response, unbelievably rude........take it outside after excusing yourself if necessary. And frankly, if it happens more than once, I'm up and out and leaving you with the text....er, check

                                                                                                                    1. Uh oh, self-proclaimed tedious orderer here. For those that find it annoying, if it's done QUICKLY and succinctly - is it still annoying? I started doing it when I was trying to lose weight and decided I'd rather order tediously than order something and not enjoy eating it!

                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: The Oracle

                                                                                                                        I don't know if it's tedious, however my mother takes the cake for the worst orderer ever. I have to bite my tongue as she see's something on the menu with a description of all the ingredients, then asks "Does it have mushrooms", well mom it say's Chicken, Mushroom's and onions! Or if the dish description is Chicken, onions and peppers, then the question is "Excuse me are you sure this doesn't have mushrooms". lol

                                                                                                                        My all time is when she ordered Shrimp Fra' Diablo, but can she get that not spicy. The waitress offered her Shrimp Marinara to which she responded, no I don't like that!! WTF Mom?!?!?!

                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                          My mother is the same way and drives me insane!

                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                            "That which does not kill us" and all, my friend. Especially when it goes on for forty or more years.

                                                                                                                          2. re: The Oracle

                                                                                                                            I like to think I'm a quick and succint tedious orderer and no one seems to complain although my family rolls the eyes since I'm always asking the waiter questions but it's quick and then I make up my mind so to me as long as you keep it short it's fine as long as it's not a long laundry list of things to change.

                                                                                                                            1. re: The Oracle

                                                                                                                              Yes.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                :) I think my husband would agree with you, ttoommyy!

                                                                                                                              2. re: The Oracle

                                                                                                                                I have never experienced "tedious ordering," AFAIK. In all the years I've been alive, I have never been bothered even once by how someone else orders food in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                1. re: The Oracle

                                                                                                                                  in some restaurants, ordering is a snap because they prepare their food well in the first place.
                                                                                                                                  in others, it's better to be a tedious orderer than eat the over- dressed, over-sauced, over-greased food that they turn out.

                                                                                                                                  restaurants are not always selected based on their food;
                                                                                                                                  sometimes convenience, cost, hours of operation are the main criteria.

                                                                                                                                2. How about the old alligator arms.....??? Hmmmmm the person who your ordering drinks at the bar throws in his order but then doesn't offer anything towards the tab?

                                                                                                                                  Or...when the table is "sharing" apps etc. when the bill comes it's $100. for 5 people, and one goes, "My sandwich was only $11.95". I have a name for people like this, assclowns.

                                                                                                                                  1. I just thought of another annoying habit. I know quite a few people who simply can't enjoy the meal. It's a constant flow of comments about things that aren't right as if they are looking for something not to like. The review is always "uh, well yea it's just OK" as they proceed to gobble the rest of the plate and then conclude the last bite with "it wasn't that great."

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                      There is nothing wrong with holding a meal one is paying for to a high account. Even if some elements are lacking, it doesn't mean it is inedible, hence finishing the meal even if it isn't fantastic. I have powered through a lot of so-so meals because I am hungry and was going to have to pay for it in any case.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: aasg

                                                                                                                                        In that case, I recommend you refrain from complaining out loud about it. There's nothing wrong with that, either, especially if you eat most or all of it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                          If I pay for it, I can say whatever I wish about it.

                                                                                                                                          What is the point of having entire message boards related to food if all someone is allowed to say about food is flat out good or flat out bad. I wish I didn't value my income enough to stop eating a dish because it wasn't perfect.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: aasg

                                                                                                                                            Old Chinese saying, "you paid for it, you might as well eat it."

                                                                                                                                    2. People who want to split the bill evenly despite the fact that I rarely drink and their bar tab doubles my bill. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                      81 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                        But the flipside of that...
                                                                                                                                        people who who don't drink and don't mind splitting the bill, as is the situation within my group of friends, is a blessing and I thank them profusely for it and try to make it up to them in other ways. :)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                          Oh yeah. If everybody's happy with whatever the arrangement may be, cool. But generally, I don't want to subsidize your binge drinking. Just occasionally.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                            Well binge drinking is another thing. I'm talking about a bottle of wine split among 4 or 5 people and only 3 or 4 actually drink.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, that's fine. I just don't like getting sucked into splitting the bill when other have several drinks and I have none.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                          Yes, quite annoying. Try this one: Wife usually eats a salad, I order a "normal meal" but usually of moderate expense. Our friend orders all top end items and all meal phases, 5-6 courses and usually the highest price steak or seafood. The bill arrives he wants a 50/50 with cash from me which he quickly folds into his pocket and charges the dinner to his company credit card plus a 20% tip which I gladly pay even though I never see any evidence that 20% goes to the server and with the quick removal of the credit card slip think it may not. Drive me crazy!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bacchus101

                                                                                                                                            Yep, dislike this too. 50/50 only works if it kind of evens out in the end (or if everybody thinks it does) otherwise it leads to resentment. And hateful posts on CH :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacchus101

                                                                                                                                              Only a sucker lets a "friend" get away with that shit.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the validation I have felt the same way!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Bacchus101

                                                                                                                                                If it's two couples, why don't you get separate checks? Easy to do this compared to 10 people out and each trying to calculate the amount spent to the penny. Or just play credit card roulette.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                  It appears to me that the hatred for separate checks that waiters have loudly complained about in the past is fading. Thank God.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Bacchus101

                                                                                                                                                  So there are 3 people eating and he splits it 2 ways and pays all of the tip? Sounds like he's doing a little averaging in your direction.

                                                                                                                                                  I personally hate the "take the cash and put it all on my credit card" types. Why should they get all the points?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 512window

                                                                                                                                                    Even worse - he's putting it on his COMPANY credit card. Which probably means he submits an expense for reimbursement. Meaning he's being paid to dine with Bacchus101 and his group.

                                                                                                                                                    I seriously would ask for a separate bill with this one.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Bacchus101

                                                                                                                                                    this guy is a creep and a crook!
                                                                                                                                                    i'd have nothing to do with him. period.
                                                                                                                                                    dishonest and greedy.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacchus101

                                                                                                                                                      Bacchus101, you have bought his honour, and for very little.
                                                                                                                                                      You got a good deal.

                                                                                                                                                      I used to test my lunch- dinner companion's character with games about the bill.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                      I am a "split the bill evenly" gal. I find doing math at the table tacky. The piece-by-piece divided bill only works for me if a split bill is offered by the server originally and all parties pay individual bills.This usually happens at casual biz-lunch type places (guessing every one wants to be reimbursed for those receipts).

                                                                                                                                                      When I was in college we did indeed do the "quibble" method ("who had the steak?"). I noticed as I moved into my 30s/mid career it became more "split the check". Easier, faster, and since we were all less strapped for cash, I imagine the thought was it would even out over time.

                                                                                                                                                      Now as I near 50, I notice most of my friends don't even want to do that. Usually the person who invites picks up the tab. If the person is a frequent dining companion we might "take turns" treating. Dining out with friends isn't (supposed to be) about money.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                        Well said. If I'm out with a close friend or certain family members, I don't really care who gets the check because it will even out over time. But if I'm out with another group such as coworkers or friends of friends or people I don't really socialize with, I don't like feeling like I'm subsidizing their night out.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                          Hear! Hear! Amen to that.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                          I concur.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                            If I am going out with a group I always follow what others are ordering, only entree, app and entree or special. Drives me crazy when someone only orders a salad or an app. Why go out for dinner if you don't want to eat. Then THEY complicate bill division.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                              My reasons for going out to dinner usually include one or more of the following: want to spend time with friends, don't feel like cooking, don't have anything in the house to cook, craving something I don't know how to cook or don't know how to cook as well as a restaurant I know. For any of those reasons, I might find myself having a salad or app only, or sitting with a friend who is having a salad or app only.

                                                                                                                                                              I don't understand. How is eating a salad or an appetizer not eating?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                I am just saying that it drives me nuts when one person orders only an app/salad and then the bill has to be divied up for that one person. I think it quite obvious that a starter is not intended to be a full meal and a salad is usually a starter in a dinner restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                  Math just isn't that complicated. Besides, this imbalance of bills can happen even if everyone orders an entree. There can be incredible range in entree costs on a menu.

                                                                                                                                                                  Ordering an appetizer as an entree is incredibly common. I can't recall the last time I went out with a group and that did not occur.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                    I guarantee you that at least one person at the table has a cell phone.

                                                                                                                                                                    I guarantee you that every phone at the table has a calculator that can be used should there be any confusion.

                                                                                                                                                                    I must be eating with weird people. We just pass the bill around and everyone identifies what they ordered and contributes accordingly.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                      Why not just pay individually? When I go out in a group with friends at the end of the meal we just go up to the register, each of us recites what we had, and we pay individually. If there is a shared item like wine, we work it out beforehand. If it's a shared meal like Indian or Chinese, we just split the bill up evenly and tell the server how much we will each pay.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Billy33

                                                                                                                                                                        Look, I'm a an stinky, old 'hound. The kind that you sometimes have to make sleep on the porch. The kind that you look at and say, "Man, that's a DOG!" So to me, that just violates one of the basic rules:

                                                                                                                                                                        "You never look at Buddy's girl below the neck."

                                                                                                                                                                        "You never tell a Buddy's girl where you saw him the other night and who he was with."

                                                                                                                                                                        "You never tell a woman she looks fat."

                                                                                                                                                                        "You always call to thank her the next mornin'."

                                                                                                                                                                        "You never split a check - (AKA the "Comes around goes around rule.")"

                                                                                                                                                                        AND

                                                                                                                                                                        "The "Bro Hug" is just wrong!"

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                          Hey, you're the kind of hound, who would get invited into the home - no one the porch, or under the porch.

                                                                                                                                                                          Now, with certain exceptions, the "Bro Hug" has been appropriate, but you needed to be there...

                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                            OK. You're right. A Bro Hug at your Uncle's funeral or saying "Goodbye" after Thanksgiving Dinner. I can suffer those.

                                                                                                                                                                            When, however, you go out with your wife, her friend, and the new boyfriend - And he closes, and even calls you "Bro"? (I let him pay.)

                                                                                                                                                                            Stick out your Damn hand and look me in the eye. I may have big, thick paws, but I won't break your hand. I promise.

                                                                                                                                                                            But, what do I know? I date back to a time when two-point conversions could only happen on Saturdays.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                              Well, in that case, then something might be wrong?

                                                                                                                                                                              I was thinking about great friends, that we have not seen in years.

                                                                                                                                                                              Good point,

                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                Actually the 2 point rule is only the early 90's.......... that's not really dating yourself. Now the era of leather helmets........

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm just sayin' that the last time I put cleats in grass, was when the NFL still let guys hit quarterbacks. I never played on Sunday though.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, and since I'm gettin' invited into the house, may I make a coupla simple requests?

                                                                                                                                                                                Show me to the second best chair in the den.

                                                                                                                                                                                Open a modestly priced though surprisingly tasty bottle of wine, the kind that somehow guys like you know but nobody else does.

                                                                                                                                                                                Get out some of your cheaper glasses (fancy stems scare me) and draw me a big pour.

                                                                                                                                                                                However, I think we should do this the old fashioned way. Some late fifties jazz providing the nearly inaudible, background music for an exchange of ever more "slightly embellished" tales. The goal bein', of course, to see if you can get the other guy to laugh wine out his nose (it's your house after all).

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                  For "better wines, we only do fine stems.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Often, others will ask, "why do you pour that wine into a glass, that costs more than the bottle?"

                                                                                                                                                                                  The answer is that "I want the best for that wine. Someone spent a year creating it, from the vineyard, to the blending room, and I want it to show, as well, as is possible." A wine is "someone's child," even if they are a "corporate entity."

                                                                                                                                                                                  Just my feeling, and you get the "best" chair!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                    Fair enough. I'll drink from the big boy glasses.

                                                                                                                                                                                    But, at least indulge me and let put all them empty bottles in the trash after? I've lived a few already and I've got enough Irish blood in me that I can spin a tale, bend an ear. It might be a long night.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I am really intent on having good stemware. That means a lot, and I grade off restaurants, that do not offer such.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The empty bottles go into the recycle, at least as far as I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                You ARE an old hound, and you crack me up, and I LOVE the things you have to say, most of the time!! Thanks for the many chuckles you give me.....seriously!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for the scratchin' behind the ears, my tail's waggin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Seriously, though, I think both this Site and this medium is continuing to develop. I know that I've annoyed some with my experiments in trying to find different ways to communicate information and "speak" in my voice. I'm glad to hear that someone is OK with it.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                          I work with a guy who has a lot of weight to lose, and he's working *really* hard at making good choices.

                                                                                                                                                                          Banning him from the group table because he's trying to be healthier for his kids would be beyond cruel.

                                                                                                                                                                          Every cell phone has a calculator.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                            Obviously there has to be some tolerance, I am talking about the person who ate a late lunch, who has decided at that moment that they are on a diet....

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                              the person who ate a late lunch or is suddenly on a diet was invited to share my table because of their personality, not because of their food choices or wallet.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                I am talking about going out for a nice leisurely dinner, not a quick bite. I enjoy dining out with people who enjoy eating. I have many friends who do not enjoy going out for dinner and we do other things, as well I would never tell anyone not to come. This is why I now never go out to eat with large groups, I know my limitations. I have never said that my opinion is right, just that it is my opinion. We are all different with different experiences. I tend to host most birthdays because I enjoy dinner parties with large groups and restaurants with smaller groups.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                                  à chacun à son goût.

                                                                                                                                                                                  My statement was made regardless of the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                            But Gloriaa, not everyone has the same appetite. If I'm not overly hungry, I'm not going to order an app, main and dessert. But because I'm not overly hungry, I'm not going to NOT go out because it spoils the bill division for others.

                                                                                                                                                                            Sometimes, a salad and app is all I want (or two tapa-sized dishes). At other times, I want the full on steak, baked potato and side vegetable, with dessert and after dinner drink.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                        Yea, it can be frustrating but I usually just split it even though it's usually much more than my actual share. Well, I don't really go out or split bills much and this could probably be why :)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                          Yep I'd rather not pay my cable bill and pick up a check, than haggle over "who had what" at the end of a dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                          Growing up with a Greek immigrant father who at every table paid the full bill, I took mostly to doing the same until I found that many people did not like it when I did/do that and felt/feel obliged to immediately pay me back.
                                                                                                                                                                          I could see it as an invitation for another time to break bread together, but some take offense.
                                                                                                                                                                          I do not like separate checks/going Dutch, very wrong where/how I was raised. I do, though, feel it is wrong when a "big spender" splits 50/50 with a salad eater.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, in Italy too, often someone "invites" the others, and if they are of similar economic status, this is done in turn. I think this is changing now, but southern Europeans were often shocked by bill-splitting. Thought it was stingy.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                              Yes. If I pay for coffee with visiting American friends in Italy, they will attempt to hand me money, or if they reach the cassa first, will pay only for their own. Drives me crazy. For meals, my husband will very often want to "invite" foreign visitors, but among friends who dine out together often, we usually pay "alla romana," meaning a mathematical even split without splitting hairs. In the case of an extreme imbalance -- rare, but it can happen that somebody went to grandma's for lunch and is just along for the ride -- the bigger eaters will usually absorb the cost of the small eater's modest meal.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                            When we eat with friends, we always split the bill and never look at who's eating what. The only exception is that when we dine with non-drinkers (we enjoy a cocktail, and often a glass or two of wine), we always ask that all the alcohol be put on a separate check which we pay. The food portion is always split evenly. I personally would feel uncomfortable dining with folks who add up what they eat, and what we eat and worry about paying an extra buck or two.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                              I mostly agree, but in the case Bacchus describes above, an exception must be made.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                I have no friends such as the one Bacchus describes...and likely wouldn't.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                That's a perfect way to do it. Alcohol adds up and that's where my problem lies. But your solution is both fair and tactful. I'd happily split the remaining bill.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                  I like this idea of having the alcohol on a separate tab. I agree with your approach. I don't mind splitting food, but rather not pay for everyone else's alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                    While that makes sense to some extent, if I were asking the waiter to put something on a separate bill, wouldn't it be just as easy to say please put our orders on a separate bill, rather than just the alcohol? Seems overly complicated to separate out one item and then split the rest of the check to me. When we're with friends we also always split the bill. If we've had more to drink or noticeably higher priced entress, I generally suggest that we leave the entire tip, but that said, it is rare that everyone's not consuming roughly the same amount. But I've never been in a situation where we were drinking bottles of expensive wine while our companions sipped seltzer.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                      That is illegal here in Québec, as it could indicate that people have been drinking without eating, illegal under restaurance licences here. Unless the establishment is licensed as a bar that serves food...

                                                                                                                                                                                      But it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out nowadays with calculettes on mobile phones and other electronic devices.

                                                                                                                                                                                      In some restaurants, desserts are also expensive, though it is rare that someone will have two!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                        We've never run into any problem anywhere on the very few occasions that we've asked for alcohol to be on a separate check. If that did happen, we'd simply kick in an additional amount based on how much we've had to drink, or take care of the tip. In our circle of friends, pulling out a calculator to figure out the bill would be considered very inappropriate. I guess we all operate from the premise that things will even out closely enough over time (unless some people don't drink, and we handle that as above), and don't worry about who has eaten what at any one dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                          1000 times yes

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm confused. I thought you just said that you always pull out a calculator and everyone pays their own way. My point is that I find it inappropriate to haggle over the bill and it should just be separated equally. Where I find it annoying is when someone hardly eats and then insists on dividing up the bill so that everyone pays different amounts and this usually takes forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                                              So what of your friends who just have less money to spend on an evening out? Are they excluded in your model?

                                                                                                                                                                                              How long is it taking your group to do the calculating? Figuring out the bill just doesn't seem to take long among my friends, even when the folks at the table have to do it. And it's much easier for servers to do it on today's POS than it was back in my day of waiting tables.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                I did mention earlier that I entertain a lot and would much prefer to have a dinner party at home so no one feels excluded and that everyone can mingle. I go out for dinner in small groups so restaurant is always tailored to everyone's budget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I do have a math degree from a major university so calculating the bill is not so much a problem than a bother. I'm also talking about big groups of 10 or 12, it does take a while for me and my friends....

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll reply to your question directed to gloriaa. We often have dinner out with friends who can afford more or less than we can afford. The decision as to where to go is agreed upon by all parties. Obviously we're going to go someplace more reasonably priced with those folks who can afford less. None of us has ever suggested we not divide the bill evenly, and in our circle of friends, pulling out a calculator to divide the bill based on who ate what, would be unacceptable to any of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Same here and in our group of friends we run the gamut in economic standings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    However at work lunches the calculator often comes out. It seems tacky but you get a lot of "just a salad" folks and its not like you know things will balance out in the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree. Lunch with work colleagues is very different than dinner with friends. Agree completely with foodiex2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I've misunderstood the concept of "divide the bill evenly." To me that means people pay for the share of the food they purchased. That would seem even to me. I wouldn't expect my salad eating vegan pal to subsidize my steak. That doesn't mesh with "evenly" to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wouldn't go out to a steak restaurant with a vegan friend. When I dine with a vegan we eat at a vegan restaurant and we split the bill. 'Even' amongst friends washes out in the end, work/business is different. We all know some people who take advantage, ie orders the most expensive dish, and it is our decision whether or not we want to eat out with hem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I guess we just see this differently. Everyone knows the restaurant. Everyone says yes based on whether or not they can afford it and are interested in it. And afford might mean having the priciest item in each course, or it might mean having just a wonderfully conceived and executed and satisfying single appetizer. I just can't see the problem or the annoyance with that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        And really am a bit surprised this is much of a common issue. Less and less frequently do the groups I'm with have to deal with their own math. Servers are brilliant at using POS and bringing individual checks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Exactly. I can't remember any time I've had a server annoyed at asking for separate bills. In fact usually they ask up front will this couple be together or.... saves a lot of time and potential discomfort for everyone

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sure that Firegoat's recommendation is terrific for some folk, but not for everyone. If we were dining with close friends and we suggested getting separate checks, it would send a message that we're afraid of having to pay a few extra bucks. It would not be well received, and we would never do it. We're by no means wealthy, but between us and our good friends there is always the assumption that things will work out evenly in the long run, and we don't don't worry about it. We go to restaurants we all agree upon and can afford, and then don't worry about who eats what.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Exactly and well said. The only place I have ever eaten where separate checks were "common place" was Disney and, for that matter, much of the snowbird areas of Florida. I never see it at any of my regular/local places. Maybe it is common but we don't ask and I don't see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is also common among my closest groups of friends that some of us like the fun cocktails and the "better" bottle of wine. And others like the fancy desserts and ridiculously priced loose leaf teas or fancy coffee drinks. It's not unusual for one of us to say "hey, don't forget I had 2 double stoli frozen mudslides" or "Remember I got that $14 glass of wine". Usually that ends with that person/couple handling a bigger part of the tip so its balanced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe it depends who you hang with? It also not unusual for someone to say "It's been a tough month, do you mind if we just get pizza/grab take out/come over here tonight?" or say "Woah! that place is a little rich for my blood! Lets just go to XYZ instead". Spending time together is more important than what we spend or where we go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "It's not unusual for one of us to say "hey, don't forget I had 2 double stoli frozen mudslides" or "Remember I got that $14 glass of wine". Usually that ends with that person/couple handling a bigger part of the tip so its balanced."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This sounds fairly close to what others of us were suggesting. Just figure it out. It's not that big of a deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am with you. Should we be dining with those, who are on a tighter budget, then I just pick up the wines myself, and we divide the food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I see no reason to not enjoy the wines, that I do, so I just pay for everyone's, and am done. I am honored to do so, and get the wines that I want, plus get to share my choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Only time that I have had any issues with a dining group was one ski trip. A certain person in that group would run up a bar tab, larger than the entire dinner bill. He always insisted that the bill be split equally, though he might have contributed to $300 of it, by himself. He also insisted that he pay with his company credit card, and all others give him cash. Well, the rest of the group had traveled with him before, and I also found out that before we were married, he had dated my wife. After observing him the first evening, I asked our server to pull his bar tab aside. We then split the dining bill, and I paid with my personal credit card, then handed him the bar bill to handle separately. That did not go over well with him, but the others loved it. That was the way that we handled the rest of the week, and all, but one, were happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I said no such thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I said that if dividing the check creates any sort of issue, there are calculators readily available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can't imagine why dividing the bill based upon what one ordered would take forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      joseph, we don't live in the same jurisdiction. I'm pretty sure it would be illegal here. There are several European countries I know where it wouldn't be. Quite possibly it isn't in California.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here, it could be possible if the establishment were licensed as a "resto-bar".

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not denying that in some places it might be illegal to put the alcohol on a separate check...it's just on the rare occasions that I've asked for this to be done, it's not been a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have never encountered such. I do that separate wine check thing all over the US, in the UK, and in Europe. Now, I have not traveled to every conceivable jurisdiction, but have traveled to many, and I mean many.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Where do you find legal issues with breaking out a liquor/wine portion of a diner? I am ready to learn something here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In Quebec. Alcohol-restaurant law are crazy here not to mention the provincial monopoly on alcohol sales.. For example, soon we might will be allowed to bring home unfinished bottles of wine (not that that has ever happened to me....) from restaurants...but not yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting, and thank you for educating me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We spend a good deal of time in Hawai`i, and had a pretty good idea of the ins-n-outs, regarding wines. However, a couple of years ago, we were blindsided on the Island of Maui, when we were told that we could NOT bring our own wines (not even with corkage fees), and could not leave with any bottle of wine. Wow, that was unlike all other Islands, but that was how it was on Maui. Those restrictions have changed, at least to a degree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              As we find ourselves in resorts around the world, being able to take an opened bottle back to our room, is a big, big plus. This allows us to buy more bottles for a meal, knowing that if we do not finish each, we can take them back, for a glass, or two, on our lanai. Where there is a good half-bottle selection, or a wonderful B-T-G list, it is never a big deal. However, if it's just the two of us, we do not have a lot of half-bottle, or B-T-G selections, being able to take our wines with us, is a big plus. I travel with about 4 Vac-u-vin stoppers, a pump and 1 Champagne/sparkler stopper, plus 3 different types of wine openers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your information is greatly appreciated, as it will likely be helpful to me, when we head to Quebec.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bill, on the other hand there are MANY byow restaurants here, from family-run holes-in-the-wall, through chain souvlaki or spaghetti factories (best avoided, those) up through bistros and some fine restaurants. Because wine is expensive here, and people here LOVE wine. And there is no problem taking leftover wine you have brought back home, and recently, the law specified that this also applies to wine bought at a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On Maui, back a few years?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is news to me. I was used to the BYOW, and also the carry-out for unfinished bottles on most other Islands (never have done Moli`kai), but Maui WAS different. Now, as I hear it, they have come into line with the other Islands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lagatta...am I correct in assuming you're talking about Quebec...not Maui?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I'm talking about Québec. I've never been to Maui in my life. Would be nice. Especially in the winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Depending on the group, and their personal preferences, I will often ask that the wine bill be separate, and then I will pay that. I do this a lot when we're hosting, say The Sister's of Mercy, knowing that they will maybe have a glass each, and I will have more. Also, my choices are my own, so that the prices will be much higher. I just cover the wines, and then share them. Works a treat, and no one has ever complained, at least not to my face.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Some of these "bill paying" issues reminded me of one. I had a going away get together (my actual party was a different day and some of these folks weren't able to come to that) at a bar/restaurant when I left Chicago. We just ordered a lot of appetizers, and everyone partook. I'm not a big drinker so I only had a couple drinks, whereas a lot of my "friends" had 4 or 5. Then, some of them left before the rest of us did, and just tossed like $20 on the table. Well, it came time to pay the bill and we were about $100 short. Guess who got to pay most of it? That's right, me, the girl who had just left her job and was about to move cross country with no new job, living off a meager savings account. That's why I put "friends" in quotations. I haven't even hardly talked to most of them since I moved away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Had the same issue with this same group of people prior to my party too. It was a friends birthday and I was one of the only soberish ones, so I had the task of figuring out who owed what. One girl, whose husband is a successful Chicago restaurateur (ie she wasn't hurting for cash), put in like $25 even though she had consumed A LOT of alcohol. When I asked her to put in more she said "No, I'm good". WTF? That time I ended up spending $60 for my 2 drinks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Those situations have always been a good way for me to weed out friends. None of the people I now make time to be around do that. Being the "bill tallier" for a large group anymore usually means saying "even leaving a 50% tip, there's still an extra $50, John- please take some cash back, you way overpaid." I cringe to think of the old days of getting stuck with making up the bill/tip for people I never saw again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hope you have made better friends since your move.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        BF's sister has a friend who always throws in a $20 no matter how much he and his wife owe. It's expect it so she just laughs it off. Has another friend who will always order more food and drinks and always insists on splitting the check 50/50. Again she expects it and just laugh it off. I wish I could be that forgiving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        We usually end up with the opposite of what happened to you. Usually the people leaving first only had one or two drinks and they still throw in a $20. At the end we have more money then needed and the remaining few end up paying less. But at the end of the year I'm sure it comes out equal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh definitely.... most of my friends where I live now came to me via my SO, and most of them are really nice people from Wyoming, so there always ends up being TOO much money at the end. I've also noticed that waitstaff/restaurants here in CO are much nicer about splitting bills if requested than they were in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Number 1 - loud patrons, who are drunk
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Number 2 - loud patrons, who are not drunk
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Number 3 - loud patrons, with loud children, run amok
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Number 4 - loud, whining patrons, who wish to elicit sympathy
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Number 5 - patrons with loud flatulence
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Number 6 - patrons with silent flatulence
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Number 7 - patrons who find a major fault with every menu item.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OK, that does it for now, but there are probably many others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great! Couldn't agree with you more. When can we expect Chapter 2?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Number 7

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That could well be a start for "Part II."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. My husband believes cell phones are like nursing. *Both should be done in private.* If one of our phones goes off during a meal, we get up and go outside so as not to annoy other diners. Or, we just don't take the call. Also hate it when a certain friend touches all the communal food on the table. Example: A bowl of salsa and a bowl of freshly made (and hot) tortilla chips at a Mexican restaurant. She will touch each chip, rearranging them in the bowl to suit her. Makes me not want to eat a one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pilotgirl210

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "My husband believes cell phones are like nursing. *Both should be done in private.* If one of our phones goes off during a meal, we get up and go outside so as not to annoy other diners. Or, we just don't take the call."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why don't you just turn them off?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are lots of reasons to keep a phone turned on--for example, if a diner has children left with a babysitter, if there is a family emergency, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Back in my babysitting days (before cell phones), parents left the phone numbers of every place they would be during the evening away. Now parents don't do that--they just give the sitter their cell phone number.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and, even older children and friends your own age can find themselves in a crisis situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i was extremely grateful that one of my friends had his cellphone on when my car got totaled by a pick up truck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mom is a heart and stroke patient and I am a three time heart patient. There are multiple reasons my phone has to always be on and within reach. Although I put it on vibrate only when the situation is appropriate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .....and we would quietly walk from the table to take the call...in the office...on a LAND LINE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Poochinator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      when cell phones didn't exist that was fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nowadays, I don't think you'd have much of a chance getting a restaurant to let you use a land line -- and even less of a chance of sitting in their office to take the call.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cell phones have their place...being in touch in case of emergency is one of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Poochinator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I am not sure why one would tie up a restaurant's land line, if they have a perfectly good cell phone, and are now outside the restaurant. Maybe I am missing something here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think many would object to a doctor taking an emergency call or a parent taking an important call from a sitter. It's the loud business or personal call that goes on for several minutes or longer that many of us hate. If it's not a true emergency or the discussion needs to be longer than 30 seconds, the polite thing is to get up and continue the conversation away from other diners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I completely agree with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There are myriad reasons that one must be in contact with others, for both business and familial reasons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is the inconsiderate use of cell phones, in public places, that anger me, and obviously some others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One needs to consider others, when making plans on how, and when, to use their cellphones in public.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now, let's not even discuss those, who run you down on the street, while texting...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's a plan!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In wife's case, she cannot turn hers off, but it is always on silent. She will glance at the Caller ID below the table, and make the decision.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As I get two calls per month, if I have one, it is likely an emergency, or a wrong number. I do the same - silent, but quick glance, below the level of the table. If it's from my housesitter/petsitter, or my security company, I go outside to take the call. Otherwise, I ignore it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We have never taken a call at a table, and do not intend to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. re: pilotgirl210

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of my worst dining experiences was in a small, locally owned diner. We were going out of our way to eat there because road construction was hurting their business. It was a decent-sized dining room, it was fairly early morning, but on a weekday as we both had vacation that day. We came in for breakfast, and there was one other table with customers. Shortly after we ordered a man came in, sat well across the room from us, at least six to eight tables over, ordered his food then immediately whipped out his cell phone and started talking. That had to be the loudest man ever. There was no where you could escape his voice in that restaurant. I'm guessing he also was hearing impaired as the volume on his cell phone was so high that I could hear both sides of the conversation. It was so loud that conversation at our table was nearly impossible. We were so happy to see his food arrive because we figured he'd hang up to eat..... no such luck. Conversation continued through his entire meal... or at least until we left. Waitress was very apologetic and we laughed about it as we paid. We could see them not wanting to say anything to him since business was slow there with the construction. But wow.... so unpleasant and no where in the restaurant was far enough away to get away from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That man was selfish and wrong. PERIOD. There is no reason that anyone should not set their phone on vibrate and walk out to take the call....EVER. Talking on the cell phone at your table is the new smoking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As one, whose voice carries, I always leave the area for an outdoors location, before taking any call.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            First, I do not ever wish to intrude on any fellow diners, and second, I do not want everyone hearing my every word - of course Verizon is selling my call data to the NSA, but not sense in making it any easier on them...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Someone like that absolutely cries out for a cropdusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. That old standard-talking with your mouth full-gross!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oops that was on the list in the link but I still can't stand it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. One of these days, you'll be walking into a restaurant and find two smart phones sitting in opposing chairs. Their owners will be talking to each other through speakerphone, and the bill will never get paid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If we're not there yet, I'd say it might be soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just as bad- not removing headphones when someone is taking your order/when you're at the register. I'll take my duck bbq in Pyongyang over a meal in Williamsburg or Silver Lake anytime...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jonathan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              https://buildingmybento.wordpress.com/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://collaterallettuce.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                let me know when the phones are capable of getting to the restaurant....and what they order to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NSA will let you know that on a need to know basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. patrons or waitstaff drenched in cologne or perfume.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another good one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As we usually enjoy our wines with our meals, having those, with too much perfume can ruin the wine AND the food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I shave, I use an unscented after-shave balm, when dining, or wine tasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The same goes for fragrant flowers in a restaurant. While I love Star-gazer lilies, and others, I do NOT want them around me, when dining, or drinking wines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and then there are those who are violently allergic to them, and cannot be in the room with them at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But they're so pretty. Frustrating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      While there are no allergies, and we both enjoy the aromas, we do NOT want them near our food, or our wines - no way - no how.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The same way with "sweet-smellin' ladies." I love 'em, but when dining, or drinking wines, do not want them around, regardless of how lovely, or charming. I want neutral smells, and that is it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In some Port houses in Oporto, there are identical dining rooms. The first is used for the meal, and then the doors are opened to an identical dining room, and the guests take the same seats, as during dinner. The doors are closed, and then the Vintage Ports are served, away from any aromas from dinner. While maybe not at that level, I feel similar - I do not want other aromas permeating my food, my wine, or my Port.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh THANK YOU for putting this one out there! This is enough to make me ask for another table. I don't want to taste perfume while I'm eating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I eat lunch at a hospital cafeteria, and have for 40+ years. Because the stainless flatware was stolen at such a high rate, they've gone to plastic ware. I hate it. The forks don't have a sharp enough point (but then neither did the ss flatware, usually), an mostly, the handles are too short to get a proper handle on, so you look like a ham-fisted troglodyte trying to eat your salad. So I guess I'm the troglodyte with the fist on the plasic fork. Sometimes I bring chopsticks, which are better, but my lunch buddies make fun of me, not that I give a shit. We've ben eating together for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In college, I ate lunch at a hospital cafeteria where I had medical rotations. It was cheap and the food was decent but, like you mentioned, they used plastic utensils. I brought my own reusable set for environmental reasons and nobody seemed to think it was odd. Well, maybe they talked about me behind my back :) Lots of places sell utensil sets- LL Bean and The Container Store are where I've bought my last couple sets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Local camping and sporting goods stores sell them as well. And imagine making fun of someone for using chopsticks, in this day and age... I guess they'd find something else to get at EWSflash...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          even Walmart and Target sell break-resistant lexan flatware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We travel with two sets of SS utensils, just in case. Most often, we use the spoons, as we often find none for our coffees.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As an interesting sidenote, we see plastic knives, when flying coach, but in BC, or FC, we get SS knives, though with rounded "points." Heck, a ball-point pen is more deadly, than most dining knives. Still, I wonder why those in coach only get plastic, while those in forward cabins get metal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Somehow that reminded me of those first six months after September Eleventh. This was even still before the "take off your shoes days."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Three times, I had to leave behind dull metal objects. Four times, a flight attendant moved me to a aisle seat in First Class. All of those times, they permitted me metal utensils.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those were really strange times, indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I used to travel to CA with at least two empty styro-wine shippers, that were empty on the way out, and filled on the way back to PHX. Shortly afterwards, those became issues, though they were checked luggage. I gave up on that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, on Sept 15, my wife was invited to the White House for a meeting of US CEO's, and her private jet was the first to land at Reagan National (DCA). Still, about a month later, going to BOS, she had her "eyelash curlers" confiscated! I mean, eyelash curlers! Did they think that she was going to storm the cockpit, and give the pilots a makeover?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The TSA is in place to make us feel better, and safer, and nothing more, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Even at some airport restaurants, I see plastic knives, and SS flatware otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At least UAL BC & FC have gone back to SS for everything, though I am not much of a fan of their new wine glasses, but cannot have everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                be happy you get a glass at all. The rest of us unwashed slobs flying cattle class on commercial air flights have to drink our crappy wine out of a plastic cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ug-g-g, a plastic cup. Yes, I have been there (and not just on airlines), and those are perfectly horrible!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shoot (not the exact word that I was thinking of, but then the CH MOD's would come down on me), I hate "jelly jar" glasses, and now in BC, or FC, United uses those. They changed during the last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When we travel, we often have our own stemware, but with airline travel, that is less an option, as we normally have 2 carry-ons each. When we drive anywhere, we have the wine stem case, plus the openers and Vac-U-vin stoppers and pump.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am big on using the best stemware, logical. Now, I do not bring out the Riedel Sommelier stems, with a US$ 10 bottle of Cab, but WILL use the Riedel Vinum stems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    just a gentle reminder that the vast majority of us simply don't have the option of sitting up there in the cloth-napkin section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The stemware I travel with is lexan (very thin lip)...unbreakable, for picnics with whatever we bought when we visited a friend's vineyard this morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When we're entertaining casually, it's Ikea...real glass, because I won't serve wine in plastic cups...but cheap enough I truly don't care if someone breaks one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I understand. Though we are both 1K on UAL, and Chairmen on US Air, plus have dozens of upgrades in certificates, there are still times that we do not fly "up front." OTOH, we often will buy those seats, regardless of our levels, as we like leg-room, wider seats, and then a bit more galley-treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a set of Tritan Cab stems, but seldom take them in the air - only when we drive, and I fear that the hotel will not have good glasses (surprising how many do not).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As for home, I use one of those Tritan glasses, but my poor wife had a spate of broken glasses, so she has relegated herself to Lexan on the patio. I keep trying to help her "graduate," but she will not hear of it... some sort of penitence, as I read it. Now, her Lexan glasses are still better than the stemware used in many restaurants, which is a major shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For dinners, we break out "the good stuff."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had to go to DC on the on one of the first few days of October. I had planned on takin' the train from Philly, but I got stuck in Pittsburgh the night before. Consequently, I had to fly down to get before DC Circuit in time. It was my second flight after the whole thing changed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The "stewardess"* invites me to sit in First Class seat 2B, right on the aisle. "Shit yeah, that's way better than that lousy seat I had in Coach," I think to myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I get an airplane quality steak sandwich, complete with a metal butter knife and fork, as well as one of those little bottles of ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "I didn't order any food."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Thought you might want it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "I appreciate it, but I didn't think metal utensils were allowed anymore."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "We still have some and we bumped you for a reason."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I ate my sandwich. We landed at Dulles. I got a cab. The DC Circuit still hadn't caught up on it's docket and my case was rescheduled for after the new year. Amtrack took me back home to round out the circle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They were very strange times indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But, seriously, what the f*ck did they think anybody was gonna do with a dull, metal knife and a three pronged fork should somethin' happen. I mean, I'm not Jason Bourne. Think about it, you're more likely to stop aggression with a seatbelt or by sittin' the bad guy directly in front of a screamin' child.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  *I know it's politically incorrect, but she WAS a "stewardess" - old school style, big hair, big boobs, short skirt, bright red lipstick, too much blush, and called every man "Sweetheart".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have many of the same questions, as you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In FC, we often do have metal utensils. Are we more "trusted?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When dining at the Yankee Pier at SFO, they have segregated the outer tables from the concourse with plexi-glas, and have also removed any metal knives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just some odd observations, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Two of the first things that I do are to undo my belt, just in case, and take out a ball-point pen - same reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since I have studied many of the passengers, and then taken a rough note of where some are seated, I make a "game plan." Again, just in case. Luckily, and I say prayers of thanks, nothing has ever happened, but I have my two "weapons," and a plan. I am always on the aisle, so do have access, just in case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for "stewardesses," I have known many over the decades. Though it's been a bit, since I skied with them, or played tennis with them, none worried about that term, and used it to describe themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just flew to SFO besides a lovely lady. She got her start with Varney Airlines, before it became United. She had flown from the year of my birth, and referred to herself as a "stewardess." What a great seat-mate! She HAD some stories, even for me. When we ended our 1:45 flight, we also found out that we knew a lot of the UAL Captains, and had shared a lot of similar tales. Though I love flying with my wife, I would love to do a cross-continent flight with her again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry about your travels, but we totally understand cancellations and such.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The sorta worst and best was the day that they started doing the old foot inspections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had gotten to Court in Newark that morning at eight. I was on my toes a lot. Judge had to leave twice. The U.S. Trustee was foulin' my best stuff off 'til Noon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Dude, let's go get lunch at Seabra's. I used to loved that place when I had my first job here and took the train up from Bay Head, I'll pay with the money you're tryin. to take from my clients. OK?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I know it"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So we walk down the nasty streets of the Garden State's big, dirty city, to the place and the UST opens the door, gets immediately hugged by the hostess, and has a conversation with her in Portuguese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Two, old school glasses of gin show up, each drownin' an olive in a giant coupe. When they are not even done, they ate replaced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We talk Yankee's baseball and places he liked "Down the Shore."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The waitress approaches with a pitcher of sangria and a plate containing two split lobsters, two dozen clams, rwo dozen mussels, and God only knows how many shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "This weak assed, government lawyer from Newark just fu^kin' bested me. I'm just gonna settle this thing, Dear God, those are the best mussels I've ever tasted. This is so fu*kin' good." I think to myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, the two us stagger back to Court with a deal less than I should have ever agree to, but that was some outstandin' fish, and you gotta respect a government employee who gets that kinda treatment in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, when we get back in Court and let the Judge know our deal, he insists that I make a record. A couple more hours in wingtips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I got to the airport, finally, it was almost seven. That poor girl tells me to taje off my shoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Honey, I'm so sorry . . . . .".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, "stuff" happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for sharing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Easy. If we, the unwashed masses of coach, had access to silverware we might organize and attempt to overthrow first class. Can't have that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually, we, in FC, have air guns, that fire "frozen snakes" back to coach. About the time that the revolt would start, we'd fire a bunch of those snakes back, beyond the curtain. When they thaw out, it's "Snakes on a Plane." http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417148/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then the solution would seem to "bring your own".especialy since you don't care what others think.a few paper towels and a quick wipe in the restroom before throwing them in the dishwasher that night

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. People who 'smack' their food. Eating with their mouths open. People who wear perfume. People who are smokers and I have to smell it on their clothes when I'm eating. People who wear ball caps/cowboy hats at the table. People who talk too loud. People who don't know how to use the cutlery. People who talk on cell phones. People who bring their little brats along then 'baby-talk' to them. People who arrive half cut and then drink too much.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FORGET IT! I'M STAYING HOME!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Personally those who get up to use the restroom right before or when the bill arrives. Typically some non-immediate family members tend to do this. I don't mind, but being taken advantage of every single time is annoying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: born2cook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why be upset be this? Just wait for them to return before settling the bill!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Better still...just all get up and leave, sticking them with the whole bil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sheesh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: born2cook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've gotten the ones that "go to the restroom", pay the bill and return... I grab the server and "it's been taken care of"...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wise guys beat me to the bill that way. They know I pay every time, so now I get this...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Here's one for you: the Fighters! Nothing worse than sitting next to a couple who are airing their dirty laundry in public. Its uncomfortable for their fellow guests, and terrible for the waitstaff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wannabfoode

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We had an evening at a Paris 3-star restaurant ruined, because the whole family was fighting and crying, at the very next table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stuff happens, but hope that it does not happen again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        highly unusual in Paris....I take it not a French family? (French families keep their dirty laundry buttoned tightly behind garden walls and shutters)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We could not tell the origin of that poor family. I never was able to pick up the language, and neither could my wife, who does a very passable French.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That night, regardless of the near-by family, nothing was working, from service to food. Even the wine service left us puzzled. That restaurant was at the bottom of our list, and we did two "bistros" in the mix. Just not what we have come to expect. For them, I am so glad that I am not a Michelin tester, as they would have lost all three stars, based on the entire evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OTOH, we did two more Michelin 3-star restaurants, plus a 2-star and 2 1-star, and all were great! That one was the exception, except for Joël Robuchon's L'Atellier, which was the weakest of his restaurants, and we have been to most. Good, but at the bottom of HIS list, in our humble opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One "upstart," and the "bistro" from a 3-starred chef, were far, far better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Such is life, and, with but a few reservations (not the ones that you make over the telephone, or the Web), we greatly enjoyed those meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Heavy rain in Paris is a fact of life, but one should be able to hide, and greatly enjoy, and mostly we did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Micromanagers and over-motherliness. These will usually be close female family members.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They will closely monitor what you order, then lay down criticism based on perceived healthy-ness of the food - both before the food arrives and while you're trying to enjoy the food. "That's no good - that's too spicy" "That's too fatty" "That's too much food for you"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It gets especially entertaining when it's a shared family style format (e.g. dim sum). "Unapproved" dishes will be pushed in your direction away from them while a disgusted look appears on their face, as if the proximity of the dish to them will harm them in some way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, come to think of it, I think it's just my mother and MIL who are like that at restaurants...sigh...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Little pup, look 'em in the eyes - HARD. Then bark back a bit. Never stop lookin' 'em in the eyes while you speak. Practice in a mirror first if you have to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sort of reminds me of the reverse at a San Francisco dim sum restaurant. We were all Caucasians (all four of us), and the cart would ONLY stop at our table, with dishes that no one would take. The good stuff was always "out," by the time that the cart came to us. We'd ask "what about ___ ?" and would be told, "sorry, we don't have any more of ___ ."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, that is how it can go. Way back when, my tennis doubles partner was Chinese, and from a family with many restaurants. We were guests at many traditional Chinese weddings, but were always seated with an elder from the family. They would instruct us - "you will like the next dish. Get it, as soon as it's presented."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At one such wedding, there were two other couples at our table. As soon as the tray would be presented, they would take the entire tray - maybe 6 - 8 portions per person. That family elder picked up on their plan, and would instruct the servers to NOT let them have anything, that she thought we'd want, but only some of the more "traditional dishes." I found that funny, but understood where she was coming from. She leaned over, and whispered to my wife, "they are the biggest pigs that I have ever encountered. I will take care of you." She did. For the rest of the event, they only got pigeon feet, pigeon beaks and pigeon eyes. Nothing that was a bit more "Western" was ever served to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. The Ms. - who is a superb cook.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We are in a steak restaurant in the shadow of the IBP facility in Dakota City. Nebraska I think, it could be Iowa, the states come together there. Went there especially to take guests. There is a big BBQ pit in the middle of the floor. She orders.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We lived in Israel. She orders fish. Always. Of all the fish in the sea and in the farm ponds, ones that she never tried before , she orders the same damn sea bream (denise). Except a few times salmon which comes from Norway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          New Zealand. Its hapuka! A firm white fish, very mild, very expensive. And NZ has lots of interesting fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I suppose that I shouldn't complain about my wife's constancy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            at least the sea bream is one of the more delicious fish around...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I would vote extreme flatulence as being a big annoyance, at least to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              but only in the extreme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, "extreme" has levels - even slightly extreme, in coach class can be very bad, where moderately extreme might slip by in FC?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just wondering, have you had an issue with this in public with others? I can't say I've had many experiences with extreme flatulence of fellow diners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh my word yes, though never in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On a bus in Hanoi, one fellow had been eating goodness knows what, and was clearing the whole bus, including the people with pigs and chickens!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Luckily, our stop came up quickly, though could have been quicker!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah but, any time you get to tell a story that involves "a bus in Hanoi" or "a dark alley in Istanbul"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, but I am not at all sure that the story was worth the experience - at least not to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Though is that a habit? It can be an unfortunate medical condition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. There's another one they should add lovers-getting-a little-too -intimate. I mean come on! No one wants to see your snog feast!! Get a room!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mastercooker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking about getting a little too intimate...we actually witnessed a young lady masturbating her date under the table at one of LA's most well known restaurants. They were speaking a foreign language and appeared to be visitors from outside the country. We wondered if this was acceptable in their home country. We switched seats so that we didn't have to witness this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "We wondered if this was acceptable in their home country."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Only at tables with overhanging cloths.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's hard for some foreign visitors to grasp our cultural norms sometimes. After all, some restaurants do have signs that read "first come, first served".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. People who burp loudly or take their shoes off!