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Mar 8, 2014 06:50 PM

Overheard in Thai restaurant...embarrassing "Yankees."

The charming Thai woman was taking the order from a table of four.. The menu is crystal clear as to its offerings, designed for the American trade, including a section stating, "We can alter the spicy level from 1 to 5, according to your taste," and beginning with "Mild." No toad nails, nothing exotic.

Woman patron looks up at charming server, and, in her best (Hyacinth-Keeping Up Appearances) manner, proclaims, "We're YANKEES we don't eat spicey food."

Now, apart from anything else, it was the "Yankees" who brought spices to the colonies. One wonders - did they choose this restaurant solely to dislike everything they were offered? Ice water in the lap would have been my "Yankee" response.

It occurred to me that maybe the reason the dinner prices were so much higher than the lunch menu is that the dinner crowd is invariably of such a type that the price rise represents an annoyance charge. I mean, have you ever encountered the likes of this during lunch? (It's just a hypothesis).

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  1. I don't see anything wrong with the patron's comment. I've said something similar in the past but maybe not at a restaurant. I usually reduce the amount of siracha in a recipe to about 1/4 of the specified amount. We're ok with "one chili pepper" maybe two. I think perhaps the woman patron thought she was being funny. Yankees have a dry sense of humor. One time at lunch in Boston's Chinatown, I asked for milk. The waiter was horrified and told me "you no baby, you drink tea". I had no idea the request would upset him.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dfrostnh

      Too funny! You scandalized the poor guy:)

      1. re: dfrostnh

        << I think perhaps the woman patron thought she was being funny. Yankees have a dry sense of humor>>

        are you saying that maybe she thought that being unbelievably boorish is being funny???

      2. If the comment had come FROM server to patron... "You Ynakees don't eat spicey food!?!"... that would be pretty offensive. UNLESS server knew parton(s) VERY WELL & knew they could take a joke!?!

        1 Reply
        1. re: kseiverd

          I've heard that comment a lot, but not about Yankees, but about white people in general. And they never believe me when I tell them I want it as spicy as possible. I have the spice tolerance of a Sri Lankan.

        2. You have to wonder why, if they dislike spicy food, they are eating in a Thai restaurant. Surely, other cuisines would have provided a menu that better suited their tastes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters

            I'd have been biting my tongue to keep from retorting "then why are you HERE?!"

          2. "We're YANKEES we don't eat spicey food." - She should speak for herself and not make gross generalizations like that. And yes, why is she eating in a Thai restaurant? Although there are plenty of choices that aren't spicy!

            1. That whole WHY ARE YOU THERE aspect flew over my head at a million miles and hour?? Absolutely TRUE. Like... WHY would you go to a steak house, if not into BEEF?? Or a seafood place when you don't like fish??

              19 Replies
                    1. re: masha

                      Although my comment was tongue in cheek, it was intended as a serious point. On the other thread, a lot of Hounds were really critical of the MIL for being unwilling to even try an "exotic" restaurant that was outside her comfort zone. Here we have someone who ventured out of hers and we are critiquing her too. There may be all sorts of reason why this diner is at the Thai resto, including that other members of her party are Thai food fans. (And maybe she left her reading glasses home or she was intimidated by a really long menu of unfamiliar dishes. Perhaps she was hoping the waiter would help her select a dish that was popular among those who are faint of heart when it comes to heat level.)

                      1. re: masha

                        That's just it. We really don't know unless we were a fly on the wall.

                        1. re: masha

                          I don't question people's diet and preferences......what I do question is people eavesdropping.

                          1. re: masha

                            my only issue is with the pronoun - 'we' vs. 'I'

                            speak for yourself, not the whole table thanks. that's when I'd get pissed.

                            1. re: hill food

                              The "we" in "we are critiquing her," was a deliberate literary device, to avoid the more blunt "you people." Personally, I am not critiquing her either. My first post on this thread was to "recommend" Fourunner's comment downthread, where he suggested that she was using "self deprecating humor" and that others were coming down too hard on her.

                              The "we" in the sentence substitutes for "a large segment of the CH community" regardless if it includes each one of us.

                              1. re: masha

                                I think hillfood meant the we in "we yankees"

                                1. re: mselectra

                                  I see your point. Apologies HF if I misconstrued your comment.

                                  1. re: masha

                                    on re-reading, I was vague, but it got sorted out, that and her presuming to speak for the entire table. I would be pissed if one person decided the whole group wanted baby food.

                            2. re: masha

                              I have this image in my head of a restaurant door. On one side of the door, a crowd of people is shouting "You will find something you like! Just go in!" On the other side of the door, a crowd of people is shouting "You won't find something you like! Just get out!" And the weird thing is, it's the same people on both sides of the door.

                              1. re: small h

                                small h - I think that's a one-act play by Eugene Ionesco

                                  1. re: small h

                                    lord forfend. that's one of my favorites. and of the rhinoceros as well.

                                1. re: small h

                                  I think there's a little Schrodinger cat going on here too.

                                  1. re: Chatsworth

                                    When I got involved in this thread, I had no idea I'd end up having to discuss absurdist drama and quantum indeterminacy. I can't speak with much intelligence on either topic, but I am so loving Chowhound right now.