April 7, 2008

And for the Main Curse...

This makes me crazy. Noisy restaurants. I thought it was just me, but this piece in the Washington Post reassures me I'm not alone.

Our favourite restaurant has become absolutely intolerable on weekends. We don't go anymore. You can't hear the person beside you, let alone someone sitting across the table. We'll go on a Tuesday evening once in a while, but regardless of the fact we all love it, it's reasonable and our top pick for food and staff, forget it. It's just becoming a lousy experience.

We used to go once in a great while to a place that is expensive, but worth it. But, the last time we went, they'd done a reno and you couldn't see two feet in front of you anymore. Sexy little candles on the table cast a glow for about an inch and a half, I couldn't even read the menu; when I asked our server if she had a flashlight, she laughed and said everyone was asking her that. Uhm, don't you think that's telling you something? I'll be honest - we just left, and we've never gone back.

A lot of restaurants are doing away with carpeting, hence the noise quotient is zooming. While from a cleanliness perspective, no carpeting is actually a good thing (I used to work for a carpet cleaning place - you don't want to hear the horror stories of restaurants), if they do nothing to buffer the sound it's like being trapped in a huge cafeteria. I don't like being trapped in a huge cafeteria. Unless it's like on Gray's Anatomy or something, and there are lots of cute doctors around. That would be okay.

So, here's a tip for restaurant owners: if people are asking for flashlights, turn up the lighting. If your wait staff has to bend way down beside each person's ear to take orders, your place is too noisy. And if you haven't seen your regulars in awhile, it might be both.


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