October 23, 2009

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch.

No, I am not looking in a 3-way mirror.

I was reading this bit from the Chicago Tribune about the ten worst trends in restaurants over the past while. Most of them are great. As in terrible. Stupid frou-frou dishes, overpriced entrees, dumbass mega burgers that come with a side of angioplasty and the like.

But I think we should play our own version, right here. I'll start: I refuse to go to the Keg in Burlington because it's too dark. I can't see a damned thing. I can't read the menu. I carry a little flashlight in my purse because I am aware that my eyes are terrible, but by the time I'm tipping the tiny tealight toward the menu trying to read it, I give up. And when the waitress admits to me that nobody can see, I want to cram their romance lighting up their arse.

Noisy restaurants. If I wanted to go to a high school cafeteria, trust me: I'd go. One of our favourite places has slid off the list for this very reason. I literally cannot hear a thing, which means the entire (huge) place features hundreds of diners screaming at each other. If I want screaming with my meal, we can just stay home and have a family dinner.

Triple priced wine. Forget it. A bottle of 8 dollar plonk should no way be 28 bucks so you can unscrew it for me. Stock a decent house wine, or at least fool me with something I've never heard of.

I was at lunch the other day with a friend. Waiter asked if we wanted dessert. I don't eat dessert, but my friend ordered one. The waiter asked him if he wanted two forks. I said no. He brought two forks. Piss off. Diners are not preschoolers, especially the ones who are downing gin and tonics before dessert.

Hands down my favourite thing at a place we go (Apple Annie's) is when they plunk a whole insulated carafe of coffee on the table. Thank you. When I'm eating breakfast, I like this. Thank you. Have I said thank you?

I hate places that tart up breakfast. Christer took us for breakfast one day to an American chain place that opened up. Huge menus full of pictures (should have been my first clue), and basically pimped out omelettes for 14 bucks. Bugger off. Breakfast should be cheap, especially if your kid is paying.

Now, you should all be aware that I'm the most laid back customer on the planet. If I'm in a restaurant, it means I'm not cooking. This is a good thing, especially for me. I don't mind if your wait staff are learning on me. Really. It's fine. As long as they are trying and working hard, I'll over-tip and be a sweetheart. But if someone shows up surly for their shift, send 'em home. And if, as a manager or owner, you're peeved because someone scratched your car or the cook is hungover, don't take it out on your staff.

And put a little lamp on the tables, would ya?

Your turn.


Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

I have absolutely no time for any place where your server sqauts down beside you (not a good idea on a hot day after a double shift), leans in and announces their name. "Hi, my name is whatever-you-want it-to be and for the next hour or so I'll be the excrutiatingly obsequious little toady throwing plates down in front of you. And oh yes, I'll do my best to ignore your semaphore signals attempting to get a refill on that coffee... hon!"

October 24, 2009 9:13 AM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

When it comes to restaurants I think of the Kinks song, "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?"
We lost a few nice chains along the way. Mother's, The Olive Garden, Trattoria Via Venetto,
(OK that one was a oner). The Keg exists soley for teens and young adults who want to make a sophisticated "1st date" impression. Red Lobster exists for those who miss food poisoning. Scariest restaurant? The red witch hat place off the 401 in eastern Ontario. Mystery Meat, congealed sauces, black french fries. Yes, I'm giving away my age with that one but you'd never know looking at me. I'm Dorian Gray.

October 24, 2009 11:14 AM  
Blogger DJW said...

The Keg anywhere...

...$25 for a steak small enough my cat could finish it. And nothing sugar free for a diabetic to drink save water. Seriously, the last time we went to the Keg (and I mean the last time), we stopped at Timmies for bagels after.


October 24, 2009 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too, can't stand it when the wait person introduces themselves. After one such episode years ago, after the introduction, I introduced myself and my table mate and announced we would be their customers for the next hour. The person looked at me like I had two heads.

October 24, 2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I also believe that if my table is covered with brown kraft paper, it would behoove management to give me crayons, even if I'm the youngest person at said table.

October 24, 2009 12:48 PM  
Anonymous CN said...

Hey, You've gotta find a place where you can bring your own wine in for free, usually Monday thru Thursday with no corkage fee. We've gotta few place here in St. Cats so you must have some there... And hey they even have lighting!


October 24, 2009 1:12 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I believe here in Burlington, that place is called My Dining Room.

And the service sucks.

October 24, 2009 1:14 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

If you're looking for a breakfast on the weekend, some service/charity organization in the area will be holding one.

Mine is tomorrow, $7 all you can eat


October 24, 2009 2:00 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

I've been to a few of those, DJ over the years. Not yours, of course, but I'm not a fan of sausage that was pre-cooked days beforehand and when served has the pallor of grey, flannel pants and an interesting sheen from laying under a 40 watt bulb masquarading as a heat lamp...

October 24, 2009 4:10 PM  
Blogger Nursedude said...

I don't mind the Keg in Kingston (except for the lighting thing). I've always had great service there and the staff have been great fun.

Used to really like Montana's but am a little uneasy since they've started to upscale things a bit but they have taken away the crayons, sigh.

Being diabetic often means having to ad-lib at restaurants and other gatherings as most placed don;t have anything other than water or Diet colas to drink. I'm not the biggest fan of Diet Coke/Pepsi but that seems to be the status quo diet drink at most eateries so that's what I drink if not water.

I really miss Olive Garden, East Side Mario's is NOT a fitting substitute.

October 24, 2009 4:53 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

To Anonymous

I can't believe I haven't done that. I will the next time

To Ozzie

Come out to ours, the next time you go to Canada's South Coast, and you will see we don't use heat lamps, and I fry you eggs before your eyes. You get them any way you like, as long a that is over hard.


October 25, 2009 1:05 AM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...


Two words; club soda.

October 25, 2009 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Nursedude, diet cola wasn't even an option, I could have water or water. They were more interested in pushing the very overpriced alcoholic drinks which I can't have.
To Anonymous, thanks, now every waiter or waitress is gonna know my name.
The worst experience we have had lately was in a family type restaurant. The sloped floor and homey atmosphere couldn't make up for the tasteless, greasy, congealed slop they served us. Even the tomato soup from a can was disgusting. My family now lovingly refers to it as the "upchuck" wagon!


October 25, 2009 12:54 PM  

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