Thursday, November 15, 2007

Endear Yourself to Me!!

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With the Holidays already upon us, I am thinking about my wish list. Might I indulge in some fantasy with you all?

Now I realize that Guests are not there for our convenience. We are there for THEIR convenience. Their convenience pays our bills. I am keeping this in mind as I write the following. (So don't get all aggro on me)

Don't ask questions with subjective answers.

"Is the potato salad TOO mustardy"? What are we supposed to say? "Yes, we make it too mustardy on purpose so no one will like it"

"Is the sweet tea TOO sweet"? "Why yes ma'am. If the spoon does not stand straight up on its own, we just keep adding sugar until it does." Also, ordering half and half tea is lame. Either you want sweet tea or you don't. I will let you in on a secret. If someone orders half and half tea, I just give them unsweetened. It saves (me and them) a lot of aggravation. Sweetness is subjective anyway. I have never had a complaint serving unsweetened tea for half and half tea. I HAVE however, had half and half tea sent back for being "too sweet". Anyway, why haven't these people heard of Atkins? Diabetes? Splenda? Sugar is the new second hand smoke.

"Is the smoked chicken good"

"No, actually it is horrible but they keep it on the menu for some reason"

Don't Order "in between" temperatures

"I want my Steak between medium and medium rare" Ribeye cooked medium rare coming right up.

Make a commitment. This isn't a tattoo. Again, we are falling into subjective territory. My medium rare might be tartare to you. I am not trying to be difficult or Diva-like I promise. The fewer instructions I have to give the kitchen, the less chance of your order getting screwed up.

Restaurants are not the place to explore your culinary creativity.

If you want to anger the cooks, the owners, and management, I would say the best way would be to recreate a menu item so that it no longer resembles the menu. Now, asking them to add cheese or bacon to a sandwich is not a problem. Asking to leave off lettuce and problem. Here is an example of when it becomes a problem.

"Yes, I would like the cobb salad please. But instead of iceberg lettuce I want you to use romaine. Also, please leave off the egg, cheese, tomato, and avocado. Add some pine nuts and extra croutons...and mix up ranch and bleu cheese together...and serve it on the side."

Seriously folks, I have had the line cooks crumble up tickets and throw them in my face when putting in orders like that. It makes progress come to a screeching halt. The reason why this never works is that in chain restaurants, most of their food comes frozen, pre-packaged and pre-portioned. The "cooks" basically are microwaving, deep frying, and garnishing. Everything is already in the food.

In the family owned eateries, it is simply insulting and rude to ask them to completely alter a recipe because you "want it how you want it" On a nicer note...OPEN YOUR MIND. Try the recipe "as is". You might find you actually LIKE dried cranberries and oranges in your Asian chicken salad.

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