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January 06, 2013

Good Food, Crappy Service: A Growing Trend [CharlieBrown'sDildo]

I donít know whether it is some sort of Łber-hip response to conventional expectations, or maybe itís the prevalence of young chefs who know how to cook but donít have the management experience to crack the whip with the help, but too many restaurants with solid, interesting kitchens and bars have lousy service. Oh, the waiters are unique in their own waysÖwith a fascinating collection of tattoos, piercings, odd haircuts, ripped shirts, pants around their thighs, pendulous breasts untethered by anything so pedestrian as a bra, ultra-cool facial hair (if they actually have enough testosterone to grow it), and many other irritating affectations that make me want to drag them outside and beat them.


But the worst by far is the exaggerated disinterest in the job at hand. Look, I know that you are a playwright (or an actor or a performance artist) and not a waiter, but in the interest of paying the rent, why donít you actually pay attention to the work for which your employer and I are paying you.

These two restaurants are in New York City, but the experience is common to pretty much every metropolitan area in the country.


The Meatball Shop
is a great place on the Lower East Side (otherwise known as hipster heaven) for a quick meal, or a snack and an excellent beer. But be prepared to tolerate some profoundly bored waiters. And we were almost in our seats when the greeter rushed over and gave our table to her just-arrived friends. Oh, here is a tip for our waiter: silverware is almost always a good idea.

The Redhead is an East Village pub with first-rate Southern influenced food, and some innovative cocktails that wowed the table. But you know what would have made the very good meal even better? Getting all the drinks we ordered instead of being served the beer that came out of the closest tap. And that oldie-but-goodie advice about silverware? Itís just as true above Houston as below.

These two restaurants were worth the visit, especially because we were in the neighborhood. But please, when you eat at the equivalent in your neck of the woods, make the tip appropriate to the level of service you receive, and not a reflexive gesture. Maybe that budding actor needs some feedback so that in the unlikely event that he doesnít make it big in the next off-off-Broadway production of Waiting For Godot, he has something to fall back on that he does well.

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posted by Open Blogger at 05:40 PM

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