Friday, August 26, 2005

Restaurant Pet Peeves

A great meal at a restaurant is pure joy. It is an orchestrated performance. I am amazed at the amount of hard work and attention to detail involved to ensure that a dining experience goes smoothly.

In reviewing restaurants I try to cut some slack because I know it's very hard to control every detail. Sometimes when things go wrong, it's not even the restaurant's fault. It just takes so little to throw the whole thing off. That said I do have a list of pet peeves when it comes to restaurant dining. These are some irritating trends and practices that restaurants actually can have some control over.

Here are my restaurant pet peeves:

    A well done steak or burger when it was ordered "rare"

    Wobbly tables

    Bread cut only halfway, instead of into slices

    Charging $25 for a main dish and then $5 for a side of vegetables

    Over salted or not properly seasoned food

    Bad attitude at the host station

    $10 cocktails

    Servers who interrupt conversation at the table

    Tea bags served with water that is not boiling hot

    Having to ask for water more than twice

    Tables that are way too close to each other

    When the server doesn't know who ordered what

    $9 desserts

    Not getting the right utensils, don't make me ask for a soup spoon

    Too many specials being mentioned to possibly remember them

    $5 for an individual pot of tea

    Lighting so dim that you need a flashlight to read the menu

    Dishes being cleared before everyone has finished eating

    300%+ markup on wine

    Incorrect descriptions of menu items

    Super loud Mariachi bands

    Hot food served cold and vice versa

    600%+ markup on bottled water

    Enormously large desserts

Ok, that's my list! Have I missed anything? Am I out of line on any of these? If so, let me know. For a list of what a certain waiter hates about diners, check out this post at Waiter Rant. Next week I promise a list of things that I truly appreciate.