Saturday, 6 December 2003
|2052 - Restaurant annoyances|
vakkotaur and I have about 4 restaurants in Fairmont we patronize regularly. (Most of the rest of the ones in town either suck, or are too smokey.) Tonight was dinner at The Ranch, a place that serves American food. While there, I was greeted with one low-level annoyance after another...
1) Noisy, out-of-control kids.
2) Parents of same. Why do people inflict their noisy, out-of-control kids on the world? In particular, why do they allow them to scream, bang on the table, and run around loose, with no attempt to stop them - or even encourage them to do so? Is there something about having a kid that suddenly turns a respectable adult into an indulgent, simpering idiot with an inordinate tolerance for pain?
3) Soup recipes with orange yuk. This place seems incapable of making any kind of soup without adding carrots to it. I can understand them in vegetable soup, and chicken noodle - but bean with ham, or cheese broccoli?! "Soup" does not imply "carrot"!
4) Patronizing waitresses. There's one there who rubs me the wrong way every time she opens her mouth. "How are we doing?" I don't know about you, lady, but I'm getting pissed off. She also has the highly annoying tendency to draw out words: "Here's your priiime riiiibbb..." She does this in such a way as to convince me that her intelligence is measured with a tire pressure gage. I just want to bitch-slap her.
5) Signage with glaring grammatical errors. Why, for $DEITY's sake, do they have to put quote marks around the words "dollar amount": GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE, any "dollar amount"? Apostrophes are sprinkled about as though there is a quota they have to use up.
6) The salad bar is right next to part of the choking section. Sometimes, as tonight, it's not too bad; others, it's nearly impenetrable.
Why do we keep going back? Well, all of those annoyances aside, the food is not bad, and the prices - even with a recent 10% or so hike - are within reason. Still, it would be nice if they took care of some of these...
current mood: irritated
Ahh... family dining.
People often ask me why I will go out of my way to find a relatively (if not completely, as is preferable) childfree restaurant-- even if I pay more for it.
Answer: So as not to have to endure experiences such as that.
I realize this is easier here than in Fairmont in terms of selection, though, and you have my sympathies.
And I promise not to put carrots in soup, other than chicken, if I should ever find myself in a position to be making you soup.
I've always found Japanese restaurants to be nearly child-free, and on the few occasions I have seen children in them, they're actually there to eat the food.
As for smoking, it's banned in all restaurants, and some other places where you would be eating can only have it in an enclosed area.
I think the nearest Japanese restaurant is 2+ hours away. That and not being all that impressed with Japanese cuisine makes the solution rather impractical.
Yeah. If I'm gonna drive 2 hours for dinner, it'll be to Lindey's.
This is why I never dine in at a fast food restaurant anymore. I'd rather brave drive-thru and eat it at home/desk/in the car than sit with a room full of parents who abdicate their responsibility to control their kids. It's rude enough having to endure them without recourse when I go to nicer restaurants...
Carrots in BROCCOLI soup? In BEAN soup?! What the hell? I like carrots, but they don't belong in that kind of soup.
Eating is one of the times when I really DO mind if someone lights up. If we're outside, there's no problem, but... man, I want to taste my food, not an ashtray.
Ahh, disastrophes and greengrocer's quotes! It always weirds me out to see quote marks used for "emphasis", especially on signs advertising food. For example: "FRESH" BREAD. Sooo... when you call it fresh, you're just being sarcastic? "Oh yeah, our bread is 'fresh' all right... if your definition of 'fresh' is 'having green fuzz growing on it'!"
And as for kids: I remember thinking, when I was a kid and Dad had just punished me for something, that if I had kids when I grew up, I'd be the nicest daddy in the whole wide world and never punish them.
I later realized how dumb that would be; I dunno what these people's excuse is.
Oh yeah, and aaargh, I went to Olive Garden to pick up spaghetti for supper tonight.
I love Olive Garden's food... but the one in my neighborhood has the "To Go" counter at the bar... where smoking is allowed! Fortunately I was there early enough in the evening that only, ohh, two people were smoking, and when I got home, my jacket didn't smell that bad...
What's really annoying is, the To Go counter used to be in the foyer, away from the smoking. But when they remodeled the place, they removed that counter! Uggboots. (That's my new swear word. Uggboots!)
When the a-e was a waiter, he usually kept little kids (<6 YO) quiet with packets of oyster crackers. Sometimes, this made a mess to clean up later, but it usually kept the kids (a) in their seat, and (b) occupied. Because of (a) and (b), the parents were usually happy, and this helped tips.
For myself, I keep the kits at home. Especially the small minkesses.