Tag Archives: restaurants

10 lies, in 60 minutes.

19 Oct

New Yorkers distrust Waiters, and they should; we are forced to lie constantly.

In one hour alone, the following 10 lies were told tonight:

1) “I’m sorry sir but we’re out of that Burgundy.”

Translation: Management has reserved 12 bottles of your Burgundy for a private party.

2) “You’re still waiting on that Cosmo… oh.”

Translation: You’re cut-off, Drunkard.

3) “It is cold… I know… I just told a manager to raise the temperature.”

Translation: Management is literally chilling the walls because this place is going to be packed with hundreds of people, and your individual body temperature is of no concern to me, or to them.

4) “I don’t own a TV.”

Translation: Yes, that is the girl from The Sopranos.

5) “Oh, yes, I love the Monkfish.”

Translation: Your date just ordered the Monkfish, after I recommended the Halibut, and now you are asking me if it’s any good.

6) “The busser just cleared your water glass? Oh– so sorry, let me get you another.”

Translation: You’ve been holding this table for two hours; get the hell out!

7) “Yeah, unfortunately that table’s taken.”

Translation: You can’t sit there, douche-bag.

8) “He said thanks. He got the joke.”

Translation: The NFL superstar didn’t get the “Blow-Job” shots you ordered him, and I’m not going to solicit him, asshole. Did you really think I’d give a football player “blow-job” shots?

9) ”   —   .”

Translation: If I say anything right now, “yes,” or “no,” to whatever sexually inappropriate question you just asked me, I’ll be fired.

10) “It’s a good time. You’ll have fun.”

Translation: I’d rather wait two-hours for an G-train, than see that Broadway show.


Waiter, I’d like a “Pinot.”

13 Oct

“I’d like a Pinot,” many a guest will tell me, perusing the bottle list.

Unfortunately, “Pinot” has become the accepted moniker  for “Pinot Noir,” and the phrase “I’d like a Pinot,” is often a red flag for snobbery, much like the word “appee” is a sure sign of douche-baggery (See my post Spreken Ze Douche.)

If I want to one-up the snobs I reply with, “Would you like a Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, or Pinot Grigio?”

Inevitably they want a Pinot Noir, but the real problem is that people who say “I want a Pinot,” really have no idea what they want, even if it’s a Pinot Noir.

There is ONE underlying factor that determines what someone who says “I’ll have a Pinot” wants, and it has nothing to do with region, taste, year, or food-pairing.

Usually the conversation goes something like this:

Waiter: “What region?  Would like an old world Burgundy, or something from Oregon, California or perhaps New Zealand?”  

Snob: “I don’t know.”

Waiter: “Well… are you looking for light, soft, fruit-foward Pinot Noir, or something darker, earthier, with more tannins and spice?” (Of course, the best wines  may have all these qualities, but it’s a start.)

Snob: “Ughhhh…. I don’t know.”

Waiter: Let’s go by food pairing. You’re getting the filet, and she’s getting Monkfish, so how about something dry, medium bodied, with ripe fruit for the fish, yet enough tannins for your filet? Let’s look at this Oregon…

Snob: Uhmmm, okay. But I’m still not sure if…

Waiter: I love this winemaker here… (Snob sees price; $162 dollars).

Snob: No— no no. I’ll have to look at this a second…

Waiter: There’s also a similar Pinot Noir, not quite as complex, from Central California… (Snob sees price $54.)

Snob: Oh. We’ll try that. Sure, why not?

See, “I’ll have a Pinot,” also means “take me to the $50 dollar bottle,” which isn’t problematic except when you are being directed to the $50 dollar bottle of Pinot Noir (Thankfully my restaurant doesn’t even bother with $50 bottles of Merlot, “No-no0-na-no.”)

“Take me to the $50 bottle you’d drink,” is indeed a very good question to ask a waiter, because the waiter will know exactly what delicious bottle to recommend. The guy who can ask for his price point right off the bat is certainly going to get a better bottle, than the snob who pretends to not care about the price.

Lesson learned? I hope so, Mr. Pinot.


25 Sep

“Don’t worry; we tip well.”

How many times have I heard that line, right after a guest just acted like an ass? I can’t seem to follow the logic of it: you treat me poorly, but it’s okay, because you’re going to pay me for my suffering? Sounds like a beautiful agreement.

Excuse me, you might treat your wife that way, but I’d rather not be the victim of your neurotic worldview. (A lot of women use this line too, usually when they are out in groups, drunk, and being embarrassingly needy.) 

“Don’t worry; we tip well.”

 How insulting,  the implication is that I’m a whore –faking this smile– and that I’m just going to  have to endure the pounding for the next hour.  And that’s okay, because at the end of the night, there’s gonna be cash on the table.

And not too much cash, mind you, because we all know that anyone who has to announce their generosity,  clearly has anxiety about being percieved as a scum-bag.  “Don’t worry, I tip well, I tip well.” It’s a  lot like a racist saying, “Dont’ worry, I have black friends,” or a flaming closet-case saying, “Don’t worry, I like pussy.” And my responses respectively are, “Okay, NAME them,” and, “well EAT IT then.”

I’m worried, man, I am WORRIED about you, when you say that line. You know what wouldn’t make me worry so much? If you’d stop the oppressive barbs coming from your mouth, just started  talking to me a like person.

Victims of a Full Moon Thursday

24 Sep

Wow, tonight’s post pretty much wrote itself straight off of my waiter pad.  I’ve changed the names of the servers, and the menu items, but the following shit went down.

1)  A guest pretended to be pregnant, so that I would break the Chef’s rule about not ordering individual appetizers without the full entrée order.  She claimed to be starving, pregnant and feeling faint. Of course I made an exception, saying,

“Well, I guess if your pregnant, of course I can send out some appetizers first.” I even asked her if she had any food allergies to make sure I didn’t endanger the “growing baby.”

Then things got shady when she finished half a bottle of wine, and then asked for a double shot of espresso. I didn’t say anything, until she asked for a shot of Patron.  

“Uhhhhhhhhm…. Are you sure?” I said.

“Yes, really. My baby’s got a high tolerance.”

2) A married man, out alone, got so blitzed that he couldn’t keep his eyes open. He started making out with a woman he just met, then he started making out with a man that he’d just met, and then he started raving,

“Oh my god, I have kids. “

3) People were doing drugs at tables.  ‘Nough said there.

4) Another wasted group of low lifes knocked their waiter’s wine bottle into the air, catapulting the liquid all over the table, and themselves.  The man who knocked the bottle was enraged at the server, and asked,

“How could you doooo that?”

The server, thank god, stood  up for himself and said,

“Sir, you just did that.”

The guy then asked for a dry cleaning bill. The managers complied. The server disagreed entirely with management’s call, and asked for the table to be thrown out. The manager stated blankly,

“We don’t throw people out. This is what we do.”

5) Table 21 allowed their birthday boy buddy to act like a devilish 8-year-old, without stopping it.  The guy was a complete embarrassment, and I stopped serving him drinks.  At one point, I’m fairly certain that the adult birthday boy, vomited in his water-glass, and his friend asked me to clear the glass, without informing me exactly what had happened. So yeah. Vomit on the hands. Great. The friend simply stated, after I had already picked up the glass,

“Yeah, he sauced his water.”

I asked for clarification, as to what this meant, seeing as I could feel wetness in my hand, but the friend didn’t offer me any more info and said, “don’t ask.”

6) Along similar bio-hazard lines, somebody left a syringe at their table without the cap. I’m guessing it was a diabetic, but come on. It’s just a little out there. I refused to come within five feet of it, and instructed a busser to get a latex glove, first, and THEN pick it up.

That’s all. Yeah. That’s all. I’m kinda pissed. And am too tired to edit this post.

Spreken ze Douche?

18 Sep

Douche-bags are annoying enough to wait on (Douche-bags. noun: self-important, socially programmed men, who are unaware that they are socially programmed, or performing their masculinity; plural for douche-bag); but now they, the douche-bags, have coined a new word that is infiltrating the dining vernacular, making waiters everywhere cringe.

“Okay, let’s get some appeez goin’.”

“Don’t worry- I got some appeez for the table.”

“Hey bro- where are our appeez?”

Sometimes it’s hard to point a douche-bag; they might be talking about something other than iphones or time-shares; they might be out with a female co-worker that they truthfully aren’t trying to bone; they might be gay. But this new word appeez -this is the only spelling I can concieve of, yet-  is the touchstone marker of douche-baggery. Upon it’s utterance in context of taking an  order, I cannot help but whisper under my breath instictively, “Douche.” 

The first time I encountered the word  -I hate even writing it- appee, was in February of  this year. I had never heard it before then, not in ten years of waiting tables. Nor had I ever heard it dining around the country, out west, the mid-west, down south. I am convinced that it’s origin is urban, and corporate. Or perhaps it started with a bunch of frat guys ordering Chinese take-out in a basement, over a game of beer pong.

Whatever it’s origin, it must be stopped. Pretty soon they will be calling Burgundy wines “Burgs,” as in, “Gimme’ a Burg.” Or maybe instead of having a macchiato, they’ll have a “macci,” like, “Yeah– I’ll have a macci too, with a Jameson shot on the side.” 

Does anyone else  find it ironic that the douche-bags, in trying to prove their manliness, have created the cutest little girly words? Talk like a man, not a bag for feminine hygiene. It’s an appetizer, not an appee. And no, I will not pour your Amstel Lite in a chilled beer mug. I save those for the real beers, and the real men.

Welcome to New York, asshole.

16 Sep


“Does it have to be this noisy in here… are the portions really this small..  is this beer really fourteen dollars?”

I am very sympathetic –too nice– when it comes to people adjusting to the ways of New York.  Instead of administering tough love, and letting them swim on their own, the Midwesterner in me wants to help (i.e. Seeing French people freak, when they find themselves headed Uptown on an “A”-Express-train, headed straight for Harlem); however, I have no tolerance for visiting Americans who are dead-set on hating New York.

Why do Americans become so  enraged at New York for  being, well, New York?  You came here because this city is known for being loud, fast-paced and over-priced. Yes, when you leave the door of your hotel, you will pay ten dollars for breathing air, but what did you expect? It’s New York City .  Aren’t you here because the air does cost ten dollars?  Where else does a breath of air cost ten bucks? Nowhere, so fucking enjoy it, you Connecticut fuck. You don’t go to Italy, and then complain that the people are gesticulating with their hands  too much, so why are you complaining that this place, in the words of Daft Punk, is “Harder, better, faster, stronger?”

After comping  half of this guy’s check,  for asinine complaints that not even a corporate fun-house like Houston’s could honor, he still accused me of taking advantage of him. It was insulting. 

Do you honestly think that I care  for fourteen more bucks on a bill?

The daughter of this man was mortified, voicing my precise protest,  “You’re in New York,” she insisted. “You’re being ridiculous.”

Ironically, the man who was so concerned about his “un-opened mussels,” didn’t even check the bill when it was handed to him. You’d think a man so neurotic about an expensive beer, would atleast look at what he was paying for, before handing off the credit card; but no, he cleary was so rich that it truly didn’t matter what was going on the Amex. What mattered was the “principle” of the thing.

“A beer shouldn’t be $14, ever, not even in New York.”

The Midwesterner in me said, “No problem sir, you’re upset; I’ll take it off,”  but my manager wasn’t going to let this man suck up New York’s pride.

“I’m sick of these games,” my manager said. “He drank it. Gimme the check.” And my manager marched over and demanded that he pay the bill in full.

Sometimes you don’t know you’ve got it good, till a veteran New York manager is making you feel like the cheap piece of shit that you really are.