Friday, October 8, 2010


There was an article in last Sunday's Relish magazine (which is an insert in the NY Daily News) titled "5 Restaurant Don'ts".  After reading the author's article, I would NEVER eat in one of his restaurants or buy one of his 15 cookbooks.  Obnoxious is the nicest word I can use to describe him.  Judge for yourself....

# 2 on his list of things not to do at a restaurant is asking the server "What's good here?".  He seems to take offense at this remark and says that he views it as a cynical greeting that makes him cringe.   If you look up the word cynical in the dictionary it means: distrusting or disparaging the motives of others (I will get back to this later).  I find nothing wrong with asking the server "what's good"?  Especially, if you never ate at the restaurant before and need a recommendation of what to try. 

# 4 on the list is asking for the condiment on the side.  In his opinion, ordering a sandwich without the condiment makes no sense.  Really??  Maybe in his warped mind it makes no sense but it makes perfect sense to those of us who are capable of making decisions without worrying about offending the chef.  He goes on to further state that if you don't trust the sandwich maker to "artfully" assemble your sandwich, you shouldn't be eating in that establishment!  Has this guy ever heard of food allergies?  My son loves the turkey pannini from a local restaurant but MUST ask them to remove the Garlic/Mayo condiment due to his allergy to eggs and dairy.  I wonder if this guy would throw my son out of the restaurant because he had the gall to ask the server to remove the condiment?

The author seems to view himself as the restaurant God.  How dare us mere mortals doubt anything he does!  If you ask me, he also seems a bit paranoid, as #'s 2 & 4 on his list both mention his feeling that people don't "trust" his superior culinary skills.

# 5 on the list is a bit different than the others, as it simply calls into questions the audacity of a custoomer that has lived near the restaurant for two years but just recently decided to try it out.  He says the "customer's lack of curiosity about his restaurant is astounding"!  The only thing "astounding" here is this fool's arrogant attitude!  Has he ever heard of the recession????  Instead of berating the customer for taking two years to try out the restaurant, he should be down on the ground kissing the customer's feet!  As eating out is a luxury for many these days, he should be honored that the customer chose his restaurant at all.

So, what's your opinion?  Obnoxious or not?


DizzyC said...

Asking for recommended dishes I would have thought would be a compliment to the Chef. Wanting to know his speciality dish and try it.

As for condiments on the side, everyone has different tastes and a customer may be reluctant to go for a certain dish due to one ingredient. I too agree about allergies.
Surely, if food is prepared freshly and to order a tweak in the preparation should not be too much to ask to please a customer.
(not to be taken too far ..e.g.
I have a BLT without the lettuce, and swap the bacon for sausage LOL)


Brooklyn Book Lover said...

@Dizzy - Yes, I agree. Asking for the condiment on the side or to leave it off totally does not seem as if is a hassle. It is not like we are asking the chef to reinvent the entire sandwich! :-)

Caren Gittleman said...

I say he is BEYOND obnoxious and I am shocked that he is even still in business!

Often I will ask a waiter to help me choose between a dish or two and I see nothing wrong with that.

Also since I am "weight challenged" lol I often ask for condiments on the side!

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That corgi :) said...

obnoxious! totally obnoxious!! If I'm in a new restaurant, I'll ask the waitress/waiter what they like to eat if I'm having trouble figuring out what I want to order. Funny about the condiments for that very reason you mentioned with your son's allergies; so I guess according to this restaurant owner it is okay to have an allergic reaction rather than ask for them to hold the condiments or have them on the side, wow! I'm with you; I don't think I would be interesting in eating at any of his establishments


Ann said...

I'm with you. The author of this column is a pretentious jerk.

I really don't understand what his goal is. Is it to make a majority of us feel uncouth, thus showing us his opinions are the ones we should trust?

Or... has April Fools Day come early? :->

Thanks for coming by and being a part of the Virtual Girls Night Out!


Nesty Girl said...

Hi There!

I think it was obnoxious and bizarre!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

cj Schlottman said...

oh, OBNOXIOUS to the nth degree! don't know all of this cretin's restaurant don'ts but here are mine:

1. burp out loud
2 talk with your mouth full
3. be mean to the server if the
chef prepares a bad meal
4. complain about the food
then eat it all and leave a
sucky tip
5. get drunk and act stupid

loved this post..........cj

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is obnoxious! I am married to a chef and know the ins and outs of the restaurant biz very well. That guy is giving chefs a bad name. He obviously doesn't know anything about the business side of operating a restaurant otherwise he would have realized that when someone asks "what's good', it's the perfect opportunity for the server to sell the evening's special. D'uh. And as for the whining about the local who had never been curious enough? Give me a break. That guy needs to ask himself what is wrong with his marketing that he can't entice someone local to try his place out. - G

Green Monkey said...

Shannon ordering takeout at Centro's (close enough to hit, if only I had a good arm)

"I'll have the CHOP CHOP salad please, but light on the chicken and extra egg - but whites only on the egg, and with a side of bread, yes I know it doesn't COME with bread and can you make it fresh bread, not yesterdays bread"

yes, HE certainly is obnoxious! :)