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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Celebrity Chefs and Famous Cooks / PET PEEVES Dinner at Friends or Restaurant!
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    PET PEEVES Dinner at Friends or Restaurant!

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    Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:31 pm
    Forum Host
    Wow, people! icon_wink.gif

    You all have legitimate gripes, but let's not whack one another and their friends!

    1) Jdanger: It's one of my pet peeves, as I've bored everyone about: the wait-person waiting until everyone has tucked in, and are happily chatting, and they're then stopped and asked: "Is everything okay?" I do think a waiter/waitress/whatever can perhaps read body language? If they're chomping away they have no complaints. They should not be bothered. Wait until someone waves an arm for attention!

    2) Kids: when our 2 sons were toddlers and slightly older, we only went to family restaurants, and preferably those with the banquette seats! You know, the stuffed lounge-type seats? So when they got sleepy they were told to lie down and sleep. We DID have a few occasions when they started running around, but we stopped that quickly!

    3) Friends' meals: Oyyyy, boy, have we had some terrible evenings with friends, when we were all newly married and inexperienced!! icon_lol.gif Always the barbecue thing (called a "braai" here). And that habit of not only over-grilling the meats, but then putting the finished pieces into a covered oven dish, to wait until everything else is ready ... And the meats come out of the warming oven steamed, tough and awful!!

    I'm grateful that that was many decades ago!!!!!! icon_eek.gif

    4) Friends' dinners, later on: Having to wait hours for the food to be ready!! I can write short stories on the terrible, horrible "dinners" we had to endure!

    And no, I am not speaking about our best friends. They are all good and considerate cooks. But there are times when we simply had to go to the dinner of acquaintances. Oh boy ...
    Cook In Southwest
    Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:39 pm Groupie
    I just had to say one last thing on this topic.

    1. I love to cook for people, holidays, any days, but we live so far from our neighbors, we don't really know them well, and family is either dead or far away too. So, if you have the good fortune to be able to enjoy company for a meal, don't be too critical. Just be grateful. We all make mistakes in the kitchen, and cooking for a larger group than normal reveals problems one would not have with a normal meal.

    2. If a restaurant meal is bad, just don't go back. There is plenty of competition out there. If the service is slow, don't tip. TIP means "to insure promptness." If some wait staff is not doing their job right, let the manager know. Don't make a scene, it will just upset others. (Note to self - don't make a scene next time.)

    I think it is so easy to be upset by things in your environment while eating because it detracts from the enjoyment of the food. And I think everyone here enjoys food! Just remember a single meal is only one of many.
    billys mom
    Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:01 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    HATE it when friend ask you over for dinner or you go out to eat and plan on nice conversation to catch up on each other and then their plone rings and they spend the entire meal eatting and visiting on the phone.CALL THEM BACK LATER!!!!
    Cook In Southwest
    Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:55 pm Groupie
    Don't you think our culture needs to design some cell phone etiquette rules?

    1. Don't talk on the phone when eating in public.
    2. Don't shop while on the phone.
    3. Don't drive while on the phone.
    4. ? I'm sure there are more.

    Just because one CAN doesn't mean they SHOULD.

    I hate it when a customer walks into my shop talking on their cell phone. There is no way they are going to buy anything or allow me to show or explain any of my offerings. They are just taking up space and interrupting my day. So there. I've said it. I hate cell phone conversations in my place of business. (Off topic, I know.)
    billys mom
    Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:05 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Cell phones at dinner in a restaurant are getting out of hand .Last week female sitting next to out table and using same buffet as the rest of us was talking away on her cell-the topic of conversation?--the fact that the meds the clinic was giving her was not clearing her "problem " up and she was so mad at her 3 boyfriends since she didn't know who had caused it.All I could think was I gotta get some hand cleaner and put it on everyone at our table.People keep your personal stuff out of our listening area when we are out
    Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:55 am
    Forum Host
    Billy's Mom -- Good grief, what next!! That woman would have permanently taken my appetite away. icon_mad.gif

    I so agree with the cellphone thing. If you can't put it off while dining, go away where we can't hear you.

    And have you noticed how people seem to think they have to talk louder than usual when on a cell??? icon_mad.gif

    Cook in Southwest -- I agree with you on being thankful for friends and acquaintances asking you for a meal, for conversation and being social.

    I think what some of us griped about are really bad hosts ... That can spoil the atmosphere anyway.

    And thinking of an experience not too long ago: if asking people for dinner and the host/hostess are really not cooks, they could buy in deli food.
    Cook In Southwest
    Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:25 pm Groupie
    Yes, Deli food is an option. Another, less expensive one is to make food for company in advance and store it in the freezer. There are many tasty company-quality dishes that can be frozen. Then all that must be done is thaw and heat. That way the host and/or hostess can visit with the company instead of spending all their time in the kitchen.

    I always do that for big holiday feasts. It really helps with the stress level and time to spend with guests.

    Some of the stories here demonstrated how ill-prepared for company some people are. Some things mentioned were simply super bad etiquette. Not everyone was raised with good manners. I think it should be a required course in school to learn how to behave with others and have good table manners. (I once went to a school that actually DID teach that; and it was also taught at home.)
    Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:16 am
    Forum Host
    So sorry for being MIA but was getting no email notifications for 5 days and family matters have taken presendence, but a couple of weeks ago the DH and I had lunch at the local tavern where they are installing an enclosed childrens playground but on the day they were two young children running around one was pulled up short by her mother (dining with all women group) the other looked to be a couple (assumed parents) and what I assumed where their grandparents was left to run wild but the thing that astounded me was each child had a balloon which they were throwing about (provided by mangement - couldn't believe it) especially when the one ignored by parents landed in what I assumed was one of the grandparents meal (at which child was taken outside for a while by the mother, I assume) not to mention waitstaff dodging them - how ridiculous was that?

    Cook in Southwest - I fully sympathise with you on the issue when you are dining by yourself and given a crappy table well I've taken things in hand and simply ask to be seated at that table or that one or that one or any other table that is vacant other than this one that is obviously set up for two (how often do they preset them or one) and if they can't give me a reaonable explanation why I walk and tell them I will NOT be recommending them to friends and giving a negative review on restaurant review sites (in a rather loud voice) - suddenly better table is available on quite a number of these occasions.

    Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:56 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Too much salt in the food.
    Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:39 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Biggest pet peeve ... Getting my order wrong. Whether it's at a restaurant (which is perhaps worse), or a friends. Why ask me how I would like my meat cooked, if you don't deliver it that way?
    Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:04 am
    Forum Host
    I certainly agree with too much salt but then as far as my DM is concerned there would never be enough. When I go to a restaurant if the steak is not cooked as I requested then I send it back at a friends I will forgive and assume they have tried to deliver to my liking but then I am lousy at cooking steak and leave that to the DH, as I can never seem to get it right, mine or anyone elses for that matter.

    Cook In Southwest
    Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:03 pm Groupie
    OK, so my last comment wasn't the "last thing" I had to say on this subject. Another of my pet peeves is a high falootin expensive restaurant that serves tiny portions - so small you go away hungry. Most restaurants serve portions that are too large, but on occasion I will find one where the food is really good, but there just isn't enough of it. The worst offenders are the most expensive ones, and it peeves me to pay such a high price and go away hungry.

    Another one is restaurants listing each menu item separately - meat one price, vegetable another, starch another, and so on. I guess they think that fools the customers into thinking their prices are lower than they really are. I see it as a trick, and don't appreciate it. If they want to charge $50 for a full plate, then they ought to just say so and give a list of options to choose from.

    As far as eating at others' homes - I usually just accept whatever the situation is - after all they are not doing it professionally. It's the pros who ought to get it right - and do it every time for every customer.
    Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:41 pm
    Forum Host
    Must admit that most of the restaurants that do the separation of mains and sides are in the upper end of the market and quite often the portions are on the small side too. Most restaurants usually serve the meat with a choice of salad and chips/fries or seasonal vegetables or they stipulate what comes with it unless you order something like a risotto or pasta spaghetti style of dish and then you usually have to order your side (usually a salad) if you want it to go with your main.

    I also think that most people have more than 1 pet peeve and it can depend on the moment so to speak.

    One of the trends here that is happening in a lot of restaurants is the no taking of left overs home (or doggie bag as some call it) due to people not necessarily going straight home and putting it in the fridge or reheating it properly and ending up with food poisoning and sueing the restaurant.

    We also have a few restaurants locally which will allow you to order a small or large portion which I think is great though usually the smaller portion works out a little dearer but I would rather pay that than see food wasted for the fact is I quite often struggle to get through 2 courses and will quite often only have the main but would like to have had a dessert as a treat for I rarely eat desserts even though I quite often make them but for some reason like to have them when I am out, for I just do not eat as much as I did when I was much younger.

    Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:00 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    If I paid for the meal and it wasn't at an all you can eat buffet or special, they can't tell me I can't take it home. I'd even take my own container if necessary. Or else refund a portion of the price if I can't finish the meal.
    Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:35 am
    Forum Host
    Well, I'm ending my rants with a rave:

    We went to a new-ish fine dining restaurant last night. (Previously their restaurant was only open to their hotel guests and not to the public).

    I think it was the best meal of our lives (and that's a lot of meals). The chef is a young woman, who did get experience in Michelin-starred restaurants in France as well.

    The food was expensive (to be expected), beautifully presented, NOT miniscule portions, and had layers of flavour we did not know existed. The service was attentive, and the wines DH chose were out of this world good.

    Won't describe everything, but I had a starter of salmon ceviche, with a "mussel pesto" and 2 fresh oysters out of the shell. With it came ... I do not know what! Two crisp crisps (maybe the thinnest of sweet potato), plus small bits, and the most amazingly delicate dressing. The tastes were out of this world.

    My main was fillet of beef -- but what a fillet! A large, beautifully-cut chunk with the freshest garnish of al dente veggies. I can't remember what else was on my plate, but some beef marrow pieces were also served with it: a wonderfully rich and satisfying touch. The red wine "jus" or reduction was superb.

    What amazed us most was the delicate layers of flavour.

    Hot plaited little breads came first, then a tiny bowl with a delicious "amuse-bouche" -- just a little taste! And although we did not order dessert, they served us the most gorgeous macaroons and handmade chocolate.

    Wow. It's great when all elements of a meal come together.

    And it is also painfully clear that a home cook can never, in a million years, imitate that kind of cooking at home! icon_eek.gif icon_biggrin.gif
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