Restaurantspeak

I’m not sure you’d call it a hobby, but one of the things I really enjoy is eating at good restaurants.  However, sometimes the places we go to bring to mind Public Enemy’s advice (i.e., “Don’t believe the hype!”), and other times we really do have great meal.  But as any restaurant patron knows it’s the service one gets at a place that can really make or break the experience. 

Part of that experience comes from the way the wait staff speaks to you.  If they are too stuffy, it can be off-putting because who wants to sit down at a place where you feel like an idiot because you don’t know what some of the menu items are, or you didn’t know that Zagat was pronounced ” zuh-GAT.”  I have to say that for the most part, the places we go to are pretty good in terms of food and service   — and I’m not talking about grabbing a quick bite at Baja Fresh.

After reading the NY Times today, I’m somewhat glad I don’t have to deal with some of the odd phrases of “restaurantspeak.”  Case in point:

“Are you done enjoying that?” (Yes, there is no joy left in life now that my food is gone.)

“Would you enjoy some coffee with dessert?” (Maybe.  But what if you serve swill? Do you think I would still enjoy my dessert drinking hot brown water with Splenda and milk?)

“How are we enjoying things so far?” (“We” hate you for asking!)

“Do we have any food allergies at the table?” (Hmm…Well, if you look closely, you’ll see that your question is giving me a rash.)

“Pardon my reach” (And pardon my French…)

“Excellent choice!” (What if I chose the pot roast?  Would you say “Wow! That really sucks.”)

“Perfect!” (Am I communing with Plantonic Forms here?)

But there is one phrase the just bugs the crap out of me at restaurants.  Ready? Here ’tis:  “Still working on that?” Why is eating food “work?”

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