Perhaps you’re a dim sum disciple of the venerable Yank Sing located in downtown San Francisco, but there’s plenty of other places in the Bay Area to snack on this delightful Chinese fare.
When my friend Roy alerted me to this new piece of technology, my first reaction as both a career server at a fine dining establishment and someone resistant to new technology was to view the E La Carte tablet as vilely impersonal and a threat to my profession. Over the last 24 hours, however, I have calmed myself as I weigh what I imagine the cons– and the pros– are of this particular piece of equipment.
At the Hospitalitarianism panel, the tablehopper’s Marcia Gagliardi chatted with Umberto Gibin (Perbacco, barbacco), Annie Stoll (Delfina), Giancarlo Paterlini (Acquerello), Nick Peyton (Cyrus) and Tim Stannard (Pizzeria Antica, Spruce, Cafe Des Amis). Stannard fielded one of the toughest questions, when Gagliardi asked him how he knows who will make it, who won’t, and how do you let people know.
What the hell does it take to get a great waiter in this town? I have had so few. The only answer I could come up with is this:
Luck. Pure, unholy luck.
It doesn’t seem to matter much what type of venue you are patronizing. High end restaurants are no guarantee of great service, though one’s expectations are higher when there.
I’m a sucker for a great Caesar salad. Call me old school, but there are few things that can beat it in my book. Garlicky, lemony, cheesy, and anchovy-y, if there is such a word. If there isn’t, there should be.
Sadly, a great restaurant Caesar salad has eluded me in this city of ours.
I don’t care what you say, this is not hummus. It is called favosalata. If you insist on calling it hummus, I will persist in telling you that you are wrong, however politely.
Where I work, we are very good at pretending the customer is always right, even when he isn’t. I hear our guests make ordering blunders on a nightly basis, which isn’t surprising, considering the fact that our dinner menu is in Anglicized Greek. It’s downright confusing to the uninitiated. And, of course, un-Greek.
I have a problem with the word “moist.” Anyone who knows me well understands that. For me, it’s right up there with the words “classy” and “slacks.” Upon admission to another person of my distaste for these words, the three are invariably strung together in a sentence, as in “Did you get of load of the moist, classy slacks on her?” It never fails. In fact, I expect it. Still, the mental images these sentences produce are just too jarring.
Things are tough all over. This isn’t exactly news. I can’t think of a single person I know who hasn’t been hit on some level by the mess our economy is in. Everyone, it seems, is scaling back on spending.
And who can blame them?
In a city that prides itself on it food scene, San Francisco’s restaurants have taken a very hard hit. With fewer people lunching and dining out these days, many places in the city have either laid off staff or cut their hours. Some once-favored haunts have decided to close their doors for lunch, some have chosen to to hang out the “Now Open for Sunday Brunch” sign (which is usually an indicator of fiscal desperation), some have been forced to shut down permanently.
As a professional waiter, I consider myself very lucky to be working in a popular and (blessedly) busy restaurant. Hell, I consider myself lucky to have a job. Period.