Sally's Place eNewsletter
Sally's Top 10 Restaurant Gripes
August 2011

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Dining out is one of my favorite activities to do with friends and family.  Unfortunately, there are sometimes a combination of little grievances that I have with a restaurant and their policies, which can quickly make an enjoyable meal an annoying one instead.  Here are my "Top Ten Restaurant Gripes."  But I also want to hear about your main complaints too!  Let's talk about how we'd like to see our local eateries do a better job. Click on Discussions on our Facebook page. And if you work in the restaurant industry, we'd like to hear your side of the story too. 


While in Facebook, please join my Discussion about items for my "Top 10 Food & Wine Bucket List." I'm writing that blogpost next.



Sally's Top 10 Restaurant Gripes


1. Reservations That Aren't Honored

When I go to the trouble to make a restaurant reservation, I expect the restaurant to be reasonably on time. I don't expect to wait more than 10-15 minutes and I'd hope the host or hostess would be pleasant and try to accommodate my fellow diners and me.


2. Noisy Restaurants

When I dine out I want to be able to visit with those at my table.  The majority of restaurants today are so noisy that is often hard to do.  Much of the problem is due to the acoustics, such as bare floors (often stone), glass walls, no tablecloths, in other words, nothing to "soak up" the noise.  Soundproofing foam can be added under tables, seats, or to walls. I know owners think a loud, bustling spot means a popular spot but if you can't visit with others, what's the use in going out?


3. Non-Printed Menus

Although chalkboard menus seem quaint and fun, too often they are placed in a spot that makes them hard to read, the writing is not always legible and sometimes prices are not listed. These menus are acceptable for pub grub, a diner or a place where you order your food at a bar or counter but not a "real" restaurant.


4. Verbal Specials Recited Without Prices

When servers tell me the daily specials, I want to know the prices so I won't be unpleasantly surprised when the bill arrives.


5. Up Selling

I dine out to relax and I don't want to constantly be on guard to make sure I am not going to have to pay more for my meal than I planned.  Rolls, appetizers, daily specials, side dishes and desserts are a few of the culprits in this category.


6. Iceless Table Water

The up selling to get you to buy bottled water is bad enough but even worse are restaurants that don't even offer ice in that water.


7. Servings That Are Too Large or Too Small

I don't eat like a pig nor do I eat like a bird.  I want to try different foods and not leave the table stuffed.  Restaurants know they can charge more if they give you more food but this doesn't work for me.  


8. Dirty Restrooms

Another indication of a quality restaurant is a clean restroom.

Need I say more?


9. Clearing of Plates

At upscale restaurants all finished plates should be cleared at the same time. If my plate is cleared before someone else, it could make that diner feel rushed and uncomfortable. Dining out is an event and the atmosphere should be relaxed. At a less expensive diner, those rules change.


10. No Cell Phone Use

This is just plain rude and you see it more and more today.  If you must take a call, leave the dining room.  But your cell phone should be turned off or on vibrate when you dine out.  



facebook_logoNow I'd like to hear about your top restaurant gripes and food and wine bucket list items. Join the Discussion on Facebook. Come "Like" me too! 



WF_logo_2Read my new Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets post on on "Sally's Food for Thought" blog.





Don't miss the discount at the bottom of this eNewsletter from Animal Coffee, the original source of authentic Kopi Luwak on the Internet. 


All the best in food, wine, and travel.


Happy August!


Sally Bernstein




sallywhisk_ekSally's Recommendations










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Lillie Belle Farms  


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Enjoy a new series by Jon Rusciano called My Bordeaux Adventures, as Jon travels "across the pond" to visit Bordeaux wineries. You'll like his Premiere Bordeaux - Deuxieme Jour, Le Matin as Jon visits Chateau Palmer, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Rauzan-S├ęgla and Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou.  




August Is

National Catfish Month; National Sandwich Month; National Watermelon Month; Goat Cheese Month; National Brownies at Brunch Month; National Water Quality Month; Peach Month; National Panini Month; and National Picnic Month.   



August 1: National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
August 2: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day; National Ice Cream Soda Day
August 3: National Watermelon Day
August 4: National Chocolate Chip Day
August 5: National Mustard Day
August 6: National Root Beer Float Day
August 7: Raspberries 'n Cream Day
August 8: National Frozen Custard Day
August 9: National Rice Pudding Day
August 10: National S'mores Day
August 11: National Raspberry Bombe Day
August 14: National Creamsicle Day
August 15: National Lemon Meringue Pie Day
August 17: National Vanilla Custard Day
August 18: National Ice Cream Pie Day
August 19: National Soft Ice Cream Day
August 20: National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
August 21: National Spumoni Day
August 22: National Pecan Torte Day
August 23: National Spongecake Day
August 24: National Peach Pie Day
August 25: National Banana Split Day
August 26: National Cherry Popsicle Day
August 27: National Pots de Creme Day
August 28: National Cherry Turnovers Day
August 30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day
August 31: National Trail Mix Day







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 contact:  Troy Davis