Rants on a Thursday Night

09May08

For a long time I argued you could get just as good food in LA as you could in New York. The only difference was how fast and how close it was to you. But other than that, the quality was still there. But I’m realizing after having been in New York for two months now, how much of getting “good food” is dependent on a restaurant’s service. There are those who could care less for service as long as the food is good (i.e. Soup Nazi). But I, for one, put service on a just as equal pedestal as the quality of food. I’d much rather spend my money at a mom and pop shop that offers me an experience than a chain supermarket with discounted prices and angry workers.

Before I go on to criticize the service I’ve experienced in New York, I’m only talking about non sit down restaurants. The restaurants where you order and pick up and pay at a register. I understand that the purpose of these types of restaurants is to serve those on the go and in a hurry to get out and that I probably shouldn’t be expecting 5 star customer service. But I’ve never met more angry cashiers as much as I have in NY. NY does have the responsibility of serving a greater ratio of customers by the minute than LA. And when you have 100 people in line, the last thing you care to say is, “you know, you really should go with the pumpernickel,” but it’s a crime to take away the pleasure of a meal from someone as obsessed with food as I am. I only get 3 opportunities in a day-I want to make them count dammit.

I’m finding myself screaming back at cashiers to, “HOLD ON” every time I get to the register. I have what feels like 5 pounds of coins in my wallet because it’s easier to throw them a 20 than fish for change in fear of being attacked. And I try my hardest to read the menus without entering the restaurant because I know once I step inside, I’ll have yelped a decision before realizing I just ordered pork chops at 2 pm. After having experienced any of the above, I am so hot and bothered, I regret the entire experience for a couple of hours.

While for the most part I get impatient just thinking about the slower pace of LA life, I miss the ability to casually walk in a restaurant without the rush of a million behind me. I miss being able to take 10 minutes to decide if the soup and salad will be enough until dinner or if I should go for the daily special (I mean, it might not even be there tomorrow!). Every day at lunch, I have to wait in a line long enough to be in an amusement park and have memorized my order with cash and change in one hand and my words in another so I can pass as a regular. I’ve gotten better at it and it has made me a more decisive person, but I relish the days when my mind could riffle through the endless possibilities and substitutions without interruption.

I know if I end up opening my own restaurant in the far, far future, I would never outwardly let them feel hurried and unwanted. I will let them peruse the shelves, over think what they’ll be eating, and even let them think about it on the toilet. But once they make their decision, I will of course have to let them know if they made the right decision or not. And perhaps suggest my daily special.

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One Response to “Rants on a Thursday Night”

  1. Good Layout and design. I like your blog. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. .

    Jason Rakowski


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