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Daring to dine out

Submitted by on Sunday, 8 June 2008 No Comment

Originally publish June 18, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

I pity the poor waitperson who gets stuck with us as customers. It’s always a rousing round of 20 questions. If it’s any consolation to our future waiters and waitresses, I’m getting better. I used to instigate several return trips to the kitchen, as I kept piling on questions I’d forgotten to ask the first time.

That’s why we rarely eat out, other than McDonald’s, which might do a lot of things bad but is actually pretty good at providing detailed allergen information.

Recently, though, we didn’t have much choice but to eat somewhere else. My brother and his wife were passing through the area for not very long, and if we wanted to spend time with them, a meal had to be involved.

They’re truck drivers, so we wound up at the Ripon Flying J restaurant, where we met one of the most helpful waitresses I’ve run across in a long time.

I actually feel more comfortable at down-home cooking places, simply because I know I can (usually) find a grilled cheese and fries that are (usually) going to be safe.

But even that simply meal can lead to a lot of extra work on the staff’s part. For example, is the sandwich grilled near eggs? If so, could it be prepared somewhere else? Is there any seasoning on the fries besides salt? What kind of oil are they cooked in, and is the fryer used for anything else? If so, what? Oh, and could you please take the ketchup off the table?

By the time I got around to asking about the sandwich bread, the poor lady was so flustered she just brought the loaf out to me. “I see a lot of mile-long words on it, but nothing that sounds like egg, but, here, look for yourself.”

She got a very nice tip.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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