Archive for June, 2006

I Tip, You Tip

No question stirs up as much angst as the “How much do you tip?” issue. Phil, who has an incredible site, by the way, asks the question I am asked most: What is your standard tip when you go out? Do you consider it above what is customary? I think I’m a good tipper, and […]

Calling Out Is Hard To Do

When the low-fare airfare gods present a last-minute opportunity, I am the first to take advantage of it. Thus, I headed west on Saturday, fully prepared to return on Sunday, to visit RestaurantGal Son in the best college town in Ohio. He’s there for the summer doing a cool research project with a professor, and […]

Does This Happen Often?

One of my trainees is a baby–17, headed into his senior year in high school. I adore him. He is earnest and smart and hard-working. And very nervous. I am pretty sure this is his first “real” job. Restaurant Gal Daughter has been a Godsend in his training. She has shown him many ropes and […]

Thinking Twice About Another Day In Paradise

( Guests )

I cringed when I saw her walk through the front door. She clutched a plastic trash bag filled with God knows what. Her clothing was dirty and greasy and torn in spots. Her hair was all over the place. She limped. My foyer was full of business people and tourists. No one protested and everyone […]

Training Meals

I am getting fat. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. Recently, I have been eating a huge meal in the middle of the day with new hires. This is known as the “training meal.” I am not so much getting fat as getting full. My restaurant designates certain employees as trainers for new staff. Managers interview […]


I tread softly to the other side today. I was welcomed as I exited the taxi, the front door was held open for me, and all who saw my drenched countenance smiled and greeted me as if my drowned-rat look was perfectly acceptable in such posh surroundings. World Cup soccer was showing on the flat […]

Celebrity in the House

( VIPs )

I have become a complete and total skeptic. I didn’t used to be. I used to be a literalist and the most gullible simpleton on the planet. Old me: Don’t waste your time telling me a joke; I won’t get it. Don’t kid with me and expect a laugh; I won’t figure out you’re kidding […]

I’ll Be Right With You–After I Call the Police

( Guests )

“Restaurant Gal, call 9-1-1!” This from one of the sous chefs in charge of the carryout area. “What?” It’s true, my first reaction to someone telling me to call 9-1-1 was, “Huh?” “Call the police, now!” Chef shouted across the dining and bar area as he headed back out to the carryout floor. Which was […]

You Want What?

( Guests )

Many walk through the front door of our restaurant and approach my podium to ask for any multitude of things–except for a table, that is. “Do you have an ATM in here?” No. Around the corner, down the block, across the street. Everywhere, except here. “Do you know where a [name any bank] is?” Yes. […]

You Work In a Restaurant and Not In an Office When…

…you come to work sick, and no one else on the staff cares if you are sick, because they’ve had whatever you have or are getting whatever you have. In an office, when you call out sick, it’s just fine. You work a little from home, and everyone thanks you for not sharing the bug. […]