“Our Server”

December 30, 2008

in Server Stories

The $$$$ fine dining place we visited was at one time a fine place to dine, but as times change, so did this place. I had called and spoke with a day server and requested a reservation at 7:30. I asked not to be placed on a traffic aisle, a table or booth out of the way would be ok, and that privacy was desired with a server that knew their job. I did let them know of my background in the food industry and asked him to make sure that if he wasn’t going to be there that someone knew what I desired. He recommended a server called “Our Server.”

Upon our arrival the hostess confirmed the reservation and asked if a booth would be OK. She asked to check the lady’s coat and we said yes; he them proceeded to remove her coat and then handed her the coat check tag… this is so wrong in fine dining. The hostess never touches the guest if there is a man in presence and should always ask if help is needed all other times… He sat us down on the main isle with the traffic going by us miles a minute, trays were going by us, and servers were passing within inches of us. Dirty dishes, etc… We moved into the back of the booth for safety.

The rest of the evening was a show like no other. The servers were like HAWKS. You felt like you were in a fish bowl and eyes were upon you all the time. They were intrusive to the point I had to tell them to go away. Had to tell them stop clearing the table that I’m not done yet. They made so many minor mistakes that you wonder for the fine dining place this once was where they received their training… Denny’s?

The General Mgr stopped by for a quick check on things and didn’t even find the time to announce himself. We did have a talk about how the swordfish was prepared as I asked about the heavy spices. He said that the swordfish is Blackened and it is assumed that all people know that blackened is done with Cajun spices. I so wanted to tell him that Blackened fish was invented by Paul Prudhomme and in his book he describes how to blacken. The blackening comes from the butter charring in the pan, not from the spices. When the butter chars the instant it lands in the pan, it creates a sealing crust on the fish that keeps it from drying out.

I must say though that the food was great. Very tasteful and arrived hot when it should of. My compliments to the chef. Upon the end of the meal our server Heather asked how things were. At this time I must say that Our Server was indeed a professional server with all the charm and poise that earned her a healthy tip from us. She is very good in her service. I went on to tell her of our ordeal and right in the middle of this the General Mgr came into the conversation and wanted to know what I had to say. Well I let him know of my disappointment in the service for other than our server and he didn’t much like what I had to say and gave me a response of his 20 years of food service and his training of the staff here and this is how things are done and how “this place” just received its review from the Sacramento Bee and it was outstanding, etc… I have to ask myself if the reviews that “this place” receives are so good then what are all the other places in town like that they are comparing it to.

Needless to say that with the lack of attention that is given to so many little details it is most likely I will not be back. The food was some of the best I have had in my days, Our Server was a top notch server, but that’s about it for this Fair Oaks, CA place.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Foodie Man January 5, 2009 at 4:47 pm

What a pompous rant from a person with a "background in the food industry" !

"it is most likely I will not be back. The food was some of the best I have had in my days, Our Server was a top notch server" Can you not see the contradiction here ?

Sir, the waiting staff will probably be entering the details of your meal in their own little place of horrors.

Get over yourself. How precious are you !!!

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fuckmytable June 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Good food and service does not negate the OP's request to sit out of a high-traffic area being ignored, and a manager who is unable to take criticism from his GUESTS, the people who spend their money there.

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JJL January 21, 2009 at 7:30 am

This guy must get out once a year on amatuer days (Vday etc). The biggest clue was his lack of understanding re K Paul's blackening style.

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Robert February 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

IKR! I actually looked it up online just to make sure I wasn't the one with the wrong definition!

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Chef Wife January 31, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Is this guy for real? "The hostess never touches the guest if there is a man in presence.." What year did this guy dine out..1890?

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Sympathy Given December 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

LOL seriously right. Well my first thought was okay but the man was probably helping his wife and didn't want to take something for yours.

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Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm

wrong on the blackened thing.

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Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 9:03 pm

what a jerk

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Mandie March 12, 2009 at 2:15 pm

This is definitely someone that should NOT be dining out. For your sake and ours, stay home where you don't have to fear dirty dish trays and average waiters getting near you! Oh heaven forbid!

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Elisa March 18, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Obviously nothing will be good enough for this man. I can't believe how stuck up and arrogant the entire post comes across. Obviously, your kitchen at home (which YOU never step into, because only ladies use the kitchen) does not have a sink or dirty dishes. You wouldn't want any of those sorts of things near food.

I am deeply skeptical that you've ever even set food in a Denny's. The whole tone implies that someone told someone you know who told their aunt's brother's cousin's housemate that they'd heard a rumour it wasn't "Fine Dining".

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Matt April 2, 2009 at 9:51 am

Wow…this is absolutely ridiculous. I would rather have a table leave me nothing than wait on a person so unappreciative. Servers walking past you with dirty plates…eying you like hawks?!

People that believe they are so far above others make me physically ill.

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DSH April 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Wow, I feel so sorry for each of the employees of this restaurant that came into contact with this idiot…starting from the woman who had to take the reservation and first hear his bs.

What really surprises me is this geezer knows how to use the internet.

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Iloveflying February 12, 2016 at 5:41 am

Who says he wrote it? Lol just joking but of course servwes are going to be going around with dirty plates!!!! They are going to the kitchen to get cleaned!

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bandg33kin3ss April 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Ok, this person is such a jerk! He is a paying customer just like the other diners at this establishment, and just because he's "in the food business" doesn't give him the right to treat/judge the workers the way he did. Also, he's too hung up on old traditions that might not necessarily be taught to servers today (you know, in the modern era…). Also, to insult the manager and critique him and his servers, especially knowing they have positive reviews, it's just tacky. He should get off his high horse and grasp the fact that he are not better than everyone else.

And an aside: if one is going to be as pompous and holier-than-thou as this person, fix your typos and grammatical mistakes!

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Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Wow, get over yourself. It must be hard to be so damn perfect like you are.

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Chris April 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm

At first I was thinking that this was an overly critical know-it-all type person but then reading the compliments of the food and server I believe that he is just honest with a lot of knowledge of food service

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Rob April 2, 2009 at 6:36 pm

I'm a little curious about the 'background in food service'

Obvious knowledge of food here, and an ability to communicate.

If that background in food service involves panelled walls, a large shiny table, and other people catering the food, well, let's just say I start to care a lot less.

Restaurants change over time, and your favourite spot might not want your type of 'people' any longer.

Who knows…spend too much time selecting your wine, saying 'wow' too long over the latest entree. Chef's want to make money too. They do it with turnover. That means kicking people like you out as fast as possible and resetting the table.

It's hard to believe, I know. You don't matter after you've spent your dollars.

I suspect you know too much for your own good. Just go out and eat for a change and don't judge everything.

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Kathy April 3, 2009 at 10:20 am

Um….yeah….."I had called and spoke with a day server and requested a reservation at 7:30. I asked not to be placed on a traffic aisle, a table or booth out of the way would be ok, and that privacy was desired with a server that knew their job. I did let them know of my background in the food industry and asked him to make sure that if he wasn't going to be there that someone knew what I desired.. He recommended a server called "Our Server."

If you called and told ME that crap…I would have reserved you a table in the mens room.

Nobody gives a rats ass about your "backround in the food industry".

Exactly what IS that backround?

What a loser………….

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April April 3, 2009 at 6:53 pm

It amazes me that you are so full of yourself you don't see how pompous, self absorbed, and all around asinine this piece makes you sound. Freaking diva.

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Hugh April 6, 2009 at 8:38 am

Face it buddy…nothing they could have done would have lived up to your standards. You are a pompous ass. All your background in the food industry and THIS is the worst story you have. Sounds like everyone bent over backwards and it wasn't good enough for you.

I hope someday, someone treats YOU like this, you miserable douche!

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Jen April 19, 2009 at 6:24 pm

There is a saying: If no one else can do it right, do it yourself.

Sir, stick to your own kitchen.

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Rob April 25, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I just remembered why this post bothers me so much.

This guy is that 1 in a hundred who looks for any excuse to make life a living hell for poor servers.

'moved into the back of the booth for safety'

'Upon'

'background in the 'food' industry'

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L April 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm

perhaps this man should have taken a few English courses while he was becoming a fine dining expert….seated near the "isle" – would that be Hawaii? Tahiti?

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Iloveflying February 12, 2016 at 5:38 am

Lol didn't even notice that part!

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theblackdog May 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Stay at home and hire a chef to deal with your ridiculous demands, douchebag. I stopped reading this after the arguement about blackened.

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Ash May 11, 2009 at 9:51 pm

I work in a fine dining restaurant. We have people come in like you all the time; a combination of shoddy work in a kitchen years ago, too much self-indulgence, and an ego to match. Your first mistake was all your bullshitting when you made your reservation. Unless you are well-known, a regular, or have connections this is not tolerated. A note was probably made by your reservation to give you a crappy table. We do things like this to people like you just to get to you. You are probably the type of person who asks questions about the menu just to demonstrate your own knowledge, claims to be a connoisseur, and who acts like waiting on you is a true educational journey for the server.

I hate people like you. I am a head server, which means that I have to deal with your bullshit, plump up your ego, and preen over you like you are my first born child. I make you feel like the most important person in the world, and that it is a pleasure to even speak to you. I do everything it takes to give you a world-class experience, just so I can get your money and have you get the hell out of there.

You, sir, suck.

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honeyhoney May 26, 2009 at 3:33 am

You, sir are a first rate asshat.

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name June 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm

It WAS thoughtful of you to call in advance to let the restaurant know a Colossal Asshole was coming in.

Hopefully that gave the kitchen enough time to take your swordfish out of the cooler and set it in the sun for a few hours.

Your head is so far up your ass you could kiss pancreas.

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Anonymous July 6, 2009 at 12:55 am

I love all of this…Who are you????

You need to read the posts and reflect

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Scott from Baltimore August 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

Man…I believe in high expectations when it comes to fine dining, but good Lord! "We moved to the back of the booth for safety." That's the funniest thing you said in the entire story! Just how old and/or breakable are you that you fear dishes and servers moving by you?

I bet you and the missus marched right out there, hopped in their horse-and-buggy, and high-tailed it back home.

I'm sure there you penned the original text on fine linen stationary using an inkwell and a quill, but I'm curious who brought it up to the 21st century for you and posted it to the internet?

Great stuff!

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Anonymous October 18, 2009 at 9:30 am

Where the Hell were you "trained"?! I graduated from a highly honored Culinary Academy with a mino degree in Serving/Hospitality, and let me tell you buddy, if you were in my classes you would have made it a week tops! Your arrogant, snub nosed attitued would have made you the prime target for the exec. chefs and teachers in class. There is no room for that sort of attitude in any sort service industry, and had you actually been worth your ilk (which I am sure you were not) I am sure you would have realized that a long time ago. If you see something done "incorrectly" in a restaurant, either let it slide or offer some gentle advice. Don't be a passive aggresive sniveling little wiener about it.

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PickleLicker January 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

"background in food service" equals "ding fwies are done!"

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memee January 29, 2010 at 10:45 am

Cannot believe this guy. First of all , a hostess is a female, a host is male. You keep changing the gender. Are you confused? If the person who stopped at your table to check on things did not announce himsef, How do you know he was a manager? Or Maitre' D ? I don't know what fine dining is to you,but good service and a great meal is usually what I'm after. You had it and didn't even notice. Stick to Buffets.

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A Mom February 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Troll.

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Smoo May 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I gotta say – this is my first comment on this site and it was warranted.

What a "Patrick Bateman!"

I agree with the comment that it's more than likely "nothing" will be good enough for this guy. I also wonder about the "female" accompanying him.

It's funny as to what people are trained to expect at restaurants these days. There a NY Times articles about the do's and do not's of the restaurant industry… broken up into to parts 50 items each. Not once did I see anything about "no touching" to take someone's coat…

It's a decent read, it puts a LOT on the servers too as it was written by the servers themselves.

Some of those things listed aren't anything I'd expect but it can turn someone pompous if they are too "involved."

I'm happy with the basics, good food, a smiling face and prompt service (I understand busy restaurants) – I always leave an 18-21% tip when these things are met.

Good food, obviously not the waiter's fault but if they make an attempt to compensate for it, that's a bonus!

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giggling inside October 6, 2010 at 5:03 am

I think this story was completely falsified by the individual just to make him or herself feel self-important. Take note that the individual writing the story cannot tell the difference between a host and hostess. He referred to the "hostess" as male on more than one occasion. Even individuals without "industry" experience know the appropriate term is "host."

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Dude, really? August 3, 2011 at 5:24 am

"I didn't get the table I wanted when I called at lunch to make a dinner reservation."

No fucking shit. It's a restaurant, not your living room. A lot of people take the time to make a reservation more than eight hours before a meal. Those people are the ones in the tables that you would prefer. Also, 7:30 is about the busiest time in the fucking world to eat dinner, so be glad that a reserved table was available to you when you called.

Maybe the choice of seating was more varied at the fast food restaurant that you used to turn tricks behind, but your "food industry" experience might be as a beef quality tester wading around in bullshit and a lack of knowledge regarding the restaurant business.

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Kel R July 26, 2012 at 3:23 am

Whether you're paying $200 a meal or $20 a meal, your snobbery is still uncalled for. The stuff you are nitpicking is ridiculous. The food was amazing, and nobody was rude, so??? What is the complaint exactly? You feel that someone of your "class" and position should be provided an absolutely 100% perfect dining experience? Ok here's an idea, serve yourself. That way since you are so perfect no mistakes will be made. Problem solved.

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Holly June 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Four words for this nitwit: Pompous. Pretentious. Little. Snipe.

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Unavowed January 15, 2015 at 11:40 am

A lot of the comments here echo what shot through my head when I first read this post. I still can't believe that people like this actually exsist outside of the cartoons I watched when we were all kids.

I saw that a lot of people were saying the posters, "food industry experience" was probably fast food or as Dude, Really? said, "beef quality tester wading around in bullshit". I however, had different thought about it. When reading this all I could think was: food industry experience equated to he watchs Food Network a lot and he saw a program one time that kinda-sorta talked about fine dining.

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Mel November 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Wow, what a jerkoff. It sounds like your many years of food experience come from eating at McDonalds with the rest of your redneck family. Especially since a quick Google search easily destroys your "food knowledge" about Paul Prudhomme, who was an expert in "Creole and Cajun" cuisines. You can actually go to his website and purchase his Cajun-based blackened SEASONINGS. From Our Everyday Life website "Invented by Louisiana’s Chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s, blackening food is a two-part process that includes coating meat with butter and a special seasoning mix, then quickly cooking it in a cast-iron pan quickly over extremely high heat. The butter and spices quickly encase the meat, allowing the interior to cook in moist steam. You can buy a blackening mix in the grocery store, but look for one that includes Chef Prudhomme’s basic ingredients of paprika, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, thyme and oregano." So you know sooooo much about blackened foods, eh?!?!

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