Ask The Salty Waitress: How can I correct a server who mispronounces a dish?

Dear Salty: My family and I were trying out a new Italian restaurant for the first time last week. We were waited on by a young woman who did a fine job with everything—no complaints in terms of her service at all. But while she was reciting the specials, she mispronounced the word “guanciale” when talking about a…

High school kids apologize for freakin’ awesome food fight that trashed a Whataburger

Believe me, when I was in high school, about once a week someone would stand up in the cafeteria and yell, “Food fight!”, but they never took off. Such was not the case at a Whataburger in Texas last Friday, when students from competing high schools Clear Lake and Clear Brook (what?) started throwing food and drinks…

Ask The Salty Waitress: Do I have to smile while I’m waiting tables?

Dear Salty Waitress: Okay, I get that “smile more” is creepy when a guy says it to a lady, but I’m a dude and I get this so often from customers when I’m waiting on them. Sometimes I’m just tired or hungover or really not into it. Do I really have to put on a show for these people full-time? Isn’t it enough that I’m…

Nicest pub in England offers free Christmas dinner for lonely elderly folks

While we all get inundated with holiday commercials—with Reese Witherspoon telling us we’re now best friends and delightful children in Target pajamas and cars with giant red bows on them—let’s remember that for some people this is the worst time of the year. The holidays can bring up memories of departed parents and…

Ask The Salty Waitress: What can I do about a really cold restaurant?

Dear Salty, I’m one of those people who’s more sensitive to cold than other people, so if my friends think a restaurant is a little chilly, I’m completely freezing. Now that it’s November, this marks the dreaded start of Cold Restaurant Season. No matter how many layers I wear, I always encounter at least one…

Why restaurants’ “free food if you voted” deals are probably illegal

What could be wrong with rewarding people for voting, maybe with a free coffee or French fries or a slice of pizza? Plenty of restaurants offer deals around Election Day (which is tomorrow, but you already knew that because you are a smart, informed citizen who wouldn’t dream of not doing their civic duty), but …

Ask The Salty Waitress: Ew, parents are changing baby diapers in the dining room

Dear Miss Salty, I own a restaurant and have for over 35 years. I am baffled at the way people think they are allowed to change Little Miss Perfect or Little Mister Perfect anywhere they feel is convenient! After having one of our customers change a dirty diaper on one of our wingback chairs in front of our fireplace…

Ask The Salty Waitress: Why can’t I have the good table? 

Salty, I took my mother out to a small French restaurant this past Friday for her birthday. It was just the two of us (my father is dead and my brothers are, honestly, kind of deadbeats who don’t want to put on collared shirts). Anyway, we had a reservation even though the restaurant wasn’t very busy at this…

Ask The Salty Waitress: Is it tacky to open presents at a restaurant?

Dear Salty: What’s the protocol for opening gifts at a higher-end restaurant? I understand why people would bring gifts to a birthday dinner, but isn’t it sort of tacky to make a big scene of ripping open paper, rustling gift bags, and yelling about the gifts? I saw this going on at a white tablecloth restaurant last…

Ask The Salty Waitress: My server didn’t say I’d be charged for a menu substitution

Dear Salty: At dinner recently at a nice restaurant in my town, I asked the waiter if it would be possible to substitute certain seafood in the bouillabaisse. I saw that the restaurant had a scallop dish on the menu, so I asked whether I could get scallops in the stew instead of shrimp. He said sure, and I got my…

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