Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Being a Champ at Annoyance

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Being a Champ at Annoyance

Article excerpt

Today at Corner Table, we're looking at the best ways to be annoying in restaurants.

How to irritate your friends, family and everyone within a few feet of you. How to be reviled by servers the second you walk in the door.

No, we haven't gone rogue and decided to advocate such behavior - only to highlight its absurdities. I'm guessing many of you might recognize people who do the following:

Abuse the staff. Treat them as your own personal servants. Snap your fingers to get their attention, tsk tsk in a patronizing manner when you get an answer you don't like, and maybe even YELL REALLY LOUDLY. Like the guy who sat near me several years back at a restaurant in Edgewater and screamed, "I'VE BEEN HERE FIVE TIMES AND THE FOOD ALWAYS COMES OUT COLD."

Because you know, going out of your way to be rude is a surefire way to make the staff love you and give you free food.

Complain. The whole evening. Nothing on the menu looks good. The room is too hot. The room is too red. The bread is too soft. The curtains are really ugly.

And you need to make sure everyone at the table knows it. Better yet, why don't you call over the manager and tell him he should put on rock instead of this boring jazz? Or ask to see the chef so you can complain about the food personally? Bonus points if you do this on a busy night.

But here's the key: Don't complain when something actually is wrong and could easily be fixed, like your steak came out raw or you got the wrong salad. Just whine to your friends about it the whole meal.

Be an obnoxious foodie. Criticize everyone at the table when they order something boring, like chicken. Grill the server as to the exact location in Italy where that cheese came from and refuse to order it if it's not cave-aged.

And - this is crucial - don't let anyone eat anything until you've taken multiple pictures of their dishes and posted them on Yelp or Twitter. …

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