Toledo Talk

Bring your own dessert into a restaurant

Is this an acceptable practice or just a pet peeve of mine? I am currently sitting in the parking lot at Olive Garden (not MY choice, it's where my young nieces wanted to come) and I am amazed at the number of people that have walked in with their own desserts and wrapped gifts. We got here at 5:10 and we were told it would be an hour and a half wait. Seems to me that a waitress would not be all that appreciative of one of her tables eating their own food while the "guest of honor" opens their gifts. Not only is she losing out on desserts being added to the check, but it is costing her a turn of that table. Now I could see if a place isn't that busy, but come on prime time on a Sat night? And I doubt any of these "party tables" even think of compensating their server for this.

created by llz on Feb 22, 2014 at 07:30:39 pm     Comments: 45

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Dessert as in a birthday cake?

Some places allow that. I suppose they'd rather get the business from the group buying meals and beverages than to be sticklers about a birthday cake.

If it's anything other than a birthday cake, it would seem pretty rude. And, of course, the person should confirm in advance that it is permitted rather than just waltzing in.

posted by mom2 on Feb 22, 2014 at 07:36:35 pm     #  

Dessert as in a birthday cake?

Some places allow that. I suppose they'd rather get the business from the group buying meals and beverages than to be sticklers about a birthday cake.

If it's anything other than a birthday cake, it would seem pretty rude. And, of course, the person should confirm in advance that it is permitted rather than just waltzing in.

posted by mom2 on Feb 22, 2014 at 07:36:36 pm     #  

I can understand a birthday cake desert. We've done that kind of thing numerous times and never had any trouble with it. I've also seen people bring in their own wine and arrange a 'serving fee' with the restaurant. Now, all that said, when I arranged a birthday party at a restaurant the final bill was around $1500, not including gratuity. I was generous with the waitresses, who did an excellent job for us.

posted by madjack on Feb 22, 2014 at 08:07:26 pm     #  

Oh, and we weren't kept waiting an hour an a half for a noisy, crowded room, mediocre food and a wait staff that could use a training class on food service.

posted by madjack on Feb 22, 2014 at 08:08:52 pm     #  

Common courtesy would demand that the party in question call ahead to ask about an outside food or the extended length of time a "birthday party" may take (because that affects table turnover).

Unfortunately, common courtesy seems rather uncommon many times. Crapshoot whether these people called ahead or not...would like to think they did.

Sucks that you needed to go to OG the same night they are hosting this shindig...

posted by oldhometown on Feb 22, 2014 at 08:21:38 pm     #  

Here's my personal policy on it: it's totally okay IF:

A: Call the establishment and ask.
B: Tip your server extra based on the value of a desert at the restaurant
C: Tip even more if they help serve the dessert
D: Offer to leave cake or whatever for the server and coworkers.

Seriously, D? HUGE. You have no idea how happy that sort of thing makes servers and back of the house people.

posted by endcycle on Feb 22, 2014 at 09:36:45 pm     #   1 person liked this

Mad jack- exactly what I was thinking! While the place was packed to the gills and it was very noisy AND the food mediocre at best, the manager did offer our party of eight, 3 complimentary appetizers because we had waited so long. That was nice. Our waitress though, forgot my dinner, and everyone was halfway through their dinners before I got mine. Oh well, to be expected I guess!

posted by llz on Feb 22, 2014 at 09:44:06 pm     #  

if the restaurant serves desserts, I view it as tacky. It's no different than bringing your own sandwich into a burger joint. I'm puzzled why it would be viewed differently.

If they DON'T serve desserts, I agree a simple phone call asking the views of the owners is appropriate.

As far as endcycle's "D" notion... most places throw away everything as soon as the customers leave. The notion of the back of the house grabbing the left overs kinda grosses me out. :)

posted by upso on Feb 22, 2014 at 09:44:09 pm     #   3 people liked this

Many upscale restaurants charge a cake cutting fee per person in the party. Sort of like wine corkage-can range from $2-5/ person. Great customers get this waived for, you know, respecting the restaurant and dropping a bit of coin. If this is a cost saving move, etiquette is having the cake at someone's house.

llz-your lack of say in this location is noted and respected

There is probably a line in there somewhere about the same people that would wait 1+ hours for Olive Garden are the same people that would bring a cake to Olive Garden, but I don't want to be called out for being a snob.

posted by ahmahler on Feb 22, 2014 at 09:46:37 pm     #  

Ugh. Olive Garden. Enough said.

Stay classy Toledo!

posted by toledolen_ on Feb 22, 2014 at 09:58:10 pm     #  

I know!! I don't get what it is that people see about that place. I mean it's "ok" but the salad and the breadsticks are the best part, but I can do that, as well as most of their popular dishes at home and better. I do LOVE to eat out though. My dad NEVER went out to eat when he was growing up, so when he had his own family (us!), he made up for lost time and it was something we did as a family several times a week. He was a musician and would often play weddings and nightclubs. Sometimes we would still be up when he got home after a "gig" and he would be starving so we would all go with him to get grub. It sometimes was White Tower or Secor Grill or Dominic's on Reynolds as they were open late... Sorry, got a little nostalgic there...I guess what I wanted to say is that I am anything but a food snob, but I just couldn't believe the amount of people that were in that OG tonight and I guess even more astonishing is that they WANTED to be there AND that they think it's just the greatest place!

posted by llz on Feb 22, 2014 at 11:19:32 pm     #   1 person liked this

Everyone once in a while, I crave their Zuppa Toscana and some breadsticks.

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 23, 2014 at 12:39:45 am     #  

I believe they run coupons or specials quite often which may account for the crowds. I have some aged relatives who love the soup-salad-breadstick deal at lunch. I think OG is a way to enjoy Italian food without having to eat anything really Italian.

posted by viola on Feb 23, 2014 at 12:40:33 am     #  

I agree that bringing cake (or other outside food) to a restaurant is tacky. This is not just a lower-end restaurant phenomenon.

Even at expensive restaurants this goofiness happens. I have seen parents bringing in Happy Meals with them to fine dining restaurants, yokels bringing their own flasks to shave a few bucks on restaurant bar prices, people who bring in their own tea bags and ask for free hot water/cup/creamer, teens on homecoming night who bring in cans of soda and PopTarts, and the "Oh, I am not having anything" types who munch on a sandwich or some other home prepared food they have brought with them.

As a server I used to grit my teeth when a birthday party wound up in my section. These folks often sit and chat for an hour or two after the meal, meaning the tables are not generating the server any new tip revenue. Let's not forget the people who need a half-dozen soda or coffee refills in the two hours they spend reminiscing about days gone by. Also, guess who gets to clean up all the party favors, smeared cake, and wrapping paper?

For every generous soul like MadJack there are 10 more people who think a restaurant is their own personal party space that means free rental and cleanup. Oh, and how about the twits who bring their own cake and then want the wait staff to sing "Happy Birthday" for their precious party? Gack.

So: call in advance by all means and make sure it is acceptable. This will also increase the likelihood that the birthday reservation is noted in the reservation book as such, thus increasing the likelihood that the server will get compensatory tables afterward while the birthday goers sit around and soak up the ambience.

<end rant>

posted by historymike on Feb 23, 2014 at 06:13:37 am     #  

@Madjack: have emailed you my date of birth. Am looking forward to it.

posted by Mariner on Feb 23, 2014 at 06:39:26 am     #  

Why is OG packed on a Saturday night? Oh, I don't know......it's Saturday night........ and OG is affordable for most folks.

Their soups, salad, breadsticks deal is on all the time - not just lunch. On the rare occassion we find ourselves at an OG, it's the soup and salad - not so much the breadsticks - we go for.

Their Zuppa Toscana and Pasta e Fagiol are quite tasty - though I can and do make better versions of both at home. Their main course meals - not so much. Aren't they currently advertising a complete dinner and dessert deal for 2 for $25? I'd think that would attract a lot of folks.

posted by Foodie on Feb 23, 2014 at 07:06:17 am     #  

I do agree that their soups are very good, especially the creamy chicken tortellini. I did NOT know that you could get just soup/salad/breadsticks for dinner- I thought that ended at 4:00? ( I know this as my yooper mother in law loves this place but only wants the s/s/b deal so when we go there for dinner we have to go at 3:30)!
Looked at the 2/$25 special. It had a limited amount of entrees and then you either shared a dessert OR got 2 smaller sized appetizers.

posted by llz on Feb 23, 2014 at 11:48:39 am     #  

"Their Zuppa Toscana and Pasta e Fagiol are quite tasty - though I can and do make better versions of both at home."

Not the first time that I wished we were neighbors and the neighborhood was into progressive dinners. :)

posted by justread on Feb 23, 2014 at 12:07:06 pm     #  

We're all going to Foodies house for dinner, bring a side dish.

posted by MIJeff on Feb 23, 2014 at 12:31:05 pm     #  

LOL!

The Zuppa Toscana takes a bit of time though well worth it. The Pasta e Fagiol is pretty easy. It's basically an adjustment of spices of a good pot of chili and some additional broth.

posted by Foodie on Feb 23, 2014 at 03:23:27 pm     #  

My family has always been mindful of servers time and table turns - my brother was a bartender for years and many holidays (Easter, Mother's Day, etc) were arranged at the restaurant he was working at during an in-between-rushes time so that we could at least have a few minutes with him.

If I sit too long with friends, I tip extra. I've also learned that if we are splitting the bill (instead of getting separate bills) I pay last because I always tip generously and if I put my money in first, others will calculate what is left to pay, not what their part is. Don't use my tip money to pay your bill.

Bringing in a cake? Unless it is Chuck E. Cheeses is tacky beyond belief. Arrange for a private room and pay for it, or ask for a candle in one of the served deserts.

posted by MrsArcher on Feb 23, 2014 at 04:31:51 pm     #  

He was a musician and would often play weddings and nightclubs.

What did he play, when was he active and who else was in the band with him? I might have known him.

posted by madjack on Feb 23, 2014 at 04:33:21 pm     #  

I don't agree that bringing in a birthday cake is incredibly tacky, providing the motivations are correct. I'm not bringing my own cake to save on cost, I'm bringing in something the restaurant can't provide. In my own case, the cake in question cost around $50 and was some kind of gourmand creation that isn't offered anywhere else. I fully expected to pay the wait staff extra to serve it, and while I might have paid the check with plastic, I left cold, hard cash for the gratuity.

I think it's worth noting that when I scheduled the next party at this restaurant both the management and the wait staff were eager to accommodate me, and all the regular wait staff made it a point to stop by our table to say hello whenever we dined there. 'nuff said, I guess.

HistoryMike and others are quite right about abuse. Three or four families get together to celebrate grandma's birthday, the kids are allowed to run wild, the parents try to pass off expired coupons and the crew destroys the entire area - and then comes the coup de grāce. Someone else was supposed to take care of the tip. So the wait staff gets stiffed and since management are generally a bunch of jellyfish when it comes to gratuity, the whole thing amounts to a wasted evening.

posted by madjack on Feb 23, 2014 at 04:47:54 pm     #  

Someone else was supposed to take care of the tip. So the wait staff gets stiffed and since management are generally a bunch of jellyfish when it comes to gratuity, the whole thing amounts to a wasted evening.

I thought that's why most restaurants charge an instant gratuity (18%? 20%?) on parties over _____ big.

posted by oldhometown on Feb 23, 2014 at 04:51:28 pm     #  

oldhometown posted at 03:51:28 PM on Feb 23, 2014:

Someone else was supposed to take care of the tip. So the wait staff gets stiffed and since management are generally a bunch of jellyfish when it comes to gratuity, the whole thing amounts to a wasted evening.

I thought that's why most restaurants charge an instant gratuity (18%? 20%?) on parties over _____ big.

Some places are quite up front about this, even putting disclaimers in the menu, while in others the management controls the auto-gratuity function on the restaurant computer system. Still others do not have such a policy.

I once worked as a server at a high-end place where the servers made their own decision on auto-grat tips for large parties. I normally rolled the dice on larger parties, figuring the occasional 25-30 percenters would negate any cheapskates.

However, this was a place that did not do a lot of big parties, and anything over 10 guests was pretty rare. The only times I used the auto-grat function was when a guest requested it, like when UT football coaches would bring in 8-10 football recruits and let the big boys stuff themselves. Nothing like 18 percent on a $400-$500 check on a group filled with hungry teenagers who wolf down food and only need a few refills of soda.

posted by historymike on Feb 23, 2014 at 05:23:09 pm     #  

MJ- He played accordion. From the 60s thru the 90s.

posted by llz on Feb 23, 2014 at 05:35:23 pm     #  

Mariner posted at 05:39:26 AM on Feb 23, 2014:

@Madjack: have emailed you my date of birth. Am looking forward to it.

Mariner: 1925? Is that a typo?

posted by madjack on Feb 25, 2014 at 08:51:23 pm     #  

Bringing a dessert in to a place that serves desserts is tacky. If your party camps out there for an extended period of time drinking coffee, opening presents, whatever, you should overtip.

Olive Garden sucks. I used to consider it haute cuisine, but I was a 16 year old on a homecoming date.

Having worked in a bar (and the wife worked at a country club), we are no stranger to tipping. In places we go often, we have even been known to overtip.

My #1 pet peeve (which could be easily corrected with training) is when we are in an in-depth conversation and the waiter/waitress/server whatever keeps butting in! A simple, "Sorry for interrupting, but would you like dessert" would be really nice. My wife and I often wonder how much or how little training the typical server receives.

I do have to take exception with the normally erudite HistoryMike as he wrote:

"I have seen parents bringing in Happy Meals with them to fine dining restaurants."

We do this all of the time. Our 11 year old is extremely picky. If we want to go to Korea-Na or Koto-buki, there is nothing on the menu that she will eat. We simply bring her chicken nuggets or whatever and she is happy. The mgt. is astute enough IMO to realize that our $100 restaurant bill overrides any "lost" money from the Happy Meal that #1 daughter insists on having.

posted by Dappling2 on Feb 25, 2014 at 11:54:29 pm     #  

Birthday cake is one thing IMO, but any other dessert, including ice cream to go with that cake is something else. The way I see it, the restaurant isn't losing any money here. A birthday group isn't going to suddenly order a dozen chocolate explosions and caramel cronuts. They're going to go home and eat the cake there. The birthday cake is a part of the event, not a part of the meal.

For me I'd have no problem paying a service fee for plates/silverwear or cutting/serving the cake. If there was no service fee I'd happily tip more.

posted by taliesin52 on Feb 26, 2014 at 12:40:21 am     #  

I agree with you about what is known as "silent service," Dappling2. Plates can be cleared away, drinks refilled, checks can be dropped off, and basic table maintenance can be completed without the server saying a word. Smiles, yes; running commentary about the job ("OK, I'm just going to refill your water," "All righty - here's your wine!" or "Let me clear those plates"), no.

Also, when a server is spending most of the time in the assigned section instead of - say - having a cigarette break outside by the dumpster or rolling silverware to leave a few minutes early, it is not difficult to keep eye contact on the table when guests need to speak with the server.

Koreana and Koto-Buki, while excellent restaurants, would not fall under the category of "fine dining" IMHO. I am talking about $60-$100 a person places you would take your significant other for a special occasion, not just a good meal.

Imagine going someplace to celebrate an anniversary, ordering an expensive bottle of wine, and looking over to see a 4-year-old ripping through a McDonald's bag while chatting happily about the plastic piece of junk he or she just found inside. Not to be a food snob or an elitist, but if I am shelling out $200 on an anniversary dinner, the last thing I expect in restaurant ambience is McDonald's junk at the next table.

posted by historymike on Feb 26, 2014 at 06:00:26 am     #   3 people liked this

Picky kids?? I learned fast growing up that picky wasn't going to work out well for me. If I didn't like what was on the menu I starved. Did I eat some stuff I didn't like?? Sure but I also learned I actually liked some stuff that I thought I wouldn't.

Automatic gratuity has also bit some waiter's and waitresses in the rear end when it came to the group I used to hang with. While where we dined wouldn't be considered "fine dining" we still ate at nice places and there was usually 10-15 of us and we would tip 10-15 bucks a piece. Some waiters and waitresses missed out on a 150-200 dollar tip because of that instant gratuity. If the restaurant that you worked for wanted to add in your tip automatically because there were a bunch of us sorry for your luck you weren't getting more.

posted by lfrost2125 on Feb 26, 2014 at 09:17:16 am     #  

I agree with HistoryMike and LFrost2125. If I'm patronizing any restaurant that's above average or better in quality, I do not expect to see some rug rat at the next table scarfing down McVomit's slop and making a racket because the world is failing to cater to its expectations. Leave both it and the McDonald's crap at home.

I have no patience for a waitress that continually interrupts my conversation with her empty-headed questions ("Is everything delicious?!") and running commentary about what she's doing or how her wittle pwecious is slowly becoming housebroke. Put a sock in it.

posted by madjack on Feb 26, 2014 at 11:09:59 am     #   3 people liked this

^^My sentiments exactly. Your kids will eat what they've been raised to eat. And if they demand only crap and junk food - well, Mom and Dad, that is YOUR fault. And you've likely taken them to such nutritional wastelands far more than you should have.

posted by Foodie on Feb 26, 2014 at 11:14:08 am     #   1 person liked this

IFrost, MJ and Foodie...you are off base.

1. You make a false inference. My daughter always behaves. She doesn't disrupt anyone's meals when she is eating McDonald's at various local eateries. MJ..I don't want to leave "it" at home as I had kids late in life and actually want to enjoy being around her.

Now...we do have a tacit agreement that if she is disruptive, I will kick her ass (I may have even used that phraseology at one point) as I am cognizant that children should not disrupt the dinner of hardworking denizens of Toledo like you three curmudgeons. :-)

I would end by saying that if a kid 10' away takes you out of your game while you are out to dinner, you need ADHD meds. :-)

2. You all ascribe to "make them eat what is provided." Give me a break. Can you try to introduce children to a variety of foods? Absolutely. Do you simply say, "Eat this or you get nothing else?" Give me a break.

I was raised "old school" and my parents never did this. When I was a kid I would have marched willingly into a gas chamber before I would have eaten escargot, sashimi, kimchee, etc.

Today? I eat any and everything..Thai, Korean, Indian, Soul, Jamaican, Russian (I make a Soljanka soup that would knock your socks off), etc. And Mr. Foodie...I even can cook it myself. Was it because my parents "forced" me? Or said, "Eat this or else you spoiled bastard..no McD's for you!" lol..no...It was through exposure, travel, peer pressure, and because (shockingly) tastes change as one gets older or because they are dulled by one too many Manhattans beside the fireplace! :-)

posted by Dappling2 on Feb 26, 2014 at 12:19:00 pm     #   1 person liked this

I guess it all boils down to whether or not a generous tip is left. I did this just once in my life when my siblings and I brought a birthday cake for our mother at her favorite restaurant, which was not upscale. We were there a couple of hours, and left a very generous tip. It's just a matter of being considerate. Unfortunately, there are going to be customers who don't give a rat's ass about anyone but themselves. I believe that's a small percentage, though.

posted by bikerdude on Feb 26, 2014 at 12:44:43 pm     #  

bikerdude posted at 11:44:43 AM on Feb 26, 2014:

I guess it all boils down to whether or not a generous tip is left. I did this just once in my life when my siblings and I brought a birthday cake for our mother at her favorite restaurant, which was not upscale. We were there a couple of hours, and left a very generous tip. It's just a matter of being considerate. Unfortunately, there are going to be customers who don't give a rat's ass about anyone but themselves. I believe that's a small percentage, though.

Then I take it you haven't been to Golden Corral?

posted by MIJeff on Feb 26, 2014 at 01:26:51 pm     #  

I was raised if you didn't eat what was provided you sat at the table until you either ate it or you went straight to bed hungry. I've raised my kids the same way. They have the same option as I did. Either you eat what was made or you go to bed hungry. Guess what they eat what is made it took them one time to see we weren't playing.

posted by lfrost2125 on Feb 26, 2014 at 02:31:30 pm     #   3 people liked this

lfrost2125 posted at 01:31:30 PM on Feb 26, 2014:

I was raised if you didn't eat what was provided you sat at the table until you either ate it or you went straight to bed hungry. I've raised my kids the same way. They have the same option as I did. Either you eat what was made or you go to bed hungry. Guess what they eat what is made it took them one time to see we weren't playing.

My folks tried that with me, and I was perfectly content to go hungry. Being hungry just didn't bother me.

One time I found out Mom was making eggplant for dinner (a sure-fire winner with the kids) so I headed over to visit the nice elderly couple across the pasture. They were having spaghetti and were delighted to have me at the table. Dad didn't like eggplant either and gave Mom hell about it, so the next night Mom fixed sauerkraut which stinks to high heaven and which Dad hated. Dad raised so much hell that the whole business got dropped in favor of tranquility and reasonable meals.

The geniuses at Hillview Elementary had a similar policy. If you bought your lunch, you had to eat the whole thing. One time they served vegetable soup that had about a half-inch of grease floating on top of it, and I'll tell you I wouldn't have fed that slop to pigs. I managed to ditch mine into the garbage.

Another time the cook fixed wieners and kraut, which is going to be a dead loser for grade school kids. I got stuck in front of a plate of this slop, and got forced to eat it. Well, it turned out 12 hours later that the food was bad. I think about a fourth of my class was out sick for the next week or so, and I was so sick I wanted to die. When I told the Old Man about being forced to eat that slop, he called the Superintendent of Schools and raised hell, and I was never forced to eat another thing at that damned place.

Looking back a little, the cafeteria should have had to stand inspection by a strict health department official, but this was back in 1959 or so. We used to get bad milk out of that cafeteria all the time, so I wonder what else went bad and how many kids got sick from it.

posted by madjack on Feb 26, 2014 at 03:24:12 pm     #  

From Dappling2: IFrost, MJ and Foodie...you are off base.
What about HistoryMike? Why isn't he off-base too?

1. You make a false inference. My daughter always behaves.

Sure she does.

Getting right to the point, why did you think I was referring to you? I wasn't, and in fact your 11-year-old daughter and her McChicken McNuggets never crossed my mind. I was referring to the ubiquitous rug-rats, snot-noses or carpet-crabs that Soccer Mom and Dad drag along with them because they either can't find a sitter or they're too cheap to spring for one. Ergo, they inflict their very own poster child for birth control on the rest of the adult world, who are spending big bucks so we don't have to share air space with an untrained orangutan.

I don't know about you, Dappling. Re-reading prior posts I can kind of see where you might leap to that conclusion, but it's quite a jump.

So. She's 11, right? Let's give it four to six years and see how calm and collected you remain when Spike shows up to show your little girl his new tattoo - flaming skull with crossed knives under it or something.

posted by madjack on Feb 26, 2014 at 03:38:50 pm     #   1 person liked this

Before we were paying for high school tuition, we used to eat out 2-3 times per week (no fast food places!). Our son has come with us 99.9% of the time. I can probably count on one hand the number of times we "let" him order off of the kids menu. Instead, when he was small, we would order him a cup of soup to come out for when our salads arrived, and then a side of mashed or baked potatoes for his dinner. My husband and I would then give him a piece of steak/chicken/whatever from each of our plates. We also taught him to address the servers himself when he was a bit older. It was quite comical to see the look on a servers face- when he was 5 and it was his "turn" to order and the server would look at my husband or I and we would both look at our son and he would say "I'll have the T-bone, medium". It was even more comical when they would ask if anyone wanted "any dessert-ice cream, pie, ..." and our 5 year old would ask "do you have creme brulee"? A few years ago he was fortunate enough to go to Italy, and he ordered and ate like a king (so I'm told), more so than some of the other adults in their group. Today, as he is a growing 16 year old "man", it's not so funny, as most meals in a restaurant rarely satisfy his never ending hunger! And as a side note, I had to succumb to going to Golden Corral a few weeks ago (and yes, I am still alive), as the kid begged for me to try it as he was STARVING and needed FOOD. The salad bar was good.

posted by llz on Feb 26, 2014 at 04:26:54 pm     #  

lol..MJ my friend, don't think for a minute that the scenario you outlined in the last paragraph hasn't crossed my mind.

The fact that I was a Lothario in my youth and now I have two beautiful daughters is truly proof in either (depending upon your religion) Karma or the fact that God has a twisted sense of humor!

Maybe I could pull the reverse psychology routine and pretend to like the guy?

posted by Dappling2 on Feb 26, 2014 at 04:29:55 pm     #   1 person liked this

llz posted at 03:26:54 PM on Feb 26, 2014:

Before we were paying for high school tuition, we used to eat out 2-3 times per week (no fast food places!). Our son has come with us 99.9% of the time. I can probably count on one hand the number of times we "let" him order off of the kids menu. Instead, when he was small, we would order him a cup of soup to come out for when our salads arrived, and then a side of mashed or baked potatoes for his dinner. My husband and I would then give him a piece of steak/chicken/whatever from each of our plates. We also taught him to address the servers himself when he was a bit older. It was quite comical to see the look on a servers face- when he was 5 and it was his "turn" to order and the server would look at my husband or I and we would both look at our son and he would say "I'll have the T-bone, medium". It was even more comical when they would ask if anyone wanted "any dessert-ice cream, pie, ..." and our 5 year old would ask "do you have creme brulee"? A few years ago he was fortunate enough to go to Italy, and he ordered and ate like a king (so I'm told), more so than some of the other adults in their group. Today, as he is a growing 16 year old "man", it's not so funny, as most meals in a restaurant rarely satisfy his never ending hunger! And as a side note, I had to succumb to going to Golden Corral a few weeks ago (and yes, I am still alive), as the kid begged for me to try it as he was STARVING and needed FOOD. The salad bar was good.

You did a good job of parenting IMHO. You obviously taught your son the social skills and graces that most of civilized society would recognize as necessary and important.

The fact that he went to Italy at the tender age of 16 and was able to handle himself well speaks volumes of him and you and your husband. Far too many 16 year olds can barely manage a grunt when asked a question - if you can even get their eyes pried away from their dumbphone.

Job well done. Congratulations!

posted by Foodie on Feb 27, 2014 at 07:37:31 am     #  

Thank! Now if I could only get him to pick his underwear up off the floor....!

posted by llz on Feb 27, 2014 at 09:40:43 am     #  

re: parenting and food-It's tough, we all want to look over (especially as a noted food nerd) and give people a hard time for what they feed their kids and how they do it. I see it in online forums all the time, and I've probably been guilty of it. Heck, my kids may need therapy in 20 years because we won't let them get McD's (but allow Taco Bell and 5 guys-hypocrisy noted). I love the fact that my kids really love ethnic food. Tztatziki, Tofu, Naan, Grape Leaves, sashimi, oysters, you name it, are all favorites with our kids. Does that make us right? No. Food is a personal choice. People that feed their kids McDonalds regularly, know what that food is. It's still a compromise they choose to make, maybe it's financial, maybe it's convenience, maybe they just don't want to let their kids go hungry (sounds fairly barbaric, no?). In a perfect world, perhaps, all kids are like little adults in restaurants without ipads or headphones, trying a range of different, exotic foods, napkin on the lap, and please and thank you. The reality, is not that, for me or anyone. I'm mostly happy if they say please and thank you and stay in their seat. You do the best you can and you reap what you sow. We're all just doing the best we can.

posted by ahmahler on Feb 27, 2014 at 11:09:03 am     #   3 people liked this

ahmahler posted at 10:09:03 AM on Feb 27, 2014:

re: parenting and food-It's tough, we all want to look over (especially as a noted food nerd) and give people a hard time for what they feed their kids and how they do it. I see it in online forums all the time, and I've probably been guilty of it. Heck, my kids may need therapy in 20 years because we won't let them get McD's (but allow Taco Bell and 5 guys-hypocrisy noted). I love the fact that my kids really love ethnic food. Tztatziki, Tofu, Naan, Grape Leaves, sashimi, oysters, you name it, are all favorites with our kids. Does that make us right? No. Food is a personal choice. People that feed their kids McDonalds regularly, know what that food is. It's still a compromise they choose to make, maybe it's financial, maybe it's convenience, maybe they just don't want to let their kids go hungry (sounds fairly barbaric, no?). In a perfect world, perhaps, all kids are like little adults in restaurants without ipads or headphones, trying a range of different, exotic foods, napkin on the lap, and please and thank you. The reality, is not that, for me or anyone. I'm mostly happy if they say please and thank you and stay in their seat. You do the best you can and you reap what you sow. We're all just doing the best we can.

This is fantastic. Thank you!

posted by dell_diva on Feb 27, 2014 at 11:54:42 am     #   1 person liked this