Five More Types of Diners Who Should Be Blacklisted From Restaurants

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Flickr user Slasher Fun
After reading the reaction to the initial post banning certain types of people from restaurants, it seems like many of you feel like I'm a bitter waiter. While I'm definitely bitter, I'm no longer in the hospitality business (unless you count the occasional times when I tend bar at private parties). Some of you commented many times (shout out to the Grand Poobah Editor of the Internet, who left 11 of the 49 comments) in an attempt to drown out everyone else.

Well, I'm not done banishing people from restaurants yet. There are a host of egregious violations of restaurant etiquette yet to be covered. Some of these were contributed by commenters in the first article.

1. The Lecturer

I had a date recently with someone who decided to use our time together to lecture me about my food habits. She was full of crackpot theories about balance between different types of food; I'm pretty sure she used every hippie touchword from here to the premiere of Hair while criticizing every choice I made. (Did I mention this was our one and only date?)

"You know, that's full of fat. If you eat fat, you'll get fat." (Too late.)

"It's a bad idea to eat cruciferous vegetables in conjunction with carbohydrates. It will discolor your aura." (Yes, seriously.)

"Don't drink alcohol. Hangovers are a way of culling the herd; you run slower with a hangover." (I'll be sure to check outside my front door for slavering coyotes before I go out tomorrow morning.)

Nothing sucks all the joy out of eating in a restaurant like being frog-marched down someone's particular version of the straight and narrow.

2. The Kitchen Invader

There is one way to assure that you'll get yourself kicked out of a busy restaurant: walk into the kitchen and start talking to people.

It seems impossible that people would be this completely stupid, but some people are convinced that they can walk in to a place with boiling liquids, fire, and sharp knives and strike up a distracting conversation. Even if it's complimentary--your duck was awesome, was it confit in-house--it's distracting, rude, and potentially dangerous.

If you absolutely have to talk to the chef, ask your server to pass a message along to see if he or she has time to come out and chat. If not, it's quite possible that the kitchen is too busy, or perhaps the chef doesn't feel like validating the idea that you're someone who can call a chef out of a kitchen.

3. The Snoggers

If you're lucky, this has happened to you: you have a hot date, everything just clicks into place, you bond immediately over the pre-dinner apéritif in the bar down the street, and by the time the pasta hits the table, you've migrated 165 degrees around the table and are busy tasting each other's appetizers after they've been eaten.

This is fine, and everyone secretly cheers for the people who made a love (or, uh, lust) match, but seriously, get a room. Ask for the food to go. Wink knowingly at the server. Tip well (come on, you're on a roll here, don't wreck out on the last curve), and repair forthwith to one or the other of your pads.

Why? Because, as my Aunt Clara used to say, when your lips or tongue are stuck out past your nose, you know you're being rude.

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Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

1) People who leave half their food on the plate and don't take it home. Pure waste.

2) Loud obnoxious ex-New Yorkers who have the attitude "You cowl dese westawants? You should see the westawants back in New Yawk."

Lon Hall
Lon Hall

well, I do number 2 frequently in foreign countries. I have been cooking for over 47 years, was a sysop on the CompuServe Cooks Forum from the early 80s to the mid 90s, have many chefs as friends. When I am in foreign countries, I usually am eating in hole-in-the-wall spots in boondock towns. And I have learned so much "invading" kitchens. In many cases, I have been recruited to be an unpaid member of the kitchen staff!

David Kim
David Kim

As always, Dave, well done. I love these PSAs.


My own personal restaurant peeve is the couple that sits on the same side of the table because not being all schmoopy is too hard for them.


How about just barring anyone under 30?

whateveryousay topcommenter

What's the rule on tipping on expensive bottles of wine? 

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

I overheard a "lecturer" when I was at the Harbor House last week...she was talking about how horribly fattening and unnecessary salad dressing was. ::rolls eyes::

Sorry you had another lousy date, Dave. :-(

JBinOC topcommenter

Your aura isn't the only thing cruciferous vegetables will discolor. 

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay ... tip that same as you would for bringing a cheap bottle.

Same work, same pay.


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