Rules for the Fragile Diner

Back in September, Lisa posted tips from departing New York Times critic Frank Bruni on what to order in restaurants. I read it with great interest because I am a terrible orderer. I’ve never in my life ordered anything that made a server compliment my choice. I’ll sit there as the server praises the selections of my dinner companions: “An excellent choice.” "Fantastic." “Superb!”  Then it is my turn. “All right,” nods the server, unmoved. The shame!

You might say, “So what? Who cares?” But I am a worrier. While my dinner mates dive into the bread basket, my mind will be full of ideas. Did the server know something? What happened to the last person who ate what I ordered?

So. I was entertained by Times blogger Bruce Buschel’s list of “100 Things a Restaurant Staffer Should Never Do,” which has been making the rounds all over the Internet. Number forty on the list: “Never say, ‘Good choice,’ implying other choices are bad.” Aha! I am not the only one. Perhaps Buschel has been shamed too.

Check out parts one and two of the list here and see what your own favorites are. An informal discussion in the office this morning led Lisa to opine that there should be a list for how customers should behave. Definitely. #1: Do not hold the server responsible for your neuroses, maybe? I will work on that one. 😉