Your Waiter Is Judging You: This Is Why
Here's some cold hard truth: Your waiter is judging you. And it's not because you scanned our restaurant's list of preachy, precious dishes made with esoteric (but local!) ingredients and then asked what celeriac or chimicurri are. Waiters don't care about that. Answering questions like that is their job. No, it's not about what you know, it's about how you act, and your waiter is surveying you to determine whether you're a badly behaved diner. How do they know? Presenting the 10 most obvious signs.
Peter Pearson via Flickr Ordering your steak well? You're being judged.
10. You ask for drinks without ice.
Unless you have an awful toothache or other predisposition against cold beverages, a waiter will take this as you being cheap, trying to get more bang for your beverage-buck by leaving the ice out. Oh, you want your cocktail without ice, or with "just a tiny bit of ice?" That's cool, the barkeep will be happy to pour the same six-count of vodka he'd normally pour, top it off with tonic and a lime, and watch you enjoy a tepid, weak-tasting drink. Whatever you like, but gross.
9. You say you know the chef.
If you know the chef, odds are, s/he knows you're coming, because you texted before you came and s/he told us to expect you, where to seat you, and to notify the kitchen immediately upon your arrival so s/he could come say hi. If you're trying to be cute and make a surprise, you should know that restaurants do not do well with surprises.
8. You want your steak well done.
If the idea of eating meat makes you so uncomfortable that you can't bear to slurp its delicious, bloody, animal juices, get something that is best eaten cooked through... Like chicken or eggplant or pasta. It's the restaurant's job to serve you food that you'll enjoy, and we're not going to tell you you can't sear all of the animal spirit and life blood from a 30-day dry-aged, heritage beef steak. But here's where your waiter draws the line: If you MUST have your steak well done, it's going to take extra time to cook it all the way through, so please be patient, and don't take your mounting hunger out on us.