Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Just as a small note I would like to share my feelings on service at a restaurant. I went to a place in the Mission last night that I had read about in this year's edition of The Chronicle's Bargain Bites. I will admit that I went with expectations only pertaining to food, and I wasn't let down. The food was very good. It was the service that struggled, and therefore left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I realize that maybe I shouldn't have expected much more from this low end, hippie-ish fish restaurant, but they could have been a little bit friendlier and tried a little bit harder to satisfy the customers. I thought about how a meal, or a dining experience, can be altered by so many different things. Food is not the only important issue. Yes the food may taste good, but if you don't have enough time to eat it, or you're forced to try and enjoy it while sitting next to some large, sweaty guy on the bus who keeps looking at you and forces you to ask him, "Can I help you, or do you just want some of my food?" the meal won't be as memorable. Not for the good things anyway!

Now some of you may read this and think, "So what?? I always knew that." Well it's wonderful that you figured that out all by yourself, but I am someone who normally reads a food review and only looks at how they rated the food, and maybe how expensive it was. The "atmosphere" or "ambiance" category was always overlooked. So for me this "breakthrough" was a big deal.

That's all. I just wanted to share my idea that while the tastes of food itself may be the most important thing in a meal, it is truly the overall experience that draws us together around the same table. Without a pleasant atmosphere it becomes much less of a passion, and much more about shoveling food into the gaping hole below your nose and above your neck.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

Many people (including me) believe dining out is a modern/western privilege catering to middle class folks with money to spend. There are many families and cultures rarely have the opportunity to eat away from home. Over the years I have increasingly set a high standard and have expectations including taste, decor, presentation, price, service, etc. usually I want some type of "package deal" and given there are so many choices for my business, I can pick & choose different standards for different moods.