Rash of restaurant rants

Restaurant review

When it rains, it pours, and when The Washington Post rants about restaurants, it creates a flood. Yesterday's online edition of the newspaper's food section contained six separate rants about restaurants. Most of the complaints revolved around service- or ambience-related issues; only one was about food.

First up is Roberto A. Ferdman's complaint about what he calls "the most annoying restaurant trend today" - waiters who take your plates before you are finished eating. He notes that going against decades of tradition where plates remain until everyone at the table is finished eating, servers now "hover over diners, fingers twitching, until the very instant someone puts down a fork. Like vultures, they then promptly snatch up the silverware -- along with everything else in front of the customer. If you're lucky, they might ask permission before stealing your plate."

Next, Bonnie Berwick takes on a smaller annoyance: napkins that don't work. Berwick laments that restaurants are dishing spun polyester napkins for those made from less expensive filament polyester. The difference, she explains, is that filament polyester doesn't properly absorb liquids, leading to napkins that in a recent dining experience "slid to the floor and transported salsa drips to my clothes, remaining stain-free vehicles themselves."

Another rant takes on restaurant websites. Becky Krystal complains that in an effort to be on the cutting edge of design, many restaurant websites neglect to include basic information like location, hours, a phone number, or even a menu. Other complaints noted on the site include lighting levels so low you can't read the menu, shrinking restaurant tabletop sizes, and a lack of adventurous dining in a popular DC neighborhood. 

Many people likely agree with some (or maybe all) of these rants, but beware: The Washington Post has a limit on the number of free articles per month, so if you want to read all of the rants you might run into the paywall, possibly creating a rant of your own.


  • amc  on  6/26/2015 at 5:26 AM

    My least favorite trend is televisions in restaurants. They are distracting, and if the sound is on it is difficult to carry on a conversation. We have started to ask for tables away from TVs, and if not possible, ask for the nearest TV to be turned off. If told no, we eat elsewhere.

  • FJT  on  6/26/2015 at 10:59 AM

    I really hate it when servers clear plates before everyone has finished. I was at a restaurant recently where the waiter proceeded to clear our dinner plates, and then offer dessert and coffee while one member of the party was still on their main course. So rude and I told him so.

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