Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Waiting Tables: Service Included

Just finished Service Included - four star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter by Phoebe Damrosch.

Another NY Times review recommendation, this book is an enjoyable read about the trials and tribulations of working in four star NY restaurant Per Se.

Damrosch's description of the preparation and knowledge required of the waiting staff (the runners and captains) is fascinating. The section on waiting on NY food critic Frank Bruni a particularly thrilling and funny read.

This book provides a perspective from the other side of the 'food game'. Although it is not quite up there with one of my favourite food writers Ruth Reichl. I could have done without the 'love story/relationship' aspect of the book. Actually I skipped the parts that did not include the kitchen or waiting.

I did like how each chapter starts off with tips such as:
  • If you want to change the majority of the components in a dish, you might consider chosing another one.
  • "Give me" is a very unnattractive way to begin a sentence.
  • Do not touch your waiter.
My own tip is: How a person treats a waiter is always good indication of their character.

I have been on dates where the person does not even look the waiter in the eye. Once one of my dates actually clicked his fingers to get the attention of the waiter.

Needless to say the date ended very quickly.

1 comment:

tseen said...

Darn you, Book Boy! *shakes fist*

I already have a huge backlog of books to read, thanks to you. And this one sounds like it's the kind of thing I'd love to get into, too.

SIGH.