PBR-drinking chef Ron Eyester of Rosebud restaurant and Family Dog bar in Atlanta isn't keen on certain types so customers—namely, those who aren't well-versed in the delicate ways of consuming his artisan down-home food. Or something like that. Enter his recent article on dining manners over on Eatocracy. "I am very proud of the relationships that my staff and I have developed with many of our regular guests," Eyester notes, adding. "but there is also another 'special demographic of folks' that are worth mentioning." And that demographic could be you. All of these poor diners (sometimes literally, since many cannot afford to eat overpriced onion rings these days) share a "common thread of ignorance that makes them easily identifiable by both restaurant employees and the everyday diner alike."
For example, the "we'll squeeze" kind of customer:
If you show up for your holiday luncheon an hour early with a just a "few extra people who can squeeze" so that you can decorate my dining room with your holiday cheer and fill your table up with mini Santas, cheesy ornaments and other dollar store holiday crap and then yell at us because the server accidentally spilled a glass wine and your guests were “cramped,” all signs point to amateur.
This particular amateur diner is especially interesting because they tend to dine out in groups and therefore, their vulgarity is amplified by sheer numbers. You can easily spot these folks blocking the front door, huddled in a mass around the host stand waiting to unleash their rude fury and repeatedly letting us know that they’re with “the party.”
He has a point. Yes. Stop doing this, disgusting diners. That said, it is the host's duty to corral a large group, give them wine, tell them to wait outside, go home, fuck off, please stay, or whatever.
Eyester also reserves ire for the "I'm kind of a big deal" diner. Behold:
If you’re the loudest guy with the most demands and critical of every aspect of the dining experience, chances are you are not a “big deal” and you’re certainly not paying the bill.
You are easily identifiable because every time you order a drink, you order something different - and you probably started off the night with a top-shelf Long Island Iced Tea. Plus, you’re wearing a herringbone necklace.
You know it’s going to be about six months until your cousin graduates from college and then you’ll have another opportunity to enjoy the “high life” of dining out; so you’ve got to make tonight worthwhile. We also know you’re going to order the filet mignon, even if it’s not on the menu
Excuse us? Why the unbridled hate for something as delicious, effective, and perfectly whorey as the Long Island Iced Tea? LIITs are delicious and, for us, a huge time saver. Screw you, mixology. The world is not made of (disgusting) PBR and rye drinks tinged with burnt orange peel alone.
Amazing cocktails notwithstanding, Eyester is right. Herringbone accents are vile. Also, diners loudly critical of their dining experience ruin it for everyone. You think your dish has too much salt in it? Well, too bad. Stay home. Restaurants (should) use lots of salt. Because that is what makes food good. Yes, it does.
Eyester goes on to reserve bile for "amateur diners," who are not only confused after opening a menu but aren't afraid to sing it loud and proud.
I’ve often contemplated that perhaps we should administer a common sense test of very basic food questions to guests that we do not recognize. If the results clearly reflect that these folks do not dine out very often, we can monitor their dining experience under closer supervision than that of the average diner.
Tests on gastronomic prowess? This should go over swimmingly with low-income families. But, again, we see his point. Sort of. When we saw "nettles" appear on a menu earlier this year at a Mission District restaurant, we were all, "Oh fucking, really? Nettles?"
Moving on, Eyester has much to say about diners who lose their shit when having to wait for a table ("[k]eep calm and drink on," he says) and finicky eaters ("If you need to consume [this being the operative word] a meal to your exact specifications so that you can take your pill later, then might I suggest hiring a personal chef or cooking for yourself," he suggests). And while we're terminally ill over the growing trend of chefs who forget that, at heart, they are merely servants performing a duty, we think Eyester's rant makes a perfect year-end steam releaser.
You can also follow him at, appropriately enough, @theangrychef.
(Thanks goes out to Dan Berkes for brining Eyester's piece to our attention.)