Lunchtime poll – pilfering from restaurants
August 17th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Not only is Chicago's Alinea restaurant plagued with pricey no-shows - diners are also swiping the joint's custom-crafted serving ware.

Chef Grant Achatz took to Twitter to muse, "This happens every once in a while, everytime it surprises me. A woman slipped glass tube that we serve the bubblegum parfait in her purse."

Many of us have known at least one person who tended to take souvenirs of significant restaurant visits - or even just a jaunt to the corner coffee shop. Ever been tempted?

And it goes without saying that we in no way endorse this behavior. Really - you like an item, ask if they'd sell it to you. We've asked a few times and almost always, they've just given it to us.

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Filed under: Buzz • Lunchtime Poll


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soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Katrina Thomas

    I see I am not the only ramekin thief. (I also have a couple crab crackers, and a napkin from Mexico....) but I have a collection of ramekins that came home with me in leftover containers... in my defense, the crab crackers and the napkin were 30 years ago. No I do not make a habit of it. I don't look for tokens, and frankly I have never taken anything of value. Certainly not silver. It amuses me to see that some people are so self-righteous about this!! Ha!! I googled this topic because I was looking at my stack of ramekins (7 of them all together) and wondered if I was the only one with no other way to bring the various dipping sauces home with my leftover dinner....

    January 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
  2. Conqui

    If I don't eat all the meal and ask for a container to bring the rest home, if the server doesn't return with a little plastic cup for sides such as dressing, dipping sauce, etc, I will take the regular container (almost always plastic) home along with the rest of the food. If the server does the packing of leftovers, they may or may not put the sauce in a different container, they often put the serving ramekin in with the food. But I never take anything as a "souvenier" that is really tacky, but I have offered to buy some unique glass or cup (sometimes they will sell, usually not, sometimes given as gift to me as "advertising")

    August 20, 2010 at 2:43 am |
  3. L.Anne

    I had friends that used to steal everything they could think of. They'd walk out of restaurants and pull a menu out from under their shirts, one of my girlfriends used to steal the glass if she wasn't finished with her soda, etc. We were all in high school and pretty dumb. Once I got home and found a fork in my purse.

    Usually when I take a souvenir from some place it's something that would have been thrown out anyway, like if it's a sushi place I really liked I might take the wrapper from my chop sticks that has the name of the restaurant on it. I have a couple mint wrappers from the funeral home from my grandmother's viewing. I know it's strange but I usually use wrappers, ticket stubs and other small paper items to "remember" things. I'd like to make it into a collage of sorts.

    Although, I'm a journalist and I love a good pen. If a place has promotional pens I'm likely to take two instead of just one.

    August 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  4. Konica L. Croft

    if we find something we would really like as a souvanear we offer to buy one or two from the resturaunt. typically they ether just give it to us or we pay a small fee for it (between 5 and 20$).

    August 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  5. Konica L. Croft

    if we find something we would really like as a souvanear we offer to buy one or two from the resturaunt.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  6. Dawn

    My grandmother (may she RIP) was forever taking sugar packets, then the pink packets. "Oh just a few for coffee tomorrow", she would say as she stuffed her pocket.

    August 19, 2010 at 8:46 am |
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