5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
If the name Ron Eyester rings a bell, it might be because we gave him and his @theangrychef tweets a little shout-out in our "Things we love" piece on Friday - right next to meat-themed shirts and pimento cheese.
Eyester is the executive chef and owner of Rosebud Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia - and boy, do customers get his blood boiling on a good many occasion.
And while we might have promised Gripe Week was over on Friday, it is Monday - and we see that as reason enough to don our cranky pants and/or cranky apron once more for old kvetching time's sake.
I’m sorry, but we haven’t been waiting around all day for you and your ten friends to pop in - moreover, there was actually some logic and planning that went into putting the tables and chairs where we have them, so leave them the f#@$ alone!”
2. “I love how a restaurant is expected to acknowledge your birthday like it’s a national holiday or something. Who invented the rule that you get a free dessert on your birthday in a restaurant? I guess we have T.G.I.Friday’s and Bennigan’s to thank for exploiting servers as they, the servers, clap their hands and chant a birthday cheer.
You don’t get free pair of gloves or socks from Old Navy when you buy an outfit on your birthday. I actually will kid with our guests and let them know that on their birthday, 'unfortunately, our mariachi band is off this evening' - and, people believe me!”
3. “One of my all time favorites: People’s utter disregard for hours of operation. ‘Oh, you all are closed? OK, well, I just get some food to go.’ No, I don’t think you get it - we’re closed. Not only can you not cash a check at the bank 30 seconds after they close - the old man locking the door actually takes pleasure in locking the door on you. In some banks, the tellers even have a nice panoramic window to gaze out of and laugh at all the folks who didn’t make it in on time.
What do restaurants have? We have that one guy - if you keep the bar open between lunch and dinner, as we do – who talks to you non-stop as you either try to grab a quick bite to eat, maybe enjoy some solitude or even get some prep work done. This guy talks about everything and nothing all at the same time while he nurses a single beer for a little over an hour and waits for the kitchen to re-open. It’s also worth mentioning that this guy is like a cat: feed him once and you get the pleasure of enjoying many a quiet afternoon with him."
4. “You know what happens when you’re late for a flight? You miss it! You know what happens when you’re late to the movies? It starts despite the fact that you’re not there. Why am I obligated to hold your table when you’re late? Oh, you hit traffic. What’s that? - I’ve never heard of traffic.
Also, when you show up thirty minutes before we open for brunch (yes, this happens all the time), I can’t open early because ‘your body is used to eating at 9:30.’ Yet, I’m obligated to offer you a cup of coffee while you wait and make sure that the staff and I don’t drop too many F-bombs while we’re setting up so we don’t offend you.”
5. “A chef really loves when you drop his or her name - especially when you don’t have a reservation on a busy night. Or even better, when these people refer to themselves as a ‘good friend.’ Here’s a rule: coming to eat at my restaurant once a month, while I genuinely appreciate the patronage and support, does not automatically qualify us as friends. I’m probably not going to ask you to baptize my next kid.
Moreover, if you were really my friend: (a) you would have direct access to me via my phone instead of having to negotiate through the hostess, and (b) you wouldn’t repeatedly ask your server for me to stop by the table so that I could essentially put on a dog and pony show for you and the person that you are sitting with (a.k.a. the person who you told that you and I were good friends).”
And for good measure...
6. “Why do people always seem to call the restaurant at the absolute worst time (i.e. between 12:45 and 1:30 p.m. and 7 and 9 p.m.) to inquire about our menu or make a reservation?
‘Yes, please tell me about your food’ Really? Do you not have access to the World Wide Web? It’s great when they request a verbal tour of the menu. And, why is it that all these people share an uncanny, common denominator - they all talk so slow!
Or - how about when people call to make a reservation and the conversation actually turns into a conference call? This is especially entertaining when the person is in a car with a multiple talkative passengers, or the other people in the conversation are in another room of the house probably watching college football.
The person you are on the other end of the phone with is still conferring with the others: ‘What time do you want to eat? I don’t know. Is eight too late? How hungry are you? Do you think you’ll be busy at 7:30? They don’t have anything until 8:15.’”
Want to add more chef laments to the roster? Thoughts from the customer peanut gallery? Hash it out in the comments below.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.