I don’t post about shitty restaurants. In part because human people in general don’t take critics (only) to a professional level – no matter how german or Nordic they are – and in part because I don’t find it interesting to post about them here. But after some experience with good and bad restaurants I may have some things to say.
Usually restaurant owners want to do it right. But most of them aren’t able to do so for many reasons: lack of know-how, lack of manpower, poor choices, bad marketing, awful food, awful service, and so on. And to make matters worse, usually they start up a restaurant moved by “passion” or something not logical as such.
One paragraph about this thing called “passion”. “Passion” as written here, nominates the romantic vision of owning a restaurant, a place where people eat, a place to invite your friends over, the idea of owning a “public domain” (where you have people working for you, people interested in eating there, lots of things going on at the same time etc) and so many other visions but never as a “business”; as something build to profit and make a living with.
Therefore, by philosophical logic: you can’t argue with that. I mean, there’s no possible way to argue with logic against something illogical and vice-versa. Or, if you wanna make it simple, you can’t criticize a restaurant (to its owner at least, generally) because it wasn’t meant to be a business but this magical place called “Restaurant”. And all the exceptions contained in that parenthesis, are usually the cases that the owners faced the restaurant they owned as a business, managing it with passion or not, and usually those are the restaurants that deserve to be mentioned.
So let’s get to what I want to say, for now. Some tips, mainly, if you’re travelling. It is useful if you’re not too, just to find a nice restaurant in town, but I don’t know how that would go in each case. Think of clichés as statistics, not only as cultural or geographic things.
Keep in mind that these are only empirical observations.
– Stay away from restaurants that mix two or more languages in a bizarre or pathetic way in their names. They probably don’t serve REAL, DECENT, food. They serve something that looks like food but really isn’t.
– If anything that moves or that’s lying there on the plate makes you say “What the heck is that?!”, leave with caution and the best smile you may have if somebody is watching you. If not, just make a run for it.
– Avoid ethnical problems, at all costs. Believe me.
– Try to take a look at wherever the food is made. And take a look at the cook too. Make sure they aren’t fixing a locomotive while making your meal.
– The staff is a detail that matters usually. They don’t reeeally need to be sympathetic to you: as long as they don’t do anything disgusting with your food, bring the food to you moments after it’s done, present to you the bill with the right numbers, it’s ok. That’s the least they can do.
– I don’t like to eat with a horse inside the room. I don’t know, but for some reason I think it’s too bizarre. And it stinks.
– If you decide to eat something that you don’t know, take in consideration your allergies and related concerns. You don’t want that to be your last meal, mainly if you don’t enjoy it.
– Oh, and talking about “blind ordering”, keep in mind that you may not like it. And also that you should only ask what you had after you ate, otherwise it wouldn’t be “blind” ordering it would be just… ordering.
– Live music in a restaurant can cut both ways: a nice detail, if it’s good, interesting music; or synonym to “let’s get outta here” if they are playing something like Lady Gaga on an electric violin. Things like that can ruin your meal – at least your hearing.
– Good napkins are a life changing detail.
– Food that doesn’t require forks and knifes shouldn’t be served alongside with those. Though it’s not as bad sign as when the restaurant does the opposite.
– If somehow, the utensils aren’t comfortable, don’t eat with your hands. And if the utensils aren’t comfortable, don’t expect great food either.
– If you’re waiting for the fourth correction of your bill, get up and leave.
– Unless you’re under the aim of a gun, don’t pay service if you don’t feel like it. If it’s a good restaurant they will understand. But in that case, probably you’ll pay for the service.
That’s all for now, folks!! Bon appétit!!