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CuriousDish: Funny Things We Overhear in Dallas Restaurants

Picture an extraordinarily proper woman with lovely pearls at Highland Park Village Starbucks at mid-morning who blurts to the barista: “I need a naughty mommy drink.”

A few years ago at Cafe Pacific in the dead of summer I will just never forgot the couple at the next table. The girl was dressed in a very shiny dress and her date in a shiny new shirt. They asked the waiter to describe Cafe Pacific’s famous ice cream pecan ball dessert. After listening to the description the gal asked,  “Can we have that to go?” Ice cream?

Several weeks ago on SideDish a commenter who goes by “IntheIndustry” reported  on a post the he/she overheard a customer announce “We’re Yelpers” to the waiter as if that qualified them to receive special service.  I about spit my screen when I read that.

How about you?  What are some of the funniest thing you’ve overheard while dining?

24 comments on “CuriousDish: Funny Things We Overhear in Dallas Restaurants

  1. While dining with my sister she ordered a margarita to which my 5 year old nephew said very loudly, “Mommy, please don’t get drunk tonight” and then started crying when we laughed.

  2. We were at the bar having brunch at Ciudad. Across from us, a guy and his date sit down to eat. For those of you who might not know, Ciudad had fabulous brunch. Chef driven and elegant, though not pretentious. The girl across the way orders Chilequiles and asks for no sauce. I thought that was a bad move to begin with. When her dish arrives we watch her pick out all the toasted tortilla strips and sit them aside. Then she did the same with the hunks of chicken. I couldn’t stop staring at her deconstructing her food. So, now I’m guessing all she had in her bowl was some scrambled eggs. What else could she say? She looks at the bartender and asks “Do you have any ketchup?” The expression on the bartender’s face was priceless. I had to excuse myself, I was laughing so hard.

  3. I understand the “Yelper” thing is fairly common, and George’s indignation is well placed.

    It wasn’t funny at the time (in fact, it’s one of the worst cases of empathetic embarrassment I’ve ever felt), but once years ago at Red Lobster, during an all-you-can-eat crab special, I heard and saw a diner confront his waitress at top volume with, “This crab is horrible. Just terrible. I won’t eat it. The first three plates were bad enough, but this is just awful.”

    The whole room went silent.

  4. At Market Street when a sample of wine was offered, “No thank you. I don’t want to ruin my palate for the weekend.”

  5. About 15 years ago I went to a dinner at Ruth’s Chris with the founder and then-CEO of (pre-FedEx) Kinko’s. It was a dinner for about 40 people: store owners, managers and such and their spouses or dates. After the steaks arrived and we had all held up our napkins to shield ourselves from the sizzling steak butter, one of the spouses took a few bites and then said, “This is OK, but it isn’t Sizzler.”

  6. While waiting for my order at Smokey John’s BBQ on Mockingbird, a customer with a convention-style lanyard and badge walked up and asked for an order of brisket…medium-rare.

  7. I was at Scoma’s in Sausalito and a waiter at the table next to us was describing a special as having a lemon caper sauce and the woman loudly says “Capers? What is that? Is that some sort of animal?!” Maybe not so funny by itself, but her accent was so “Linda Richman” on SNL. Phoenetically it sounded like “KAYpuhs? Whut is thet? Is thet some sawt of EHnimul?!”

  8. At Alfonso’s in old Lake Highlands. As the waitress removed her empty plate she said ‘it wasn’t any good, I was just hungry’

    ?!?

  9. The yelp thing is VERY common. The sad thing is the impact one bad review/opinion can have on a restaurant. Death by Internet is very real. If I were in the biz, I would kiss the arse of Yelpers (as well as my other customers).

    My favorite is the decanting of the wine from this year. Sorry but the bottle of Yellow Tail is not opening no matter how long it decants.

  10. @cbs – Yelp doesn’t want a kiss on the arse, they want cold, hard, advertising cash. They call weekly.

  11. Am I the only one who thinks this post sounds snobby?

    A server should not care what customers say as long as they are paying.

    Are Yelpers too lowbrow to be allowed on SideDish? I’m not a Yelper, but I use the locater feature when I’m in a strange part of town. I imagine a lot of SideDish readers are Yelpers.

    And if someone wants to take ice cream back to the office or back home to eat later — so what?

  12. @ Bud Kennedy
    I would suggest that anyone who spends much time on ‘SideDish’ (albeit a wonderful site that I visit daily for work purposes) is inherently SNOBBY. Food and wine snobby… otherwise we’d all be stuck in line at Cracker Barrel instead of waiting for resos at Lucia for a month.

    My funny story involves a 40 year old gentleman (with a 25 year old date) in a Plano winebar. The man told me, while I was hosting a champagne tasting with Vintage Veuve Clicquot Rose, Krug Grand Cuvee and offering his group a taste, that he ‘is a bit of a wine aficiando.’ 5 minutes later the server brought him a bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet. What an idiot.

  13. The issue with Yelp and Yelpers is that they trash people and businesses without having to suffer the consequences, under the cover of no-recourse anonymity, therefore attracting a callow, thoughtless, self-absorbed bunch. I wouldn’t have them in my house.

  14. Primo’s.

    Guy at table next to me. “I’d like the cheese enchiladas. But no cheese on top.”

    Perplexed waiter. “You don wan no cheese on your enchilada senor?”

    “No, no, its a dietary thing.”

    Mmm-kay.

  15. Dallas Chef Jonas Luster wrote a blog post about that a year ago (http://feastcraft.com/2010/02/yelpmailed/)how he runs into diners “flouting” their Yelp credentials. I have been out with friends who did the same, even threatened to “bury” a restaurant if they did not get free desserts. Tillman’s roadhouse and others obliged.

  16. My wife tried to order salmon at Al Bernait’s and the waiter refused to let her order that. “Ma’am, this is a STEAKhouse!”