Boston / food / waiters

"HOW ARE YOU TODAY?"

I am really fascinated with American wait staff . They make me feel as if they are really interested in my meal and whether I enjoy it. Is this genuine?
This is a subtle art, a combination of body language and words.Do they learn it at some waiter school?  There is a sense of equality about them, as they ask,” how are you today?  Which I find rather amusing.  Do they really want to know. ” Well actually my feet hurt and I am missing my husband.”

There is no sense of “service” with them , even in posh restaurants. Casually they laugh and joke with customers,  your experience is important to them, but they are conspirators in the enjoyment of your meal. and they have this attitude that they are sharing the secrets of the food with you., almost as if they have sampled all the food themselves

They also hover,, which I find a bit intrusive…. and bring the bill before you have finished, which I find a bit disconcerting.  Are they trying to get rid if me?  why do they not give me the opportunity to order dessert. Are they annoyed because I have left some of  the food?.

Customers also, invariably have a discussion about the food. Tweaking it to suit themselves.  “I will have the double apple turnover and cream, but without the apples and  pastry and ice cream instead of cream  “.


Check out people are the same. Yesterday I stood in a checkout queue at Target, the massive sell it all store, and watched as the two teenage girls in front of me extracted their names, whose party they were buying for, how long the had lived in Framing ham and even their address. .  
As I patiently stood and listened to their life story  I was not sure I wanted to go through this cross examination, especially when she heard my accent.
On Friday, in a weak moment, thinking that the  waitress,( who had become my new best friend,) really wanted to know if I enjoyed my meal.   I just mentioned that the pastry in my apple tart  was not quite cooked well. Next thing, to my British  embarrassment. ( Stiff upper lip, don’t complain, don’t make a fuss, don’t bring attention to yourself!)  she was talking to the manager and said they would not charge me for the dessert.  Which was very nice, but added even more to my embarrassment. For the rest of the trip I knew not to comment.

What I didn’t know at the time was that they don’t do pastry well here… every time I has pastry it was .far too greasy and I think the pastry was actually normal for the US.  No wonder Americans go mad for all those croissants and pain au chocolate.

Here are some pictures of some meals I had.

 Brasserie Jo..Paastrami hash with poached egg and sautee potatoes.  Absolutely delicious  but boy did I suffer the rest of the day!.  I had not yet learned to ration my food.  I actually I ate twice at Brasserie Jo.  Both good experriences.
http://www.brasseriejo.com/

Central Brasserie.. Really goodClam chowder and nice hot crusty bread and butter….. actually a starter, but plenty as a main course. 
http://www.petitrobertcentral.com/

followed by a kind of appple dumpling.  Looks good but the pastry was greasy and undercooked. 

Local eaterie in Hopkinton.  Nice tuna steak with a ginger and orange glaze and yummy mash potatoes   Enough for two.  Not sure the tinned orange did anything for the meal.  The salad was served separately before the tuna is served!!  odd!!

Love Denise

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2 thoughts on “"HOW ARE YOU TODAY?"

  1. I love reading your impressions of what Americans see as commonplace…yes, we eat the salad before a meal! Did you know that when asked "Where did you get that?" Target is affectionately pronounced "Tar-jey" to magically transform it's low priced clothing and accessories into a posh French boutique ..? As you see more of America on future travels, you'll come to realize what an amazing and diverse country she is and that each region is distinctly different from another.Put Florida on your list…devoid of culture, I'm afraid but lovely tropical climate and scenery!

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  2. Oh Nancy I have been to Florida, albeit more than 20 years ago. My impression there was how spread out everything was, we booked the hotel "next door" for my ex husband and son and it was SIX MILES away from me my daughter and mum! We had to hire another car!I realised then that Brits have no concept of how big America is.We also had spectacular tropical storms and air conditioning. I had to put a cardigan ON to go indoors. No wonder people can't stand the heat in Paris! But of course I was there as a tourist in Disneyland, ( which is as big as Manchester) and never really saw the "real" America.Hope you had a good trip to Paris and a nice birthday.Love Denise

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