Monday, March 14, 2005

Appearances and Regulars

We are an "Eating Out Family", that is until we moved here and took a
budget hit. While in New York we would go to various restaurants at
least twice a week. Now my wife has been in the biz since she was 14.
Her family owns a nice little Italian place near Lake George, NY, so
she understands tipping and living on tips. So when we go out we tip
well, 20% or better. The thing is we are/were jeans and polo people.
We would come into the place, two 24 year olds and their 1 year old
and would get OK service while our waiter/tress concentrated on the
well dressed couple that will tip them 2 bucks on a $30 tab and we hit
$5 on the $25 bill.

Pretty soon we would hit the same places and were getting known by the
staff and things changed. We are not wealthy but we appreciated good
service and rewarded it nicely. I enjoyed walking into a place and
the staff knowing your drink or appetizer order and asking if you
wanted the usual. Now we live in a town were people do not know us
and we eat out very little now. There is this one place that treats
us well and we enjoy going there knowing we will get good service no
matter if we are just in from church in Sunday best or grabbing a bite
after a long baseball tournament.

I really miss being a "Norm". There were several place in Rochester
were I could go and get great food, good talk and a little extra from
the boss. Three places stand out: one was a sub place owned by a guy
named Vinny. I forget the actually man of the place but Vinny was the
man and I (along with several others) could call early (we ate lunch
at 9am) and get him to make us some sandwiches. Not only would he
fire up the ovens early for us, we always got a little extra (large
instead of medium, a look the other way when short and even a few
freebies) and ended up spending most of the lunch break talking to him
then running back to the station and eating during a show. The other
place was Charlie Brown's, a little greasy spoon that made the best
Fratatta's (omelet like) and HUGE pancakes. We once had a Full Stack
contest were I ate a full stack of pancakes, the waitress warned me
not too but I did anyway and did eat until the next day, AWESOME.
Charlie would always greet us and take us to our seat, one day I
decided to take the wife there for breakfast and there was a huge line
out the door. We pushed in to put our names on a list when Charlie
saw me and shook my hand. I told him I finally got the wife to come
out and enjoy what I have been enjoying for years. He took one look
at us, then the line, then took us to a booth in the back. The wife
still talks about that one, her husband, Mister Big Shot. Finally
There was Nick Tahoe's, home of the Garbage Plate. Look it up, you
will not believe something that ugly could taste that good. A dive in
the worse part of town with quick service and great food. A must stop
whenever in Rochester.

The moral of today's tale:
1) Treat your servers right and tip as well as you can...

2) Treat your customers right with the best service you can, that guy
in the sweats with 5 kids might drop a $10 in your hand for a few hot
dogs and fries if you keep the kids in crayons.

3) Find a good place and make it your own!!!!


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