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Old 07-16-2014, 08:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lindsay Richards View Post
In the South go to the town square and look at the people. When you see a couple of guys wearing suspenders (the lawyers), follow them to see where they eat. That will usually be the best food and best value in the town. It works.
Does that mean in NYC you get the best food at a Hot Dog stand, that's what it looks like on TV

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Old 07-16-2014, 08:28 PM   #16
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I don't consider NYC, the South. I eat before I get to NYC.

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Old 07-16-2014, 08:34 PM   #17
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Point taken
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #18
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We prepare our meals at home 5-6 days a week. Nearly every truck stop I've been to has barely tolerable food. Its hot, greasy, and there is plenty of it. That's what keeps the truckers coming back. To be on the safe side, go to Olive garden, Macaroni Grill, Applebee's. You usually get tasty, well prepared food. That's playing it safe.
I find that many of our fellow RVers will give me a recommendation of a restaurant based on price. I went to three such places out west. $9.95 steak dinners, $5.95 meatloaf specials and so on. I am really disappointed when I eat these meals and discover I could've had the same thing at home, only well prepared.
On the other hand, I went to a great place downtown Tucson called Saint House. Excellent menu, everything well prepared. Dinner for 2 with drinks, about $50.
These are the kind of places to look for.
Make Dinner out special, not just a convenience.
Also go to the Dinners, Drive-ins and Dives website. Look up for the city you are in. You will find that these places use fresh ingredients in each meal. Not stuff out of cans, or the freezer. That's what your getting at diners off the freeway, and truck stops.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rusty years View Post
So if you don't hold the server to be responsible for bringing you a good meal, why should anyone care? Which is what happened to me, no one cared. It is a systemic problem and if we don't start holding them to a higher standard now, then your great great grandchildren won't care either about standards. If you can't see how the American work ethic has deteriorated then....
If you have a problem with the quality of the food I would suggest talking to the owner/manager.

The servers are the lowest paid employees and can only serve you what the cooks prepare. Most of the servers depend on tips and your tip should show what you think of the service they provide not the quality of the food.

Most restaurants do not pay the waiters/waitresses minimum wage.

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Old 07-16-2014, 10:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rusty years
The server has the responsibility to make sure the kitchen puts out good meals. We've been over tipping and they don't care what they put in front of us.
This reminds me of the ongoing belief by many on this forum that the Salesman is ultimately responsible for the poor build quality and lack of manufacturing QC in today's RVs. As if salesmen had the responsibility to confront their employer with the fact that the RV they are given to sell is unacceptable and that the Dealer (his boss) must confront the Builder... Or else!

Or else...what?

All salesmen are liars & stupid because they emphasize the positive attributes of their product, rather than pointing-out all the build deficiencies, poor engineering and unacceptable quality control. Naturally all Servers/Salesmen should be penalized (no tipping..../.... no commissions ) for working in a restaurant with bad food or for a Dealer selling brand X.

Do people really think this is the best way to improve products and standards?
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
Sorry, but I disagree. It is not the server's fault nor is food prep their responsibility. Sounds like you would be more satisfied eating at home.
No, it may not be their fault per se but they are the ones that put it in front of the customer. It is in their best interests to make sure that the food is good. They get to deal with the customer, it is their tip that is on the line if the food is bad. Thus if there is a problem with the food (and that can be a judgement call as the customer is not always right), they are best to try and make it right. They are the customer point of contact. Customer satisfaction is part of their job. It doesn't mean that they have to put up with unreasonable behaviour from the customer, but responsible servers will and should communicate with those who are doing the food. If they can't deal with a customers concerns, then they should bring someone who can. Restaurants only work well when all the parts are as a team. Great service doesn't compensate for lousy food. Great food doesn't compensate for lousy service. All suffer if any part of the system is faltering. Thus in reality it is the responsibility of all the staff to get it right even if they didn't actually drop the ball themselves.

Having worked in restaurants, I can tell you that usually, a repeated problem is the one that will get the most action. Everyone has different tastes, tolerances and standards. Some are reasonable, some aren't. We have had customers who have eaten 90 percent of a meal before deciding it wasn't fit. Generally speaking, if it is a problem, speak up right away, don't try to make due if it is truly not to your liking. However be reasonable. Some will reject a meal on the basis of a small brown heat spot on a bit of melted cheese or because the french fries are beefsteak cut and not french. Those are not worthy of complaint. If that is the way it is normally prepared, then that is the way it is prepared. Ill-cooked foods are another matter and so is timing. One of the biggest issues I see are problems related inattentive wait staff. Slow to bring menus and take orders, failure to check to see if all is ok after a meal is served, failure to clear plates, fill water glasses, provide the bill in a timely fashion after ensuring the diners are finished and so on. I don't expect to have to try and flag down staff to get the bill or have them come and process my CC. One can and should make some allowances if they are really swamped. In the end, it is a give and take. One shouldn't expect home cooking when at a restaurant because it isn't home. Foods are cooked in quantities, they don't get the same kinds of loving attention that Grandma put into her casseroles and mostly people should be expecting something different. That is part of the joys of going out. On the other hand, you are paying for quality, quantity and service. If any of those are unsatisfactory, the customer should be well within their rights to express their dissatisfaction to the person who they are dealing with. Part of the job.

One last thought, you often get what you pay for. Don't expect a New York Strip Loin when you go for the $9.95 steak dinner at Denny's and don't be surprised if they aren't putting a thermometer in to see if it has reached 140 deg before letting it rest for 5 mins to get to that perfect Med. condition that you asked for. Truly great cooks are as much instinctual as trained. You aren't going to get a lot of time to devote to that steak if you also have 16 burgers, 8 plates of Nacho's and 2 blue plate specials all vying for your time.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:19 AM   #22
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I don't recommend many places but CEST BON (saybon) is a really good Cajun food place in La. to eat, nothing fancy just a hole in the wall but clean good food. It is located in Mermentau and we try to make it there even when we are not camping. We will drive 20 miles out of our way to go there. I think there are more people in the restaurant than there are in town. I was born and raised just down the road from here.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:54 AM   #23
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Being a bit of a foodie I would suggest that you use "yelp" rather than the other review sites. Each site has their devotees but I have found that they break down like this

Chowhound - Very foodie but limited reviews except in major urban areas
Google - A hodgepodge of users with some obvious pumping of restaurants by tech savvy owners.
Trip Advisor - Vacationers with limited food experience. Tend to over-rate experience and over-hype tourist traps.
Urbanspoon - Hipsters, college students and budget orientated folks, restaurants with freebies or deals get better ratings.
Yelp - More foodie based individuals
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:26 PM   #24
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I normally eat "IN" as it were,, Somewhere in my misspent youth I learned my way around a kitchen and as a result when my wife was alive she did most of the day to day cooking, but if we were going to a pot luck,, Then I took over. (Thank you Mother for teaching me).

A side effect of this is that unlike so many of my classmates, who took shop but never spent time in a kitchen.. I did not graduate high school one week and get married a week later,, I got married 10 years later.. and .. Well, she died last year (I'm in my 60's so you can figure it out 34.5 years).

Back to restaurants: I long ago developed a plan for restaurant shopping that PRE DATED the internet.

I looked at the parking lot during the hour of LUnch (noon to one pm) or Dinner (5 to seven PM) and if the lot was empty.. EAT ELSEWHERE.

I am rarely disappointed with a place chosen that way.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:42 PM   #25
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Thanks, sirpurrcival for agreeing with me. I believe that I, as a senior and business consultant while being an entrepreneur, have a responsibility to share my knowledge of great customer service, with the younger generations. This is not only to insure high standards for future generations but also to get better service for myself. Very often I have to snap someone to attention to help me. They're only pretending to want to help and their mind has wandered.

This is a serious situation in America and I need to get my peers to get involved. Saying you disagree with someone doesn't help and makes you part of the problem. Please stay on topic and share what you do to get better service. I know all about how to pick a restaurant in a town, it's while traveling that's a gamble.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:14 PM   #26
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Whatever online rating you choose, it is a good idea to truthfully add your experience. While at our favorite restaurant in the Florida Keys with friends and friends of friends we were sitting outside. Next to us a table with at least two smokers and we were downwind. Yuk The table behind us wasn't happy either so both tables moved. The waitress was visibly unhappy because we moved to "her" table. We also noticed that as long as you were ordering beers the food came slowly.

Long story short. One of the friends of our friend posted the story on Trip Advisor. Management read it and reposted or somehow contacted her and she got a $20 (I think) gift card. Funny how the two of them neglected to ask the rest of us if we wanted to go with them to enjoy part of it

That won't deter us from going there. The food is great, price is good and the atmosphere "Keysey".
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:07 PM   #27
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I washed and bussed dishes, waited tables, and was a breakfast fry-cook. Of the 4, only the latter gave me any choice in the quality of the food. If, heaven forbid, I had cooked poorly, I have no clue what anyone else could have done to change it other than getting me fired.

I only go to places I know, or places with high reviews, or with good word-of-mouth, or the busy BBQ, etc, all over this continent. It is nifty to have confidence going in the door, and to never need to tip poorly.

1965 was no different than now for me, except that technogy and inter-personal networking allows me to make wise choices easier than ever.

Eat well, my friends!

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