Restaurant Menu

How not to order food

How many times has this happened to you:

You come to one of those fancier restaurants; one where they have waiters, ambient music, and expect you to eat with a knife and fork. Then you find out that they have a system for ordering food, wherein you set check marks next to items you want to shove into your face-hole.

“This is easy,” you think to yourself, “I’ve set check marks next to items in a list before. This is going to be a cakewalk.” Then you start thinking about cake, because you have the attention span of a flea high on exhaust fumes and are easily distracted when clown bonanza flashing lights escapade.

You decide to skip the starter and to only order the main dish. You get back to the menu and discover that you can set a giant “A” or “B” after the number of your dish, where “A” stands for “normal person portion” and “B” stands for “shortcut to obesity.” You figure that more food is better than not more food, so you set a “B” next to your order. Then you proceed to set a check mark next to “French Fries” instead of baked potatoes, because baked potatoes can go right to Hell where they belong.

Then you set a check mark next to “Bearnaise sauce” only to immediately find out that it actually says “Bearnaise butter,” because this restaurant offers both butter and sauce and believes you to be an adult capable of making an active choice as to which one you prefer. You cross out the butter part by basically drawing all over it and proceed to mark “Bearnaise sauce” as you intended. At that exact moment, you read the line below “Bearnaise sauce.” It reads: “Chili Bearnaise sauce.” You want that one. Also, you’re an idiot who can’t stop his stupid hands from compulsively drawing check marks without letting the brain process information.

You cross out the wrong choice again. You’re so close…

And then your wife casually suggest that you may want to consider a starter after all. She’ll be having one. Also, those starters do look good. Good point, you’ll pick a starter…but first, you probably should change that main dish size from “B” back to “A” to at least pretend to have a sense of moderation. You look at the final order and realize that you’ve somehow managed to make an absolute, god-awful mess of something that requires fewer steps than picking weekly lottery numbers.

Thankfully, the card has a reverse side especially for people with your failing motor skills. You decide to start all over.

But wait! How will the waiter know which side to use?! Better make sure the side you’ve botched up is as visibly unusable as possible. So you cross out all items. Then you add a giant “X” over the whole thing, because honestly, at this point, why the Hell not?

You also momentarily forget that you’re a 30-something-year-old dude and not an adorkable child, so you draw what you believe to be a cute little smiley face that is crying over its failure to fill out a simple form, mistakenly believing that the restaurant’s staff won’t make fun of you the moment your waiter shows them this pathetic piece of ruined paper.

Can you relate to that hyper-specific scenario? If so, me too! What a coincidence, right?

All of the above is 100 percent true. I even have the picture to prove it:

Restaurant Order Fail

My hobby: photographing own failures for posterity.

You can laugh. Go ahead. I dare y…oh, you were already laughing? Well then, carry on.

“Steak tartare – well done, please!”

A few weeks ago I was out with a group of people from work, including my boss and my boss’ boss (try saying the last part of that sentence fast repeatedly – unless you have a life instead). We went to a French restaurant. The waitress came up to take our order and the conversation went something like this:

“What can I get you all?”

“I’ll have a steak. Medium well”, my boss said.

“I’ll have the same, except medium for me, please”, a colleague chimed in. At which point my boss said:

“Hmmm, you know what, I’ll go for medium as well”

The waitress began teasing the two of them, saying how it was suddenly turning into a macho competition about who could have more blood in their steak. Then my turn came to order and I ordered steak tartare. Continuing with the joke the waitress said: “Yeah, and yours just has to be extra raw, right?”. To play along I went: “Sure. In fact, just bring him in alive, I don’t care!”. Everyone had the obligatory “this-isn’t-all-that-funny-but-we’re-all-in-on-it-so-we-may-as-well” laugh. The waitress went away to see to our order.

You know how steak tartare is basically a dish made from raw minced meat, right? Yeah…I didn’t. I lived blissfully unaware of this particular dish and its ingredients for almost 30 years. Funny, then, that I should learn about its existence in these circumstances. Here I have to add that I’ve never eaten or even considered eating raw meat. My whole life I ordered “medium well” or “well done”.

Actually, had the conversation not gone the way it did, I was in all honesty about to ask the waitress for a well done steak tartare. When she didn’t ask me about how I wanted my steak I figured she’d just bring it “medium” as for the rest of the gang. So I didn’t comment. My guardian angels must have been saving me from an embarrassing situation. That’s right, I sincerely believe that guardian angels’ sole purpose is to save us from making dumbasses of ourselves in public.

So then, instead of looking unsophisticated in front of my boss and my boss’ boss (this never gets old, does it?), I was taken completely by surprise when my steak tartare arrived in all of its…rawness. Since it would have been even more embarrassing to admit my ignorance at that stage, I proceeded to act completely nonchalant and eat the whole damn thing.

I survived, but I won’t be ordering steak tartare again anytime soon. Or, for that matter, “steak” followed by any other word that I don’t recognise. Ah well, at least I know what “surge protectors” are: