Follow the rules!

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Spudnut
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2003/11/17 19:08:22 (permalink)

Follow the rules!

My friend and I have frequently remarked that "our kinds of places" (didn't know enough to call them "Roadfood places" until we heard of the Sterns) often have quirkly rules or practices.

A few examples of what I mean:

* Soup Kitchen International's (New York) variety of rules ranging from when to pay to where to stand.

* Louis Lunch's (New Haven) "no ketchup" policy.

* No fries at Jim's Steaks (Philadelphia). Or knowing to order "wit" at Pat's.

* No slices at John's Pizzeria (New York).

You get the idea. Do you have any favorite rules...or ones that drive you nuts?

#1

32 Replies Related Threads

    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/17 19:18:45 (permalink)
    One rule that really makes me cranky is the "No Substitutions" rule that many places have. One of the places reviewed here, Pat's Kountry Kitchen in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, turned me off years ago because of that rule. OK, so the spelling got me, too.
    #2
    LizzieR
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/17 21:33:52 (permalink)
    At the Lemon Ice King of Corona, no napkins and you can't mix flavors in an individual cup.
    #3
    mayor al
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/17 22:26:37 (permalink)
    Smoking and Non-Smoking in the same (small to medium sized) room.
    #4
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/17 22:44:56 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    There is a famed Real Ale pub in England that features usually 10 to 12 cask ales at a time, in rotation. The proprietress has rather quirky ideas about food, so she refuses to serve vinegar (won't have it in the place) or lemon... if you order tea, you must take it with cream or get out. Apparently her cuisine is the real antithesis of Burger King: you'll have it HER way. (Food or no food, the Real Ale sounds quite inviting. She is quite an authority on the subject, and if she doesn't like an Ale, she will not offer it. That is attraction enough for most patrons, even if they eat elsewhere.)
    I was in a place in Iowa once that served burgers two ways: 1) with fries; or 2) there's the door. "Fried potatoes are the NATURAL complement of good hamburgers," the menu fairly shouted. "We serve the two foods together or not at all. Our fries are unapologetically cooked in 100% Iowa lard, which is the only CORRECT way to cook fries." - I wish I could remember where that was. It might have been Hamburg Inn # 2 in Iowa City, but I don't think so. The only other thing this place had on its menu was pea salad, which was homemade and utterly h-e-a-v-e-n-l-y. (The burger and fries were both excellent, by the way.)
    Only Slightly Forgetfully, Ort. Carlton in
    #5
    Mayhaw Man
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/17 23:43:08 (permalink)
    Sign on the wall at Dreamland BBQ on Jug Factory Rd in Tuscaloosa AL

    No Beans
    No Potato Salad
    Don't Ask.


    I love that place.
    #6
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 04:52:45 (permalink)
    As reviewed on this site, Prause's Meat Market in La Grange ('rumors going round, in that Texas town' ) "We don't make sandwiches."

    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=567
    #7
    rbpalmer
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 08:16:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Phil J.

    My friend and I have frequently remarked that "our kinds of places" (didn't know enough to call them "Roadfood places" until we heard of the Sterns) often have quirkly rules or practices.

    A few examples of what I mean:

    * Soup Kitchen International's (New York) variety of rules ranging from when to pay to where to stand.



    I wonder if this served as the inspiration for the "Soup Nazi" Seinfeld episode?
    #8
    Spudnut
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 08:26:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rbpalmer

    quote:
    Originally posted by Phil J.

    My friend and I have frequently remarked that "our kinds of places" (didn't know enough to call them "Roadfood places" until we heard of the Sterns) often have quirkly rules or practices.

    A few examples of what I mean:

    * Soup Kitchen International's (New York) variety of rules ranging from when to pay to where to stand.



    I wonder if this served as the inspiration for the "Soup Nazi" Seinfeld episode?




    Oh, it absolutely did. That got a lot of publicity at the time. It was immediately recognizable to anyone who'd been there, and the owner/proprietor complained bitterly. There was even a case where the guy shut down during the afternoon rush because camera crews showed up (the Soup Nazi episode was about to run in syndication for the first time that night.) People in line almost killed the news crew, because they wanted their soup.

    #9
    rumbelly
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 08:55:21 (permalink)
    A 20% gratuity will be automatically added to tables of 6 or more

    1.00 extra for caesar salad

    A Swiss restaurant in our area that does not do fondues on Saturday night. Previously intoxicated patrons being the reason.

    Refusing to split a salad as a starter even though you have all ordered mains and most likely dessert.
    #10
    baybey
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 09:18:32 (permalink)
    Refusing to cook hamburgers or even steak rare. This occurred at the Horny Toad Restaurant and Bar in Friendship, Az. and is the policy for hamburgers on Cruise West ships.
    #11
    aimala66
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 09:19:41 (permalink)
    places that keep filling up your coke...and fail to tell you that there are no free refills.

    there is this great bar in my area that serves amazing burgers...and they do it there. each coke is a buck fifty. plus, they are very small. she refilled me three times. between the two of us, we paid something like 9 dollars in pop.

    i could have gotten two beers for that!
    #12
    Spudnut
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 09:28:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Mayhaw Man

    Sign on the wall at Dreamland BBQ on Jug Factory Rd in Tuscaloosa AL

    No Beans
    No Potato Salad
    Don't Ask.


    I love that place.




    Yeah, I love those kinds of places, too. That's what made me think of the thread.

    A new place I like in New York, called the Burger Joint, won't serve milkshakes until after 3 p.m. ALL they serve is burgers, fries, soft drinks and brownies. Is it simply too crowded at lunch to deal with making milkshakes? I don't know...the counter people seem to be operating on a "need to know" basis.

    As I believe has been mentioned elsewhere, another place in NY, called Island Burgers & Shakes, offers no fries. Incredible. I guess the owner could have an interesting debate with the other place mentioned on this thread that INSISTS on serving fries.
    #13
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 10:07:51 (permalink)
    From the late, great Four-Way Grill in Memphis:

    #14
    RubyRose
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 10:15:56 (permalink)
    A favorite independently owned restaurant in our area has a sign on the front door saying, "This is a smoking establishment." Their menu also says, "Not resposible for the flavor or toughness of steaks ordered cooked well-done."
    #15
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 10:42:12 (permalink)
    Talking about rules - remember Jack Nicholson in "Five Easy Pieces" trying to order breakfast at the diner. What a riot!
    #16
    stanpnepa
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 10:49:36 (permalink)
    Ghigarelli's Pizza (wonderful) in Old Forge, PA makes you pay for each (soft) drink when they bring 'em out. (Yuck).

    #17
    Hillbilly
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 12:29:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by baybey

    Refusing to cook hamburgers or even steak rare. This occurred at the Horny Toad Restaurant and Bar in Friendship, Az. and is the policy for hamburgers on Cruise West ships.

    On the other hand
    The menu at an upscale steak house in Charlotte (I can't remember the name, but it is on West Morehead Street) has (or at least had 10 years ago), in bold letters, "PLEASE DON'T INSULT THE CHEF BY ASKING HIM TO DESTROY THESE FINE STEAKS BY COOKING THEM PAST MEDIUM"
    #18
    Gator
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 14:06:01 (permalink)
    Texas barbecue places are notorious for their idiosyncrasies, of course. Some have NO sauce, like Kreuz's, and it's not because they forgot to whip some up, it's because their meat DOES NOT need sauce, and if you think it does, then there's something wrong with you. I seem to remember you can't get a fork at Smitty's. Some places have no beans as a side dish, while others have a vat in the dining room at which you can help yourself. Because barbecue here is taken so seriously (and deservedly so), the way points of doctrine can become dogmatic faith is awe-inspiring. Such Not exlusive to barbecue, or Texas, but it may reach it's zenith here.
    #19
    aimala66
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 14:31:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by oneiron339

    Talking about rules - remember Jack Nicholson in "Five Easy Pieces" trying to order breakfast at the diner. What a riot!


    i actually pulled this move before....i was at arby's back in high school and was sent to pick up the "5 for 5" deal....five roast beefs for five bucks...well, that day, they had a 5 for 5 special but on beef and cheddar ONLY! i tried to negotiate, esp. since i onlt had little more than five buck. still, they would not giiiive me a deal unless it was a beef and gheddar. so i ended up ordering 5 beef and cheddars minus the cheddar...and they gave me the deal!!! semantics!
    #20
    Grampy
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 14:58:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Hillbilly

    quote:
    Originally posted by baybey

    Refusing to cook hamburgers or even steak rare. This occurred at the Horny Toad Restaurant and Bar in Friendship, Az. and is the policy for hamburgers on Cruise West ships.

    On the other hand
    The menu at an upscale steak house in Charlotte (I can't remember the name, but it is on West Morehead Street) has (or at least had 10 years ago), in bold letters, "PLEASE DON'T INSULT THE CHEF BY ASKING HIM TO DESTROY THESE FINE STEAKS BY COOKING THEM PAST MEDIUM"



    There was a 3-star restaurant chef in England, Nico Ledakis, who held the same principles. One haughty diner asked for his filet mignon well-done, and was told by the waiter that the chef would not cook it that way. The patron demanded it. Out it came -- medium-rare. He sent it back 3 times, and each time it came out the same. The patron finally ordered chicken. When the bill came it included the 3 filets. The man said he was only paying for the chicken, and tossed the money rudely on the table. The chef, who was watching all the time, came over,tore up the patron's money, and threw it on the floor. Move over Jack Nicholson.

    As I say, there are two types of people who do not eat meat: vegetarians, and those who order their steaks well-done.
    #21
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 15:25:53 (permalink)
    If i can recall, Ivar's fish n chips in Seattle charged a small fee for small tubs of ketchup and tartar sauce
    #22
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 15:34:07 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    If i can recall, Ivar's fish n chips in Seattle charged a small fee for small tubs of ketchup and tartar sauce


    I was Ivars on the waterfront a few months ago and at that time they were not charging for condiments. Their food is good but they manage their windows like a East TN fire drill. I do not know how they keep up with what is what.

    Chowder is good, fish is good and oysters is good. As a matter of fact, I think I liked everything they had except service.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #23
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 15:37:04 (permalink)
    How about these commandments at the (excellent) Merritt Canteen, Bridgeport, CT:

    #24
    rbpalmer
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 16:42:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    How about these commandments at the (excellent) Merritt Canteen, Bridgeport, CT:




    Rule No. 7 - Study hard in school, so that you can spell "tomato" correctly
    #25
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 16:49:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rbpalmer
    Rule No. 7 - Study hard in school, so that you can spell "tomato" correctly


    Small potatos. <-- what does this smilie mean, anyway?
    #26
    Hillbilly
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 18:15:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rbpalmer

    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    How about these commandments at the (excellent) Merritt Canteen, Bridgeport, CT:




    Rule No. 7 - Study hard in school, so that you can spell "tomato" correctly

    So THIS is where Dan Quayle works now, huh?
    #27
    Grampy
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/18 20:29:16 (permalink)
    You spell tomato, I spell tomatoe -- let's call the whole thing offf.
    #28
    SharonTriv
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/19 10:38:37 (permalink)
    The White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City, NJ used to have a sign that said "Do Not Sit In Booths While Occupied." This was a handwritten sign for years, and then they finally formalized it, verbatim, with a specially ordered, official sign.

    We always got a kick out of that--I think the intention was that people coming in for take-out sandwiches should not sit in the booths when the shop was busy, but who knows?
    #29
    Spudnut
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    RE: Follow the rules! 2003/11/19 11:06:57 (permalink)
    This comes more under the heading "practice" rather than "policy," but a place I used to frequent in Niagara Falls, NY -- The Press Box -- had (has?) a rather unusual way of doing things. The Press Box is a bar/burger place, located next door to the town newspaper (hence the name). You had to take a piece of blank scrap paper and write out your order long hand, and then take that paper into the kitchen and leave it on a counter. Then, and only then, could you take your seat and expect to receive food. It's been way too long, so I can't quite remember how they managed to find you at the right table.

    There were no signs explaining any of this. You just had to know it. I know it's still open, and I imagine it still does things the same way. A friend went there once, and he had no idea what to do. He still laughs, some 15 years later, when recounting the experience. He says that when he asked how to order, the response had a tone of, "What, you've never been in a restaurant before?"
    #30
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