Restaurants with a 'tude.....

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Ralph Cramden
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2003/08/03 12:56:20 (permalink)

Restaurants with a 'tude.....

We are pretty hardened Bostonians so we are not easily offended. Boston often gets an undeserved rap for rudeness but here are a few places that earn the title.

Cafe of India in Cambridge..
Tapeo...Spanish restaurant on Newbury Street

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    Michael Stern
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/03 13:26:43 (permalink)
    I always liked the informal Durgin-Park motto, "Service with a Sneer"; but in fact have found the waitresses there to be friendly. Forthright, for sure, but friendly.
    #2
    goldsborscht
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/03 14:10:50 (permalink)
    Unfortunately and surprisingly, the worst attitude I experienced was at M&J in Albuquerque. The waitress needed a vacation real bad. It was early so she was pissed the milk truck didn't arrived, pissed I ordered coffee, pissed I reminded her about bringing water, pissed she was working on a Monday, pissed I didn't realize the bill was the scrap of paper without the total. The owner dealt with it nice and easy. But she was just pissed.
    #3
    chezkatie
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/03 16:15:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    I always liked the informal Durgin-Park motto, "Service with a Sneer"; but in fact have found the waitresses there to be friendly. Forthright, for sure, but friendly.


    I love that kind of service........it is lots of fun and adds to the color of a place. What I cannot stand is service that is so haughty that you almost want to ask the server if they would rather have someone else wait on you. I also do not like the service where some young kid comes over (yea, I know they are trained to do this) and announces in a loud voice "Hi, My name is Dave and I am going to be your server"..............it is at this point that I am afraid that they are going to sit down with us and eat off my plate.
    #4
    jmckee
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/03 17:56:08 (permalink)
    Izzy's Corned Beef in Cincinnati has always been known for sassy service. If you're in line, for example, the waitresses are known to shout "C'mon--HOW MANY?"

    But when Izzy himself was still alive, a trip to the original location was an adventure in intimidation. Two memorable moments from my childhood, when I'd lunch there with my mother:

    1. You can now get swiss on your corned beef or pastrami, but when Izzy was alive, Izzy's was KOSHER--no mixing of dairy and meat. Once, a gentleman hazarded to ask Izzy to provide cheese for his pastrami, and Izzy exploded: "Son of a *#**#*, bastard," etc., etc. When the gentleman undertook to give Izzy a "customer-is-always-right" lecture, Izzy chased him out of the restaurant--wielding his cleaver.

    2. The old Izzy's was a set of communal long tables, served on an honor system; you told the cashier--occasionally Izzy himself--what you ate, and then you'd pay. Mom and I ate next to two business types who both had the same thing: Corned beef sandwiches, potato pancakes, cream soda. They went to pay; Izzy rung them up, but he charged the second gentleman 25 cents more. When the customer dared question him, Izzy replied, "You took more pickles and sauerkraut than he did. I saw you." The gentleman attempted to explain to the proprietor (big mistake) that such items were in crocks on the tables so you could eat your fill. Izzy exploded: "WHAT? YOU THINK I'M RUNNIN' A CHARITY OR SOMETHING?"
    #5
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/03 18:12:44 (permalink)
    Pat's King of Steaks has a 'tude. And I love it! While waiting in line for a steak sandwich, you should read the posted instructions on how to order a steak sandwich. If you mess that up or ask for soda or fries at that window, you're sent back to the end of the line. I love hearing tourists order incorrectly and they are given a sample of that South Philly addy-tude from the staff.
    #6
    mayor al
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/03 21:07:55 (permalink)
    To be comfortable at a restaurant I want to exchange a MUTUAL friendly/ courteous experience with the server and host/hostess. I treat the help with respect and expect that they will in turn treat me and my guests the same way.
    The arrogance of some establishments (as opposed to individual worker) will cause me to avoid doing business with them in the future. Individual workers are a different matter. If someone is having a bad day, I can sympathize with that (once), but if it happens often, I will avoid the place after giving the person the benefit of the doubt a couple of times.

    The opposite end of the spectrum is true also. I do not like the OUTBACK policy that has your server sitting down and conversing at your table as he/she takes your order. If a conversation develops around the business at hand...your order or the menu, then it should be brief and to the point. Any additional comments should be customer generated, not a monolog by the help to entertain you.
    It is possible to enjoy excellent service while not becoming a close personal friend...or victim of verbal abuse by the staff.
    You can structure the amount of informality or 'Tude you will handle to meet your own tastes (no pun)
    #7
    EliseT
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 03:15:52 (permalink)
    If I wanted to get treated like crap I'd get married again!

    ...oh, dammit! Never mind.
    #8
    MikeS.
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 03:55:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    If I wanted to get treated like crap I'd get married again!

    ...oh, dammit! Never mind.


    Hey Elise, what ya doing the next 30 years????

    Damn I liked that

    Mike
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    Ralph Cramden
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 06:00:40 (permalink)
    Thanks for the replies and ?for Cheesewhit?........What is the best place in Philly for a cheesesteak.....with or without the 'tude? You don't really expect alot of warmth and friendliness at a Cheesesteak stand. Your post reminded me of a place we used to go to all the time when we lived in Chicago...Al's Beef on Taylor Street. The owner was a Chicago cop and he wore his gun while working at the counter in a shoulder holster and would glare down the customers just daring someone to mess with him......he got a lot of respect and the food was worth it....especially the Italian beef and sausage combo with peppers. Then across the street you get great Italian ice.
    #10
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 06:14:42 (permalink)
    Hey Ralphie Boy! Answering your question regarding the best cheesesteak in Philly is like asking which is the best dog breed. They're all good, but it's a matter of personal taste. Some people like their steak meat chopped, some don't. Some like a chewy roll, some a crusty one. Some like cheese whiz, some can't stand the stuff. Every year, Philadelphia Magazine does a "Best of Philly" issue in August. This year a small deli in Cherry Hill won best cheesesteak. The tourists flock to Pat's and Geno's in South Philly and Jim's on South Street. There are others, like Dallesandro's in Roxborough, Mama's in Bala Cynwyd, Gaetano's in South Jersey, Tony Luke's in South Philly, etc., etc., etc. I like all of them because they make pretty decent cheesesteaks, Not all have cheese whiz. Some use provolone, some use mozzarella, some american. Some use a crusty roll, some a chewy roll. Now that I've confused you terribly, I suggest you come to Philly and do a cheesesteak tour and determine your own favorites.
    #11
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 09:34:35 (permalink)
    The Varsity in Atlanta has similar attitudes by the counter staff. If you don't have your order ready, they keep shouting, "Whatta ya have?, Whatta ya have?" It's been getting less frantic as they have opened up more lines, but lunchtime and before ball games it gets pretty hectic. Just make sure you have your order ready before you get to the head of the line. Those unfamiliar w/ the drill often get embarrassed by the staff.
    #12
    mek
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 09:39:01 (permalink)
    Some years back, 60 Minutes aired a segment on the owner of a deli in Chicago. Can't remember the deli or the name of the owner, but he was a pistol! They filmed him in action - herding customers up to the counter, harassing them if they ordered too slowly, etc. To his credit, he was also very philanthropic.
    #13
    kland01s
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 09:50:38 (permalink)
    I just recently went to Navy Pier in Chicago for my first time and had lunch at Bubba Gump. I didn't realize this was a chain nor did I know anything about the place other than I was hungry and I like seafood. The server efficiently took our order but kept coming back to the table to quiz us on factoids about the movie Forest Gump. I found this annoying however my movie buff friend was getting in to it which encouraged the server to keep asking more. Every chain seems to have its gimmick with their staff, this one I found annoying.
    #14
    hawkeyejohn
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 11:08:28 (permalink)
    Another Chicago place with 'tude is the Weiner Circle on Clark. You have to experience it to understand the 'tude level there.
    #15
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 12:09:59 (permalink)
    Rhode Island and the Metro Boston area definetely win the award for rudeness in Restaurants hands down. If you EVER plan to pay for a meal with travelers checks...FORGET IT. The Manager or Owner will have their hand on the phone ready to call the police and have you prosecuted. This happenned to me....several times.

    On the other hand the Pacific NW wins the overly polite award. Shortly before leaving Seattle I went out to dinner with some friends, when the waitress came over to our table I took out a $20 bill, showed it to the waitress and said this was hers if she can provide the most obnoxiously rude experience for all of us. She declined and said it was beyond impossible for her to do such a thing!
    #16
    Hillbilly
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 13:17:41 (permalink)
    One of my favorites (tipped off by the Sterns in Roadfood) is the Beacon in Spartanburg, SC. The attitude comes across as "Know what you want before you line up, tell me about it in as few words as possible and get the hell out of the way so I can get to that next S.O.B." The food (whichever "a-plenty" you select)and SWEET iced tea make it all worthwhile.
    #17
    VibrationGuy
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/04 20:26:17 (permalink)
    Heh. Seattle has Bakeman's for sandwiches. That'll prove that not every restaurant experience in the Northwest is overly solicitious. Note: the sandwiches are excellent and I love the service, and I'm a NW native - forewarned is forearmed.

    As for this trend of chummy, I agree; it sucks. From the first restaurant to do it (one of the Restaurant Associates places in NYC, whose name escapes me) to the recent sit-down-a-spell-and-chew-the-fat thing at Outback et al, I've had it. Is it so wrong to want to stick to the business at hand? I come prepared for dinnertime entertainment; I bring interesting people to have dinner with me. *gasp*. I'm unfailingly polite to servers, I tip well, and the ones that I see regularly are people I like to chat with. . . but for Buffy the Random, three-week veteran of Ruby Tuesday, am I a horrible person for expecting relatively uninterrupted conversation with my dinner partners aside from a brief painless ordering process and perhaps a check back after each course arrives? (Note: this is one check back, and if animated conversation is occurring, looking for obvious signs of distress - barring any, skip it)...

    Oh dear, I seem to have gone off on a rant...

    Eric
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    Ralph Cramden
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/05 20:55:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by CheeseWit

    Hey Ralphie Boy! Answering your question regarding the best cheesesteak in Philly is like asking which is the best dog breed. They're all good, but it's a matter of personal taste. Some people like their steak meat chopped, some don't. Some like a chewy roll, some a crusty one. Some like cheese whiz, some can't stand the stuff. Every year, Philadelphia Magazine does a "Best of Philly" issue in August. This year a small deli in Cherry Hill won best cheesesteak. The tourists flock to Pat's and Geno's in South Philly and Jim's on South Street. There are others, like Dallesandro's in Roxborough, Mama's in Bala Cynwyd, Gaetano's in South Jersey, Tony Luke's in South Philly, etc., etc., etc. I like all of them because they make pretty decent cheesesteaks, Not all have cheese whiz. Some use provolone, some use mozzarella, some american. Some use a crusty roll, some a chewy roll. Now that I've confused you terribly, I suggest you come to Philly and do a cheesesteak tour and determine your own favorites.
    #19
    Ralph Cramden
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/05 20:57:43 (permalink)
    Cheesey.......thanks for the tips on Philly Cheesesteaks....definitely plan on getting off the highway the next time I am trekking between NYC and DC.
    #20
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/05 21:17:55 (permalink)
    Ralph, it's my pleasure to help. My screenname here is what you say at Pat's in South Philly when you want a cheesesteak with(wit) fried onions.
    #21
    goldsborscht
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/06 00:34:19 (permalink)
    On a side note, Pat's has made a grave error in covering their old Coke signs (especially the Cherry Coke sign on the roof) with Pepsi signs. Fine, they switched to Pepsi. But there's better ways of advertising than draping a beautiful old sign with an ugly banner. Somehow, the place loses some of its as-is charm. It looked right before. A cheesesteak place in one's dreams would look like Pat's. Not anymore. The sign is an eyesore in its mediocrity. Too much eye popping bright blue plastic on a worn in white canvas. Either take the old signs down or switch back to Coke. But what they have up is no good. Geno's is disgracefully ugly enough in its renovations. Leave a treasure like Pat's alone. The owners must reconsider. Pepsi banners down now! Are you wit me CheeseWit?
    #22
    roy51
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/06 15:02:06 (permalink)
    If you want an eating establishment with 'tude, then you'll want to definitely check out Goff's Hamburgers just west of the Dallas North Tollway on Lovers Lane in Dallas. The proprietor, Harvey Goff (Gough), will most likely have an appellation for you, as in, "What'll it be, "Beast?" If he asks if you want your drink in a sack, don't be surprised if he actually pours the beverage into the sack. However, the burgers and weiners are pretty good. You can't miss the place. There's a statue of Lenin out front.
    #23
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/06 15:12:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by VibrationGuy

    Heh. Seattle has Bakeman's for sandwiches. That'll prove that not every restaurant experience in the Northwest is overly solicitious. Note: the sandwiches are excellent and I love the service, and I'm a NW native - forewarned is forearmed.
    Eric


    Seriously Eric,

    If a restaurant anywhere near the confines of the Pacific NW tried to pull off what they get away with here in RI and The Boston Area, they would be out of business in a day if not within the hour!
    #24
    tamandmik
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/06 15:20:57 (permalink)
    My vote goes to the White Mana diner, in Jersey City NJ, on Tonelle Ave. They've got you, and they know it: the burgers are so unique (blow White Castle out of the water)but the loyal clientele continues to return to absorb the abuse the countermen regularly dole out if you are hesitant about your order. I have even dined there during lag times, and the treatment is still the same. Since moving to South Jersey, I've really missed that place!
    #25
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/06 15:23:55 (permalink)
    GB: Pat's has renovated their exterior for the first time in years. They took down all of the white aluminum siding and now exposed the brick building. That has been a shock to me. The change from Coke to Pepsi was another shock, but that happened about 3 years ago. The signage is a bit ordinary-especially when compared to Geno's neon across the street. I'm getting used to Pat's new look, but I liked it before. I agree with you, Goldsborscht.
    #26
    drpep
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/06 22:23:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by hawkeyejohn

    Another Chicago place with 'tude is the Weiner Circle on Clark. You have to experience it to understand the 'tude level there.

    Is this the place that was on Comedy Central's Insomniac show? The segment where 90% of the counter help's (and customers) language had to bleeped out?
    #27
    hawkeyejohn
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/07 18:03:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by drpep

    quote:
    Originally posted by hawkeyejohn

    Another Chicago place with 'tude is the Weiner Circle on Clark. You have to experience it to understand the 'tude level there.

    Is this the place that was on Comedy Central's Insomniac show? The segment where 90% of the counter help's (and customers) language had to bleeped out?


    Yep
    #28
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/08 13:16:27 (permalink)
    "This year a small deli in Cherry Hill won best cheesesteak"

    what was/is the name of the place?
    #29
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Restaurants with a 'tude..... 2003/08/08 13:32:33 (permalink)
    That would be Chick's Deli 906 Township Lane Cherry Hill, NJ phone:(856)429-2022. Been around since 1957.
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    "This year a small deli in Cherry Hill won best cheesesteak"

    what was/is the name of the place?
    #30
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