Eating grumpy! My NYC dining rants & ravings.


We who live here in New York love to go out to eat. It’s one of our pastimes that we all adhere to. Brunch has become a rite of passage. We mostly know that we can save a boat full of cash by cooking at home with more regularity, but then that means having to actually go out grocery shopping, preparing and cooking the actual meals, and then having to clean up the mess we make. It just seems easier to head out to one of the bazillion eateries and cafes that inhabit our fair city to enjoy a meal served to us. With the diverse amount of food stuffs offered here in our melting pot we have a cultural smorgasbord to choose from. No muss, no fuss.

Then again, along with the pleasantries of dining out there are the pitfalls that go along with it. Fellow obnoxious diners alongside you can easily ruin a nice meal. Restaurants can drive us batty with their rules and regulations. Clueless wait staff makes one want to scream. There are just so many to choose from! I give to you my fellow frustrated diners a list of rants & ravings based on my observations and experiences over my many years of dining out.


The couple that feels the need to sit next to each other and be all in love and shit. WTF people? You have a whole table to sit at. You’re alone. Get off of each other’s laps. Sit across from each other. Yeah, we get it. You’re obnoxiously in love. Googly eyes at each other. We don’t need to see you feed each other french fries and make out. If you want to bone then take it home.


If you are going to have a lovers quarrel why bother coming out to eat? We really don’t want to hear you two argue over the whole meal about why he doesn’t care about your feelings, or she doesn’t care for his family, or that you want kids, or that he never wants to go out and do anything anymore. No one cares! All I care about is this delicious crispy bacon on my plate that I am about to consume. Yessir!

Why is the bathroom a pig sty? This is a major one. The place might look clean and well kempt, yet the bathroom resembles something out of a nightmare dive bar in which you better not touch anything. Clean this mess up. I don’t like to see fruit flies and mystery liquids all over the place. Yuck.


What do you mean you are out of today’s special? It’s only 6:30 pm. You have it listed on the menu, your window, and outside on the sidewalk sign. How can you be out of it already? Why do restaurants bother to promote a meal they actually don’t have? Bait and switch. Hey, I’m out of real money but I have some Monopoly money I can pay with. Can I play that game too?

The self-important baby carriage crowd that feels the need to all meet up together for brunch or dinner lugging along these SUV sized baby carriages and crowding everyone around them. No, I really don’t want to move my table to fit your kid’s carriage in. Sure, I love to hear your kids cry and scream as we are trying to enjoy a nice quiet meal. How about you all just stay home and host the meal there for your friends? You can drink as many mimosas there as you want as the rest of us dine in peace.


Please don’t try and seat me by the bathroom, waiter service station, kitchen doors, or front entrance. Nope, don’t even try it. I’m sorry but I will refuse to be seated at the crappy tables. As soon as I see a host leading us to one of these spots I want to run. I have no problem refusing that seat you are exiling us to and demanding to be seated at a better spot. Don’t even roll your eyes at me – just do it. I’ll even patiently wait for a better spot. No one wants to sit where they can smell the toilet and hear it flushing.

Stop banging into me! What is up with people that have to keep nailing me in the back of the head when walking behind me? There is room to get by the table, so why does every bus boy, waitress, and server have to constantly brush against me when passing by? I feel like I’m in a hockey game getting checked into the boards. Goal!!!!!!


Yes, we are here using a Groupon or some other deal that your restaurant signed up for. Don’t try to get out of it or treat us as if we have chicken pox and avoid us the whole time we are there. Honor what you signed up for. I’m still spending good money in your establishment. Deal with it. With a smile. Douche.

I made this reservation weeks ago. I have the time, date, and confirmation. I called yesterday to double confirm. What do you mean you can’t find it? Next opening is at 10:30 pm? I’m not waiting three and half hours to eat! I don’t care if you gave our table to Jay-Z and Beyonce’. We’re hungry now!

The happy tourist couple that proceeds to lean over and engage you in a long-winded conversation about their visit to New York. They are all giddy and peppy and just can’t wait to tell you about every building they have gazed at, the museums they walked through, and the amazing Broadway play they saw. OMG – now they are showing you all 238 pictures they took on their digital camera. “Isn’t Times Square the most wonderful place on the planet?” Kill me now. Please. I’m begging you.

Why are you closed? It clearly says on your website that you are supposed to be open. Oops, you went out of business? Maybe if you had updated your website once in a while your restaurant would still be open, nimrod!


Why is it so loud in here? The acoustics suck and the music is blasting. If I am dining somewhere that is way too loud then I will never eat there again. If I can’t hear my dining partners over normal conversation and my ears are bleeding this is not good. Huh? What did you say? Whaaaaat?

Restaurants that always feel as if you are dining in a sauna kill me. Turn up the damn AC! No one likes to eat hot food while sweating their butts off. Even if the food is tasty and the price is right, if I feel as I am being tortured I can’t enjoy the meal.


The stuck up waiter/clueless waiter/waitress syndrome. Yes, I know you are overworked and it’s a mind numbing job at times as you are just trying to pay your way through school, pay bills, or even support a family. I worked in the industry a while, so I feel you. Still, at least be a little pleasant, come by our table now and then, know what the specials are, etc. Have a damn personality. It drives me nuts when I can tell they have no clue how somethings tastes, what is a better plate, how a meal is prepared, and what is actually on the menu. Try to fake it with me and your tip will be fake too!

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Screw it. I think I’ll just stay home and do some cooking on my own. Sometimes it’s just too aggravating to go out and eat. What do you think? Is it worth it to eat out or just plain aggravating at times?

40 thoughts on “Eating grumpy! My NYC dining rants & ravings.”

  1. Def at the top of my lists too!
    So many pet peeves about the restaurant industry.
    Among my utter dislikes:
    – cramped seating. I got a big ass. I dont want to sit on the lap of te couple next to me. Can i get a few inches of space between tables? dining next to strangers is bad enough but when we are bumping elbows? im pissed.
    – blaring music. dining with music is for ambiance. Not a contest of who can speak louder than the music.
    – loud diners to begin with. Went to capital grille yesterday. sat in a huge booth in a corner of the restaurant. It was lovely. at the opposite corner, a loud and obnoxious man was dominating his group lunch and yapping offensively about who is a lesbian and who he wants to “meat” at the office.
    – screaming kids. self explanatory.

    1. Those are some good ones Monique!

      I forgot about cramped seating. That gets worse when couples with baby carriages squeeze in next to you!

      When your ears bleed to music is too loud.

      That must have killed the mood, unless that kind of dirty talk gets you aroused!

      Screaming kids should be sold to the circus!

  2. ha ha – some of them have happened to me too and they can be very annoying! But you know what? I had still prefer going out as i HATE cooking! I had put up with any trouble just to avoid cooking 🙂

    1. Hey Nina!

      I think at times we all experience some of these things!

      I do know how to cook and I prepared dinner tonight actually. Too cold to go out to eat!

  3. Some more great observations there Phil. Your point about the waiter/waitress not knowing how something tastes. I’d love to be in a restaurant where the waitress said “no, don’t eat the special, I tried it and it is awful”.

    I was also put off my meal a while ago when a girl sat on the next table spent all the time chewing her nails. Yuk! All that crunching sound and all that dirt under her nail just put me right off.

    1. Hey Guy!

      I have seen it and heard it all in my dining experiences. Sometimes you do get an honest server who will tell you to avoid a plate, or will offer you their fav choices. They get the better tips!

      Hey, I wonder if she had some bbq sauce on those nails! Yummo!

      Thanks for reading!

  4. What an excellent article you just wrote! When my mother and her husband came to visit last summer I couldn’t wait to take them to this Italian restaurant we never tried before. It was extremely cramped, small, the food was way too expensive and it was way too loud in there. The people were practically screaming to each other as they talked at the table right next to us. I couldn’t have a normal conversation with my family , we couldn’t hear anything. I was so glad to get out of there and will never go back to that place again.

    1. Hi Susana!

      That is not the way to dine! You guys should have left. That sounded like a torture meal! 🙂

      Glad you liked my article. I appreciate the comment and compliment!

  5. I relate to every word you have said. We very seldom go out and typically order in once a week – it is a lot less stressful.

  6. Seriously, I freakin hate being seated by a funky restroom, a nasty waitstaff station, or any entrance, be it kitchen or restaurant. I will refuse to and accept a longer wait. This list is great! I often take the two hour ride from Philly just to avoid cooking in my own kitchen to eat some Dallas BBQ, and nothing can be worst than the cramped seating…nothing.

    1. Hello Carica!

      Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog. You and I are on the dsame page. I’ll refuse and wait for a better spot.

      Glad you like this post. It’s in fun but serious at the same time. Mmmm…..BBQ!

    1. Hello Mrs Shoutfire!

      Me too. We all take pics of our food and drinks – it’s what Yelpers do! I’ll only use a flash if the place is really dark. Other wise, screw em! I’m paying for it so I can take a pic before it’s in my belly!

  7. Your first one cracked me up. I had this guy sit next to me instead of across from me once in a booth. He was in my personal space and obnoxious. I lasted as long as it took me to drink a soda and get the eff out of there. I don’t like when people invade my personal space uninvited.
    I also can’t stand when people bring my drinks, then handle them by the rim when they transfer them to the table. I don’t care if they gave me a straw. It’s still too close to my drink and I don’t know if they washed their hands!
    And if you’re serving…put a freaking smile on your face. I don’t care if you have to fake it. No one wants to look at your angry, sad or bitter face. I pay for service & tip well…don’t make me look at your sour puss.
    If you mess up my order, apologize. Don’t blame everyone else…especially me..because you were too busy flirting with the guys at the next table to pay attention.


    1. Hi Kitt!

      Get out of my personal space! That is a pet peeve of mine too!

      Don’t you hate it when their finger is in your drink or food? Yuck!

      Man, I need to make this list bigger. You all rant as much as I do! 😉

  8. Absolutely love it – can relate to pretty much your whole list. But, think top of my list is mediocre food, really hate it when we go out and I come home thinking I could have cooked that better myself.

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog – now following you on Bloglovin.

    Kate x

    1. Hi Kate!

      Thanks for dropping by my blog! Glad you like my rants & ravings lists! I appreciate the follow too.

      Yes, the mediocre food thing is another one. You all are coming up with some good ones to add here!

      Happy blogging!

  9. Ahh I understand you frustration! I do love eating out though 🙂 I am a student so I can’t afford it very often but when I can it is l u s h- spicy food is the best! I find it really annoying when restaurants that I go to with my family don’t have a vegetarian option- would it be that hard to add one?!?

    1. Hi Julia!

      Thanks for reading my blog!

      I agree – most places should have a few vegan plates. We all love to eat out when we can afford it!

      I apprerciate the comment. Will check yours out too!

  10. Once I was having lunch with a coworker, when a girl leaned over from the next table (NOT a tourist – no excuse) and said “Excuse me, do you go to college here? No? Where did you go to college?” and then roped us into a weirdly long conversation about the various universities in this great city of ours. She had a friend with her too, but she decided she’d rather make conversation with strangers, apparently.

    1. Hey Jill!

      I hate when that happens. Sometimes I’ll make out I don’t speak English. Other times I will start fake coughing like I have the flu. They stop talking to you when you hock a loogie in their direction! 🙂

  11. Where to start? Every word you wrote I related to … and I just moved to NYC a few months ago so I couldn’t be happier to find your blog tonight!
    Fortunately, my hate/hate relationship with NYC is progressing into love, but it has been a painful romance, especially when I encountered EATALY’s rooftop “non joining” policy. I wrote a very long post about this, but basically the story goes this way. We started out lunch being 3, then a 4th friend finished her meeting early and decided to join, but not only did the manager say my friend could’t since it went against the restaurant “non joining” policy, but he proceeded to removing the 4th chair from the table. I guess we didn’t look like policy compliant people. Ahhh !!! But I am finally starting to love NYC, discovering all the old speak easy and cool little underground “un- touristy” venues! Great Great post !

    1. Hi Emily!

      Thanks for dropping by my blog and reading! I appreciate the comment and compliment. So glad you liked my post and writing!

      I’ll be writing a lot more NYC stuff as time goes by. Check out my Speakeasy post I put up a while back. Thanks!

  12. Ha! How about the diner who does not feel special until he/she/it has sent back its meal? As though the king/queen/humpbacked troll has such gourmet taste buds. The wait staff bowing and scraping at their displeasure is the treat they really want. Eating out, an opportunity for ritual mastery and subservience.

    Your friends look very nice, by the way.

    1. Hello Astro!

      That’s a good one! I have seen that I few times and forgot to include it. Dining douchebaggery!

      Yeah, I have a very cool bunch or friends! Thanks for the comment!

  13. Cooking Food Properly is the most important item on any restaurant menu to me. Hot Dogs and Hamburgers should be juicy and fresh, french fries should be golden and crispy, Duck Confit should have proper separation between the meat and the skin, crackling to the mouth with clear liquid emerging, a souffle should melt in the mouth upon the first forkful dipping into the risen round. So from the simple to the sublime- taking pride in proper food preparation from the simple to the sublime is utmost, or go on out to the front of the house and join the wait staff. A meal is too precious to be wasted.

  14. What a fantastic read! I agree with many of these things. It’s what makes me happy I don’t live in the city. I like cooking on my own, but a nice meal out is good too. Some of my peeves line up with yours (the stroller SUV, bat seating and the servers who don’t realize they don’t sell mac and cheese!)

    1. Hey PJ!

      Glad you liked! I enjoy eating out, as many of us do, but sometimes I want to strangle someone. Glad to see I’m not the only one with these pet peeves.

  15. Haha, loved this post! I agree with just about everything — especially the stuck-up server one. It’s the worst when they’re sassy and give you attitude.

    Also, to add to your list, the insanely long waits. *cough* Clinton St. Baking Co. *cough* Ippudo *cough* I’m hungry now, not after 2.5 hours. I’ll be eating my own hair by that time.

    1. Hey Christine!

      So glad you got a laugh and agreed with me about a lot of it.

      LOL at Clinton Street. I have only gone there for early dinner when there is no line. Same food too. Ippudo is on my list. I also refuse to get involved with the cronut thing!

      Off to AC now. Have a good weekend!

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