October 29th, 2006


Repetition and translation

It's always useful when a waiter confirms he has my order down correctly. It avoids confusion, such as getting corn-fed for confit.

The two waiters I encountered in the past day had two opposite approaches to confirming order correctness. Last night, the waiter would always quote the menu item verbatim by title to make sure we were ordering the right thing. ("I'd like fresh lemonade, please." "Fresh Sicialian Lemonade?")

Today, the waiter erred on the side of translation when I tried ordering from what the menu titled the dishes. ("I'd like the Pomme Frites, please." "An order of chips?")

Both meals were mediocre, but at least our orders were processed correctly. An extra fiddly bit of confirmation or translation at the beginning of a meal goes a long way to smoothly out some of the problems a meal can have later on. Whether or not the food is good is a whole different question - but I'm not likely to send it back on the grounds of incorrect dish and need to wait another forty-five minutes while waiting for the correct food to be cooked.