January 4, 2008
I want to share with you an experience that I am going to call the “*Appetizer Window.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, then let me enlighten you, because I’m sure you’ve come in contact with it…
The “*Appetizer Window” is the small window of opportunity that you have with the waiter to order an appetizer and it arrive at your table with ample time to completely finish it BEFORE your meal arrives, thus satisfying its existence as a TRUE appetizer. This window can only be accessed the VERY FIRST time you meet your waiter. Not after he gets your drink orders, not after he “gives you a few minutes to look over the menu,” not after you receive your drinks….the VERY FIRST TIME he comes to the table and greets you, THAT’S your “Appetizer Window.”
If you do not order the appetizer within this frame of time, trust me, you will NOT, I repeat, NOT receive your appetizer with any time to eat it before your meal comes. I’m telling you, if you let the waiter go without ordering within the “window” and he walks 3 feet from you but then comes back and asks you if you want an appetizer, you can SURELY BET that it will arrive only a mere 3 seconds before your hot tasty meal rounds the corner and heads your way. There’s nothing worse than anxiously and feverishly-with-drool-running-down-your-mouth waiting for your food, with no appetizer in sight, and feeling that total relief when the food runner girl (a girl who’s too young to be a waitress but not quite “pretty” enough to be a hostess) rounds the corner with your tower-O-onion and immediately on her heels follows, a little too closely for my taste, your waiter with food in tow….
Trust me, this DOES exist. Try it out. Go out to eat, order your appetizer whenever you want, totally ignoring the “Ordering Rules,” and make a note of when your appetizer vs. your food arrives. You’ll think to yourself, “Man, Dan was right. I should have ordered my appetizer earlier when he told me to. Now I’ve got this awesome appetizer that did sound SOO appetizing before that’s now just a huge strain on my wallet and something else I’m going to have to figure in to calculate the tip (which, by the way, how hard is that?? Really, take the tax, DOUBLE IT! Better yet, whatever the total is, move the decimal 1 place to the left, and add a couple of bucks!! Come on now, you don’t need a calculator), BUT my meal is here, which is what I’m paying all the money for anyway and the REAL reason I even came out to eat. I can get onion rings anywhere. I can build my own ‘bloomin’ onion’ I don’t need to pay $6.75 for one.”
So, ladies and gentlemen, please, follow the restaurant rules and mind the appetizer window. You never know, it might save your life.
*this window also applies to salads