What the hell?

Today was the first day of summer and one of the only weekdays this summer where Jillian and I have nothing at all that we need to do. We decided to have adventures, which included sweeping and mopping our six acres of hardwood floor.

After that, we drove up to one of the local farmers’ markets. This one is attached to a pick-your-own farm, and over the years has added other attractions like a tower made of hay bales, various animals, and a bouncy house. Jillian wanted to chat with the animals, so off we went.

Most of the animals were hiding out in the shade, but we did manage to have a serious conversation with a donkey, a chat with a rooster, and we tried to get the peacock to display his tale but he was giving us the stink-eye. On our way out, we visited the actual market and got some strawberries (too lazy to pick our own) and a couple of tomatoes for dinner tonight.

For lunch, Jillian chose California Pizza Kitchen, which is bloody awful but I’d promised that she could choose. So.

Now, here’s what I don’t understand, at all. When we were seated, the host-boy asked “have you been here before?” Uhhhh, yes? Does it matter? This happened to us once before when we went to Bonefish Grill (we had a coupon and you can’t mock a place effectively if you don’t at least give it a try), and Freddie made the mistake of saying “no” to that question and we were treated to a 15-minute presentation on How a Restaurant Works.

You mean, you look at this little book you gave me and pick something from the list? MARVELOUS!

I quickly told host-boy “yes, we were just here last week” (even though it was like, a year ago) to make him go away. I want to look at the menu, not smile and nod while you hover at the table and explain things to me like how a menu works. I am perfectly capable of reading the special offers and deals on your tabletop display thingy, thanks. Also, yes – that is a drink menu. I’m very clear on how that works. GO AWAY, LITTLE MAN.

But… what the hell is that even about? Is that a new thing at chain joints? We don’t eat at very many chain restaurants, mostly because they are almost always disgusting and we have literally hundreds of other options. The only exception is BW-3 (or whatever the fuck it’s called now. It will always be BW-3 to me, B-Dubs for short), because duh – wings aren’t easy to do and they do them well. Trust me, we’ve tried them all.

So, is this a thing that restaurants do now? They ask you if you’ve been there before and if you say “no” you get a hand-holding through the menu as if you’re some kind of alien who isn’t familiar with our ways? Now, I could see this being helpful at a place like the Melting Pot, or at a hibachi place, where there is some participation and things aren’t quite so straightforward as “pick a starter, main, and dessert” from the menu. That’s understandable and even welcome for n00bs who don’t get out much. But for the rank and file of restaurants? GO AWAY. We know what we’re doing.

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