Mediocrity and Rudeness are Out of Style!


Well, now the Palate has read everything. A California touring reviewer for Bon Appetit Magazine reported that the best meal tasted while checking out L.A. was “the divine taco al pastor from the El Matador Taco Truck parked at Western and Lexington avenues, richly caramelized meat and hot sauce between two linen-soft sheets of a fresh corn tortilla.” That’s a little glossy so don’t all rush over at once, but if you happen to be in the nabe, the popular truck is well worth a quick stop. The Palate rates El Matador as a shiny, two star value for the fresh ideas it serves up to take-out.
Some things that sour the Palate’s taste buds are (presented in no special order but equally irritating): watching individuals or pricey places glop up what was once brewed, freshly-ground coffee into a gooey, sugar-loaded, fat-filled and thoroughly unhealthy concoction; anything described as seasoned French fries; habitual dumping of salt onto everything, from corned beef to lobster tail; people holding a sandwich in one hand and a cell phone in the other (give yourself, and others, an ear- break); microscopic, tasteless salad shrimp; pre-cooked entrées, veggies and baked potatoes (loses texture and flavor on kitchen steam tables and holding drawers); tasteless, breaded but shredded fish sticks; untrained bartenders who have to consult a recipe book to concoct even a basic hi-ball; tenderized cheap cuts of beef masquerading as steak or prime rib; medium-rare steak orders that arrive half-raw or grey in the center; soggy, lukewarm mashed potatoes or veggies; frozen chips of butter that tear fresh bread to shreds; the proverbial rubber chicken or leathery roast beef served at conferences and banquets; and the final insult, full-priced desserts made with half-melted ice cream, topped with tasteless, canned whipped cream.
Sure, I could rant another indigestible graph, but the Palate is on a deadline so just a final, more positive thought: Never hesitate to complain when it’s justified, but do so with a soft voice and a pleasant attitude. Keep your cool, and nine times out of ten, the problem will be rectified. Otherwise, resist the temptation to dial 9-1-1. Make a dignified exit and boycott that greasy spoon next time, assuming the place is still in business by then. These are highly competitive times in the precarious food service business. Mediocrity and rudeness are out of style!

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The Curious Palate

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