The Dining World’s Not-So-Quiet Riot

Toronto’s excellent Globe and Mail has published a great story about loud restaurants.

It turns out the issue has a lot of angles; it’s not as simple as just sticking up some paneling. There’s a tug of war between a quiet place defined by dowdy-looking upholstered chairs, paneling, and carpeting and the chic-looking (and much cheaper to furnish) sawmill-loud echo chamber of stone, glass, and metal.

But the article takes a Stand by Me–esque turn for the hilarious when it quotes a professional food writer:

‘It’s become much worse over the last decade,’ says Marion Kane, a veteran food writer and broadcaster who believes some restaurateurs deliberately create a noisy environment.

‘There is a mistaken belief — especially among young people — that if you’re shouting and it’s loud, you’re having a good time.’

Ms. Kane recalls a recent dinner where the babble was so intense, she started eating manically. ‘I was so nervous and wound up, I kept eating the food off my friend’s plate. On the way home, I had to ask her to stop the car so I could throw up.’

Ah, yes. The restaurant that’s so loud it makes you steal your friend’s food and then, engorged beyond capacity, vomit all over the curb. We’ve all been there, right?