p

ponygirl87's Profile

Title Last Reply

Parents- Do you bring food into a restaurant for your kids?

It's really not bad if parents bring those 'stick on' table placemats.

Mar 29, 2013
ponygirl87 in Not About Food

Parents- Do you bring food into a restaurant for your kids?

I don't have any kids, but definitely waitressed a few years ago during college breaks. I love kids, and had ZERO problems with parents bringing in food for their little kiddos, probably until 3ish? I think everyone needs to start somewhere, although starting with an earlier 4pm dinner was much better than at the 6:30 peak of the dinner rush. It gave me much more time to be accommodating, bring extra napkins, rush kids' food through even faster, etc. The big things I appreciated were if parents brought those disposable plastic table mats (it's like a large sticky mat) that made my clean up later soooooo much easier, and tipped a bit extra because I worked much harder for tables with little ones to try to make everything go super smoothly. I think if you child is still in the high chair/booster seat age range, it is perfectly appropriate to bring your own food and it makes things easier for everyone. If your kid is in the preschool range, or just having a bad day and is cranky for food asap, as the waitress I would always try to atleast bring bread or even saltine crackers since that ws the fastest thing I could grab to prevent a meltdown.
I did have a few people come in who expected me to heat their baby's gerber entree correctly in the kitchen, which I thought was pushing it (those restaurant micros are much higher powered than your home micro too- I had no idea what the correlation was, and what if it's too hot for the baby?). However I did not mind bringing an extra mug of boiling hot water to the table so the parents could heat the baby's bottle correctly. Asking upfront for extra napkins and any kind of wet-wipes, damp napkins, etc is always a great thing too. Babies make messes, that's just part of life, but having extra napkins on hand so I don't have to stop in the middle of everything else everytime you have a spill is awesome.
Also, if you do want your baby to start eating a combination of restaurant food and stuff from home, most restaurants can serve something as a small *plain* side. Specify plain for kids at first, there are so many seasonings, butters, etc that are added you won't even think about, even if it is supposed to be 'just steamed broccoli'.
Sorry for the long post, that just my two cents.

Awesome Friends With Food Sensitivities

I know that I'm a bit late in seeing this thread, but this always annoys me! Especially at restaurants where the server asks you!! It's really none of their business.
My answer is usually "I get to spend a really fun and painful night with a bucket/toilet/etc," which tends to work.

In regards to OP question, whether these food allergies are made up/control issues, yes some of them are, but many are not. I do not have celiac's, but cannot eat most acidic foods (ie tomatoes, citrus, bell peppers, etc)- which also takes out most marinades, barbeques, ketchups, many sauces, etc. But I have been able to tolerate adding a small (teeny) amount of lemon juice to certain dishes- which people have wondering if I wasn't just making it up. My mother has even "forgotten" to mention adding ketchup to a dish before, so that I could "learn to get over it" (she only did that ONCE). Allergies, like tastes, can change over time (while many don't). For instance, I can now eat sparing amounts of lemon juice without my stomach swelling. However, I now cannot even touch bell peppers without breaking out.

Some of the ways you may not notice all of the people with food allergies, are that people who aren't creating drama find creative ways around it. For instance,
-I always try to bring a dish to a party.
-I became involved with party planning/potlucks at my office, so that I could ask people to write dish labels.
-I have complimented people on their lovely dishes, and asked how to make it before I taste it.
-Pushing food around the plate.
-Eating more side dishes/things you can eat.
-Keeping a snack bar in my purse/eating something before I arrive.

Just my $0.02, but it really bothers me that people A) have "allergies" that are really dislikes or are done for attention or B) don't take allergies seriously. Just because you don't see me in pain the moment I eat something, doesn't mean I'm not allergic. Remember, it takes 20-30 minutes to reach your stomach.
Sorry, rant over.

Mar 07, 2012
ponygirl87 in Not About Food

Tips for dining out with babies and toddlers, please

You would not believe what some people think is allowed in restaurants... I have even had to explain to parents that your child may not come in the kitchen alone, so please supervise them, or please do not allow your child to smack other diners with their cutlery, the list is endless......

Dec 22, 2011
ponygirl87 in Not About Food

Tips for dining out with babies and toddlers, please

A bit late, but as someone who was a waitress in a family/chain restaurant, here are my two cents:
- This is obvious, but you know your kid's normal schedule. If they usually eat dinner at 5, please don't come in at 6 or later wondering why they're having a melt down.
-Kids are great, but they are extra work. I loved to go the extra mile for people with little kids, but it takes extra time. If you come in during the height of the dinner rush, If I have 6 other tables to handle, I cannot spend as much time getting you extra hot water to warm your bottle, or extra napkins the instant something spills. If you come outside the rush, I usually would even make kids napkin hats to wear and decorate while their parents ate.
-PLEASE remember there is usually someone sitting on the other side of the booth bench. I cannot tell you how many times a kiddo has stood up and bothered/poked the heads/screamed at the table next to them. Corner Tables = AWESOME with kids. Plus it usually gives them a bit of room to stand by the table without being in the way of foot traffic.
- I know that it's hard for kids to sit the entire time sometimes. But PLEASE DO NOT let them run in the aisles between tables. If there is an empty part of the restaurant, a lobby, outside, anywhere but where the servers have to walk. I am tall, if I am balancing a bunch of heavy, hot plates, it is hard to try to dodge and see if there are any little people running under my feet. I cannot tell you how many people think it is okay to let their kiddo stand/walk around right by their table, which is dangerous and makes my job harder.
-I have eaten out almost weekly with friends kiddos, and I know it isn't always easy. Kids are loud and messy. But please remember to tip your server extra- it takes twice as much effort sometimes for less tip $$, and oftentimes no one can be seated at that table until the booths, tables, and surrounding floors have been thoroughly cleaned. Those disposable table mats are fantastic!
- Bring your own sippy cup that your kid is used to. Yes, we have lots of lids and straws, but oftentimes they are much harder to handle. If you are using a restaurant's lid/straw- ask for the straw to be cut down shorter so it is easier to handle.
- You could have special (quiet) toys that only come out at restaurants, so they stay new and exciting.
-DEFINITELY wipe down the high chair before you use it- even if they were to be cleaned daily (usually they weren't) they still could get pretty gross.

Sorry this got a bit long. Most of the people on the post sound like considerate parents :-)

Dec 22, 2011
ponygirl87 in Not About Food

Doghouse Dining Dilemma

BTW if you are going to feed the dog something commercially made, as many others have said don't use Alpo. We tried it- once- and got quite a blow-out.

Apr 07, 2011
ponygirl87 in Features

Doghouse Dining Dilemma

I think the owners should not have left you to cook for their dogs without an upfront warning, do NOT feed the dog some other random food of your choosing. Although our dog looked fine and healthy, if she was fed regular food she would develop kidney stones and need another painful trip to the vet. Likewise, of our two brother cats one cannot eat gluten products- which we only found out after his becoming so sick he needed exploratory surgery and almost dying. If he so much as gets a single cat treat with wheat in it, he has uncontollable vomiting until he's dehydrated and there is nothing left in his poor tummy.
In regards to the 5 pages of instructions, while they may be a bit excessive I agree with what other posters said about needing to know basic histories/vet numbers/etc.

Apr 07, 2011
ponygirl87 in Features

Guilty Pleasure

It's making me hungry just thinking about this.

Crunchy Cheetos- not the silly puffy ones
French Fries- nice thick steak fries with real mayo
Ice Cream on the couch at midnight drizzling chocolate sauce into the carton
The Girl Scout Cookies that come in the purple box and have coconut flakes
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
"Chinese Buffet' Style Pork Fried Rice
Lucky Charms
Microwave Popcorn (Orville Redenbacher Kettle Corn)
Reese's anything (the cups are the best, but also the cereal)
The Frosted Animal Crackers someone already mentioned

I feel like going grocery shopping tonight is going to be dangerous and some of this list might make it into the cart :)

Mar 07, 2011
ponygirl87 in General Topics

What Food Trend are You So Sick Of?

Yes, this actually DOES happen, alot. You have to qualify whether you have allergies or not, and then get offered the exact thing your allergic to. For me with tomatoes, right after I say no tomtatoes, no citrus, no bell pepper server's tend to ask do I want extra tomatoes, mango relish, bbq sauce, extra ketchup etc. Or I have been offered pasta with marinara, or spicy seasoned chicken with bell peppers, etc right after I say "hey I'm allergic'. oh well.

Mar 07, 2011
ponygirl87 in General Topics

What Food Trend are You So Sick Of?

I don't mind cupcakes because I like the higher frosting to cake ratio, but hate how most of them have that chemical/foamy aftertaste.

My biggest food trend that I absolutely HATE is the gluten free trend. I understand and have several friends who have Celiac's. I know it's hard for them, and een just trying to make them a birthday cake or something simple is much more difficult. However, all those people who are going on the gluten-free diet and don't need it make everyone else with food allergies/sensitivies look high-maintanence. I used to work as a server in college, so I try to be an easy-going and understanding patron, all I ask is that you take my order correctly. I'm not doing it to be difficult, I'm doing it because I don't want to spend the night in pain because you gave me the wrong food.

I don't understand how gluten and peanuts deserve such special menus, but most other allergies are ignored/overlooked. I am VERY sensitive to acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes and bell peppers due to digestive problems. (Just touching bell peppers makes me itch). However, whenever I go out to eat and ask for "no tomatoes, no bell peppers, no seasoning" I get asked if I want the gluten free menu. The gluten free diet has become so popular that people seem to think it's pretty much the only allergy they need to work around. So I try to order and explain that I actually am allergic to the tomatoes, not the bread, 9 times out of 10 I will get a sandwich (or whatever dish) with no bread or onions, and extra tomatoes and ketchup. It's extremely frustrating. Or I order something "plain" and it comes out with red pepper flakes or bbq sauce or citrus vinegerette, and the server looks confused when I tell them I can't eat it. I have even asked as someoneo puts down a plate in front of me "no tomatoes, right?" only to be sick a few minutes later.
Sorry for the long rant, but it's so frustrating and I feel like it's getting so much worse than it used to be.

Mar 07, 2011
ponygirl87 in General Topics

Servers - Personal Life Chat

I does kind of sound to me like they were trying to guilt you into a bigger tip. I can see maybe being frazzled at the end of the day and being frustrated with your job, but that's never a reason to complain to your customers. I am understanding if people are having a bad day, but are still trying to keep it professional, but usually the waiters who will tell you their life's problems don't tend to last long or make good tips.

I waitressed through college at a chain just a few years ago and usually the only personal anecdotes I gave without asking were if I was new, or something short and cheery/peppy. Usually it would be something like if parents came in with little kids and were embarassed but trying to make an attempt to keep the area neat/clean I'd mention how my little cousins used to make such a mess whenever we went out together, or something to put them at ease. The only time I would actually really talk to someone would be if they were sitting alone and it was clear they were someone lonely- and then it would just be as I had a moment or two while taking care of other tables.
However, my problem always seemed to be the opposite of the OP. Some people would sit down and immediately judge me based solely on the fact that I was working as a waitress- they would assume I had dropped out of high school, already had several children, and had no goals in life- and they would procede to try to "help" me and give me suggestions for how I could "better myself". I had no problem sharing a bit about myself with these people! My favorite was a group of guys who appeared to be in there late 20s/early 30s (I was barely 21 at the time) and one of them decides to play the bigshot to his buddies and help the poor waitress. When he told me if I wanted to, I could probably go get my GED and get a real job, I put on my best waitress smile and told him "Thanks, but I already graduated high school with honors and college credits. I'm actually currently working on my undergraduate senior thesis at a federal research facility this summer so that I can get my bachelor's in biology with a neuroscience minor. Then I'd like to go get my PhD in neuroscience. What do you do?" The guy mumbled something about working as a package driver for FedEx (there's nothing wrong with that, but please don't act like you own the place even if you're Bill Gates) and didn't make eye contact with me for the evening. His buddies are probably still giving him a hard time about that :)

Feb 17, 2011
ponygirl87 in Not About Food