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MichelleRenee's Profile

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Packing leftovers at the table - Is it just me?

lol, good point escondido!

Apr 08, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Silly Eating Habits

I can only think of 3 silly eating habits I have:

Fried eggs and hashbrowns: I always cut up the egg and then mix it up with the hashbrowns, making sure I get all the gooey, runny part perfectly blended in.

And meatloaf: A scoop of mashed potatoes, a scoop of corn and a slice of meatloaf go onto the plate. Then they get mushed together, a dab of ketchup on top, mushed some more, and ready to eat! I guess I really like my food mushy.

Apr 07, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

What happens to leftover restaurant food at the end of a shift?

He might have been fibbing! I worked at a Carraba's and that was never, ever done.

"want the employees baking "extra" near closing time, so that conveniently there would be leftovers for the staff to take home. " Bingo! Yes, that's why every kitchen I ever worked in threw away extra food or "dead" food. And, also why (referring to another thread) you often need a manager's swipe to split the bill. Servers could ring in an order for themselves under one of their tables, and then split it off and pay for it. Maybe if the restaurant gave them opportunity to eat, they wouldn't feel the need to do that.

Mar 31, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Packing leftovers at the table - Is it just me?

I don't know, but I sure wish it would change! When food is too good I have a hard time saving half for tomorrow. I often get a box as soon as I get my food and then immediately place half inside. My box then sits hideously on the table mocking fellow patrons whilst I enjoy my meal. The horror!

Mar 31, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Packing leftovers at the table - Is it just me?

I've never seen this done, either. Usually if I ask them to bring me a box, they offer to take it and box it for me (in the kitchen, the same place they get all the to-go orders ready, as well as all the in-house orders, and where they hang out, eat and do whatever else.) And then I just say, "it's okay. I don't mind." It does seem a bit strange to box it for you at the table, but I would reduce their tip for it. That just seems nitpicky.

Mar 31, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Sharing a table?

I didn't know this was even done. I've never been asked this or even thought to ask or offer to someone else.

There was one time a friend and I sat at a table that was really three 2-tops pushed together, and so I ended up sitting right next to the strangers beside me. It made it difficult to hold a conversation with my friend across the table, but I remember the food and complementary wine spritzers more vividly than the other patrons, so I guess it wasn't that big a deal. But I'd prefer my own table.

Mar 31, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

You're right. One of the problems is that it's such a transient job for so many. Most people seem are only working as servers to get somewhere else. When that's the case, it's easier to do the job and then get out of it as soon as you can. The more noise you raise, the more risk of losing the money that's getting you by. Department stores don't pay so well.... I still never understood why it's even the employees jobs to make the changes, though, since there are legal guidelines to follow. But it happens that it's one of the few industries in this country where the law turns a blind eye.... And while good waiters can get a job anywhere, chances are that it'll be the same way there, too.... or it was, anyway.

Mar 31, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

I'm not so sure there is a generally proper time and place for each, so I guess you're right, I don't acknowledge it, but I acknowledge that that's how others feel about it. It wouldn't bother me if a server anywhere told me their name, or asked me how my meal was, and I would (and do) say thank you for anything that's brought to the table.... That's what I mean by unnoticed. If it's unnoticed, that seems to imply you didn't acknowledge the person who brought it to you. It just seems more civil to me to say "thank you" for refilling your water, or bringing you something you asked for, etc. I'm not sure I understand why fine dining, from what I'm reading here anyway, seems to contradict basic human civility.

Mar 31, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

"5 - Two ladies at the next table fawning over a man, cutting his food and peeling grapes for him"
Lol, tell me you've really seen this one! Okay, that would make my stomach turn, as well. But, my point is, why shouldn't they do that just because someone else doesn't like it? That one is amusing, but not impolite or inconsiderate, imo. The others you posted I agree with. Those are examples of inconsiderate or rude behavior. I don't equate etiquette with manners. One has to do with how we interact while the other has to do with what are considered social guidelines. A person can wear a pair of sweats out to a restaurant but still have impeccable manners. Just as someone can wear a tux and still be rude and offensive. I say "etiquette schmetiquette" because I don't care what society wants me to wear or whether I'm using the "correct" utensil to eat my salad, but I do care how I make others feel by the way I treat them. Perhaps I should have said I'm too rebellious for that instead of liberated, but rebellion can often feel very liberating!

Mar 31, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

Hmm. I'll have to ask the server next time I go out. If it really has changed then I'm so happy for the servers all over! That was always a huge frustration for me.

Mar 30, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

It's interesting--in my perfect or ideal world, I don't picture service to be unnoticeable. The fact that I have something to drink and something to eat is quite noticeable, and I don't pretend it just appeared in front of me out of thin air. And I can't imagine ever being annoyed at a server asking me how my food is. It's very interesting to hear about the different styles of serving in different areas, and people's different expectations of it.
I guess that's one great reason to be more tolerant of serving styles that don't quite fit one's personal preference.

I definitely prefer this American style. And I'm glad to know how it is in other countries, because otherwise I could end up feeling offended or neglected when, really, there's just a different mode of operations to follow.... I wonder if the servers in those countries prefer that style, as well, or if they're just following social preferences?

Mar 30, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

"There is no care in the world about the social contract, it has become an I will do what the heck I want, when I want it and if you do not like it, screw everyone else."

The social contract, in my mind, is about how we treat each other, not about dressing to appeal to others' tastes. As long as you're a decent human being, treating others politely, respectfully and considerately, and contributing to society, very little else matters. As far as choice of attire goes, I appreciate the "I will do what the heck I want, when I want it and if you do not like it, screw everyone else" mentality. If someone has a problem with what I'm wearing, that's their issue and not mine, and they probably have way too few problems in life to be worried about the fact that someone else is wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Etiquette schmediquette. I'm too liberated for that!

Mar 30, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

Thanks for the links! I never had to read up on tipping because I've known servers my whole life, so my knowledge always came from the source. I think some outsiders' advice is a bit off, but at least an okay guideline.

Mar 29, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

Wrong? I assure you, I'm 100% correct on that point. Or at least, that's how it was done when I was a server, about 7 years ago.

I'm sure the restaurants I've worked at have done/do many illegal things! But, believe me, the amount of taxes we claimed, the amount we tip-out..... all included the tax on the bill. The tax is included in the money you have to pay to the management at the end of your shift. You have to fork over the TOTAL sales (minus credit card payments, but you must have the slips or else you pay that bill and lose the tip, as well) in cash at the end of the day. The way you know how much cash you owe is by printing a cash-out slip that tells you your total, the percentage amount you owe to the bar, and the percentage amount you owe to the host/hostesses. Illegal? You bet. We paid other employees wages using OUR taxable earnings. But there was little to be done about it other than to quit... where it would be the same at any other restaurant at that time.

Mar 29, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Crazy supermarket check-out experience

Damn! My boyfriend thought of that idea a couple weeks ago. We spent many glasses of wine trying to figure out how to make something like that work.... Looks like we were beat to the punch!

Mar 29, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Would you say something to the management about this?

It's been a while since I've worked in a restaurant, but at the last ones I worked at, things had changed a bit. They switched to plastic bottles so they could throw away and replace empty bottles with brand new ones. If your table has plastic ketchup bottles, they were likely unmarried.

Mar 29, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

would you sue for this?

It wouldn't even occur to me to sue for something like this. Maybe if the pit was somewhere you wouldn't expect it to be, like in the mashed potatoes or something. Even then, I'm way too lazy to go through all the trouble of getting my tooth fixed AND suing, lol.

It's long ago ceased to amaze me the kinds of things people will sue for, but it's still disheartening. Some things are necessary and worth it, but probably most are not. Can't people just chalk some things up to life being complicated? Since when does there have to be someone to take responsibility for every single thing that goes wrong in one's life? And why can't people just work for their money instead of always looking for handouts? Ugh.

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

Where does Emily Post come up with her calculations? I disagree with some of them. Take-out is time-consuming and often done by servers who also have other tables to worry about. Getting your take-out order ready sometimes interferes with their ability to provide their tables with the best service. Their total night's sales includes take-out, so their tip-out and taxes paid includes the amounts from that portion. You should be tipping at least 10% for take-out.

I do agree about the tip-out jars, though. They annoy me a lot. But if you're going to frequent that place, it's wise to drop at least a couple bucks in there.

Mar 28, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

"Of course, there can be a feedback loop in these perception stories. Perhaps many servers already gave service with a less positive attitude to minorities, thus earning lower tips and creating an expectation of discriminatory service on the part of those customers, et cet. Studies don't really treat proximate causality - it can work both ways."

I think you're right on the money. There are way, way too many servers with that attitude, and it's a self-fulfilling prophecy in my experience. My mom taught me to treat everyone equally well, and to consider the cause behind a person's actions before leaping to judgements. That isn't to say that I wasn't often frustrated by poor tips from some guests, but I I can't remember drawing any correlation between a guest's tip and their skin color. I do think that, generally speaking, the tip a guest leaves mostly correlates with their attitude (the guest's.) I would say probably most of my tips would have been given regardless of the kind of service they received.

Mar 28, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

Serving definitely is an extremely stressful job. Are there more stressful jobs out there? Absolutely! But let's not devalue the hard work and stress that a server experiences. And they are the lest paid in a restaurant. Cooks hardly every make minimum wage at a restaurant, and their wages aren't based on how well they do their job--or how well others' in the kitchen do their jobs. But a server is paid pennies over $2.00 an hour, and they rely on the generosity of their patrons for their income, and are often nit-picked even when things that went wrong aren't quite their fault. Servers face some of the hardest scrutiny and deal with some of the most demanding folks. It SHOULDN'T be one of the most stressful jobs, but it is. Because they don't have the management OR the guests on their sides.

Unless you've ever been a server, you really can't judge the difficulty of the job. To do so is pure foolishness.

Mar 28, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Should I Tip on bill amount without tax or total inclusive of tax?

I've never heard of anyone tipping on anything other than the bill's total, which includes tax. I guess I could see the principle some of you are using to justify tipping the pre-tax amount, but here's a little something to think about; At many places (and most, if not all, corporate restaurants) the amount of taxes the server has to pay (as well as their tip-out) is based on their total sales. Their total sales includes the taxes of every check (the very definition of the word "total.") So, if you're tipping on only the pre-tax portion of the check instead of the total, you're actually short-changing the server. If many people do that, it could add up to an extra $10-$20 that the server has to pay out of pocket because a few people decided to do something "on principle." And, let's be real here, the only affect your acting on that principle has is that the server has to pay taxes on money they didn't even earn. Logically speaking, that doesn't make sense. Don't use principles as an excuse to be cheap. If you feel that strongly about something, write to your congressman, or start a servers' union. Don't punish hard-working people because they work under unfair conditions.

"The dirty looks are probably due to the self-entitled generation now assuming they have a right to post-tax tipping as well these days."

If the server did their job, why wouldn't they be entitled to be paid for it? The "self-entitled generation" is characterized by their demand to receive things they didn't necessarily earn (money, car, good grades, a degree, respect, recognition, etc.) I totally know what you're talking about, the people you're referring to, but a hard worker wanting fair pay doesn't qualify.

Mar 28, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

I'm not saying it's right to purposefully spy on others' conversations in any way (although sometimes it seems the only way not to is to plug your ears with cotton balls) but isn't that the risk you take when discussing confidential information in public? Better safe than sorry. As a client, I think I'd prefer doing business in an office or in my home or somewhere else completely private.

Edit: sorry for being redundant. I hadn't noticed others have made this point.

And I still don't really get the big issue people take with others' clothing. Considering many people don't have the extra cash to burn, it seems that restaurants should count themselves lucky if patrons choose to spend money at their establishment rather than o on a shopping trip to own the "proper" uniform for a restaurant they won't have money to go to.... Dress wasn't something that my grandparents, or my parents, ever taught us as etiquette. We were taught to behave well, be considerate of others, be polite, work hard, be generous, etc. And none of those things have anything to do with what we're wearing on our bodies. In a world where there are so many legitimate gripes, this one seems quite small and meaningless.

Mar 28, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Gay Friendly

I USED to disagree, because guys tend to pee all over the seat. But women seem to be pretty competent at spraying all over the toilet now-days, as well, so it definitely makes sense. And yes, avoiding those long ladies' lines is very welcome!

Mar 25, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Athletes and Nutrition [split from Home Cooking]

That's what I've been trying to do. I got fed up with all the contradicting opinions out there and began noticing how things affect my body more. It's just difficult sometimes to find out specifically WHAT in your diet is affecting your body. I noticed that if I don't pay attention to how much protein I'm taking in, I take in much less and my body does much better with it, contradictory to what a lot of people are saying about protein these days. Actually, I find that anything they tell you to count (sugars, carbs, proteins, etc.) ends up with me packing on weight. If I choose my food items naturally, just eating lots of fresh produce, some whole grains, a few healthy fats and only lean meats (when I eat em, not daily) I do much better. When I begin to concentrate too much on what I eat I usually over or under-do it. I guess listen to your body really is the best advice.

And my apologies, I can't find the link to the livestrong article, so it's very possible I read it elsewhere. I spend a lot of time reading different articles about nutrition and fitness, so I must've gotten the sources confused. I could've sworn it was livestrong, because that's what surprised me was the source. I'll continue looking. But the sources I was speaking of was not saying that refined grains are better than whole grains. They were saying not to eat any grain in any quantity, and some recommended avoiding fruit, too (because of the sugars and carbs.) Their argument being that humans have only been eating grains since the invention of agriculture and they don't digest properly. They make it all sound very scientific. I have a degree in graphic design, not physiology, so I'm pretty clueless as to how the body processes all these different things. But even then, it just didn't sound right to me, especially the no-fruit rule. So many wonderful nutrients in so many different fruits.

Mar 25, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

I don't either, Rella. And I think it's a little misguided (and perhaps a bit arrogant) to point out the attire of a group of inconsiderate people. Their clothing has nothing to do with their attitude towards other people.

Mar 25, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Athletes and Nutrition [split from Home Cooking]

I'd like to apologize in advance for what is likely to be a bombardment of questions and misconceptions (probably.) I don't know if you could classify me as an athlete. I've been working out for over 16 years, off and on, and "dieting" for about just as long. When I quit smoking last year I threw myself into studying fitness and nutrition as a distraction from smoke-breaks and an attempt to keep my figure.... and it's only been confusion for me ever since.

I keep reading that you need a lot of protein (several sources claimed I needed 2-3 times the protein I was getting. And at that time, I was counting grams and consuming 60-80g of protein a day. I've since thrown that myth into the garbage after I realized that too much protein made me gain weight, and it wasn't muscle. In fact, I do much better with a little less than what's considered average. So, that one I learned through trial and error and no amount of scientific data is going to change the actual affect it had on my body.

Now I'm confused about carbs. I've been eating whole grains as opposed to white bread and pasta for over a decade. But recent studies are saying do not eat grains. Many of those studies in fact say not to eat any grain OR any fruits, or basically any sugary foods whatsoever. I'm having a hard time finding any facts about why the no grain rule. And especially the no fruit rule (they're loaded with essential nutrients! I eat at least one tomato a day, and a few people I know don't eat them because of the carbs. I can't even fathom it.)

Now, I run 3 miles 3-5 times a week for hobby. Not sure if you could quite classify me as an athlete, and surely not an endurance athlete, but I need to sharpen my fitness and nutrition knowledge. I haven't quit eating grains in spite of all that bad things I'm reading about them. I only eat an average of a serving a day. So I'm just curious what you guys know of them and what you think their place and quantity would be in a runner like me? Or do you know a reliable source for finding basic nutrition information? Even Livestrong recommends no grains.

Mar 24, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Convenience Products And The Environment-How Ridiculous Can You Get?

Hopefully these cut up fruits and veggies, individually wrapped, will be a starting point for people trying to eat better. Once they get used to that, maybe they'll move up to buying the produce whole and eating it that way, or cutting it up themselves. Some people have harder habits to break: eating fast food or vending machine candy bars, etc, so the easy-access to fruits and veggies packaged and offered much the same way is a good stepping stone.

The individually wrapped potatoes seems a little silly, but in a way that makes a little sense, too. People who are more likely to order french fries to go, or buy a bag of tater tots or pre-prepared potatoes might find the convenience and quantity of the shrink-wrapped potato to be a good substitute. Once they read the instructions and journey down the road of food and cooking discovery, they could opt for regular potatoes--but if they're grocer doesn't sell individual unwrapped potatoes (mine usually only sells bags), i could see why a person who only has themselves or maybe one other to cook for would continue to buy the individually wrapped ones. I would. Because I remember all too well what became that half a bag of forgotten potatoes. lol

Mar 24, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Convenience Products And The Environment-How Ridiculous Can You Get?

I thought that when the sun hits those plastic bottles with water in them, it causes cancer-causing toxins in the plastic to leach into the water?

I rarely use bottled water, but I like them for the gym because they don't rattle as much in the treadmill's cup-holder. But I only bought a few and I've been reusing them. Otherwise, for traveling purposes, I just bring a travel-cup of water.

Mar 24, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Convenience Products And The Environment-How Ridiculous Can You Get?

Do you mean the pre-cooked dry rice or the totally cooked rice in a bag that you can microwave in the bag itself? I tried the latter kind not too long ago (cause that's how bad a cook I am.) And not even my lazy butt would try it again. I threw it away and put a pot of water on to boil after a couple of bites. nasty stuff.

Mar 24, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food

Convenience Products And The Environment-How Ridiculous Can You Get?

I absolutely love this solution! A win-win-win. I'm going to steal this one when I have kids.

Mar 24, 2011
MichelleRenee in Not About Food