Monday, June 13, 2011

Going out to eat, brown bag in hand

Photo courtesy of google images.
When eating at a friend's house it is polite to contribute and show appreciation by bringing a bottle of wine or the like.  As a cook eating out at a friend's restaurant the custom sticks:  Bring the kitchen (your hosts) beer (and they will be kind to you...).

As I prepared to come in and eat with my family where I work, the AM sous explained to me the beer etiquette I should follow.  Despite the fact that this practice seemed mildly inappropriate (to walk into a nice restaurant with beer in hand), I know it's typical based on what the other cooks have said and done: The garde-manger cook coming in to eat with a massive bottle of beer in a brown bag, and the PM sous complaining that her friend's restaurant didn't send anything extra even though she brought a six-pack.  To keep with tradition I wanted to go out and get a little something for my team.  As it happened there was not much time between when I got off work and the reservation so I informed the staff I'd bring them beer the following work day instead.  I think I must be the most awkward beer-giver of all time (partly because of my tardiness and partly because I'm not much of a drinker and an aura of young innocence surrounds me).  But the staff was cool and in the end I felt like I played my part.  In return they treated us with such warmth and generosity that the beer fizzled in comparison.  They're pretty cool like that.

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