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August 5, 2009

Cooks, bartenders and a heartfelt ovation

OK, the last paragraph of this Shallow Thought Wednesday by guest poster John Lindner made me laugh out loud at my desk, and that doesn't happen very often, especially not my second day back from vacation. Here's John. EL

“More than two out of five adults in the United States have worked in the restaurant industry at some time during their lives.”
I’m one of them. What I learned from that era: Chefs and cooks skew dorky while bartenders are almost always cool. Why is that?
Full Disclosure: At the height of my professional cooking career, I was a steak house “cook” … and a moderate to heavy dork. At the pinnacle of my bartending days -- an upscale restaurant, name since forgotten -- I could chill a martini merely by looking at it. A very popular trick.
(Rare note on video: I swear I didn't know John Wayne had a brother.)
Ovation: I’d like to send a big thank-you out to all those servers who know that the condiments should be on the table before or as the meal reaches the table and not after the fries have cooled. I love you all. Please tell me one thing: Where the hell do you work?

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 2:57 PM | | Comments (38)


I used to be a bartender. It sure was a lot cooler than my current job.

I could chill a martini merely by looking at it.

Ah, classic Lindner. My keyboard has ice crystals on it.

Well stirred, sir.

I finally got to a place I could see the video. Excellent choice, jl. Stompin' Tom Connors sings my October anthem: "The Good Ol' Hockey Game".

I was a fry-cook at an A&W drive-in, in college. It was there that I met a foxy car-hop, named Kaikala.

The plea of the common man, uncommonly voiced.
jl, you are one cool dork.

I'm not sure if the man in black motif works for a guy singing about ketchup or any condiment for that matter...maybe srircha.

Our regular server at our local sh*thole always has my partner's A1 and my Splenda in her pocket as she serves us. She's wonderful and we make it a point to let her know that she is way too good for that place. But, we hope she never leaves!

It almost seems like there is an inverse income curve verses competency for servers. At your local diner, you've probably got professionals who are good, remember how you take your coffee and don't screw up your order. At the top, you've got pros who make it all look effortless.

In the vast middling distances, you've got...folks who are serving for extra money or just for a few months or years. Some of them are ok. Most clearly show what a difficult job serving is.

Timing is everything. I definitely want to get to my fries while they're still hot.

"Tis a rare and wondrous thing to find someone who remembers how you take your coffee.

RoCK, it was Stompin Tom or a Las Ketchup vid. I chose Stompin for the shock value.

I like my coffee like I like my women ... full of liquor and poured into a big cup

I could chill a martini merely by looking at it.

John, my admiration for you grows by leaps and bounds.

John, my admiration for you grows by leaps and bounds.

Yeah, but how far can you leap on those tiny little pig legs? ;-P

Joyce, you need to do some guest posting.

Each week you could review a different "Local Sh*thole" Your column could be called Sh*thole Saturday. I can already see the t-shirt and marketing possiblities.

RoCK & Joyce ... that concept is working really well for Jonathon Gold, who reviews (mostly ethnic) "sh*th*l*s" in the Los Angeles area for LA Weekly. He won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism!

RoCK, we really only have on local sh*thole. What's really sad about it is, we spend enough money there, that we're probably keeping them in business. If I was more motivated to drive out of northern Baltimore county, there's some fine meals to be had in every direction.

sigh. convenience has a cost!

Yum, full disclosure, I'm back to using ice. My opthamologist said if I kept chilling martinis with "The Look" eventually my retinas would detach and I'd go from cool to aloof.

My opthamologist said if I kept chilling martinis with "The Look" eventually my retinas would detach and I'd go from cool to aloof.

That should be the comment of the week, except that if it got published in the "paper" paper no one would understand what it was about.

My opthamologist said if I kept chilling martinis with "The Look" eventually my retinas would detach and I'd go from cool to aloof.

John, with that you've left me shaken AND stirred.

Straight up or on the rocks, Miss Porchetta?

Why, Mr. Darcy, it depends on my mood. Of course, my mood right now is to take the advice of the ultra-cool Mr. Lindner.

Well, Miss Porchetta, I am sure that either way it would be a delight to sip you. Do you come with olives or a twist? Mmm.. I would love to try a bacon martini. Now that would make a Very Happy Hour. Consider me smitten.

Shake, strain, slurp, repeat.

Grazie, John.

Mr. Darcy, olives if you want something on which to nibble, a twist if you don't.

Repeat after me, sir: "Everything goes better with bacon." It is the mantra of this blog.

Sip and nibble then. That way you, I mean it lasts longer.

Mr. Darcy, I will need to defer to John Lindner, as he is the expert when we discuss anything involving the "Cock-Tail".

My heavens, you are quite the minx today, Miss Porchetta. If I may be so bold to suggest that we could meet for some mirugai and perchance a spicy maguro temaki. Anata wa oishi desu ne.

Is it hot in here? Check please.

I think it's just about the right temperature. Couldn't ask for a more pleasant evening.

Mr. Darcy has a blog about crabs?

Mr. Darcy has a blog about crabs?

That's OMG's blog. I'm not sure who is impersonating who.

Did Owlie give Mr. Darcy crabs?

Will Miss Porchetta get some mirugai?

And what is is Camille Quelquejeu's theromostat set to?

Confused? You won't be after this episode of SOAP

RoCK, that would be a candidate for comment of the week, except that no outsiders would understand it.

You're pretty funny for a Republican. :-)

Hal, the CotW is a very inside thing anyway. It's not in the print version.

Catching up ... very funny RoCK. I don't know exactly what is going on. Mr. Darcy seems to have been commenting while I was on a 25 mile bike ride. And he couldn't possibly have a blog of any kind in the 18th Century. You sir, are a cad and an imposter.

We live in a world beset on all sides with mysteries and riddles.

Mr. Darcy is 19th century; Shandy is 18th century.

If I weren't spooning you right now I might suspect that you were Tristram Shandy. Are you more skilled with digital devices than I suspected?
Oooooooo............ SHANDY !!!!
Turn off the camera, turn it off NOW......

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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