Friday, July 01, 2005


As a public service, I’ve written a Fancy French Restaurant FAQ for our male readers based on our dinner last night. Note: metrosexuals may not need this guide.

The menu frightens me.
You and me both, brother. Goose liver on French toast with huckleberry syrup? Olive oil ice cream? A fruit cup—with duck? Viva la diet!

What’s my fallback meal?
This is vitally important, so listen up: in a French restaurant, there is no fallback meal. Rotisserie chicken? Forget it. Beef tenderloin? So jammed up with bleu cheese that you can’t even taste the beef. Plus the sauce is so gunky it looks like oil that hasn’t been changed in 50,000 miles.

When those crusty rolls arrive while you’re waiting for your meal, cling to them like a lifeboat, my friend, because they are your meal.

Where’s the salad?
Well, there isn’t one, unless you want a Caesar salad. Caesar kicked France’s ass, did he not?

Why did my wife just say that a meal sounded “intriguing” to the waiter?
This peculiar linguistic oddity has no known cure, although it usually abates within thirty minutes of leaving the restaurant. Your wife may also laugh when the waiter describes a particularly “delightful” dish.

Why is the waiter bringing me food that I didn’t order?
It’s apparently common. Every few minutes they’ll lob something at you that’s tiny and smells funny. It’s a four-course dinner for action figures.

My main course just arrived. What the hell is that on my plate?
Well, it could be many things: frog, goose liver, rabbit, duck. If it has a tiny saddle and a bridle, well, you don’t want to know.

My main course just arrived. But I can’t find it on the plate!
Remain calm. Your food is totally obscured under an incredibly thick sauce.

This food is rich. How far do I need to run to work off this meal?
Seventeen miles.

Why are all these people so damned nice?
I don’t know. But they are. They really are.

We finished eating last Thursday and the check still hasn’t arrived. What do I do?
Don’t leave home without the phone number of your local Red Cross representative. Threaten the waiter with a human rights complaint if they don’t return with your check immediately.

You don’t appreciate fine food or sophisticated restaurants. You sound like kind of a cretin.
Kind of? Man, I’m all cretin. I don’t want to be enlightened. I’ve seen how they dress.

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