Saturday, 28 April 2007

An open letter to anybody from the provincial...


c'mon maw, we're all goin to Bel-faaaaaast

...backwater, hick, redneck, towns of Omagh, Enniskillen, Coleraine, Newry, Kilrea, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Armagh, Maghera, Strabane, Porta-fucking-down. Bollocks, any where outside of Belfast including Glengormley (shudder). You get the point and you know who you are.

Dear cow botherers/potato pickers/sibling fiddlers,

When visiting a restaurant in Bell-faast, as you like to pronounce it, please adhere to the following guidelines. They will make your dining experience and my life oh so much better.

1. Please arrive on time. Being a half hour late isn't cool and no amount of country colloquialisms and stupid jokes makes up for being late. I know you are trying to save a fiver and are looking for some free parking, don't be so tight, or at least allow for this before you leave.

2. If you don't see it on the menu don't ask for it. I don't care if Billy Bob's on the Main (only) Street in Maghera serves a great pie 'n' chips, we don't. Get over it.

3. Shhhhhhhh! You aren't out in the fields now, stop shouting.

4. It's quality not quantity that counts. We don't have a farm attached. We didn't marry the local farmers daughter, or our own sister. We don't know the lambs by name. This means we have to pay more for our supplies than your local Orange hall/GAA social club. Having 3 stone of food on your plate isn't the sign of a good meal. If you want that sort of food phone us in advance and we shall put a trough out for you.

5. The prices are there on the menu, if you are having trouble reading them let me know and I will read them out for you. The prices ARE set in stone and aren't suggestions. This isn't your local market and haggling isn't allowed. When I present you with the bill don't be coming over all "Oh my God, that's so expensive" and all that nonsense. Knock it off, you drive an SUV, rent out 15 houses around the university, own half of Tyrone, and get thousands and thousands of pounds from the EU for nowt. You can well afford the bill.

6. If I bust my hump getting you extra "pertties" and putting up with your whinging about the price of a pint in Bell- faaaaaaaast I expect something in return. If I cant fold it, it ain't a tip. Coinage is just an insult. Think on, I know your name and phone number and if you piss me off I can assure you that you won't be dining here again.

I write this not to insult you or put you off from enjoying your big day out in the city, but to help you, help me, help you. If all that is too much to remember, just recite this all the way up the M1, "EAT, PAY, TIP, LEAVE." All together now, EAT, PAY, TIP LEAVE, EAT PAY TIP LEAVE....

Signed on behalf of the waiting/bar staff of Bel-faaaaaaaaaaaast.

Mr Maghera finalists 2007

12 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

paddy said...

Please arrive on time: Never late
If you don't see it on the menu don't ask for it: not a chance
I'm like a mouse.
I always eat before I go to a restaurant to avoid confruntation.
I always tip before and tell the waiter there's another tip at the end of the evening.
I write checks for the waiter and make sure all the other waiter's see it, because I know it gives in addition to the tip a certain prestige to the waiter: he feels as he should above the rest; after all he is my waiter for the time being; if he dosen't feel good then I wont feel good.
Dont you just love me?, am I not perfect?
Cheers Y:-) Paddy

ellie said...

I'm sticking to Burger King, the food is shite but at least the etiquette is easy. Eat off the tray, scrunch up the paper and tip contents of tray (most of the food included) into bin as you leave.

Manuel said...

paddy: there will always be a table for you!!

ellie: no need, learn from the waiter and ye shall never sin again....

Cybez said...

I was in Maghera near the Sperrins yesterday and observed a drunk man, with a gash on his forehead which was decorated with dried blood, touring the local shops. The sales assistants don't as they would in Belfast, say 'Are you gettin?'instead it's a 'Fuck Off would you!'

I reckon the noisiest people in Norn Iron are from the Shankill Rd. When I was in de music bizz they were and that's even with the PA turned up. It wasn't the men it was the Weemen I thought imagine being married to one of them.

toast said...

ineresting - i had a conversation withsomeone a while back on the subject of irish cuisine, i maintained the whole thing was a myth and that when i were a lad a 'good' restaurant was graded on how much food they stacked on your plate - big lump of meat, roasties and vegetables boiled to within an inch of their lives stacked as high as you could get would get a NI Michellin star.

Yes, I am from the sticks

Conortje said...

I'm sure there should be something about washing before hand too. The scent of pig shit is not alluring.

Manuel said...

Cybez: Its always the weemen. ALWAYS.

Toast: Thats exactly what Iam talking about. Troughs, nosebags, buckets would all work better than plates.

Conortje: you say that but its beeter than swarfega and lynx...

ironbed said...

When I worked in the building trade a while back, the Cultchies all but dominated the scene. You always heard them before you saw them. I always asked them to kick the shite off their boots before comming on site, just to defalte their egos. They brought sandwhiches the size of doorsteps and talked with their mouths full, spitting out food.
I always maintained that Belfast should be circled with toll roads and charge them for comming into the city. Then charge them double as they left in the evenings and maybe they would get the hint.
"Where wud ye git yer food from if it wasn't for the farmers?" A cow walloper once asked me .
"In fuking Tescos where I always get it"

Sharon said...

Oh you guys from the big metropolis. Tell me this, are there any Chinese restaurants in Belfast yet, where they don't automatically put your food on a plate and hand you a knife and fork, or where you're not asked, if you want chips (chips?!) or rice with your meal?

Do you see what I did there, I set out my cosmopolitan credentials to disassociate myself from my townsfolk. (You name-checked it in your opening paragraph.) You think you have it bad, I used to work as a bar waitress in a parish hall in that same town. The tips were nonexistent and sexist bullshit was plentiful.

(Worst tip I ever got, working for a few months in a restaurant in the USA, was a bible leaflet. Idiots)

helenalex said...

So what is the correct way to pronounce 'Belfast'? Bearing in mind that, contrary what half the urban population of Norn Iron believe, you are supposed to move your mouth when you speak.

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B said...

You were ready to generalise all them the second this group walked in, every one of those things could apply to anyone.