Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The ridiculousness of restaurant plates.....

We had new plates delivered at work last week. The previous set were suddenly deemed uncool or something and now languish in old wine boxes at the foot of the back stairs. Their fate is uncertain much like my arms. After one weekend using them I felt like I had spent 48 hours on the rack being pulled and stretched and not in a good way. I was glad when Sunday was over and I could literally drag, like an orangutan, my achy breaky arms home.

and that's just to serve the bread.....
...for one person

The new plates are heavier than the old plates actually they are heavier than a box of the old plates. Why must the plates be so heavy?

Why?

Why?

Why?

It's a never ending cycle of heaviness. These plates are heavier than the last plates which were heavier than the plates before them. Give it five years or so and it will take two or three waiters to carry your plate to the table, and that'll just be the starter. Special hoists will drop and pick up your main dishes.

There really is no need. It's not like the AC is so strong that it's likely to lift the plate from your table. Not only are the plates heavy they are big. Why must the plates be so big? Why? Does food taste better on a plate the size of a bin lid? I really don't think so. No it's a plan to cripple me. What else can it be? At first I was quite pleased with the new plates and their off whiteness and their large lip which means they could probably double as bowls except we put soup in cups now and coffee comes in a vase and flowers are displayed in shoes and we wear gloves on out feet. Okay maybe not but you know what I mean. It's all gone mental in the world of food service.

It really has.

Tiny salads are served on huge satellite dish sized plates whilst steaks are perched precariously on top of huge towers of fries that rest on a bowl that used to serve soup. If I wanted my soup in a cup I would have stayed at home and put the kettle on and opened a packet. What's going on? Is it all smoke and mirrors to hide from the averageness of the food? Chefs and restrauteurs have got us believing that our food will taste better if the crockery is as interesting as the food. Why just the other day I had some stew served in bowl that looked like a football (soccer) that had just been hollowed out at a ridiculous angle by a blind Welshman with a rusty blade. It was ludicrous, the stew was nice but it was lost on me as I tried to navigate my way around the bowl to the side that was less steep. But it was like a trick of the mind as no matter what way you spun the bowl the less steep side was always at the furtherest point from your mouth.

Frustrating stuff.

I remember the old days, being old that's no surprise. Plates came in one colour, white and were always round except when they were oval but that was okay as it made sense to put fish on an oval plate. Soup came in a bowl with a satisfactory lip making them both easy to serve and collect again. I'm no fan of square bowls and rectangular plates. I fucking abhor, with a passion equal to that of the most rabid Nazi, the glass plate. Oh what is that all about? They are detestable in the extreme and serve no earthly purpose other than to give chefs something to fucking whinge about when you touch it with your less than sterile fingers and you have the audacity to leave a fingerprint on the glass. It's fucking glass what the fuckity fuck do you expect?

You know what gets on my man boobs the most though? It's that they have us doing it at home now too. No more is sausage and mash served on a plate in my house, oh no that wouldn't do. I insist on it being served in a bowl, just like they do in gastro pubs. It's ridiculous.

Obviously all our protests were waved away and we were advised to toughen up. Toughen up is it? Give it a week or two of lifting these round stone slabs covered in turkey and fixins' and even the smallest of the waiting staff will have the arms of Geoff Capes. I made that remark numerous times over the weekend only to be met with blank stares. Geoff Capes for fucks sake, who doesn't know Geoff Capes? He was the worlds strongest man, twice and he keeps budgies.

Bleurgh, I need a smoke today.

26 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

daisyfae said...

on the bright side? you'll have forearms like Popeye, and the biceps of a fireman! without all that spinach and pesky gym time!

Manuel said...

daisyfae: you say that like it's a good thing.....I'm proud of my weedy arms....proud I tells ye....

Maxi Cane said...

The fancier the plate the worse the food.

And I've served on some very fancy plates.

Manuel said...

maxi cane: too freaking true.....we had yellow plates at one point....I ask you, yellow plates....

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Couldn't agree more.Sometimes I am carrying a long rectangle plate of garlic cheese bread , a salad in a bowl then an escargot with a plate underliner of course at the same time. It is all these irregular heavy odd shaped dishes the reason why my hands cannot open in the morning , and like you say the body aches more.I feel like I am about to do an act carrying these things out at the same time. It is just another abuse waiters have to endure and pay for later.

Medbh said...

Manuel, I know exactly what you mean about the large plate trend, which really makes no sense because there have been enough studies done to show that little bits of food on large plates results in feelings of being jilted or unsatisfied.
It's best to use a small plate and fill it up.

MJ said...

Click here to see Geoff and his budgerigars.

The Anti-Social Cynic said...

There is a restraunt Called Famous Dave's Barbeque that serves its meal for "2" on a garbage can lid. They put so much food on it and it comes with a roll of paper towels. A roll. Yes, barbeque is messy, but dang.

BTW...from the website, here is what comes with a dinner for 2...
A 1/2 slab of St. Louis-style spareribs, a 1/2 chicken, 1/2 lb. of either Texas beef brisket or Georgia chopped pork, coleslaw, Famous Fries, Wilbur Beans, two corn-on-the-cob, and two corn bread muffins. Serves 2-3.

Red hair, Red face said...

.....and exhale!!!

Conan Drumm said...

Just wondering (so I don't go off on a rant about wooden 'plates' again) does a well-warmed heavier plate hold the heat longer?

harried_dad said...

Surely you could get cyber implants. Then you might even be good at robot dancing...

Manuel said...

steve: yeah all the irregular plates/bowls also makes it less than easy to clear tables too.....

medbh: stands to reason eh?

mj: so so so weird.....

anti social cynic: welcome! sweet mother of gordon ramsay that's just hideous.....

red hair: aaaaaaaaahhhhh....

conan: yes mr scientist they do....and that's another issue/problem all together.....

dad: i am good at dancing as it is.....i just choose not to

Manuel said...

I'll be schlepping turkey for the rest of the day...back tonight some time.......ta ta

Penny Distribution said...

No way! I've always wondered if you actually DO look like Geoff Capes. At least now you'll have arms to match...

Still, congrats on the not smoking. Trying times indeed.

AnFearBui said...

How does one schlepp a Turkey? carefully?

Sharon said...

Amen brother!

The whole funky plate thing is so stupid.

Well done on being smokes free, especially in the trying run up to Xmas.

travelling, but not in love said...

As a child, I met Geoff Capes and stroked his budgies. At his house. Really, I did. More than once.

And sausage and mash in a bowl? How pretentious is that? ha ha. Although it has made me desperate for a bowl of sausage and mash...

sheepworrier said...

AnFearBui: "How does one schlepp a Turkey?"
Away from any witnesses, I'd assume.

Bookstore Piet said...

Working at the Hotel Inter-Continental we had octagonal metal plates to use as a base for the place setting. They were heavy, had sharp edges and required daily polishing to maintain their mirror like appearance. And, since we removed them as soon as the guest placed the order, they served no real purpose. Ugh.

MikeTheWaiterDotCom said...

ahh, manuel ... longing for the good ole days of the lighter plates ... and full time bookkeepers ... you remember that old profession ... in the days before computers? ... our world is changing!

The Hangar Queen said...

Fucking hell.Now you have me wanting sausage and mash.

So what happens to all the old plates then? I have a very hazy memory of a shop in Belfast that sold surplus Aer Lingus and Irish army (as in non-Provo one)crockery.

In fact all of 1997 is very hazy actually.Never mind.

jen said...

Hubbie is making bangers and mash tonight for dinner and I will insist that he uses a bowl.

Although, we were out for a meal last week and there was a lot of unnecessary bowl using for dishes that didn't need it. B got served steak, on a tower of mash and veg in a bowl that required him to stick his elbows out at a funny angle to cut his food up. Kinda awkward...

fatmammycat said...

Oh everyone's at it Manuel, it's so annoying. A grape and a slice of serrano ham on a plate the size of your head, bah!

Trekkie said...

All I ask is that the plate isn't chipped. Like on Monday when I had to send a glass back because of a chip in the rim and I'm still wondering if that is why the plate that followed with my food had 2 chips in it.
So, I'm sorry that they're heavy, but at least they're not chipped.

Eily said...

With you on the glass plate abomination. Ugly, nasty. Everything - even hairy bacon - looks better on a nice round white plate.

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