After thinking a bit more about why I felt uncomfortable at Mandarin with the overly friendly staff, I realized I hate it just as much at the high end restaurants. So am I just crabby, or are there other people like me?
Preamble, I'm not very picky. I like people, I like waiters, I'm not out to get them. I'm sure they all *LOVE* giving their spiel anyways, right? :)
So you go to a restaurant, and with the menu comes a long winded spiel about what's on the menu today. All the specials, including how it's made, what's in it, what sauce was used, and some added french words for allure.
Usually, it comes out as a fast list of words recited from memory, and I find it hard to take it all in. I generally feel like I'm not being spoken to, I'm being wooed or something. It's weird.
I try to pay attention, I do. But I lose it. And then all of the words just run together and I'm lost.
I have no idea what the specials are, let alone what berry was used in what sauce.
If I heard one of them well enough and it sounded interesting, I might ask again. This is sometimes hard for them, because it was in the middle of their list. Never easy. However with the extra thought comes a slower rendition, which is nice. Then they leave, and it's time to look at the menu. After that chances are the specials are long forgotten anyways.
It's all so weird. Why don't they just write it on the wall? If they want to be fancy they can use chalk or something. At least I can read it, when I want, compare it to the menu, and ask my wife what all those fancy words mean. When she doesn't know, I can give up or ask my waitress.
So, do you like the spiel? Do you think it's effective? Are you disappointed if you don't get one?
Are there restaurants in Toronto that do this well, or differently? Something more interesting - like uhm writing it on the wall? :)