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Busboy snatched my bread (at Fortunato): why so fast?

kitty | Jan 2, 200308:03 PM

With three friends I had a lovely (though a bit pricey, IMO) dinner on New Year's Eve at Fortunato. An almost perfect experience was marred, however, when about two thirds of the way through the meal the busboy swiftly removed my half eaten chunk of (delicious) bread, which I had been saving to soak up delectable sauces (he moved so fast that I couldn't even grab his arm or protest). Since we were close to finishing the main courses, and he did not reappear for some time, I didn't bother asking for more bread, but the experience got me wondering why this seems to happen quite often in American restaurants; why one sometimes feels one has to guard one's food like a hawk, instead of being able to savour it slowly.

Do others share this pet peeve? Is this a nationwide problem, or particularly bad in Chicago? Do restaurants do this because they get flack from patrons who dislike "clutter"?

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