I'd like to see the opinions of Chowhound visitors about one aspect of "good manners in restaurants".
A friend of mine related the following story:
We were in an ordinary Chinese restaurant--nothing very fancy or formal--in a mid-western city. We arrived at 7 for a 7 PM dinner with some friends who are usually 15--20 minutes late.
I was very hungry, and at 7:20, I figured, I'll eat some soup to take the edge off my hunger. My boyfriend got annoyed with me, and said it was very rude to start eating before our friends arrived. I said, I wasn't eating, this was soup.
What do *you* think? Is this behavior acceptable? Seems to me that good manners in a restaurant is "it's OK to have a drink while you're waiting, but that's all. Soup is food, and you do not start ordering or eating before your friends arrive."