Wash a Flippin’ Fork
It’s the small things that drive people crazy. The slow, steady drip of a leaky faucet is a great example. Is it a big deal? Nope. But once you notice it, you can’t tune it out. And gradually, one, slow, drop, at, a, time, it makes you lose your goddamn mind.
And today, I’d like to take a moment just to get one of those small things off my chest. Believe it or not, it’s not about food. Rather, it’s about service.
Once again, this is a rant about spoons. But forks and knives also get caught up in the mix this time.
When you are entertaining people at home, you have the constraints of a home kitchen. Maybe at one point in my early twenties, I thought it was a good idea to have every shape of wine glass for every type of wine. But that’s madness.
So if you’re serving guests a multi-course meal, I think it’s fine to ask people to hold onto their silverware between courses.
And if you’re being relatively formal, by dressing the table with linens, hopefully you’ve provided a bread plate so that your guests can rest their dirty utensils on something else than the tablecloth between courses.
Restaurants are a different story.
Honestly, I don’t care if the restaurant is formal or casual. When I’m done with a dish, I’m leaving my cutlery on the plate. And I fully expect the server to take away the dirty utensils and come back with new clean ones.
I’m doing that for a couple of reasons, and none of them is about being a jerk.
The obvious reason is that the forks and knives are dirty. Yes, the only food they have on them is your food. But it’s different food than your next course. A casual Italian restaurant isn’t going to put your spaghetti and meatballs on your dirty salad plate. The very notion sounds ridiculous. So why would anyone think it was okay to eat your pasta course with your salad-coated utensils?
The other reason is that I’m a bit old school and use my utensils to indicate when I’m done eating a course. Granted, I don’t expect anyone to notice. But just because others aren’t doing things the right way doesn’t mean I should neglect proper etiquette. Although, to be fair, I don’t spend much time thinking about whether the tines of the fork should go down or up, the relative position of the fork and knife, or the number of the clock to which the knife should point.
The important part is to bring the handles of the utensils together, and have them resting on the same side of the plate. It’s a clear indication that you’re done with that course. On a side note, regardless of when you are finished eating, I’m a firm believer that no plates should be cleared from the table until everyone is done.
What drives me crazy is when a waiter asks for you to hold onto your silverware between courses.
Seriously, wash a flippin’ fork.
One of the things I love most about restaurant kitchens is the industrial dishwasher. Man, that thing is so fast, so hot, and so thorough. Everything gets so clean. And restaurants own a crapton of flatware anyway. So it shouldn’t ever be an issue.
Yet this happens. All. The. Time. And. It. Makes. Me. Nuts.