Before leaving for Comic-Con, we went to Ruby’s for lunch and discovered that they’d stopped wrapping up their burgers and started serving them on plates. If you’ve seen a Ruby’s burger, you know what a bad idea this is. If you haven’t, these burgers are easily 5″ in diameter, made with 1/3 pound of meat or an oversized veggie patty, and generously topped. I have problems holding one together, and my hands aren’t exactly small. I had ordered a mushroom burger, which promptly and repeatedly fell apart, sometimes on the plate and sometimes on my lap. We not only told the waitress but also filled out the comment card, in pen, and mailed it. Since then, I’ve made a point of asking for my burgers wrapped and sending them back to have them wrapped if the kitchen forgets. Putting my meal back together in between bites is not, in my opinion, a worthwhile way to spend my time.

Well, the madness is spreading. We went to Togo’s the other day and received our sandwiches on plates. Thankfully, they were less messy, but it irked me. What chain is going to be next? Fatburger? Johnny Rockets? Red Robin? God forbid, In-N-Out? Or will they catch a clue that not everyone is willing to trade personal cleanliness for “restaurant atmosphere?”

(And speaking of restaurant atmosphere: to all you managers out there, the Anxious Clown should not be your business model. Just because not all of us customers are Wednesday Addams, that’s no reason to think we all appreciate perky waiters with 29 pieces of flair, or will order food we don’t want just because said waiters suggest it. Please recognize that some of us are (horrors!) turned off by overattentiveness, and would much prefer to eat in peace. We will come back, but please know that this is in spite of your best efforts to impress us, and that our undergenerous tips are not meant to spur the above-mentioned waiters into greater hyperactivity–as any true service employee worth their tips should be able to tell from our reactions. If they can’t tell, maybe they’re not as great as you thought they were.)

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