eating outWhether it's a new hot spot, a rusty hole in the wall that serves amazing ramen, or a barbecue place with a solid beer selection, I'm shoveling food into my face at a restaurant in New York City at least three or four nights a week. I do it to stay just a few pounds overweight while at the same time draining my bank account -- it's simply the most delicious lose lose. Anyway, while I adore to eat out, there are some changes I'd like to see in the old restaurant world. It's not all diamonds and rosé, but it should be.

Here are 5 things that need to change about restaurants, and now.

  1. Restaurants need to embrace this thing called the CELLPHONE. While there are plenty of restaurants who are caught up on technology, I'm still baffled when places that don't have a bar area refuse to take your number and call you when your table's ready. Don't make me huddle outside your door for an hour just because you don't like dialing 10 numbers.
  2. The pepper grinder. What am I missing -- are pepper grinders worth like, a thousand dollars or something? Why can't I have my own at my table? Why do you have to come around and offer me some in an obscenely giant one? Just make them smaller and let us all control our own goddamn fresh pepper. God.
  3. Waxy napkins. This really only applies to very inexpensive eateries that serve mainly dumplings, wings, and the ilk, but seriously, those waxy napkins are a waste of time. One wipe on those things and it's disintegrated into thin air. Let's agree to step up our napkin-providing game, eh, managers?
  4. My ass in your face. I get it, small tables within millimeters of each other are like, a thing. I eat at places all the time that seat people like sardines, but I'm generally not happy about it. Especially when I have to get up to use the bathroom and I try to squeeze through the small opening between your table and mine, and my ass, or conversely, my crotch (dealer's choice), pretty much sullies your bread basket as I mouth "Sorry! Sorry!" as I push by, twice. I don't like doing that, and I wish I didn't have to.
  5. Taking forever to retrieve the card. I like that they don't rush me with the check, but once I've put my card in that billfold, it pains me to wait for a waiter to come pick it back up. By the time I'm ready to pay, I'm more than ready to leave, AND FAST. It makes me feel like I'm being held hostage and if I had access to one of those huge pepper grinders (which, maybe now I'm seeing why I don't) I'd use it to beat the living shit out of whatever's causing the delay.

Other than those things, though, I love paying talented people to make me dinner. And, huh, would you look at that, it's just about eating time again, now isn't it. Yum.

What don't you like about eating out?