At a restaurant where I was consulting last year, I asked the waitstaff, one by one, to name the best restaurant meal they ever had.

Margaret:  Umm.  Umm.  Sorry chef, I have nothing for ya.

Don:  Uh, let me think.  Uh.  Can’t come up with anything.

Joey:  I don’t eat out much, sorry.

Billy:  None stand out Chef.

Ryan:  It was in Charleston, South Carolina.

Me:  Great.  What did you have?

Ryan:  I don’t remember, but I know I liked it.

Me:  OK, interesting.  What was it called?

Ryan:  I don’t remember the name.

Me:  Let me get this straight.  The best meal you’ve ever eaten in your life was at a restaurant whose name you don’t remember and you have no idea what you ate?

Ryan:  Yes Chef.

Hard as it is to believe, only one of the 15 or so waiters had eaten a meal so memorable that they could recall it.  That server had eaten with her parents at the French Laundry.  Not too shabby.

Now it gets really bad.  I challenged the chef of this restaurant’s other location to name a great restaurant in Richmond.  His reply (in front of the mortified owner) was “I like Applebee’s.”  Five for five, Baby.


5 Responses to “Here’s What We’re Up Against”

  1. Eric writes:

    They are getting better Jimmy.

    May 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm
  2. The Marinara writes:


    What is your favorite meal?

    May 27, 2011 at 10:23 am
  3. Jimmy writes:

    Favorite meal? Isn’t that a lot like asking when’s my favorite time to have sex?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:04 am
  4. Abby writes:

    hahahah..Applebee’s. Hysterical. C’mon Jimmy what exactly is wrong with congealed cheese and bacon bits on a peice of last weeks potato? Coming from NY where I managed a fine dining restaurant and had access to an overwhelming amount of amazing food all over NYC and the Island I find Richmond to be moving in the right culinary direction lately (finally). I am excited to try Fresca next week for a lunch meeting!

    June 28, 2011 at 9:37 am
  5. Lydia writes:

    This is crazy!! I can name at least five of my favorite restaurant meals off the top of my head! I live in Richmond, and believe we have amaaaaing restaurants here.

    And my favorite is the duck at Edo’s Squid.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm