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Dining Pet Peeves Nos. 1 & 2


Everyone has a list of dining pet peeves—mine seems to grow exponentially each time I eat out. The office joke is that I am the office snob.

Methinks my coworkers might be right. Snobbery aside, there are some baseline standards that must be met when throwing down hard-earned cash to eat out.

Here’s the latest and it is perhaps the most irksome pick I have with the industry: Wait staff who forget who ordered what.

This is what your notepad is for.

Now, most often, this faux paus is not a big deal. The waiter comes to the table and asks, “Who had the…”

The hungry diner nods and gets a plentiful meal. No harm done, it’s just really annoying.

Saturday night was a little different. Our waitress at Big Hoss Bar-B-Q, a new Kansas City-style barbecue joint downtown that has received high accolades from the Denver media, came back to the table with four dishes (there were six of us).

“Who has the brisket with fried onions and cheesy corn?” she asked.


She placed the dish in the center of the table.

“How about the pulled pork plate?”


A third dish also belonged to no one in particular.

“You guys have to remember what you ordered,” she demanded.

No, we don’t. That’s a waiter’s job. Bringing the correct dish is kinda of important, too. The fourth dish was spot on, though. One out of four at a table of six is not a good start.

Her second trip back, she produced three more dishes—one stuck.

It took four trips and about 30 minutes to get everything straight. Had she checked her notes, (which had all off our dishes correct) she could have headed this problem off at the window by realizing there was a screw up.

She didn’t, and we sat through the Worst Dining Experience Ever, laughing at the situation to ease tension.

This leads me to a second pet peeve: When you mess up, it’s not the end of the world, but please show some love by taking something off the bill. I remember a terrible experience at a nice restaurant in Durango—they botched everything and it took forever. The manager came out, appoligized and took care of the entire bill for 12 people, including the tasty beers we indulged in waiting for everything to sort itself out.

We left a nice tip and I returned frequently for the next year I lived nearby.

Big Hoss should have perhaps comped my two meat platter (which we suspect was the first incorrect dish spruced up with the second meat I ordered and the proper sides). Everyone at the table was finished by the time it returned, repackaged the way I’d ordered it.

Instead we were stuck with the full bill, nearly $150 for mediocre barbeque complete with the worst service you could imagine.

I am a serial over tipper, yet I had to be convinced to leave $150 on a tab that totaled $146.50.

I will never return.

—Jacob Harkins


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    Sounds like a Big “Hossle”…or maybe you’ve eaten there before, they knew you as a snob, and the goal was to have you never return. In that case…bravo Big Hoss – don’t let the elitist ruin your laid back environment!

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    Hold up Hold up, the only thing laid BACK about that place was the waitress who had no BACK SIDE. It was straight from TOP to BOTTOM.

    The one plus is the Juke Box, 50 cents a song.

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