Has anyone else ever had the experience of walking into a restaurant (usually a fast-food establishment) and not understanding how to order food there?
Well, I have, and I don’t like it. I don’t think dining should involve a learning curve. Let me cite a couple of examples:
During a visit to the LA area, I ate at a sandwich shop that had a rotating rack outside, filled with small lunch-size paper bags that were printed with descriptions of different sandwiches and various options you were supposed to check. I stood out there in the hot sun for at least five minutes, looking at these bags and trying to figure out how to order a damn sandwich. I think this place was called Togo’s.
On my first visit to Panda Express, I told the woman behind the counter that I wanted some kung pao beef. She looked at me with a baffled expression for a moment, and then ladled some kung pao beef into a bowl without rice and handed it to me. When I said I wanted rice too (duh) she explained that I hadn’t followed the correct Panda Express ordering procedure. You’re supposed to start your order by announcing what kind of rice you want; then you decide what you want on top of the rice.
Is anyone else bothered by these kinds of places? If so, let’s hear about your experiences. Alternatively, feel free to call me a dim-bulb and say you can’t imagine why anyone would be confused in a fast-food joint.