The perils of ordering your second drink when your entree arrives

Exactly what I was going to say. Maybe not “warm,” but perhaps not as cool as you’d like it to be, depending on the beer, environment, etc. In the summer when dining outside, for example, I got into the habit of ordering the smallest size of beers just for this reason. When ordering a pint (or, rather, 0.5L in the cases I’m thinking of) of lager, if would be noticeably warmer by the time I got to the last 1/4 of it, so I’d order the 0.3L glasses, and that would solve the problem.

I guess you can call this “lousy service”, but one thing I’ve noticed is that bars in restaurants often have just one bartender. And he or she works his or her ass off trying to take care of the bar and the dinner crowd. It may not be all that much your server can do to rush you a beer that you order just as your enter arrives. Makes a lot more sense to order in advance, and make it really clear that you’re very serious about wanting it with the entree.

In my experience, it often happens even when the restaurant isn’t that crowded. The waitperson gets distracted or just forgets.

I can cut the server some slack when the restaurant is busy or there’s some other excuse for it. But fairly often it’s just bad service.

If possible, I’ll order my second drink as soon as my first one is half finished if I can catch the server’s eye, rather than waiting until the entree comes. That way I should have it by the time I’ve finished my first drink.

Ok. I see what you mean. I try to order my next drink while I I still have some left. But waiting 15 minutes is bad service, no matter when you order.

Order the drink at the same time you’re ordering your meal and ask the server to deliver the drink with the meal.

Exactly. One of those laws of life is that if happy hour ends at 7, you will not see your server from 6:45 on. The only thing that works better is to order 3.


I’ve been to several restaurants (here in Arkansas) where the waiter asks if you want water after your first beer. Having more than one seems to be unacceptable.

I shouldn’t have to play sneaky double ordering games to get the beer I wanted in a reasonable time frame. I don’t know if I’d hose them on the tip over a beer; but I would definitely refuse the beer when it arrived and explain that I wanted it with my meal, not 15 minutes later. Of course could also flag down the waiter 3 or 4 minutes into waiting and ask about the beer.

Eat at the bar. Honestly it solves this problem quite well and I swear the food comes out faster as you don’t have to wait for an overworked server. Just remember to tip your bartender as well as you would your server.

Not a good solution unless you are eating alone. You can’t converse easily among your dining companions if there is more than one other. And I hate sitting on a high stool instead of a comfortable chair with a back or in a booth even when I’m alone.

I agree it’s less that optimal for 4 people but for 2 or 3 it works quite well but if bar stools aren’t your thing then I can see how you wouldn’t like it. Me, I’ve spent so much time on bar stools it’s second nature. :slight_smile:

And an ice bucket to keep them chilled :smiley:

I’ve found the trick is to get a soft drink with the entree then, when the server shows up with the mains, ask for a beer to go with dinner. Never had any problems with that approach.

As an aside, the American habit of referring to the main course as the “Entree” is bizarre and confused the hell out of the the first time I visited the US.

I don’t get it, either. Every time I’ve been to a place that has good service (which is most of the places I go, really), I’ve always been able to ask them for a refill of soda when I get my meal, and they get it quickly. Why would ordering a new beer be slower? If anything, they’re getting paid more, so you’d expect them to be faster.

Is there some custom of only drinking beer before and after eating, but not during? Because, otherwise, I don’t understand this behavior. It’s not as if their job ends with the food. You still come by and see if anyone tried to flag you down.

I guess what I’m asking is, does this behavior happen with things other than beer? If so, then it’s just that service is different where y’all are. If not, then I wonder what is special about beer.

And a walrus to guard your bucket.

The problem is, when I order the meal, I often don’t know whether the first drink is enough for the evening, or whether I’m going to be done with it, or nearly so, by the time the entree arrives.

I suppose I could skip having a drink when I first get seated, in which case I’d be sure to want one with the meal, but I really don’t want to do that either.

If it came down to a choice between eating at the bar and staying home, my wife and I would say, “screw it, we must have something in the freezer we can nuke.”

Anyway, I think I’ve come up with a tentative solution: when she brings me my first drink, I’m going to ask her to stop by in between the appetizer and the entree to see if I’m going to want a second drink with my meal, because by then I’ll know, and that way she can bring me my second drink with my meal if I want one.

We’ll see how that works.

If I know the server, I’ll get their attention wherever they may be and do my not-yet-famous “thirsty man in the desert” pantomime.

Beer in a small pitcher solves this problem.

Ideally you need at least two beer drinkers at the table. Sharing a pitcher works out to almost 2 mugs each.

A friend and I always ordered a pitcher with a large pizza.

If a server wants to refill your soda, she or he can just go refill it on their own. For anything with alcohol, they are at the mercy of the bartender. And if the bartender is busy, I might take a while. Especially since they tend to favor their own tipping customers.