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Monday, March 14, 2011

To Go, or Not To Go. That Is the Question

Oh, take-out containers, why do you mock me so? I hate having to stock them because I hate that they even exist because I hate wrapping up food to go. Every time someone asks me, "Can you just wrap this up for me?" I want to say to them, "No, can you just finish it?" Half the damn time I go to the trouble of wrapping up that one last bite of food, they leave it at the table anyway. I have to then throw it away, along with the Styrofoam container which is shitty for two reasons: It's bad for the environment and more importantly I just stocked that stupid thing for no fucking reason.

The next time you are in a restaurant and you are considering taking your leftovers home, I want you to think of me and how much I hate doing it. Ask yourself a few simple questions:
  1. Will I really eat this last bite of scrambled egg tomorrow?
  2. Wouldn't it just be better if I cleaned my plate?
  3. What will these three french fries taste like when I try to reheat them in my microwave tomorrow night when I get the munchies?
  4. Do I want to carry around a container for the rest of the day?
  5. What if I put the last bit of tilapia into a bag and then it doesn't get refrigerated fast enough? Will I get food poisoning and if so, is it worth it?
  6. Does my waiter want to do one more fucking thing for me even though I will probably only tip him 10%?
  7. Will my waiter wash his hands before he picks up the remainder of my chicken club sandwich to lovingly place it inside a to-go box? (The answer to that one is no, by the way.)
  8. If this food was so delicious, why don't I just finish it now?
  9. If this food was too nasty to eat, then why the hell do I want to take it home with me?
  10. I can't think of another question, but I really wanted there to be ten?
A few days ago, I had to wrap up a tiny amount of rice and salmon. It was about a tablespoon of food. When she asked me to wrap it up, I serioulsy thought she was joking with me. I looked at the practically empty plate waiting for her to say something stupid like "Can you tell I just hated it?" But she didn't. I took the plate and dumped into a container. When I took it back to the table, she said, "Oh, do you have anything smaller?" No bitch, I don't have a thimble or an Altoids tin to put your half bite of salmon in. I serioulsy have more food in my teeth right now than this lady had in her to-go container. Ridiculous. I wanted to just put the food on a spoon and do the old choo-choo train trick to get her to take one more bite. At least she remebered to take it home with her. I'm sure it made a wonderful buffet for her pet hamster or a nice addition to her compost pile.

Taking your food to go? Just say no.

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dirtydisher said...

Aww, Bitchy, maybe it WAS a pet snack. I can never finish a meal when I eat out, but,I'll load the to go box myself. Sorry for your pain.

Jennifer Black said...

When I do eat out at a restaurant, I almost always have to take away some of the food with me. The portion sizes are often so huge that I'd make myself sick if I tried to eat the entire thing, no matter how delicious it is. Besides, I can rationalize spending the money on eating out if I can make the meal stretch out into two meals (never microwave, just heat up in the oven).

If it makes a difference, I usually just ask for a container and I pack up my food myself so the waiter doesn't have to touch anything, he just has to bring me a container in the same trip he uses to bring me either the check or my credit card back.

Eden said...

I could NEVER finish a meal at most restaurants. Usually there is enough left for 2 more meals after I'm done so it makes sense to take it with me.

On the other hand, it never occured for me to ask someone else to bag up my food for me. I always just ask for the container and do it myself, usually just before they bring the check so they don't have to make an extra trip.

SkippyMom said...

I am with Eden on this - I end up having half my meal, or more, leftover - foods great, just the portion size is ridiculous - and I always ask for a box when they bring the check. I never make it a separate trip and I always pack it myself. They're busy and I am capable. And yes I do eat it or the kids do.

I do feel your pain of wrapping up a scrap of salmon and a scoop of rice. But maybe it was for a pet. My dogs are partial to french fries - and I always get way too many of those.

What I dislike is my server telling me to finish my food or I don't get dessert or telling me I didn't eat enough. I can't. It is just too much food.

Odie said...

I often stop eating half way through a restaurant meal, even if I could eat more. If the leftovers aren't enough to warrant a decent lunch the next day, I don't bother getting it wrapped up.

I do agree that getting tiny portions of food wrapped up to go is stupid. So is taking home anything fried. But if the leftover portion is enough for another whole meal, I can and will take it with me. Better to make it stretch to two meals than stuffing myself for one.

Noelle said...

I hate taking the leftovers in a box. RARE, rare occasion will I eat leftovers. Only if I'm headed straight home I don't want to cart the damn thing around.
I don't really care if a guest wants to take all that trash home with them at our place we box it for you. unless paranoid guest request they do it themselves. I have seen guests take the damnedest things home. Potato skin and the foil, two bites of anything, half eaten bread. Wilted salad.

Some servers offer to box their dessert just to get the sale. "you're going to want a midnight snack this chocolate cake will be perfect" Love it the shame sale whores.
That could work on me.

Stephanie said...

LOL! There has to be considerable amount for me to take it home and something I know I will eat. I am not huge on eating reheated there really isn't much I take home.

But sometimes the portions at restaurants are pretty if we get an appetizer, we rarely can finish an entire entree.

I do always tip well hopefully that helps!! :) We usually double the tax (ours is 8.75%) and then round up.

Bagel Fairy said...

1. Yes
2. No. I'm fat.
3. I'll be so high I won't know the difference.
4. I'm a cheap ass and will do anything to hang onto that $15 entree I just bought.
5. It's not big enough of a risk for me to worry about it.
6. I tip 20% and will box it myself.
7. Again, I'll box it myself, but I probably won't die from waiter hand germs.
8. Because I'm about to vom if I take another bite.
9. Someone'll eat it.
10. We all like round numbers.

Tony Van Helsing said...

If I eat in a restaurant I'm there for the atmosphere as well as the food. If i took food home with me I might as well take a piece of furniture as well.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't mind packing the food for our customers unless I'm busy. But when I go out to eat I usually box it myself.

Haruka said...

This is OT to your post, but I would love to see your opinion of this:

The Empress said...

If there is a lot of food left over and it was really good and I can take it home straight afterwards, then yes, I may ask for a take away container and then box the food up myself. Otherwise the left overs ends up being too troublesome for everyone involved and the food ends up being wasted anyway.

Practical Parsimony said...

Tony, if you paid for the chair, why not take it home.

Bagel Fairy, I was going to do the same thing when I read the list.

#1--If I don't, my three hens will?
#2--No, I need to lose weight, and I don't want to stuff myself until I am uncomfortable.
#3--If the first bite of French fries is gross, my chickens will like them.
#4--My car is 20 ft from the door, so I won't be carrying it around all day. My home is close, so I can run in and put it away. If I have it in the car until it is scary, my chickens won't be ill from eating it.
#5--Hens can have it.
#6--I would never ask a waiter to put my food in a go box. Even when one insists, I don't allow it. It is not the waiter's job. I want to pack it a certain way.
#7--Just what I suspected.
#8--I am full.
#9--If it is nasty, the chickens will enjoy it.
#10--I paid for it, so why would anyone care?

You are right about the styrofoam. Some people carry their Tupperware so they won't put their food on styrofoam or encourage the manufacturing of more.

Americans waste 40% of the food produced for consumption. That's $100 billion dollars of food.

Anymore questions?

Practical Parsimony said...

Ooops, meant to include post WASTED FOOD.
I hope the link is okay. You will probably agree with his views.

Melanie said...

re> How in God's name does that woman sit down with that stick shoved so far up her ass???

LadyRapunzel said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE leftovers. I ALWAYS eat that shit the next day. I prefer to box it myself though.

sally said...

People take home left over food for their dogs. It helps them assauge their guilt for being gone all day then going out to dinner and never walking or playing with the poor thing. But you know what? I am seriously going to start bringing a plastic container with me and doing it myself. I'll just put a few in the car and throw one in my GIGANTIC purse. Is that weird?

Tom said...

Have to go with the customers on this one. They bought the food and have a right to decide what to do with it. They are only renting the chair. I get to decide when I am too full, can I safely transport it, will I (or the critters) eat it.
I prefer to box it myself, otherwise do your job and quit whining.

Eden said...

While you may think you are "with the customer" on this - its unlikely I'd ever consider it the waiters job to box my food, but then again I don't usually done at 6-diamond restaurants either. I was think O'Charleys