A Good Restaurant

Even though I am often accused of being too critical of my dining experiences, I do have fun eating out.  In fact, just about my only requirement for having a good time eating out is friendly service without any attitude.  Come to think of it, it is impossible to have friendly service if there is any sign of attitude.  It would be impossible for there to be one hand in hand with the other.

That is really all I am ever asking for.  Is that too much?  I don’t think so.  Anyway, I will try to put out some more positive reactions to my experiences.  I will try.


I ate out this week at a lovely, French-themed restaurant in Northeast Portland.  I had such a wonderful time celebrating my wife’s birthday with our two kids.  (I left my wife at home.)  It is actually easy for me to look past service shortcomings when people are nice and food is prepared with some care.  I don’t care that my water glass isn’t necessarily always full, that I am not able to get a drink when I feel like it, that my check may not be brought to me in a timely fashion, if the people are nice and they are trying.

A nice smile and an attempt at being accommodating is really all it takes.  At this restaurant we were immediately greeted by a very friendly, personable person (who turned out to be our server), were shown to our table, and given water and bread right away.  Off to a good start, I thought.

The food was actually quite exquisite.  Foie gras torchon (like I said, it doesn’t take much to make me happy–just some force-fed goose liver and a smile), beautifully deveined and cured.  Roast chicken–I like it when they de-bone the dark meat, too–bouillabaisse with a nice thick saffron ‘broth’, croque monsieur, lovely desserts.  All quite delightful.

Thank you for making me feel welcome

However, the main takeaway, the thing that we will remember mostly, was the very friendly service.  That still is the thing that sticks with one, more than the lovely food.  It is my great wish that Portland restaurants would put more effort into having friendly service instead of the attitude that we are so often exposed to.  Kudos to these folks who put as much love and effort into the front of the house as they do to the food!


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