Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I LIKE the Baja Fresh chain. Yes, it's a chain, but if your senses aren't impaired by resentment at that fact, the food tastes pretty good. Put it in a plain wrapper and say it came from a little shack south of the border and you'd fool most anti-chain snobs. The Baja Fresh people make a big deal about how their kind of food takes a little while to prepare, but I think they take that idea a little too far for what is essentially a fast-food operation.

One other thing: Stop it with the sweeping already!

Maybe that's why it takes half an hour to get your taco: Most of the employees are buzzing around like gnats. Gnats with huge brooms, sweeping sweeping sweeping every minute the place is open, brushing the soles of your shoes and making you wonder what kind of airborne contaminants are being launched toward your food.

I admire your dedication to clean floors, Baja dudes, but once every hour or two would fulfill your sweeping obligations just fine.

SPEAKING OF RESTAURANTS, an interesting thread on the Chowhound.com message boards began with a complaint about a Japanese restaurant's inability to handle a request that a large check be split among six credit cards.

My first reaction was the same as most: How obnoxious to even ask such a thing! But the fact was that the diners did ask before presuming it would be OK, and the staff assured them that it would be fine -- but then found themselves unable to do it. My reply, in part:
Using that many credit cards at one table is excessive, embarrassing, out-of-the-ordinary, and I'd never do it, but the advance-notice part is a mitigating factor.

And, when you think about it, what's so hard about charging x amount (or even x/6 amount -- calculators are easy enough to use!) to as many cards as there are diners? Is solo dining with a credit card prohibited if there are too many other solo diners at the sushi bar at the same time? What is sacrosanct about a single "check" that would make this impossible?
The only reply to my reply so far illustrates something I already knew: Reading comprehension isn't most people's strong suit.

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