The 10 Worst People in Houston Restaurants

Categories: Top 10

loopsigns.jpg
Photo by Mario
The Person Who Refuses to Leave the Loop
I mean, obviously there isn't any culture outside the Loop anyway, right? Like, why leave when everything you need can be found within a five-mile radius of downtown? She'll tell you that she's never been to Chinatown, but she's pretty sure it's stupid, and anyway, there's a P.F. Chang's right inside the Loop! If you want local Chinese food, she'll say, there's always Auntie Chang's Dumpling House and Kam's Fine Chinese Restaurant. Oh yeah, and they both happen to be a convenient 15-minute drive from wherever you are! Alief? Bellaire? Spring? She's never heard of those, and they don't sound like the kind of places she'd want to go to eat anyway. Downtown is the epicenter of any big city, so why would anyone choose to stray too far away from there? What's that saying...nothing exciting ever happens in the suburbs? No, that's not it, but it's so true! She'll drag you to meal after meal inside the Loop, which is certainly home to tons of great restaurants, but she'll never agree to eat outside of 610. She will, however, make a "quick trip" to the Galleria for some new shoes in a heartbeat. KAITLIN STEINBERG

The Bad Tipper
I've been to many places where tipping isn't customary. China and Barcelona come to mind; the locals will think you're rich (and a prime target for being ripped off) or just dumb. In the States, though, tipping is customary, so it really gets my goat when I go out in a group, everyone puts in his "share" to pay the bill and somehow I'm left with a $100 deficit that I have to cover out of my own pocket because ten of you forgot to add tax and tip to what you owe. It drives me nuts if we get separate bills and I accidentally get a glimpse at the $5 tip you left on a $50 tab. (And if I catch it, I won't say anything, I'll just supplement it with some money of my own and make a mental note never to be seen in public with you again.) Don't brag to me about how you left a one-dollar tip for some poor server in an Asian restaurant because you used to be a server yourself and you found her service unacceptable. Or even worse, don't pick up the tab for your table as if you're some generous dude and "forget" to leave a tip for your group entirely. I can do without that type of generosity, and so can the restaurant. If you're confused about how much to tip, err on the generous side; don't be cheap. It's one of the least attractive things for any dining companion to display, and whether you know it or not, people will notice and you'll be forever known as "that" person, a.k.a. the bad tipper, the friend that no one needs and one of the worst kinds of diners on the planet. MAI PHAM

The Waiter Who Says Everything You Order Is His Favorite
I've been to several restaurants where there is that one waiter who endorses everything your table orders. After you order the chicken dish, he or she responds, "OOOOH, that one is my favorite!" Then the next person at your table orders the pasta dish and the waiter says, "OOOOH, that one is my favorite! Excellent choice!" As the waiter takes each person's order, it's a broken-record response of, "That's my favorite!" Is everything on the menu your favorite? Or do you just not know how to respond to people when they order something? While this is annoying, it's also annoying when waiters can't tell you which dish to order. I usually can't decide between two dishes, so I like to ask the waiter which dish he or she would recommend. It's not going to offend anyone if you say, "I prefer this one over this one," so don't give me a neutral response because that doesn't help me whatsoever. Have an opinion, please. MOLLY DUNN

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Photo by Richard Bartz
"I'm totally pulling off this disguise."
The Restaurant Critic
We know you know who we are, but we still pretend to be sneaky. Oh me? I'm just here enjoying a leisurely meal with my two friends who happen to feel the need to discuss the menu with me before they order anything. Yeah, and we're just really hungry. That's why we ordered 15 different dishes. It's totally not that I have to taste them all or anything. Nope, I just love food. Taking notes? Of course not! I'm...um...texting. Yes, I'm texting. And I swear I'm not looking too hard at the decor or the wine list or mentally discussing the pros and cons of each dish while I'm eating. How does a 25-year-old afford all this expensive food? Uh, I'm an heiress. Right. Heiress. With a trust fund. Just for food. Oh, I'm sorry, was my judgmental stare interrupting your pleasant meal? I was really just thinking about my cat, that's all. (And, of course, how best to convey the complete and utter failure of this chicken breast to remotely resemble food while still maintaining an air of innocent naïveté so people will like me.) That's not annoying, is it? KAITLIN STEINBERG



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52 comments
jacobsimonbocanegra
jacobsimonbocanegra

dont  forget the certain race/ gender of ppl who ask for extra lemons then make thier own lemonade because theyre too cheap to pay for a drink.. or the certain sports celebrities who refuse to wait for a table like everyone else ('do u know who i am?") because they rode Olajuwon's coatail to a ring...

joshwebster
joshwebster

There is definitely something wrong with going out to eat in your gym clothes!!! Take your stinky, sweaty ass home and take a shower before you go to a place people pay to eat!!!!!

NrrI
NrrI

Boy you nailed it on these. Previous commenter also mention those that treat wait staff poorly, I've got some friends that do it, I don't dine out with them anymore. I would also submit the folks that are always trying to figure out how to scam a freebie or reduced price, they order something new and don't like it and then complain and usually get a comp or reduction. If I order something I've never had before and it turns out that I don't care for it then its on me, why should the restaurant take a haircut on it. My sister is the worst on this, I no longer dine out with her as well.

Jaclyn Greer
Jaclyn Greer

I was hoping to find it on the list but I guess I must be more sensitive to it than others. Since moving to Houston, on several occasions I've had the displeasure of being seated within earshot of people with the MOST IRRITATING laughs I've ever heard.

jcd8822
jcd8822

The Photo by Richard Bartz earns a blue ribbon for 1st place.  The Babushka reminds me of my late brother-I-laws great grandmother in a Polish neighborhood of Chicago on N. Paulina street.

Corey Mueller
Corey Mueller

Picky people/menu rewriters are the worst people known to mankind. You didn't write the menu, deal with it or go elsewhere..

Richard Guerra
Richard Guerra

Poor Americans...while enjoying our nice steak, fine wine and delicious desserts, we're getting distracted by the woman across the table on her phone. Gosh, we have it so hard.

Houstess
Houstess

Add the Wait Staff Humiliator.  I used to work with one.  She was condescending, rude, imperious and demanding to all waiters.  I only dined with her once, but I was told she did it every time.   That's some sort of personality defect.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

The Person Who Refuses to Leave the Loop

This is me, but more as a matter of time and convenience. My primary mode of transportation is bicycle, and everything is so spread out outside the Loop (the notable exception being Chinatown). Unless someone else is driving, I just don't make it out there too much.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Add "The Parent." I don't need to try it, I either a) have tried it and don't like it--calamari or b) I'm not touching it with someone else's ten-foot pole--brains. I don't need your well-reasoned arguments. Idon't care about advances or social norms. If it's pork/fowl/lamb/beef, I want it medium well. My Mrs. doesn't eat cooked fruit--no pies/cobblers/tarts/ect. These are decisions we make as adults and don't need to a "guide," no matter how well-intended.

Anna M. Stone
Anna M. Stone

Excellent solution. I may be borrowing this one.

Steven Perry
Steven Perry

Michelle, I have the same rule when it comes to dining with friends!

Eating Our Words: The Houston Press Food Blog
Eating Our Words: The Houston Press Food Blog

No, but probably about one a week. We got the idea from the music blog, but people seem to be a little more sensitive when it comes to talking trash about food than about music...

Tim Garfield
Tim Garfield

I stopped eating with the sender backers. Some of whom are really good friends. When you know they're never satisfied, or order something different than what's on the menu, it's too stressful. No relaxation at that dinner.

Anse
Anse

Menu rewriters are indeed a pain in the neck. I once had an acquaintance that wouldn't even look at the menu. Ever. The waitress would come, and he'd say, "What I want is..." and rattle off a detailed description of the food he wished to have on his plate and the way he wished for it to be prepared. After writing down this lengthy description, which could sometimes take several minutes to recite, the waitress would pause, glare at him over the rim of her glasses, and say, "So you want the Number 2." No, he would say, I want...and repeat every last detail of his order. And of course it was in fact the Number 2, with perhaps one or two inconsequential changes. I could never understand why he did that.

Timothy Black
Timothy Black

Is every article from you guys now just a list of crap you hate?

bienville
bienville

The dear and departed Mr. Yut of Kanomwan Thai restaurant earned his honorific 'Thai Nazi' by continually knocking down the menu rewriters with a simple 'no', uttered unsmilingly. It took getting to know him to know he had a great sense of humor and heart of gold. 

Tony Vallone, on the other hand, is well-known to bend over backwards to accommodate re-writers

JustSayin
JustSayin

It seems like the people who actually have the problem with these different type of diners are the ones complaining about them, maybe you are the ones who should stay home instead of infringing on other peoples rights to be individuals whether or not they are know it all's, name droppers, finicky eaters, or have kids who don't sit at the table like little angels the whole meal. Live and let live! quit complaining and take a look at your own issues, it's most likely you have some bad traits as well but haven't taken the time to investigate them due to your preoccupation with other peoples faults.

Justin Hegan
Justin Hegan

I used to (past tense) have a friend that was the food changer/sender backer (among other things)....so frustrating

Brad Owen
Brad Owen

What an asinine article. Yes we've all had unpleasant dining partners and off putting servers, but if all this drivel is a problem for you then your just making bad life choices.

Sultana
Sultana

Jay Francis, why do you immediately come to mind?

Michelle Herren
Michelle Herren

Our group solution to the cell phone problem. Everyone has to put their phone in a pile of the middle of the table, facedown. The first person to grab a ringing phone has to pay for dinner for the whole table.

paval
paval topcommenter

On the Food Name Dropper: Comparing is ok, after all the restaurants that call themselves Italian ( Olive Garden for instance) want to convey the image of being something authentic in Boise, Idaho or in Houston, TX. But to try to impress others with food you had in Tuscany or a dessert on Champs-Elysees, is as useful to me as knowing that the beaches in Bali are much nicer than the ones in Galveston. I effing do not live in Bali, have my afternoon tea on Champs-Elysees or dine in Tuscany, so I have to live and be content with what I have here in Houston. And after seven years of living here I can say it has gotten a lot better.

Menu Rewriter: Reminded me of the scene in "Last Holiday" when Gerard Depardieu tells the senator and warehouse-tycoon: "No substitutions". 20-30 years ago this was a world without lactose intolerance, gluten free diets, nut allergies, etc. People with those ailments would just get sick in silence at home after dinner and all restaurants where able to serve the food the way they wanted. Fatty, unhealthy, etc. Now even pizza parlors praise their gluten free options, yoghurt bars their lactose free yoghurts and when will we see a Nutelleria offering a nut free chocolate spread filled pancake?

The person who refuses to leave the loop: Leave these people alone. More places for the adventurous among us to experience without the snobby inner loopers paying double prices for food inside the loop.

The restaurant critic: Hear, hear, the critics are listening to their readers who asked for some self chastising. 

Entertaining list as always and I like the format of several of the HP staff chipping in their opinions.

 


ducttaperoses
ducttaperoses

My mother rewrites to a degree.  Part of it is legitimate because she has some health issues, but part of it is just being fussy.  It isn't usually too bad, but I've had to call her on it a couple of times when it just got too confusing/demanding/embarrassing.  I know you go out to eat to get something you really like, but if you have to change everything, you obviously don't really want the dish and should choose something else.

I'm not super adventurous about food--menudo is pretty much my limit--but I've broken up with guys . . . not entirely because they were boring eaters, but it's been a contributing factor.  They would balk at something and I'd suddenly see fifty years of underseasoned meat and potatoes ahead of me, and realize we had no future.  One guy wouldn't touch Middle Eastern food because "it's all lamb and yogurt".  So what?  You'll live on cheap pizza for weeks on end but you can't eat a little bit of lamb?  I didn't even ask him about hummus because I was 98% sure he'd accuse me of being an elitist faux-hippie who didn't appreciate simple comfort food (for the record: I grew up eating hummus.  It *is* comfort food).

Food name-droppers drive me nuts, too.  I've been to Italy.  You know what?  You can get plenty of lousy food in Italy, just like you can get good food in the U.S.  I'm convinced that what really matters is commitment.  If you're a foodie who goes looking for good food, you can find it anywhere.  If you just want your stomach to shut up, you can eat boring, pointless, food everywhere in the world.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

Nicholas Hall nailed the Menu Re-Writer.  I've seen this in action.  They order something with no onions, no peppers, easy on the salt, sauce on the side, then complain that the food is bland.  This person is similar to the person that I call Shit-List.  Shit-List has a laundry list of ingredients that they refuse to eat.

The antithesis of ShitList is Look-At-Me-I'm-Eating-Weird-Stuff. This is the guy that eats raw lamb brains and makes sure you hear about it.  They might even offer you some.


paval
paval topcommenter

@Houstess Very good one. How could have six people of the HP and myself forgotten about these people. There are plenty of those, and these kind of people do not tend to do it only in restaurants but to all people they consider inferior to them.

people like that should not be shown in public or forced to wear a gag ball (though people like these tend to enjoy "punishment" as much as they enjoy degrading others. The typical personality described in Heinrich Manns "Der Untertan") 

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Kylejack But you don't seem to be opposed to it on principle or anything. That's the difference.

Houstess
Houstess

@MadMac I like your Mrs.  Cooked fruit is an abomination.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

That was the Mrs. and I with the "Hustlers," who are always angling on something for nothing. Our neighbor beat the convention center hotel restaurant out of a $17 buffet while terrorizing the waiter. I ended up leaving a $20 tip on a $15 check after begging forgiveness from the waiter and repeatedly saying we didn't know this chick.  

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@Anse Can I get a cheeseburger without the cheese? Oh and 4 squirts of ketchup, not 3 not 5, 4, and the tomato was that grown organically and made sure it didn't cast a shadow on the cow, well make that a veggie burger then -- does that have black beans in it, is it gluten free? Ugh these people make me sick, loved your comment.. :)

Kerrigan
Kerrigan

@Timothy Black  

..stick to culturemap pal...there it's 100% lovefest, you won't feel threatened by any negativity

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@bienville Oh man, I wish I could have met Mr. Yut! He sounds like a hoot!

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@JustSayin Great rationalizations; sure make excuses for everyone whose beyond annoying. Some of these people deserve to be pointed out, the havoc they cause is more than enough justification to remind them that the world does not revolve on their axis..

robinstigator
robinstigator

@JustSayin so you are the one that brings an unruly kid to a place they cannot appreciate, talks endlessly about menu minutia no one cares about, and refuses to go to Chinatown to eat Dim Sum?

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

You could always get back to work.

bienville
bienville

@Brad Owen  

Eating with a mirthless punk like you is a bad life choice I hope never to make.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Been there and for a man of my size and fashion choices to pass up a date over a limited palate is saying something. Thankfully my Mrs. matches and, every now/again, exceeds my adventure. She finally got me to try sushi.

Anse
Anse

Or, the doofus who orders a steak well-done and then complains that it's way too dry.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Bonus is more pie/cobbler/tarts for me. That last bit reads wrong.

paval
paval topcommenter

@gossamersixteen @paval Celiac is a real ailment, but more than half of the people that claim to need gluten free are just jumping on the bandwagon (thinking it may be healthier) and more than half of the gluten free products, are made without gluten in the first place (I am still waiting for a water bottle displaying "Gluten Free" on it) and hence do not need that indication. Gluten Free has a lot of fad characteristics and those that are truly sufferers fall into the same pot as all the neurotics. 

 


MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

What's up with that guy? He's never heard of ketchup?

paval
paval topcommenter

@KaitlinS @gossamersixteen @paval  

You got pissed off from the lack of gluten in your diet? That is totally not what celiac disease is like. 

I have tried some gluten free products in the past out of interest and a gf beer indeed felt lighter in the stomach. But if i want a lighter beer I can also drink Light beers. There is no point. 

I actually know a few people who have been diagnosed with celiac, but I assume that as with the consumers also doctors will be quick in diagnosing celiac on someone who displays the symptoms (bloating, pain, diarrhea, etc.)


KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@gossamersixteen @paval My mother convinced me to try going gluten free for a few weeks because she thought it would give me more energy and make me feel better in general (as it evidently had her). 

It just made me really pissed off and no less tired or achy.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@paval @gossamersixteen I know one person that actually has Celiac's disease my friend's sister and she's from the Ukraine. I know 99 other people who are gluten free inexplicably, because they think it's healthy or whatever their so called reasons are for being so pointlessly uptight. Need further proof of this query the average whole foods shopper, the neurosis is knee deep with some of these quacks.

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