Monday, October 27, 2008

The Greasy Five: I Refuse to Serve:

A few weeks ago, a loyal reader alerted me to a macaroni and cheese pancake recipe in the New York Times Magazine food edition. Even though I dislike pancakes, this had me out the door to purchase the New York Times Sunday Edition. The magazine featured a story on Shopsin's General Store, a 20-seat NYC restaurant. Shopsin's menu consists of 900 items, but owner Kenny Shopsin's irascible personality might be the restaurant's real story. Shopsin only cooks for people who he likes, and anyone violating a list of unwritten rules is kicked out of the restaurant.

"Order off the menu? Out. Cellphone call? Beat it. Sometimes people don't even make it into a seat, as in the case of of infamous no-parties-bigger-than-four rule. Or maybe Shopsin simply doesn't like you."
If I ran a restaurant, I'd refuse to serve any of the following customers:
  1. Anyone speaking on a cellphone in my restaurant. Here's a novel idea: Have a conversation with people near you.
  2. Anyone who orders chicken strips or chicken nuggets. I realize that this rule will bar my daughter from dining at my restaurant, but I need to take a stand against processed, boneless chicken.
  3. Anyone wearing an offensive t-shirt.
  4. Anyone using profanity. Unless you can curse with the Shakespearean eloquence of the characters on HBO's Deadwood, profanity will earn you a one-way ticket out the door.
  5. Any customer who doesn't wash his/her hands after using the restroom.
For more on Kenny Shopsin, checkout his book Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin. If you visit, you can read Calvin Trillin's introduction to the book. I've reserved a copy at my local library, and I'll let you know what I think in a future segment of The Greasy Bookshelf. Also, there's a documentary about Shopsin titled I Like Killing Flies. I haven't watched it, but it's currently on my Netflix queue.

Take care,


Sarah said...

Oh what? Hmm? Sorry, I was daydreaming about the annoying types I would exclude from my restaurant. How about anyone who proclaims that they won't eat anything green, like that's something to be proud of? Also, anybody with the guts to eat half of an entree before complaining that they don't like it and will not pay for it? And of course, anyone who treats the staff rudely (use of profanity or not).

I like this idea; it could travel. Maybe every restaurant should have an arbiter of taste, ready to call foul on obnoxious diners :)

Sarah said...

Muddywaters, I couldn't find your email, so I thought I'd just send you this comment to thank you again for the wonderful compliment that you left on my blog last week about my writing. I really appreciate it and want you to know that I love Greasy Skillet as well. You have a way of approaching subjects that is interesting and so very human; please keep up the terrific work! Also, thank you for the introduction to simmertilldone; I am enjoying her writing now as well. You might like as well; Molly Wizenburg is an entertaining and literary writer. Thanks again and have a great day!

Rechelle said...

This guy sounds like a character. Will have to check him out. Now give me a piece of that apple bread!

Melanie Busbee said...

I would refuse service to anyone who claims they are dieting and then orders a salad with shredded cheese, ranch dressing, and croutons, hold all the other redeemable toppings like tomatoes, mushrooms, nuts, beans, peppers, onions, dried fruit, etc.