The FOJTE’s arrive today, so this will be brief before the fun begins. And not really much more than revisiting subjects covered earlier (year).
I probably used the same words before, but they bear repeating. As you may know, Tom Sietsema (one of my Gurus) the quite famous food critic for the Washington Post publishes a weekly restaurant review in the Sunday Magazine. Recently he gave the Silver Diner no stars, and Founding Farmers (a previous two or three) barely one. Anyway, every once in a while he composes a column based on readers input and his on-line chat. This week, he penned a column entitled: “When the Greeting is eating at the diner”. And guess what? He says: “judging from reader feedback, the leading culprit is the use of “you guys” in mixed company”. Now alert readers will remember that the Feeder regularly complains about this.. Tom quotes a reader: “My mother-in-law used to cringe when addressed as “you guys”. She politely, with some humor asks servers if they thought she was a male”. He does admit that “Merriam Webster says that “guys” embraces members of a group regardless of sex. But plenty of my readers let me know they don’t care for the phrase, or its ilk”.
He gives another couple of samples (somebody got called: “sport”!). He concludes with the observation that people shouldn’t get too worked up about what specific words a waiter uses to address them, as long as the waiter is (not overly) friendly and attentive. He recommends the most PC greeting of all may be, depending on the time of day, “Good Morning, “Good afternoon” or “Good evening" ….full stop. In my case I would append “may I get you a drink”. So it does my heart good to see the pros get bugged by the same crap I do. I am not so dumb. He didn’t mention the recorded “Hi, I’m …. Taking care of you” speech however.
Another thing that does my heart good is when readers take the time to share their experience or thoughts on some place. I really enjoy that, because one: it lets me know somebody actually reads this, and two: sometimes it is really neat. My innocent little picture of the Steak in a Sack sign led to finding out it is almost an institution. One reader recalled her (now) husband’s formative years in DC, when he was a duckpin devotee in the mid-sixties, and would bowl almost every night, “and Friday and Saturday nights
and his buddies would bowl at various bowling
alleys throughout the region: White Oak, Twin Brook, Glenmont, Suitland,
Silver Hill, Marlow Heights. Even Curly's in Waldorf that had 8 lanes
upstairs. That one was hard to get into, because it was small and
popular. They would start at 8 or 9 p.m.
and would bowl till the bowling alley kicked them out at 2 a.m., and they
would head out to Steak in a Sack. They would
have steak and cheese, stuffed into a bread pocket, with beer or sodas.
There were no tables, just one long counter. They would stay till Steak in a Sack closed and How cool is that? Hey
you county folk, ever heard of Curly’s?
wouldn't get home 'till 5 a.m. on bowling weekends.”
And as you recall, that remark about steak and cheese in a bread pocket led to the UTube thing on Philly Cheese Steaks (Pats/Geno’s). More feedback from readers:
A former colleague who moved back to STL recalls a conversation with somebody who currently lives in Philly:
”….one of the discussions centered around how he found the best cheese steak in the Philly area. His conclusion based on input from everyone he knew in Philly came down to, or at least it appeared to him to be, everyone considered the best to be from whatever cheese steak stand was closest to their house. They didn’t view it that way, but after running all over the area the correlation was clear to him. Not very useful info, but he later backed it up by noting the propensity of Philly residents to remain for life in specific neighborhoods and not consider moving for ANY reason” Folks from STL are familiar with that life style!
Another from a lady (who covers more territory in a single day than many women I know) who lived in Philly for about 10 years, replied that her favorite was neither of the “famous” ones who live on tourists, but she likes Jim’s Steaks on 4th and South Street, and Tony Luke’s at 2nd and Oregon. She also echoed the fact that Pat’s chops the steak and Geno’s leaves it flat, “like a steak-um (yuck)”
Not exactly cheese steak weather, more like a salad, but what a neat discussion. Thanks to the contributors!
Not sure what form cheese steak