Tuesday, March 9, 2010

'Wobbly Tables' are a Pain in the Ass . . .

This table looks pretty sturdy—thank God!

. . . and can easily ruin your dining experience.

That's one of 10 annoying restaurant design flaws Chicago Tribune resto critic Phil Vettel explores this week in The Stew.

He also gripes about too-close banquette tables (It's like the couple next to me are part of my date), toilet fixtures that look like modern art (How do I work this thing?) and hard, uncomfortable seats (I can't fully appreciate the food when my kiester's numb).

As always, when Vettel writes one of these types of stories, the gold is in the comments section. Pure comedy, I tell you, like these two right here:

"My biggest issue with restaurant design: why do they put floors in that get slippery when they are wet? Smooth tile may look nice but it's a safety hazard. Was once at a restaurant and someone spilled tea on the tile floor; two servers fell in a matter of minutes before they could get it cleaned up. Did the designers not think that floors in a a restaurant would get wet sometimes?"

"How could everyone have missed the most obvious problem of all (especially in trendy new restaurants)? Too often the interior consists of all hard surfaces with nothing to absorb the noise. It gets deafeningly loud every evening at dinner simply because there is nothing to absorb the shouting of everyone all at once. Put up some drapes or ceiling tiles!"

My biggest gripe? The lighting in the ladies' room. I can always tell a man designed that most important room for women because the lights are practically nonexistent. How are we supposed to re-touch our makeup/hair if we can barely see?!