How the hell do I know if I want pepper?

Ok so here’s the thing that annoys me today. You go to a restaurant and order your favorite pasta dish. It arrives and in the waiters other hand is a pepper mill, and you know the question is about to be asked. “Would Sir like pepper on that?”.

Would Sir like Pepper?

But here’s the issue, every time I feel like saying, “Ask the Chef, does he think this needs pepper? And if so why didn’t he add pepper to it in the kitchen? And if it’s just a personal choice, why not give me a minute to TRY the food and see if I want some pepper, rather than you hovering over me and asking me to make a random choice that will either ruin my food or potentially make it better”

I know I can’t say this of course at it will have three immediate effects. Firstly it will annoy the people I’m at dinner with. Secondly it will cause the waiter to roll his eyes and provide no other useful input. And of course thirdly it will guarantee that my wine or desert will then include either a pubic hair or a reasonable quantity of the staffs’ sputum.

What would be the issue with just placing a pepper mill on the table? Is there some form of bistro union rule that says grinding your own pepper mill is crossing the demarcation line, and it would require a “tools down” strike?

Or maybe this is “special” pepper that is of such purity that the cost is a significant part of the restaurants running costs, and so the quantity must be stringently managed by a pepper mill professional.

Or maybe just maybe there is no reason except it’s been taught from generation to generation of waiters, just to annoy generation after generation of restaurant patrons.

It’s a question I ask myself every time I see that wooden tube of unground piper nigrum moving in my tables direction.

Lets not even start to talk about the parmesan cheese.


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