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And this year’s “Stupid Restaurant Question of the Summer” Award goes to…

As the hostess, part of my job at Chef Ed’s is to answer the phone.  Due to the weather, there wasn’t very much call volume at the restaurant tonight, but I did get to talk to one genius.  It went something like this:

Lisa: “Hello, Chef Ed’s.”

Caller (middle-aged male with north Jersey accent): “Hi, um, yeah.  What kinda stuff do yous got on the menu there?” (Yes, ‘yous’ with an ‘s’ pronounced ‘ewes’ — like we’re all a bunch of female sheep down at Chef Ed’s.)

Lisa: “Um, we have a variety of entrees including fish, chicken, steak, and pasta.” (An awkward pause.) “Oh, and we also have several vegetarian dishes.”

Caller: “Oh, did you say Italian?  You have Italian there?”

Lisa: “No, I’m sorry. I said vegetarian dishes.”

Caller: “What’s that?”

Lisa: “What’s what?  Vegetarian?”

Caller:  “Yeah.”

Lisa:  “Um, entrees and appetizers prepared with mostly vegetables and no meat?  For vegetarians?  But…we also serve chicken, steak, and seafood.”

Caller: “Oh.”

Needless to say, I hung up in utter shock.  Is it possible that the Bennys get stupider as the years go by?  It wasn’t too long ago that I was explaining the difference between tuna salad and chicken salad and why Chef Ed’s doesn’t serve “steamas and beeya” (Benny-talk for steamers and beer), but this takes the cake.

So, here it is — for those of you who may be scaring waitresses, hostesses, and restaurant personnel around the world with your lack of food knowledge:

veg·e·tar·i·an (vj-târn) n. 1. One who practices vegetarianism.  2. A herbivore.  adj. 1. Of or relating to vegetarianism or vegetarians.  2. Consisting primarily or wholly of vegetables and vegetable products: a vegetarian diet.

veg·e·tar·i·an·ism (vj-târ-nzm) n. The practice of subsisting on a diet composed primarily or wholly of vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds, with or without eggs and dairy products.

I think the whole concept is pretty self-explanatory, but perhaps not.  If you woud like to show your disdain for such stupidity, visit to pick up a few nifty items.  (Just don’t tell them I sent you — I’m depending on those big-haired, goofy-talkin’, unevenly tanned, bling-wearin’ geniuses for a steady income until at least Labor Day weekend!)

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