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Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter (2007)

de Phoebe Damrosch

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5353845,129 (3.19)10
Damrosch, former waiter at the New York City restaurant Per Se, details her career as a waiter, describing the intimate workings of restaurant table service at its best. Tales of critics and celebrities spice up the memoir with a few tips on how to earn a waiter's respect sprinkled throughout.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 38 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I am a sucker for books like this, that offer a peek behind the curtain. I've read a few of them, and this one is pretty good. The writer offers fairly frank details about her life and her own failings, but also manages to seem like a bit of a food snob, knowing and enjoying luxury items like truffles and bone marrow, taking her own maple syrup to the diner (and not ordering pancakes unless she has her own syrup to eat on them). She aspires to be a writer, but doesn't seem to have anything to write about except her career as a waiter in a fancy restaurant. She has an affair with a co-worker which seems on the verge of epic failure pretty much the whole time, until all of a sudden it's the perfect relationship. All of these things would seem to be negatives, and you're thinking, "why did she give this book 4 stars, when she apparently didn't like it?" Well, it satisfied my voyeuristic tendencies, since I've never worked in a restaurant, never mind an upscale one like Per Se, the one she writes about, and in fact I've never even eaten in a restaurant like that -- I just don't have the interest in sitting down for that long, eating bite after bite, and slapping down four figures at the end of the meal. I don't aspire to that kind of luxury, but I'm fascinated by it. I put this one with good travel memoirs of places I never really want to go, but enjoy knowing about. ( )
  karenchase | Jun 14, 2023 |
I'm going To be honest. The author is a very good writer and the topic is generally interesting if you love food and restaurants. She is clearly a fan of Keller and that is okay since she worked for him and should know. On the down side, she includes a few tales of diners that, in my humble opinion, should have been omitted by a clear-headed, smart editor. One story was beyond gross and, well, so was the other one! I can see why some people felt she was self-absorbed - there's a lot about her love, Andre. I forgive her that. It was an easy, enjoyable read in general and I did get a clearer picture of life at PerSe. ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
Really liked this book, although I've never read a "waitress memoir" before. Her descriptions of some of the high-end food is so far away from anything I do or will ever eat that it really doesn't mean much to me, but what would be the point of her memoir without it? I enjoyed the serious tips for diners that she put at the back of most of the chapters...she could be a little preachy without changing the overall light and humorous feel to the book. I'll definitely see if there are similar books for my TO-READ shelf. ( )
  Jeff.Rosendahl | Sep 21, 2021 |
Four-star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter would be pretty interesting. Banal observations by a young woman figuring out what she wants to do with her life are not very interesting -- not unless she's got literary skills that Ms. Damrosch does not possess. Very, very few secrets are spilled, and little of consequence is offered in their place. ( )
  scarequotes | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Damrosch, former waiter at the New York City restaurant Per Se, details her career as a waiter, describing the intimate workings of restaurant table service at its best. Tales of critics and celebrities spice up the memoir with a few tips on how to earn a waiter's respect sprinkled throughout.

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