May 9, 2006
Butchered dinner

If there were a prize for the first question sent to this here blog, Marky Gard of Folsom would win it:

What is your opinion about restaurants that use a linen tablecloth and then cover it with butcher paper? I personally feel if they want to use a linen cloth to
look a little higher scale, then why cover it with the butcher paper?

At a dinner Saturday night, I had to put up with the edge of the
paper catching the sleeve of my blouse every time I wanted to lift my
wine glass as well as my fork. I asked the waiter why they use the paper
and he said it was so the tablecloth wouldn't get dirty!! Then why use
the tablecloth? I finally asked him to remove the paper it was so


You've touched on one of my pet peeves about dining out. Sheets of paper on a tablecloth are both nuisance and hazard as sleeves snag the edge and raise the paper, threatening to topple if not actually knock over wine glasses, candle, vase or the like. Conflicted restaurateurs are the culprits; they want to give the impression of an upscale restaurant without following through with the sort of investment an upscale restaurant demands, including fresh linens for each new party.

Nonetheless, while the paper sheets are nettlesome they aren't so common or bothersome that they constitute a major dining issue. They do, after all, give diners a convenient pad on which to write their own restaurant review, perhaps starting with: "Get rid of these sheets!"

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