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My wife and I were eating a nice meal at a decent place in Charleston a month or two ago. Another (large) party split into two tables, one each for the adults and teenagers. Guess where we sat...

We spent the entire meal in the crossfire between a group of unruly, unmannered teens and the parents yelling at them (from their own table) to behave.

Moral of the story? If your kids can't display proper behavior in public, leave them at home. Otherwise, distribute your discipline discreetly and in-person.


May I just ditto everything you just said. I have little tolerance of poor table manners. I've actually had to leave a restaurant because someone in my line of sight was such a disgusting eater that I could barely keep my dinner down.

My only amendment? My mother always said that there are two kinds of people in this world: those that leave a restaurant with a toothpick and those that leave without.


As a Belgian I wondered why you didn't mention the use of a knife while talking about the fork in the cutlery section? I took a look at the site you linked to and to my surprise I found out there is an 'American style' and a 'European style' of using fork and knife! Whenever I saw Americans and Canadians eating their meal with just a fork in 'the better' restaurant I considered it inappropriate, but apparently I was mistaken. At least as long as it's done zig-zag...


nice post. decency in all aspects of modern life appears to be in decline and since we spend a whole lot of time eating, its most obvious here. simple faux pas are forgivable [lady looking into compact doesn't offend me, its just not proper] but I don't understand how someone can allow themselves to act in public in some of the ways you outlined above. and to William's post, yeah, I've been there... oh man its ridiculous


I'm glad to see that some people still care about these things. While I don't get overly bent out of shape when folks make glaring errors in dining etiquette, I do appreciate when they don't... and while my kids will, on occasion, eat like heathens, they do *know* how to function in a classy restaurant without embarassing me to death... and do so, mostly because they fear death, themselves. :)

A couple more points that irritate me:

1) When you pass the salt, or the pepper, you pass BOTH the salt and pepper. And you don't use them in between... pass, then ask for them back. That goes for passed bread baskets, dishes, etc., as well.

2) I'm not sure how standard this is anymore, but I was taught never to take more than one bite without placing my fork back down on the plate. To do anything else was considered, at least to my Mom, grossly gluttonous and rude.

3) The no-clinking rule applies to iced tea, as well. I get those fingernails-on-blackboard willies hearing teaspoons clanking against glass or crystal.

4) Never use the words "gross," "disgusting," "yuck," or the like, at the table, even to describe the food. If it's bad, your fellow diners already know it, and if your host/ess or cook is there, so do they (and if they don't, it's rude to say so, anyhow.)

5) Last but certainly not least, especially to my Mom who taught me all these things, you should never, EVER say, "I'm full" or (even worse,) "I'm stuffed." Around our (really rather laid-back) family, we get around that jokingly by saying we are "unpleasantly sated." Once, in a particularly mischievous mood, my mother actually *said* that she was "full," mostly for shock value... which she got. My (then) 12 year old son's eyes went wide, and he said in disbelief, "Grammie said the F word!"


Okay, I'll jump on the band wagon too. Although I agree with, and sadly, have witnessed, experienced or been the victim of; all that you say - there is yet one more.

NO FORK BITING! You have lips, use them! Gently, quietly extract your food from your fork (or spoon for that matter)- Don't attack the fork like a shark threatening to not only do yourself an injury but to remove the finish from said utensil in the process(thus angering your host(ess) even more). And that noise - don't get me started!


Here, here on the post. Revisited your breakfast/brunch spreadsheet & had to wonder if you've tried Flavours on Whyte for their Sunday brunch & it just didn't make the list?

I haven't, but I've been told of a couple menu items & now I'm curious. Think it will probably be on the pricier edge for brunch, but with items like these, seems worth a try.

Smoked salmon & spinach benny over house made rosemary biscuits and herbed potatoes. (They have another kind of benny too?)

Sweet vanilla ricotta crepe with blueberry compote & whipped cream.

House made turkey sausage with sour cherries & eggs.


I agree with your post, with one thing to think about... not all manners are the same in all cultures.

"Several activities that may be considered bad manners in the West are acceptable in Chinese eating. These include spitting bones onto the table, belching, slurping noodles and soup and smoking at the same time as eating. A method of eating rice common in China that may seem unusual to Western eyes is to bring the bowl up to the lips and shovel the rice into the mouth rapidly with the chopsticks."


yes, thank you. the food smacking and noisy chewing always always drives me batty.

Though, i have to say there are at least two exceptions to the no-hands-to-food rulein fine dining: whole artichokes and asparagus are both acceptible to eat with the fingers.

really, there's no other way to eat a whole artichoke.

and while this falls under common sense eating: if you have ordered pate, it's perfectly reasonable to spread the pate on the toast point with a knife, and then use the bread as conveyance to mouth. It'd be silly to use a fork.


At first I thought this post was a joke. But guess not. Such a very western point of view. Different cultures have different way of doing things. Are you going to adopt eastern habits if you eat in China? I do not think so. You eat the way you were taught. To assume others should behave the way you believe is right is very presumptuous.

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