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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Are Restaurant Tables Too Small?

Perhaps it’s because as a dining critic I tend to order lots of varied things from a restaurant’s menu, but I’m noticing a trend. Dining tables are just too small.

Waiters can’t begin to fit four appetizers, much less that many entrees, on most of the tables I dine on. The evening becomes a little like watching the Keystone Cops when it’s time for clearing.

The most egregious offender? Hal’s on Old Ivy — the tables are the size of a matchbox, and there’s no way the space between them passes the fire code. I actually had a waiter there stack one of my dishes between the other two, like a pyramid.

The most spacious tables? Hmmm … I’d but FAB on that list, as well as the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead and Quinones at Bacchanalia. And for it’s size, Tamarind Thai has relatively large table space.

Who’s got the smallest table space in town?

60 comments Add your comment

Ted Striker

May 4th, 2009
3:03 pm

Meridith Ford Goldman — just balance the plates on your thighs. That ought to be good for a buffet or two.

abc

May 4th, 2009
3:02 pm

If I can’t get a table I like, I leave. Maybe it’s too small, maybe it’s poor placement. It happens. It’s not that big a deal; chances are I won’t return, but it’s not as if the restaurants need to be concerned about that — people tend to have very low expectations of them.

We eat out a lot. Including lunch, I probably eat out 10 times per week. The food’s better at home, but we like being able to relax and not have to clean up. There aren’t that many restaurants worth returning to, but among the ones we like are the pizza joint, this 1 Chinese place (man, the chinese joints get the worst health scores!), soup & salad, a breakfast place is hard to find. Nothing fancy, except on special occasions.

Mugglemikki

May 4th, 2009
3:01 pm

No, our azzes are just to big!

deegee

May 4th, 2009
3:01 pm

LOL! I went to Dairy Queen last night and watched an obese slob prop his belly up on the table after squeezing his corpus maximus between the seat and the table. It was disgusting. He ordered a hamburger, french fries, large coke and a chili dog on the side. Thank goodness for large tables at Dairy Queen or else he might not have had room for his oversized gut and all the food he ordered.

Jefferson

May 4th, 2009
2:58 pm

Too close together. I don’t want to hear other chit or chat.

BrokeAsAJoke

May 4th, 2009
2:56 pm

I eat like once a month now. I agree with bbb, I am glad I can afford to eat. When my mom says why dont you come over for dinner tonight, I am like I will be there. I don’t care if it is something I dislike, I will be there eating it and enjoying it. I don’t have the money to go out and eat. Thankfully, I don’t have any children.

Cindy Lu

May 4th, 2009
2:55 pm

If the restaurants would not clutter the table with so much stuff; i.e. dessert menus; drink menus; sales flyers, etc. then there might be enough room. I find that I have to place these items on the ledge or floor just so we have ample space to enjoy our meals.

prootwadl

May 4th, 2009
2:46 pm

Tia, if the dishes don’t fit on the table, the issue isn’t the diners. It’s the table.

rpm

May 4th, 2009
2:44 pm

??? “I’d but FAB on that list” apparently the screen was too small to proof read

lovelyliz

May 4th, 2009
2:42 pm

It’s a marketing gimmick. The smaller the table the larger the meal appears to be and the more people per square foot that can be seated and served. It also keeps customer from getting too comfartable so as to get them out the door quicker. Turnover people! Turnover!