Ask Tom, Answer Gansie

no face

Here’s more of Sietsema vs. gansie

one / eff off

Anonymous: Getting a jump on the chat today. Hope you will add this annoying terminology to the list of nevermores:

Roast off

Braise off

Fry off

I can see “bake-off” as it refers to a baking contest. But why are we now hearing the word “OFF” appended to the specific cooking verbs? Is roasting off something different than roasting? This is a fairly new construction – you, Tom, could do the nation a great service by consigning it to the scrap heap before it really takes hold. Oh, and, LOVE the chats!

Tom Sietsema: Here’s to raising the bar, not lowering it!

Good morning, all. Good to “see” so many of you in the room today. Bring me your questions, your gripes, your tired, your poor …

gansie: I’m usually one for bitching about annoying food phrases, but I have to say, this “___ off” phenom doesn’t really bother me. I mean, there’s like a million other things to get pisted about. Namely, and yes, I’m gonna go there, the lack of awesome pizza-by-the-slice in DC. I said it.

two / yes, we just can’t keep our mouths shut

Washington, D.C.: Any juicy story in the industry? We are bored of the same old – where to take my —-, where to get —– etc etc

Tom Sietsema: Lots of juice — but too much of it is unsubstantiated. I try not to share gossip if I can’t nail it down myself.

gansie: Luckily, this segment is also partly “Ask a Blogger.” So go. Ask me something! I love to gossip! I’ll start. I met Metrocurean at this press dinner last week and she is really cute and had a great outfit on. How is someone that thin in food?!?! Seriously.

three / keep that shit forever, like luggage

RE All the questions on open table: I have a lot of experience both operating and configuring open table, so just a few notes for the curious:

1. Your history is saved in the computer each time you make a reservation; it tells us who waited on you, the time/date of your reservation, and if you showed, no showed, or canceled.

2. There is a section for “guest notes (GN)” and “reservation notes (RN).” When you make the reservation and you type something in, it shows up under the RN and the restaurant can add to it. The RNs only stay with the reservation and erase after it is complete. The GNs are entered by the restaurant and stay with the person forever (potentially). They are notes like “wheelchair access needed” “VIP” “likes table XX” etc. They can also say “very difficult guest” or something of a meaner nature.

3. If you No-Show at a restaurant, they WILL notice, and if you do it repeatedly they will look it up and know and may stop honoring your reservations. I think this is completely fair.

4. Open table does cost the restaurant money, that is why it is free to patrons. So if you make a reservation, not only did the restaurant pay for the system, setup, maintenance etc, they pay about a penny a reservation. If you noshow or cancel it STILL costs them money.

5. Open table does have VIP status for members, some restaurants will treat you like a VIP if you have that but it is more likely that you will get special treatment if you dine at THAT restaurant a lot.

6. USE OPEN TABLE! Stop calling restaurants at 7pm on a Friday-Saturday night or during busy hours. Its free, easy, and restaurants LOVE it. Think of when you arrive at a restaurant and try to speak to the hostess who is on the phone for 10 minutes trying to take a reservation for next Monday or something.

Hope that helps!

Tom Sietsema: Something other than comments about leftovers!

gansie: Okay, so kinda creepy. But very informative. Although this really has no use to me anymore. I now force 80 to make all of our reservations. As much as I want to say, “hi, I’m gansie and I’ll be reviewing this place so you should treat me like I’m fucking Madonna,” I have to be discreet. I guess being treated more like Billy Baldwin will have to do.

Full Transcript. (Read, especially if you’d like to know more about why he mentioned leftovers in his answer.)

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  • BS March 12, 2008  

    when did tom sietsema become the william safire of foodies? oops, did I say foodies?

  • gansie March 12, 2008  

    okay, so don’t make fun, but i just used open table to reserve a table for our (80 and me, that is) three year anniversary. and in the comments section i noted that. let’s see if anything happens. no idea if it will. and no idea if it the restaurant even should do anything to recognize the occasion.

  • 80 Proof March 12, 2008  

    oh boy. Last time I let you use Open Table.

  • Mariah Carey March 12, 2008  

    Thank god you brought a gossip portion into this site. ABOUT.FUCKING.TIME.

    I’ll go second. My roommate “dated” the SF top chef candidate from the new season. I use the term loosely but these dates have resulted in some JUICE! She just texted me that I need to remember to set the dvr for tonight’s premiere.

    Steffie – maybe we should cross post this into the “TC” article as well. Up to you.


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