By Malcolm Freberg, The Savory
But they're not a required part of eating out. Every time you go for dinner/drinks/organic dolphin-friendly soygurt, you don't need to ask for a table. Because there is a bar, and it is better in every way.
Am I biased? Sure. Bartend for as long as I did, and sitting too far from from home base results in acute PTSD. I'm a stage 5 clinger, a needy ex. But only because I know how good it is.
And now I'm going to show you.
I'm here to fill you in on all the reasons sitting at the table is inferior to my bar stool. Because I want you to love it as much as I do. Be clingy with me.
Now, obviously this doesn't apply for large groups. 4 or more requires a wooden horse to sit around. I'm not talking to you, popular people.
I'm talking to the loners. The small parties. And definitely, definitely, the daters. You, my lovelies, should never sit at tables again.
No Reservation? No Problem
A herd of tourists stand in front of the hostess stand, jockeying for position. When it's their turn, they proceed with the time honored tradition of exchanging their name for vague and innacurate numbers. "It'll be about fifteen to twenty minutes."
Then they wait, starting listlessly at the decorations. Cattle, waiting for a chance at cud.
Then you come in, suave as you like, and brush past them. You don't bother the overwhelmed teenage hostess, she's got enough to deal with, and besides, you look like you know what you're doing.
You take a moment to spy the bar, see the two seats unoccupied at the left end, and promptly sit down.
No wait. No bullshit. No cattle, except the gorgeous medium-rare ribeye on your plate.
Why the planet hasn't figured out the seat yourself policy of bars is beyond me. Until the rest of the world wises up, skip the lines out front and just walk in like you own the place. Even if there's no seats immediately available, find a gap in the crowd and order a drink -- viola, you're already boozing while the other hopeful diners talk about RHOBH reruns out front. Then swoop on seats as soon as there's a vacancy.
High Chairs > Low Chairs
And once you've sat down, guess who's got a birds-eye view of the establishment? You do, that's who. King of the Castle, King of the Castle.
There's just something better about sitting up high. You think Julius Caeser sat on a footstool? Is the Iron Throne in a hole? Look down on the vassals while you enjoy your meal, which will be better than there's because
Service Turned Up to 11
Obviously, this pays the biggest dividends with drinks. I shall illustrate this, as Ms. Regent taught me in seventh grade, with bullet points:
Ordering drink from waitress:
-Wait two minutes for her to come over
-Ask for drink
-Waitress walks to computer
-Waitress walks back to you because she forgot order. It's her first day, she's sorry.
-Ask for drink again
-Waitress walks to computer, inputs your order
-Windows 98 sends signal via sorcery to a printer at the bar
-Bartender sees ticket only after dropping a slick line on the customer he's flirting with
-Bartender haphazardly makes drink because who cares, not his customer
-Bartender leaves drink on a dirty mat
-Waitress sees drink two minutes later
-Waitress stops at three other tables on the way to yours
-Waitress arrives at your table to find you dead from dehydration. Or worse, sober.
Ordering drink directly from bartender:
-Ask bartender, who you're already talking to about Jurassic Park 3 because he's awesome, for another drink
-Bartender makes drink without breaking train of thought regarding velociraptor communication
-Bartender gives you drink
I think you see my (bullet) point(s). WHO'S A B STUDENT NOW MS. REGENT?!?
I should also mention that your food is going to move quicker at the bar, too. Like I made obvious in bullet points 14 and 15 above, your bartender is right there when you're ready to order, and will send the message to the kitchen immediately.
Everything's faster at the bar. Including relationships.
Make New Weird Friends
So you may end up in some random conversations. Welcome to the human condition. But while I can be as antisocial as anyone, there's really no downside to any of the three ways an impromptu bar meeting could go. Either A) the person is awesome, so you become Facebook friends and start a small business or family, B) the person is meh and you never think about this tiny blip on your existence again, or C) the person is batshit crazy and you hate them with a fire of a thousand suns, BUT you have a great story to tell that cute accounting intern tomorrow morning. Then you two become Facebook friends and start a small business or family.
Speaking of speaking, it's way easier at the bar. If you take a date to a table, all you have to discuss is whatever the two of you come up with and, let's face it, you're not all that interesting. Work and weather and RHOBH reruns, then silence.But the bar's atmosphere is way more stimulating. TV's everywhere -- not to necessarily be a focal point, but it can cover the breaks in conversation. And there's more turnover, patrons coming and going for your people watching (read: judging) pleasure.
I know I've not won everyone over with this. The bar isn't for everyone. Some people like their privacy, some like eating with elbow room, some like being weird. But you, knowledgeable and savvy reader, should thank those table sitters.
They're the reason your bar seat is open.