Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica

So, yeah, this book rocked my world. I couldn't put it down. I was a fan of The Waiter from his blog, but frankly, this was so much better than what he wrote on that site. I have never worked in a restaurant as I think it's clear to everyone, including myself, that my patience with jackassery is limited and I'd have to deal with it a lot in the food industry.

I loved how he made the mundane, the usual, the day to day, all come clear. I loved that even though I've never been in a restaurant kitchen, I could imagine myself there with all my senses - sight, sounds, tastes, even temperatures. I loved his honesty. He's kind of a smartass and he knows it. Brutally honest in his assessments of his lackluster career path and set in his ways ruts. The insider's view of restaurant life reinforced my impression of difficult, underappreciated jobs and I vowed after reading the first chapter to make sure I'm never one of those dumbass customers he writes about.

Despite my fandom, I do have a few problems with the book. Sometimes the mundane is just the mundane and I don't need to read a dissertation on it. This passage is taken from chapter 8: "With a practiced motion, I jiggle a cigarette halfway out of my soft pack and offer it to him. After he takes it, I return the pack to my pocket, produce a Zippo, and spark up the flame. The harsh smell of lighter fluid hits my nose." Really? All those words to say you lit a cigarette? Somewhat unnecessary since we've all seen a smoker light a cigarette. That passage is somewhat representative of a few times when Dublanica goes off the deep end in his showing and not telling.

However, overall, this was great stuff. I love the rawness and humor and I bet you will, too. I'll be shipping this along to my Bestest Friend soon, but I'll be sad to see it go. Four and a half stars out of five. I'll definitely be back for whatever Dublanica writes next!


  1. You have to read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain if haven't already. Bourdain writing style is concise and entertaining also.

  2. Yay! The next time you send me a book, can you also send a babysitter so I have time to read? I'd appreciate it... thanks!


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