Restaurants are breeding grounds for bad behavior: Kitchens can spawn fiendish cocaine addictions, rampant alcoholism, and broken limbs, as well as broken marriages. But often, the after-hours antics of cooks have nothing on customers, who let dining rooms’ dim lighting, sensuous food, and strong drinks get the best of them. We don’t mean bad customers who talk too loudly or leave stingy tips; we mean the worst of the worst. Occasionally, we’ll let restaurant staffers chime in with their horror stories. First is chef Jason Santos, who was heading up Gargoyles, a swanky neighborhood place outside Boston, when he saw what remains his most vivid customer memory.
This was probably two or three years ago. It was, like, late. I’d finished up and walked to the front to say good-bye to my staff.
I looked around and saw that a couple tables were lingering. And, in the corner, at a table where there’s kind of a blind spot, where you’d have to know to look, you could see this girl’s head going up and down. I ran back out to the front and shouted to my staff, ‘You guys have to see this!’ This woman was giving a guy a blowjob. And, you know, you don’t go up to them and say, ‘Pardon me.’ You have to just let it happen.
We were each taking turns walking into the dining room and staring. What could we do? We had to let nature take its course. When someone does something that crazy, how do you even approach it? Am I going to call 911 and say that there’s an emergency? I just had to let it go. I’m guessing they were super drunk. The woman was probably in her thirties, and the guy was just … sitting there.
You know, I think food and sex go hand-in-hand. I’m very rarely speechless, but I didn’t even know what to say. They finally finished and left.