Great restaurant one-liners
Only unsuspecting tourists and visitors ask for French fries
to go with their burgers at Duffy's Tavern.
There is an old baseball joke that is enjoying revival this year.
“What is the difference between a Yankee Stadium hot dog and Fenway Park hot dog?”
“You can still get a Yankee Stadium hot dog in October.”
Baseball teams and area restaurants have a lot in common. Great restaurants are about the team. Only the good ones survive the summer and get to play in the fall.
And the pressure of performing in the public eye brings out some great one-liners.
Yogi Berra was the king of baseball one-liners.
Funerals: "You gotta go to other guy’s or he won’t come to yours.”
He even had one for restaurants. “No one goes there any more – it’s too crowded.”
My favorite restaurant line of all time was delivered by Jeff Park (JP). We lost JP this year – a loss that traumatized all Island restaurant folk. We all miss him very much. JP was the king of restaurant one-liners. He shared the crown with Billy O, the handsome half of the O’Connor twins.
JP had just presented his diner with an abundant rack of lamb. The diner sighed and dropped one of my dad’s favorites.
“I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight?”
JP quipped, “We’re waiting on you, sir.”
Tallying a tip
An Arnaud’s patron visiting the famous New Orleans eatery was trying to calculate the gratuity.
“Waiter, can you tell me what 15 percent of this is, just off the top of your head?”
Offhandedly the waiter replied, “Well, no sir, but I could tell you 20 percent.”
Two elderly ladies were being charmed by one of the bistro’s more senior waiters.
“Tell me young man, is it your ambition to open your own restaurant some day?”
“No, ma’am, it’s my ambition to stop working in this one.”
Our much-loved manager, Annette, was a rookie 25 years ago. A patron had asked her an encyclopedic list of questions and then, finally:
“What is the difference between the scallops and the scampis?”
Annette, politely said, “A buck.”
Wish you were there
I once had the unenviable task of trying to quiet a female DOA (drunk on arrival). She was being loudly and outrageously profane. When I asked for some discretion she actually reached out and pinched me.
“I have been to the Russian Tea Room in New York!”, she exclaimed.
“Ma’am, I wish you were there now”
My favorite restaurant one-liner returns every year as a Duffy’s rerun.
A beloved gaggle of white-skinned tourists wearing bad hats and socks with their sandals will wander into Duffy’s. They will order burgers, and then their fearless leader will state with authority, “And I want fries with that!”
The room will go quiet. A wave of anticipatory smiles will ripple down the bar and all eyes will go to Peggi.
Everyone waits for it.
The withering look, and then profoundly, the age-old Duffy’s response: “No fries.”