Sometimes, going out to eat isn't necessarily all about the people you're dining with or even the food. From time to time, there are little things that restaurants do (that we doubt they even think twice about) that make the whole meal a better experience.
Here are five ridiculous little things that make us happy when we go out to eat.
See also: 5 Hangover Brunch Spots in Metro Phoenix
The napkins at Pei Wei Really though, have you ever felt the napkins at Pei Wei? There's a big difference between the cheap warehouse napkins most casual restaurants use and those magnificently soft (yet durable) sheets of beauty. Considering that every sit-down restaurant seems to use the same outdated reusable cloth napkins, we'd love to see more fast-casual places step their face-wiping game up with an improvement in napkins.
The honest server we had at Don and Charlie's Few things are worse than asking a server about an item on the menu and knowing that you're being blatantly lied to. If we ask you how the chicken carbonara is, then we want to know how the chicken carbonara is. Servers who will tell you which entree you should order when deciding between a few are basically the superheroes of the meal. We're going to buy something to eat anyway, so there's really no reason to lie to us about a specific dish. This is food, not politics, and we expect you to know a little bit about the food you're serving us, so tell us how you feel about a dish and make a decent recommendation. We asked our server at Don and Charlie's how a dish was, and she specifically told us to order a different item (that was a bit cheaper) because it was better. She was right, it was the best thing we've ever eaten there.
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Tablecloths to draw on at Macaroni Grill Fine, call us childish and immature, but is there a reason not to want your tablecloths to double as free entertainment? We're not saying you should take a date to a cheesy Italian chain restaurant, but there's no better way to kill the during an awkward silence than drawing a conversation-starter on the tablecloth. Plus, we doubt you even realize how much training it must take for those servers to be able to write their names upside down with multiple crayons?
Water on the table at NoRTH Maybe we're just thirstier than the average diner, but we tend to find it rather inconvenient to have to wait for the server to bring us water every time we run out. Even if we're sipping on a beer or a cocktail at the same time, we can never have too much water available to us while we're grubbing. It seems like most local restaurants tend to use the same retro-style liter bottles when they leave water on the table, but we're not picky. Whether it's a pizza place pitcher, a $7.50 liter from Ikea or a crystal vase, we just like having water on the table for us to drink at our own pace.
Free coffee at Snooze Our least favorite thing at a restaurant is when they don't offer free refills, so when certain pizza places started offering free soft drinks while you wait for your take-out, we were a big fan of it. As if that wasn't enough, Snooze stepped the free drinks game up to a whole new level by offering coffee to its customers while they're waiting for a table. Considering that a good portion of Snooze's weekend customers were probably out drinking the night before, it seems like a good business decision to draw people in with some caffeine, but it really does make the whole waiting/eating experience way more pleasant for everyone involved.