Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 26, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 8



 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 26, 2011 


Savor The Flavor Customers Step Up to Taste 
Test Potential New Products for Gourmet Food 
Shop Photo and Story by Chris Bertrand

 Savor the Flavor patrons answered the email call for taste testers for Friday’s event. The 
gourmet food shop on Kersting Court in Sierra Madre just received its first batch of tasting 
samples from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). 

Mother and daughter team, Karen Keegan and Madeleine Romo invited their patrons to 
evaluate potential products to carry in the shop, and to forward the consumer responses 
back to the trade group. 

 The group tried Thai soup, cherry balsamic vinegar, masala Indian spice products, apple 
granola, hummus chips and key lime truffles. The first group put the hummus chips, the 
balsamic and the Key lime truffles at the top of the list. 

 To sign up for news of future taste test events and other foodie news, visit www. 

 Sit down restaurants typically assign a 18% service charge (gratuity) for larger dining parties 
and urge that the meal is inventoried on a single check, in plain words, no separate 
checks. Why do they do this? The reason is rather elementary, my dear diner…

 The server (and let’s pray this is your common experience) is spending a majority of their 
time with you, forsaking other tables. Having one large party doesn’t lend the server the 
opportunity to accept other, or very few additional tables. It is an insurance policy set forth 
by the restaurants. They insure that the server will earn their 18%, thus assuring a generous 
tip for their staff. As for separate checks, I have routinely found that restaurants will let 
you utilize this measure if it isn’t busy, but if it is busy, the allowance of the act becomes the 
server’s worse nightmare. 

Imagine a party of 8, at the end of the meal, “Please divide the check four ways, and please 
figure out party ‘A’s’ bill, because they drank more then us.” The server now goes back to the 
computer and sifts through all of the various items and you have now left the expertise of a 
server at that point and entered the world of 
logistical mathematics. If the server was able 
to administer to other tables in the restaurant, they now become acutely aware that their 
smiling food and drink magician has vanished. Many managers will gladly waive the 18% if 
you aren’t satisfied with the server’s performance. 

Just some food for thought, and the bill.

I have to tell you, I am so impressed when a server or bartender 
remembers my name, and when they remember 
my drink as well, I am floored. I stopped over at Smitty’s 
in Pasadena the other night and I haven’t been there in 
months. A reassuring voice greets me, “Hey Peter, how are 
you, cold glass of bubbly?” Now that is service. Hats off to 
Patrick!!! I may call you to find my keys.

Speaking of....

This week starts the Pasadena Restaurant week. Visit your 
local eatery for plated bargains and full course meals. Take 
the opportunity to seat yourself in a restaurant you have 
never been.

Email me at with your 
thoughts. Join me every Saturday and Sunday evening on 
Charter 101 at 7 PM and on KABC Talk Radio 790 AM 
Sunday afternoons. 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Happy EasterCelebrate Easter in the perfect cup of tea. 
75 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre, CA 91024 | RSVP (626) 355-0045 
OpenTues - Sat11am - 4pmSundays 
open forgroups 
of 20 
or morePrivate SpaceAvailable 
for Bridal & 
Baby Showers, 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: