The restaurant makeover shows on cable TV tackle some tough problems. The food is frozen dreck. The management is dysfunctional. The kitchen is a pigsty. The staff is rude. And the decor is kitschy, or dust-covered, or otherwise hideous.
Kish and I experienced the tippy table at a Nashville bistro. We were led to one of those indoor/outdoor patio areas with an awning. We sat down, enjoyed some chit chat, perused the menu, and ordered our meals. When the waiter brought out soft drinks and we leaned forward, however, it happened — that sudden, annoying dip where one side of the table jerks down suddenly, and you realize you are saddled with a tippy table. Gah!
When you confront the tippy table, there are no good options. At a busy venue, there are no other tables available. If you try to fix it, you spend half your meal under the table, carefully wedging Sweet ‘n Low packets and folded pieces of torn napkins under the legs, trying to engineer a stable table. Then one of the sugar packets slides out, and you’re back to that vexing tippiness. So you try to deal with the issue by moving gingerly, placing undue weight on your right forearm to try to lock the table down so tipping is impossible. But an unconscious move toward the salt brings that infuriating ka-thunk, and you’re back to thinking more about the tippy table than about your meal or your dining companion.
A tippy table can ruin an otherwise excellent meal. If I owned a restaurant, I would instruct the waiters to begin every shift by walking through the restaurant, touching every table to expose latent tippiness, and addressing any problems before guests arrived and had to endure a tippy table.