Waiter Rant by The Waiter

Released: July 29, 2008
Format: e-book (also available as Trade Paperback)
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
ISBN-24: 978-0-06169-678-7

Waiter Rant is one of those books based on a blog, in the vein of Julie Powell’s Julia and Julia, wherein something that started online ended up blossoming into something much bigger. Unlike Julie and Julia, Waiter Rant is written by an anonymous author known only as The Waiter, and nearly everyone and every place in it has been given a pseudonym.

Waiter Rant is basically a tell-all of what it’s like behind the scenes of a restaurant, but it’s very different from Service Included (which I talked about last week). Waiter Rant is really about the seedy underbelly of the restaurant scene and how that can impact people, and it’s written in a very different tone. Where Phoebe Damrosch has a generally positive attitude, The Waiter can be arrogant, unsympathetic and irritating. Thankfully, he is aware of these character traits and acknowledges them in the book, which makes the book, as Anthony Bourdain notes, “painfully funny.” It also gives a lot of insight into how things look from that side of the restaurant experience, and the joys of chaffing, which come up more often that one might expect. All in all, a solid read, and one ideally suited to my mood as I appear to be on some sort of foodie journey in my offline world.

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