Now, I realize the economy is bad and many people are living on a reduced income and therefore can’t afford to waste anything. And of course all of us have, on occasion, taken home leftovers from a restaurant. But just how far does the term “doggie bag” stretch? Leftover wine, leftover milk? Leftover salad dressing? And isn’t it basically wrong not to have the waiter put your leftovers in a container, but instead just squirrel it away yourself? Even though by far the weirdest thing was the fact that the beige-suited diner was “doggie-bagging” a liquid, to me a major indication that it was not kosher is that I couldn’t imagine ever asking a waiter to pack up an unconsumed drink. And in a restaurant the waiter is like the teller at a bank. He has to put it in the bag for you or somehow it’s stealing.
People do have widely different ideas about what one is allowed to take home from dining out: A friend of mine told me she knows someone who routinely orders a second basket of bread, knowing that she is not going to need it, and then takes it home. When I worked as a waitress years ago I always had a few customers who saw nothing wrong with asking me to wrap up large amounts of the “all-you-can-eat” salad from the salad bar. And I have heard about people endeavoring to procure not just their own but their dining companions’ uneaten portion of food “for the dog.”
It’s true that the average martini in New York costs a whopping $11, and perhaps after the first sip, the woman, realizing she was not in the martini mood, just couldn’t bare to see it go to waste. But by the time it was carried home in warm plastic and then re-iced, the drink would not have been fit even for the hair of the dog.
Posted by Miss Mingle at 4/12/2010