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Worth the Wait

There's a new book that should be required reading for every restaurant employee. Two restaurant professionals and one professional journalist wrote The Waiting Game (Ten Speed Press, $16.95) as "the essential guide for wait staff." Beginning with a breakdown of restaurant hierarchy and concluding with chapters on how to manage tips and how to keep a wait staff position, the book addresses waiting tables as a credible, professional, dignified and often difficult way to make a living; servers and diners alike could benefit from this reminder. The 198 pages take waiting tables so seriously that they even include exercises for practicing essential skills -- like balancing a tray and describing dishes -- at home. Ten chapters also cover tip-earning advice, beverage service, timing a meal, rules of setting and clearing the table, how to read a wine label, obscure foods, sanitation, and handling complaints.
Market Watch

If you're in search of an unusual, inexpensive gift -- or a plant you would have to grind in the food disposal to kill -- check out the lucky bamboo vendors on Saturdays at the Crescent City Farmers Market. They sell the shiny green bamboo as individual stalks or cut to various lengths and arranged in squatty Asian-style pots. Lucky bamboo is said to attract happiness, wealth, good health and general luck; at the very least, the arrangements are charmingly tidy. They will live for years on minimal sunlight and water. The Tuesday market is at 200 Broadway St. and runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Thursday market is at 3700 Orleans Ave. and runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Saturday market is at 700 Magazine St. and runs from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 861-5898 or visit

The Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur St., 522-0571) is holding its ninth annual Brewmaster's Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29. Brewmaster Wolf Koehler and Chef Mark Latino have collaborated on pairings for the five-course dinner; local radio host and food critic Tom Fitzmorris will play master of ceremonies. Proceeds from each $40 ticket benefit Bridge House, a private, nonprofit chemical-dependency treatment center. Call Will Webre at 522-3901 for reservations.

Cornering the Market

Bull's Corner (316 Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 832-0017) is pouring Merlot for its Toastin' Tuesday wine tasting this week. Sample four wines for $5 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Or pay $25 to go on a tasting tour of Southern France, also on Tuesday, at Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 899-7411/896-7300).

This week's column powered by a $6.99 bottle of Whole Foods' own 2000 Nominee Chardonnay.


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