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Old 03-02-2008, 05:04 AM   #1
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Default no brotherly love at the Morning Glory Diner (long rant)

We were in Philadelphia overnight to attend a friend's art opening. Being a food whore, I asked a few natives for a few places to go. Two agreed that THE place to go for breakfast was the Morning Glory Diner, a little south of South Street. It was a few blocks from our hotel, so, great. We were warned it gets crazy-busy on weekends, so we went early by NYC standards.

We showed up at about 9:00 am and there was one couple waiting inside (it was cold) for what looked like at least 4 empty tables. "What's up?" I asked the couple after about 5 minutes of no acknowledgment from the not-exactly-idle, but not-slammed-either staff members. "We don't know," the couple said. Okeydoke. We waited another couple of minutes, and the first acknowledgment we received was a 20-something boho-looking waitress (or maybe hostess - lets call her the "Haitress") with her hand up, like a traffic cop. "Okay," she said, very annoyed, rushing towards us. "You're all gonna have to wait outside."

Mind you, none of us had said a single thing - we were standing there, waiting. We were not blocking anyone, nor taking up any space needed for service. And it was 30-something degrees out, with a stiff wind. "Can we-" I asked, but before I could say "Put our names down" or whatever, she said "No - just go outside, and we'll call you." We stepped back outside and the Haitress slammed (yes, slammed) the door on us. "Okay, fuck this," I said to my GF, "Let's do 'Plan B.'" The other couple just seemed shell-shocked. The Haitress was meanwhile putting up a sign on the door that featured a big stop sign and explained all the many, many rules for accessing a table at the Morning Glory diner.

As I was headed back to the street, the GF opened the door up again as the Haitress was finishing posting the Rules and told her "You're very rude to your customers!" Now, see, when my GF opened the door, the Haitress had been leaning on it a bit, causing her to fall forward a step or two. Thus whatever hate the Haitress was buzzing on prior was now amplified to hummingbird velocity. "I'm calling the cops!" she threatened. "You're a fucking bitch!" the GF countered, and closed the door back in her face. We walked around the neighborhood a bit while finding another place for breakfast, and never heard sirens. I had no idea that at the Morning Glory even opening the door and talking back to the Haitstaff is grounds for arrest. We found another place with friendlier staff and pretty good food.

So here's the thing: I'm from New York, arguably the rudeness and bad-vibes capital of the planet. I've eaten at hundreds of restaurants here - cheap and expensive, achingly trendy and tacky as hell. I've gotten cold shoulders, bad service, etc at many. I've spent a decent amount of time in Paris and LA as well, two places not known for their warmth or the personal generosity of their service people. However I have never encountered hostility as at Morning Glory - nothing even close. We encountered several more seriously unpleasant people throughout our day in Philly, but that's another long rant. Still, the Morning Glory wins the prize so far in my short lifetime.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Holy crap. That's the kind of thing that stays with you for days. Frustrating. Infuriating. UGH!

I don't suppose a letter to the owner would make you feel better? Probably not. The Haitress is probably his daughter.

Glad you shared. Sounds like the Soup Nazi times ten.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:03 PM   #3
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Holy crap. That's the kind of thing that stays with you for days. Frustrating. Infuriating. UGH!

I don't suppose a letter to the owner would make you feel better? Probably not. The Haitress is probably his daughter.

Glad you shared. Sounds like the Soup Nazi times ten.
I visited real Soup Nazi in the mid-90s and yeah, he was about 10% of the evil manifested in the Morning Glory Haitress. I posted a shortened version of the rant on two blogs, which indeed felt good. And from reading other reviews, I get the feeling this is the sort of place that prides itself on the "grumpy" shtick, like young, tattooed versions of the infamous Carnegie Deli waiters. Trouble is, when places take this on they sometimes don't know where it stops being shtick and just starts being hostile. A vicious cycle then occurs where lowered tips lead to more hostility and so on, until you're eating an omelette that's half spit and they're supplementing their serving income by selling plasma.

The place is also in a rapidly gentrifying area and I saw a lot of blog posts about "yuppies" having taken over the place over the past few years. There is in fact a phenomenon I've observed here in NYC where a hip, mellow-vibed place will become appealing to people outside of Coolville. The place will take the interlopers' money, but will let them know one way or another they're not entirely appreciated - though I've never seen it taken to this extreme. The GF and I were wearing non-vintage jackets and shoes, didn't have piercings or tattoos on our necks, nor thick black framed glasses or fake bedheaded asymmetrical haircuts and we graduated art school a long time ago. But I don't think we make the sort of bread to qualify us as Yuppies, except maybe in Haiti.

Anyway, thanks for the kind reply. It didn't ruin our day at all - the over-the-top, weird nature of it left us more dazed than angry. Nothing 6 pieces of challah french toast with a side of bacon couldn't cure.

Last edited by altered states; 03-03-2008 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:11 PM   #4
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Wow, that was awful! I'm so sorry you had that experience! There are so many great and friendly places to eat in Philadelphia. Next time, let me know you are coming and I will recommend something better!

I never even heard of that place, and glad of it!
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:18 PM   #5
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Wow, that was awful! I'm so sorry you had that experience! There are so many great and friendly places to eat in Philadelphia. Next time, let me know you are coming and I will recommend something better!

I never even heard of that place, and glad of it!
Thanks! I think it's my NY accent. Or something. I'd been to Philly once before and ate my first and only cheesesteak at a South 9th Street Market greasy spoon where the grill man wouldn't look me in the eye and kept mumbling under his breath as I sat at the counter. I'm starting to get a complex. I will definitely take you up on your offer!
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:41 PM   #6
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Thanks! I think it's my NY accent. Or something. I'd been to Philly once before and ate my first and only cheesesteak at a South 9th Street Market greasy spoon where the grill man wouldn't look me in the eye and kept mumbling under his breath as I sat at the counter. I'm starting to get a complex. I will definitely take you up on your offer!
I think I see your problem. South Philly is very insular and not friendly to outsiders. It takes awhile for them to warm up to you. I get scared there, and I go everywhere in this town. I mean if you park in the "wrong" place down there, they will slash your tires.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Sounds like South Philly is a place to avoid.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:09 PM   #8
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Holy crap. That's the kind of thing that stays with you for days. Frustrating. Infuriating. UGH!

I don't suppose a letter to the owner would make you feel better? Probably not. The Haitress is probably his daughter.

Glad you shared. Sounds like the Soup Nazi times ten.
---So Very Soft, you could very well be right about the daughter thing, because I -think- the absolute repulsively RUDEST, meanest, most stuck-up, nasty-spirited waitress - I - have ever had the misfortune and displeasure of coming across was the granddaughter of the restaurant owner, of the restaurant in which she worked. This creature I speak of...well, I actually caught her out making fun of me right to one of the cooks, back in the kitchen area. She was, and probably still is, beyond vile. A true b*tch if there ever was one. This happened in New Mexico. One of those people that, after you have your awful encounter with them, you are hoping they will someday reap what they sow.

Things could be a lot worse, however, and I keep reminding myself that. For example, I have never caught Hepatitus in a restaurant, or anywhere else, ever, and, when I go to cycling forums and read what bicyclists tell others about all the objects they are pelted with by motorists when they're just trying to ride their bikes, I count my blessings although I have been hit with things before, just as a pedestrian on the sidewalk. But these people talk about themselves getting hit by things like food like Mc Donald's Big Macs, full cans of Coke, beer bottles, dead possums...one guy said he was hit with a balloon filled with a substance he couldn't even IDENTIFY and referred to it as, "God knows what." And, another man once said that once a motorist thought it would be "cute" or "funny" to smack his girlfriend very hard on the butt (the cyclist's girlfriend, not the motorist's girlfriend) as she was bike-riding, so this creep did that, and must have been going a good 35 miles per hour when he did it, too. I wish I could find that post again because I think the guy who hit her got 8 1/2 years in prison for doing that, but I want to confirm it. If he did, that makes me wonder if that guy had been convicted of assault and battery before, which is why he got such a heavy sentence.

So, when waitstaff treats us like garbage, we just have to remember all the worse things in the world...although, yeah, it really does "sting" when being treated poorly. I hate it when the waiters and waitresses are acting like they are doing you a big favor by selling you food, instead of appreciating that you're spending your money there.

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Old 03-05-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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we don't like furriners. it's as simple as that. not our fault you didn't know the rules.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:47 AM   #10
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we don't like furriners. it's as simple as that. not our fault you didn't know the rules.
I'd like to know the "rules" this diner mandated or whatever.

I lived in one of the most anti-tourist areas EVER, and shit like that didn't fly.

What a festering bitch of a waitress.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #11
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I'd like to know the "rules" this diner mandated or whatever.

.
Already stated it. You can't be a foreigner.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:32 PM   #12
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Already stated it. You can't be a foreigner.
---How come?
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:35 PM   #13
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Already stated it. You can't be a foreigner.
I forgot - did I mention matching "Mike Schmidt's a Fag" jerseys we were wearing?
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:37 PM   #14
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---How come?
Second-city syndrome.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:44 PM   #15
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I see how it is. You don't follow the rules and try to hit a neighborhood place that isn't for your kind, and then you hurl insults because they wouldn't let you break the rules. Fascinating.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:31 PM   #16
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I see how it is. You don't follow the rules and try to hit a neighborhood place that isn't for your kind, and then you hurl insults because they wouldn't let you break the rules. Fascinating.
Second-city syndrome.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:04 AM   #17
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the rules are posted on the door! you should've gone to the 'stuff 'em to death' cafe a block down. i hear it's deadly!
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:23 AM   #18
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the rules are posted on the door! you should've gone to the 'stuff 'em to death' cafe a block down. i hear it's deadly!
Nah, she'd forgotten to post them that morning, or hadn't gotten around to it yet - she did it once we were shooed outside. Still, I guess one should do their research before attempting to eat at a fake bobo diner in a decrepit neighborhood in a city that lost its significance 200 years ago.

We tried to get into Stuff 'em to Death but it was packed full.
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