matt's Reviews > Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter

Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch
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's review
Oct 09, 2011

did not like it
Read from October 09 to 13, 2011

The title of this book is misleading. Early on, it keeps true to the promise of being a behind the scenes story of a four-star restaurant, but it veers swiftly off course after the opening of the restaurant. The author uses the restaurant experience as an excuse to talk about herself and her relationships, which I didn't sign up for - or feel particularly interested in reading about. Especially because my opinion of her fell after each chapter. For example, while I applaud her critique of fast food as being an unhealthy choice in one instance, she immediately negates her message by stuffing bone marrow down her gut for hours during a night on the town "tasting" with her co-workers. The message appears to be: "High-fat, high-salt foods are okay if they are expensive, but they are bad for you if they are cheap". Instances like this just made her seem pretentious and callous.
Near the end of the book, perhaps after realizing she has been only talking about herself and not any "four-star secrets"; she throws in a chapter ("I can Hear You") to try and make up for this by rattling off a series of supposedly scandalous or amusing things she overheard while working at Per Se. Too little, too late.

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