Eating out is one of the joy of being in the USA. The food is usually good and often excellent; the prices are reasonable ; and the service is mostly fine.
Choosing a Restaurant 选择餐馆
Some restaurants are open for breakfast; others are open twenty-four hours a day. A number of restaurants call themselves "family restaurants". Many of these serve no alcohol and have fairly restricted menus which include steaks, hamburgers, omelettes(炒蛋) and sandwiches, and all are at very reasonable prices. They may also serve smaller and cheaper children's portios(份餐). Note that many American restaurants are "speciatly" restaurants . They may serve only, or mainly , steaks , seafood, etc.
When to Eat 供餐时间
Many restaurants, especially the more expensive ones, open at about 11：30 a.m.(midday, rather than 1 p.m. , is the most normal time for lunch in the USA), and some remain open until the evening, so it is possible to order a meal throughout the afternoon.
In many areas it is usual for people to leave work and go out for an evening meal at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. , than waiting until later.
Reserving a Table 预订餐位
Eating out is rather popular in the USA. And it is often necessary to make a reservation. You will sometimes see short queues of people waiting for tables at restaurants-it's more pleasant to wait in the bar , of course, if there is one-but there queues more quickly.
Arriving at Restaurant 到达餐馆
When you arrive at most restaurant, you should not just go in and sit down-unless you see a sign saying "Please seat yourself" . Usually you will have to wait for a "hostess" or "captain"(领班) to escort(陪同) you to a table . Often there will be a sign that reads "Please wait to be seated".
Do not expect to share a table with other parties, even if the restaurant is crowed . It just isn't done.
Many restaurant have a no-smoking section, in some place by lows.
One excellent American custom is that after you have sat down your waiter or waitress will often bring you a glass or water(with ice naturally) and will keep on refilling it throughout the meal. (Most American are incapable of eating a meal without drinking something at the same time.)
When your waiter or waitress takes your order, it is not very normal for one person to order for the whole table. Each person orders separately , except in the most expensive restaurants.
Summoning a waiter 召唤侍者
You may find your waiter unusually friendly. He may ask you how you are (You're supposed just to say "Fine"), inquire whether you have a good day and , later on say that he hopes you will enjoy your meal.
To summon a waiter in a American restaurant you may call "Bill", or "Mary", or "Claude", or whatever. Waiters and waitresses often actually introduce themselves when they first come to your table or wear name tags, you are permitted to use their first names.
Paying the Bill 付款
The bill (often called the "check") comes usually with tax added but no service chare-though some restaurant do now add a service charge. The etiquette(规矩) books say that you should leave a ten per cent tip(小费) for lunch, fifteen per cent for dinner. The tip should be calculated on the basis of the total before the addition of tax.
At many restaurant you can ask the waiter to bring the bill and than pay at a cash desk on the way out
Eating Custom and Practice 用餐习惯
American eating is funny. They eat almost everything with a fork, and it appears that holding a knife in one's right hand longer than a few seconds is considered to be against good table manners.
The system is that if it is absolutely necessary to use a knife, people take the fork in their left hand, and cut off a piece of meat or whatever it is in the normal manner. Then they put the knife down, transfer the fork to their right hand, and only then do they transport the food to their mouth. This is clearly ludicrous(滑稽可笑), but it is considered good manners.
There are several results of this system. First, if it is not absolutely necessary to use a knife, Americans don't use one, because obviously this greatly complicates(使复杂化) things, and you will therefore see them trying to cut things like potatoes, fish and even bacon(熏猪肉) with a fork. Second, towards the end of a course, since only one implement(器具) is being used, food has to bo chased around the plate with the fork — and for the last mouthful the thumb has to be used to keep the food in place, although one is not supposed to do this.
Third, tables are generally laid with one knife and two forks, the outside fork being for the salad. There is no need for foreign visitors to follow the American system and try to eat the salad with only a fork, but if you do use your knife, remerber to save it for the meat course. Even desserts(甜食) (except ice cream) are eaten with a fork if at all possible, and the spoon you see by your dessert is meant to be for coffee (but if you use it for your dessert no one will say anything).
Some Breakfast Dishes 早餐食谱
Breakfast in a restaurant is a very enjoyable experience. If you order eggs in a restaurant, the waiter/waitress will ask you how you want them . You can reply that you want them "scrambled(炒)" or "boiled". It is not sufficient, however, to ask for them "fried"; you will have to specify whether you would prefer them "sunny-side-up" (煎一面), "over"(两面煎), "over-easy/easy-over"(两面煎，但蛋黄仍然呈流体状).
American sausage(香肠) comes in slices and is quite spicy. But you can also have link sausage.
American bacon comes in small strips, can be rather fat, and is served crispy. It is usually very tasty, and you can eat it with your fingers.
"Hash brows"(油炸土豆片) are shredded(切成碎片的) and fried potatoes. They are wonderful, especially with fried eggs and ketchup(蕃茄酱).
"Pancakes", sometimes called "hot cakes", are made with baking power. They are normally served in a pile, and you are supposed to put butter and syrup(果浆) on them.
"Jelly"(果子冻) is jam and includes grape jelly, which is very tasty.
Toast is often served already buttered.
"English muffins(松饼)" are like small crumpets(烤饼) without the holes and are served toasted. You put jam on them.
A "biscuit"(软饼) is a snall, scone-like bread roll, often served hot.
Orange juice and coffer are often serced with breakfast
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