The waiter approaches our table to see what we want. He’s an extremely friendly man and customers have been coming in and greeting him like a long-lost uncle. He has no notebook to take down our order but we feel confident he’ll get it right. And he does. He delivers the food with a smile, and he sets it down proudly.
We have met waiters like this in old-fashioned cafes in Europe and the Middle East and we’ve admired how they have kept up this friendly, efficient pace for decades. Because as we all know, at some establishments, younger waiters sometimes can’t keep pace for the few hours you’re at their table.