There is nothing better than food investigative journalism! Frank Bruni, the Times' food critic/restaurant reviewer, went undercover as a waiter for a week in order to gain insight on crazy diners, mercurial tipping, and knowing a restaurant inside out. His stint was at the East Coast Grill in Cambridge (better to avoid annoying NYC foodies!) and he posed as "Gavin," a freelance writer. We loved this part:
I'm shadowing Tina, who has worked at the East Coast Grill for decades and seen it all. She is handling the same section Bryan did. She offers a psychological profile of a woman sitting alone at L-3, who declared the chocolate torte too rich and announced, only after draining her margarita, that it had too much ice.
"Some people are interested in having the experience of being disappointed," Tina says.
We cannot wait for the Times' Boston-area readers to realize the somewhat clueless waiter they had at the ECG was actually Bruni.