Waiter: Good evening, can I get you some sparkling or flat water this evening?Bottom-line - I NEVER can de-code what the guy is saying,. I usually pick up words here or there, but it's never fully clear. And after once or twice asking "I'm sorry - what was that?" I feel bad, because they obviously memorize it and I am clearly messing up their "flow." And it's not like this only happens at authentic Italian restaurants or other ethnicities - I feel like lately it happens everywhere!
BG: No thanks, tap water is ok.
Waiter: Can I tell you my specials tonight
Waiter: OK, tonight for an appetizer we have a "skamsdkly with tomato and a sheshmatrodkdsoai with a side of hurmskufrums". For our main course we have chicken with krulitsdlskj einejkhsnki as well as yusduhsdkjkash."
I suggest that specials are printed out and given with the menus. If the server wants to recommend the specials - that's fine - but before I even consider it, I want to actually understand what it is. Another benefit of it being printed out is seeing the price. I'm certainly not cheap when it comes to food, but I once made the mistake of ordering directly after the waiter explained the specials (not looking at the menu at all) when I was out with Amy one night. The meal was great, but the bill was over $300! Lesson learned I suppose.
I'm a big fan of "specials" especially at authentic restaurants in New York City. Apparently, restaurant owners like them too... So what I suggest if every owner is only going to hire employees who speak as little English as possible - is to print the specials out every night. It's really not that hard.