Subject: RE: Best and Worst Meals (while traveling)
Fellow Diners:

Thank you, Gavin. Someone else agrees with me. I still like to query taxi drivers for good local restaurants. A good tip for the driver has worked wonders for us in term of restaurant recommendations. In Barcelona recently we received two great recommendations from taxi drivers. The first was Bilbao, the restaurant not the place. Good food, better prices. No one spoke English, but that was not a hindrance to a wonderful meal. The second was a Catalan restaurant west of the city the name of which escapes me. We checked both with the concierge who told us that both were good, but not frequented by tourists. While please and thank you should be the first terms one should learn in another language, where would you bring your family for a dining treat? should be next. The taxi drivers know their cities probably better than anyone.

Finally, if you like a restaurant feel free to compliment the staff and the chef. After an exceptionally fine dinner in a restaurant in the south of France this summer, we asked our waiter to introduce us to the chef. While that might have been gauche for the French, it was just fine for the often boisterous Americans. He was downright excited for someone expressed appreciation for the meal he served. As luck would have it, we visited the restaurant again within a week. The word was out, those Americans are back! The second meal and the service were beyond exceptional. Good service and good meals deserve recognition and you will not be embarrassed by giving it.

Tom