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.