Regarding whether not taking reservations is ageist (Food & Dining, May 30):

Let’s go over some of the restaurateurs’ rather flippant recommendations and apply them to taking out an aging parent:

“Show up as soon as the restaurant opens its doors.” Pick up aging parent, enjoy rush-hour traffic, find parking (which may be a considerable distance from the restaurant), join others following said advice, yet still wait hours for a table.

“Put your name on the wait list and make a night of it.” Taking an elderly parent to various watering holes while you wait for your table to be ready. Awesome! Especially if your parent comes with a side of mild dementia. Now that’s making it a night!

“Young people expect this and aren’t bothered by it.” I sense a hint of ageism right next to the pink Himalayan sea salt.

“Turn the line itself into a party. … ‘It’s like a Grateful Dead parking lot,’ ” one co-owner/chef said. Yeah …


“Just go try elsewhere …” Shorten that to “Go away!” Almost as good as “eat at home,” which seems antithetical to the concept of trying local food.

I love eating out in Portland, as did my mother. It was one of her joys to go out for cocktails and a good meal, even when dementia and physical infirmity began to take over. Not being able to take her to new and exciting places because she physically couldn’t handle the waiting time was disheartening.

Portland has many great eateries and many places in which I feel welcome. There are also places where being over 50 makes you invisible. I understand that to be fresh and exciting is usually to be young and insouciant. However, in the conversation about whether not taking reservations is ageist or merely inconvenient, Food Editor Peggy Grodinsky may have been “(mostly) disarmed,” but we were dismissed.

James Herrera

South Portland

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