Recently my wife, the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha, and I were enjoying a Sunday “jazz bunch” at a very nice restaurant in New Orleans, Arnaud’s, when I couldn’t help noticing what was going on at a couple of other tables.

At the table directly behind me, a woman told the waiter that she noticed that many of the dishes included sauces. Like Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally, she explained that she was not big on sauces and could she have the sauces on the side?

At another table, a family of tourists were enjoying their brunch in shorts. But that isn’t what really bothered me, which it couldn’t because the guests at the next table over arrived in blue jeans. It’s what the family ordered. Really, omelets? Scrambled eggs?

It was Sunday brunch, not dinner, so I understand that the dress code was relaxed. But just because a jacket isn’t required on Sundays doesn’t mean that your party should look like it came from doing chores in the barn. Okay, it was unbelievably hot and humid that morning, but even I wore dress pants and a long sleeve shirt. If I can survive walking three-quarters of a mile in dress clothes from the house in Trem√© where we stayed, the healthy-looking family looking fresh from their nearby hotel could wear some long pants.

As for the menu choices, what we’re these people thinking? A McDonalds breakfast is only a few blocks away, and the street musicians will do for entertainment. Because to pay those prices and then not trust the chef to prepare something special is to miss the point of the whole experience. Sauce on the side? Are you kidding? There’s an award-winning chef and a whole lot of tradition involved in the creation of these meals, and your uneducated palate is wants dry dog food? There’s a Burger King on Canal Street – go have it your way.

However, we didn’t let the barbarians at the other tables disturb our wonderful experience. Our service was wonderful, the food was excellent and, of course, the French 75 was a great compliment to the meal. We finished with the Bananas Foster for Two. Then we spent a couple of hours at the nearby Carousel Bar enjoying the air conditioning and a couple of drinks.

Because when you’re going first class, you don’t tell the pilot how to fly the plane. You just relax in a comfortable seat with your cocktail.

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