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Last week's Top 10 on my blog, Dining@Large (baltimoresun.com/diningatlarge), was in honor of Halloween.

For those of us who enjoy eating out more than we should, there is a special punishment reserved for us in hell. We will be forced to go out to eat over and over again for eternity at restaurants that have 10 things in common.


No matter what you order, the kitchen just ran out of it.


All of the tables are next to the swinging kitchen door or a service station and face the men's room. An air conditioning vent blowing ice-cold air is situated just above your neck.


The large group of tipsy ladies at the table next to you gets louder and louder as the evening wears on; and speaking of wearing, they are all drowning in Obsession.


The little girl at the table on the other side screams at random moments throughout the whole meal. Her baby brother in the high chair throws food at you.


The server takes 20 minutes to recite all the specials and all their ingredients and preparation, and at the end you can never remember what even one of them was so he has to start all over again.


If you order your steak rare, it will come well done. If you like your steak well done, it will be bloody. As the waiter puts it in front of you he says pleasantly, "I've seen cows hurt worse than that get up and walk away."


Your dinner always has to be sent back, and you sit there while everyone else at the table is finishing his or hers. Then they sit there and watch you eat. You know you are gobbling, but you can't help yourself.


The restaurant is out of alcohol. When the sommelier finally finds a bottle of wine, it's corked.


The bread is delicious but needs butter, and the butter is just slightly rancid.


None of the desserts contain chocolate. Or if you don't care for chocolate, they are all variations on the death-by-chocolate cake.

Readers talk back

Hell makes crab cakes with onions and green peppers (and no Old Bay for us OB lovers).

Posted by: Joyce W.

In hell you call for a reservation weeks in advance, but the only available times are 5:30 or 10 p.m.

Posted by: Dahlink

All the fine dining restaurants in Hell start issuing beepers that play the "Mexican Hat Dance" when your table is ready. You keep hearing the song over and over... and it's never your beeper.

Posted by: Zevonista

The guy who parked your car approaches your table in a torn, disheveled uniform with tears running down his cheeks.

Posted by: Michael A. Gray

In hell, the waiter/waitress thinks they're being fancy by taking your order by memory instead of writing it down. One of two things happen. They have to come back later to apologize because they forgot what you ordered or when the meal comes, it's not what you ordered.

Posted by: Jim

You are the only couple in the place and the waiter says the kitchen staff is slammed.

Posted by: Bill

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