I just returned from a vacation to the East Coast a couple of weeks ago where I had a great time. Being a midwesterner, I made it a habit to eat at locally owned restaurants during my trip. As time passed, I noticed something a little on the odd side (at least for me).
What came to my attention was the way straws were used regardless of the type of restaurant. For Example, I was at a very nice place in Baltimore’s Little Italy having just ordered an expensive dinner. The glass of water I requested arrived in a very nice glass complete with a straw with its little 1 inch hat on.
This took me by surprise as here in the midwest, the more expensive the restaurant the less likely you are to be offered a straw. I remember years ago when I had just graduated from boot camp, being taught by a fellow classmate from New York about using a straw when drinking from a soda can or bottle when purchased from a sidewalk vendor. Having grown up in the suburbs of Kansas City, it was not something that had ever been brought to my attention. Ever since then, I have associated using straws with fastfood, drive-thru windows and sidewalk vendors. When this restaurant where I was paying about $40 per person for dinner (not including drinks) sent out my glass of water with a straw, the thought crossed my mind about whether the dishes were clean.
I would like some input as to whether this is SOP in other parts of the country or just in the Northeast U.S.