Beer American beer，with very few exceptions，varies from the mediocre（普通的）to the terrible. There are not many types of beer in theUS—‘light’and‘dark’aretwo terms commonlyused. It is therefore normal to order beer simply by brand name. In a restaurant，in fact，it is quite all right toorder‘abeer’，and they will tell you what they have. It is not necessary，either，to specify quantity when ordering beer. If it comes in bottles or cans，you will get a bottle or can，and ifit‘s’on tap‘（可以随时取用的）you will get a glass，unless you ordera’pitcher‘（有嘴和柄的大酒罐i.e.ajug）。The latter is very convenient thing to do，since you can then take the jug and glasses to your table and keep filling up without going back to the bar.（It is harder，however，to know how much you have drunk.）
Some beer comes in bottles with tops that look as if they need an opener，but you can，in fact，screw（拧开）them off by hand—though you have to be very careful not to hurt yourself. It is possible，in some stores and bars，to find a wide selection of beer from all over the world，especially Western Europe and Australia，and it is good fun to experiment with these.
CocktailsCocktailsand‘mixeddrinks’aremuch more popular and rather stronger in the USA than in Europe，and visitors may not be familiar with some of the terminology（术语）。‘On the rocks’，as you probably know，means with ice，while‘straightup’or‘up’means neat and without ice. There are hundreds of different cocktails，and there is no space here to list all the different names.
The Hard Stuff InAmerica‘whiskey’meansbourbon（一种烈性威士忌酒，最初为美国肯塔基州Bourbon地区所产）unless otherwise indicated. Bourbon is a rather oily spirit made from maize（玉米）。Rye（黑麦威士忌酒）whiskey iscalled‘rye’andScotchwhiskey‘Scotch’。
Wine In bars wine can often be bought by the glass. Don‘t be misled by names suchas’Chablis‘is used to refer to white wine，and’Burgundy‘tored—Americans seem never to have heard of white Burgundy……
Eating out is one of thejoyof being in theUSA. The food is usually good and often excellent；the prices are reasonable；andthe service is mostly fine.
Choosing a Restaurant选择餐馆Some restaurants are open for breakfast；othersare open twenty-four hours a day. A number of restaurants callthemselves‘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‘sportios（份餐）。Note that many American restaurantsare’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 signsaying‘Pleaseseat 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 thatreads‘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 tosay’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 maycall’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 calledthe‘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.
Cocktail鸡尾酒It is quite usual to drink cocktails before lunch and dinner in America and somewhat less usual，except in California，to drink wine with a meal. You can either have a cocktail in the bar，if there is one，while you wait for a table or for friends，or you can have one served before your dinner comes. At some restaurants the waiter/waitress will come to your table as soon as you sit down to ask if you want a cocktail，and you can then drink this while deciding what to order to eat. At others，there may be a separate cocktail waiter or waitress. In this case，you do not normally order wine from him or her but from the normal waiter- or the wine waiter is there is one. Do not hesitate to order Californian wines. They can be excellent and in many parts of the country are cheap.
Salad色拉It is usual to have a salad with your meal，and a separate plate is provided for this purpose. The normal practice in America is to eat the salad before the main course. A wonderful American invention is the salad bar. In restaurants that have these salad bars the waiter does not bring your salad. You go to the salad bar and help yourself，usually to as much as you want. This is normally done after you have ordered your meal；you eat the salad while the main course is being cooked.
Choosing from the Menu选菜American menus can look rather confusing at first sight，for they may use some terms which are unfamiliar to mostvistors. Here are some points which may be useful. Fried mushrooms，fried onion rings（洋葱圈）and fried zucchini（小胡瓜）are sometimes served as starters（第一道菜）。
Potatoes most oftencome‘French-fried’orbaked. If you order a baked potato，the waiter will ask you what you want on it. The choice is butter and/or sour cream and sometimes chives（细香葱）。
Very often vegetables do not come automatically with the meal，and you have to pay extra forthem.‘Scrod’（小鳕鱼），‘red snapper’（啮龟）and‘mahihahi’are all name offish.‘Seafood’meanslobster（龙虾），shellfish and fish，including，funnily enough，freshwater fish！Prawns（对虾）are knownas‘shrimp’。
American beef is usually good and often wonderful. American salt and pepper（糊椒粉）pots are confusing until you realize that the salt pot may look like a pepper pot except that the salt pot‘s holes are bigger. Pepper is normally black rather than white. American mustard（芥末）is mild and normally eaten with hot dogs or hamburgers rather than meat. And that stuff in a dish that looks ice cream is actually whipped（搅拌过的）butter.
Leftovers吃剩的食物You have probably heard that in American restaurants，if you can‘t finish your meal，you can put the remains ina’doggybag‘and take them home. This is quite true. If you leave some meat，in particular，your waiter may ask you if you’d like him to put itinto‘alittle bag’，or you can ask him to do this.