A strange habit of mine...
Want to try it yourself? E-mail me a picture of your creation at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll post it on this
webpage for all to see!
I reserve the right to post or not post any submission.
Need some hints to help you get started?
Ta Molly's, Paris, Texas
September 27, 2005
Chili's, Davenport, Iowa
September 5, 2004
The Fireside Dinner Theater,
Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
April 10, 2004
The Great Dane,
just off Capitol Square, Madison, Wisconsin
March 27, 2004
Green Bay, Wisconsin
March 13, 2004
Applebee's, W College Ave, Appleton, Wisconsin
February 10, 2004
Hints for Making Your Own Restaurant Pyramids
Ben Miller, 9-15-2004
I've been building Sweet 'n Low pyramids while waiting for food for several years. Here
are some tips on how to get started. These aren't rules, just a few suggestions. Be
creative, try something challenging, have fun! If you take a picture of it, e-mail it
to me at email@example.com and I'll post it!
- The pink packets work the best. And I don't say that because I like pink. (Sorry, Steven
Tyler and Superman.) The white packets (sugar) are very bulky and heavy. The blue packets (aspartame)
are too long and narrow. The pink packets (saccharin) are the best bet because the
substance is lightweight and the length-to-width ratio of the packets is good.
- By the way, pink, white, blue:
None of them are for
eating, only for pyramid building.
- Sweet 'n Low packets can be more challenging than cards because they are not nearly
as uniformly shaped and they are much more flexible. On the plus side, you can bend the
edges if you need to, something you would never do with cards.
- To make a standard 3-level pyramid, 30 pink packets are required. It is very rare to
find that many on your table. You could ask the waiter for more packets, but I prefer
to steal them from unoccupied tables when no one is looking. I have only once had a
waiter get verbally upset with me. (Curly's Pub, Green Bay, March 13, 2004: "They make us
count those, you know!")
- Be choosy about the packets. You want pink packets that are clean and crisp, not a lot
of wrinkles. Sometimes the packets are not cut evenly or seem overstuffed - avoid these as
- A sturdy table is helpful. If it's too wobbly, you may have problems, but you might be
surprised how earthquake-resistant a properly constructed pink pyramid can be.
- The table surface needs to provide a certain level of friction, or building will be
difficult. The best table surfaces are natural wood. A napkin will provide a great surface;
however, use of a napkin is cheating. Still, it is necessary sometimes due to the complete
unsuitability of some restaurant tabletops. Try building without a napkin first. If this
proves too difficult on your table, a napkin will help a lot.
- Don't get frustrated, just have fun.
- Leave a hefty tip if the waiter says something nice. Leave a lousy tip (or no tip) if
they give you a hard time.
- Leave the pyramid up when you leave, and give the busboy something to enjoy!
Copyright 2005 Ben Miller