Burger World International, a soon-to-be Canadian fast food chain, is trying to make service even faster. The restaurant plans to install three robot waiters, at a cost of $20,000 each, which will serve nine tables in 72 seconds. Orders will be relayed by customers to the human cook via an intercom; the robot/waiter is then programmed to the correct table.
Taking a Dim Sum View--There's a new wrinkle in the dim sum brunch at Viet Chateau, 2637 Connecticut Ave. NW. The shapes are familiar--round puffy bows, open-topped pork shu mai, pleated translucent shrimp har gow--but the flavors of fish sauce and vinegar are clearly Vietnamese. The best of Viet Chateau's dim sum that we tried are the slippery rice cakes with pork and mushroom in a sweet-hot fish sauce, the sausage bows and the "crispy shrimp chemises," fried and as light as a wisp. Some are acquired tastes: white coins of rice noodles with dried shrimp, broken rice with pork. Overall, they don't match Washington's best Chinese dim sum, and prices are on the high side ($2 each serving, whether dim sum, soups, salads or desserts, even the very strong chrysanthemum tea). But the second new twist is the vaudeville show: the chef makes the dumplings in the dining room, next to a signboard describing each act. All this goes on on Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It Plays the Supporting Role--The latest after-theater stunt is at Charley's Crab, where the bill is halved for all drinks and desserts on Friday and Saturday from 10:30 p.m. to midnight. The only stipulation is that at least one in your group bring a ticket stub from the theater, though not necessarily from the same night.