Friday, December 13, 2013

And Here We Go Again

Yogi said it best. "It's like deja vu all over again."

Now unless it's to a show or an occasional get together with friends, I don't go out all that much. The last time we went out for a show with something to eat, it was a bit of a crazy experience. Plus, I work from home, and at the end of the day I don't feel like getting myself together to greet the world... especially when the temperature is in the low 20s.

But last night, out I went.

I had a Groupon that was expiring. Yeah, you all know what I mean. There always seems to be enough time to redeem it, then all of a sudden it's expiring during the week when there are 35 other things on your plate. This one expires today, but since I have a Christmas party to attend tonight, a Thursday night dinner out was on the menu. So was barbeque.

It was a place we hadn't been to, and while only about 15 miles away, it's in one of those towns that wherever you are... you can't get there from here. No highways very close, and you even have to bounce on several different main roads to find it. We got there around 6:45 and left 8:20... 2 people, 2 bowls of soup, 2 dinners. No dessert, no after dinner drinks. And really, how long should it take to pour soup into a bowl? Well, let me tell you.

It was a big, old, house type restaurant.... several rooms, low lights, fireplace, Christmas tree... nice atmosphere. We were seated in a booth for two. There were two other couples in the room. Two. Our waitress came over with the menus: food menu, beer menu and specials. OK, we order a couple of beers, she brings them in a relatively acceptable time. We order, each of us choosing a different one of the two soups on the specials menu. And we start to tell her our choices for the entree. She is not writing this down. As she asks the "other" what sides he would like... well he hadn't thought about that, so as he decides... she forgets what we've already ordered. We're talking a matter of a minute or two. Ok, we restate the order, she writes it down this time, and goes away.

And we wait.

And we notice it's kind of cold and drafty in this booth, so we ask if we could sit closer to the fire. So we move, much better. Nice and cozy. And we wait.

Twenty minutes later, I say "You know we are not going to get the soup. Because really, how long could it take to take a damn ladle and pour it into a bowl?" But yes, happy day, the soup did arrive. Mine was Beef Barley and it was steaming hot and delicious. So I'm feeling much better and looking forward to the entrees.

And we wait.

Another twenty minutes later the dinners arrive. At this point, a couple with a toddler girl, and a group of four friends have come in, sat down, ordered and were served. Of course they had another waitress. At one point ours came over to ask if we needed anything. The "other" asked for a side plate where he could mix up some of the sauces. "Just one?" she asked. Yes. No, she never brought it. As far as we could see, she only had one other table to serve, seriously... you can't remember a plate?

Food was great, no complaints there. In fact, the portions were enough for us both to take home enough for another meal, so we ask her to wrap it up. Oh oh. After another ten minutes or so, we are still waiting for the leftovers, and we haven't even asked for the check. Finally, he walks to the side area off the kitchen and she's trying without success to put the plastic cover on the aluminum tin. Are you kidding me? He takes it from her and brings it back to the table and I close it up. Oh and he brought the check too... only it wasn't ours.

He hands her back the wrong check, she will bring the correct one. But no. I go to bring back the second check and she is all flustered and hands me another one. Still not the right one. Did you ever want to just bang your head against the wall... yeah that.

Finally, we get the correct check and the manager has taken another 20% off the bill, so with that and the coupon, it was an economic night out at least. Would I go back? If I was in the area, yes. It's a little too far off the beaten path to make the trip, but the food was good enough to not hold the whole ditzy waitress thing against them.

I'm just starting to see a pattern developing with my dining out experiences. And another restaurant awaits me tonight. Anyone taking bets?


  1. If your waiter experiences continue on their current path, it would probably be a good idea if you wear flame retardant clothing when you go out. Having one of them accidentally set your table on fire isn't far outside of the realm of possibility at this point.

    1. I'm going to the store right now to get one. Can never be too safe. Thanks Vinny.

  2. we seem to be a magnet for offbeat waitstaff(I'm being kind).Cracker Barrel anyone?Having worked in service industry,it's amazing to see these people employed.At least we got a few good laughs&a decent meal.OY