Over the weekend, the GF and I were out in Touristville and I made the decision to eat at Kobe Steakhouse. Kobe is a place we used to go frequently, and one I still manage to eat there every once in a while. It’s at a location we hadn’t been to before, like I said, right in Touristville, near the premium outlets. Don’t ask me why we chose to go to the outlets on Black Friday weekend. Some things can’t be rationalized.
So, we make our way to the restaurant through traffic that moved like sludge through a sewer pipe. I mean, it was shitty traffic. When we got inside the restaurant, it was unsurprising that there were plenty of people waiting already. The hostess says the wait is going to be 40-45 minutes. We’re only mildly hungry right then, so this will be fine for us to build up some hunger. We get the pager and sit down for an extended wait.
Five minutes into our wait, the pager goes off. Hooray for being a rockstar! Well, that’s not true. They never asked who I was, so my frequent flyer status wouldn’t have anything to do with this. Doesn’t matter, getting to eat now! We get seated at a table with another family of four. Each table seats ten, so there’s four empty seats between us.
I’ll take a moment to explain Kobe policy. You don’t get considered for seating until your entire party is present. It’s pretty obvious this family is dining with another family, so our table has a party of 8 and a party of 2. But the party of 8 is only half-there. There’s an actual business reason they won’t seat you like this, which is going to become obvious, very soon.
The server takes our drink orders. He asks about the people not there yet, and it is determined to just bring waters for them. The drinks are served and now orders are taken. The missing people can’t place their orders as they are not there. The GF and I are starting to think that we’re going to have a half-full table, which sucks for the chef.
The soup is served. The empty places get a bowl of soup each. The salad is served. The empty seats now have a soup and salad sitting in front of each of them. Soon, the chef will come out and these people haven’t even shown up to place their orders. Is this considered abandonment yet? The server consults with the family and they don’t know where their friends are, but they are sure to be here soon. I commented to the GF that our 45 minute wait was still in effect, it was just being applied after getting seated.
Then, a holiday miracle. The other family shows up. There’s a flurry of greetings and everyone takes their seats. There’s a small issue though. There’s five people. The party of eight, which was seated as a party of four is actually a party of nine. See, this is why you wait for the whole goddamn party to show up before you seat anyone.
Despite this, everyone crams the fuck in there and the server talks with each new person to get their drink and food order. Karmically enough, the issue of being short one soup and salad is never resolved. The chef finally comes out and tries to confirm everyone’s order. There’s confusion because he has two tickets, because the second party arrived so late. The chef is struggling with the orders and the number of people and I say to him, “You have 11 here.” Whether that helped or not, I have no idea.
He begins with the sauces. The table is designed for 10, and everything is planned for 10. He has 10 sauce trays. I try to help by saying I don’t want any sauce, so he pulls one tray back. Now he has 9 trays and there’s 10 people that will want sauce. This is simply not working out.
Despite this ridiculousness, things worked out really well for me and the GF. The other parties turned down a lot of the food. Extra rice, extra noodles, extra veggies – we were loaded up. Maybe it was for the best because I’m not sure they prepped for 11 at a table.
However, even though we were fed heartily, even good food can’t make up for your meal running into 2 hours. That’s just way too much. So, it was hard for us to tell if we were happy with the meal or not. The food was good, the experience was not as much.
The server brought my check, and fortunately, I had a $10 reward that was applied to my check. I sent the bill off with my credit card and the server came back to talk to me. The manager felt bad about us being crammed in on a table of 11 and took an extra $20 off the bill. That was unexpected and quite pleasant. So the bill was paid and we got the hell out of that shitshow.
The rise and fall of expectations and reality left us completely confused as to how we should be feeling, other than full and tired.