Here we go again. Another restaurant on my blacklist, which is a shame because I’ve been very tolerant of them in the past. But this incident had a a new, unexpected element to it.
I arrive and wait for attention. This is typical. I have no idea why this restaurant doesn’t have a host. Finally, a man notices me and tells me I can have a seat anywhere. And I do.
He brings me bread and a glass of water and says the waitress will be by soon. Huh. I guess they did get a host. Good for them. A lady comes out and takes my order. Coke, salad, and an entrée. Nothing fancy.
After a while, the host comes back out and asks if I need anything. I just placed my order and I have bread and water, so, no. I’m fine. Good, attentive host.
Another party comes in and sits in the booth in front of me. The waitress is apparently good friends with them, since they texted each other before arrival. When the waitress eventually comes back around to take their order, she sits in the booth with them, chats with them for an extended time, and in-between, takes their order. I’m thinking, “Where’s my coke?”
Waitress goes away, checks on another table, then brings the neighboring party’s salads out. Um, where’s my salad? She goes away, comes out and clears a table, checks on another table and refreshes their drinks. At this point, my water is empty and I’m being completely ignored, even when she looks right at me. As I sit and stew, I decide: It’s on.
At last, the waitress brings out my entrée. I say thank you, then turn on the asshole mode. “Now, may I have my Coke, my salad, and a refill of my water. Please.” She is stunned for a moment and says the other guy is my waiter. What? I thought he was the host. She took my order. She brought my food out. I thought she was my waitress. I tell her such. Nope, they had switched. She said that she got the Coke and salad ready, but he just left them there.
Wait. She just admitted that saw my drink and salad sit there in back and did nothing about it? She says the guy is new and she doesn’t think he’s going to work out. Yeah, I never saw him again after he asked me if I needed anything, but I didn’t think he was a waiter. In hindsight, why wasn’t he bussing the tables? Hmmm.
Anyway, she apologizes and says she will get my Coke and take the salad off the bill and talk to her manager. I’m semi-sympathizing with her at this point because of the misunderstanding that (at the time) I didn’t realize was more her fault than anything. But then, a challenger appears!
The guy in the booth in front of me half turns around and says, “This is my first night here, and I’ll be your waiter.” Remember, this guy is close friends with the waitress. Obviously he’s been there plenty. I didn’t quite get where he was going with his statement.
I chuckle and say, “Oh, I’ve been here several times."
His voice changes slightly and he says, “This is a good place to eat.”
Instinctively, I sense he’s a bit peeved about my dressing down of his friend. I reply sympathetically and emphatically, “You’re right, this is a good place.”
His voice changes more significantly and he orders, “Then shut the fuck up and enjoy it.”
Using a tone I have mastered that basically says, I have to say this, but I don’t mean a word of it, I reply, “I’m sorry if I offended you, sir.”
He delivers more rambling f-bomb accusations with his back to me. His wife is saying, “Honey, stop.”
Well, that’s that. Without a bite of my food, I say, “You know, I don’t think this is a good place.” I remove my napkin and stand up. I walk by his booth and say to him, “Thank you very much, sir.”
I go to the waitress, who, despite the situation I put on her and the one happening between me and her friend, is helping another table… before she gets my damn Coke. I put a bill in her hand and say, “Here’s $10 for the food. I won’t be eating here again.” She chases after me trying to give the money back, but I shooed her off.
Sometimes the poison isn’t just the staff, it’s the patrons, too.