Monday, March 30, 2009

Like a weed.

Restaurant Rage

Well, I'm not happy to admit it... but they finally grew on me. Like a weed. Stubborn, and persistent. The conditions for growth were not present... yet steady and true, they pushed up through the hard earthy layer of my distaste for them.

Who am I talking about? Family De Freak Show! I know, I know... after all that bitching about them right? Well, the fact is that they are regulars and I see them all the time. The more that they got to know me, the friendlier they became. For me, it's kind of hard to hate people when being greeted with warmth, smiles, and friendly inquiries into my personal life.

Don't get me wrong... they are still as high maintenance as they ever were. It still bothers the hell out of me that the guy doesn't remember his choice of side, he eats there often enough! The kids are still rude at times, but I have to admit are getting better.

I think the old stigma about the first impression is completely wrong in this case. They had several negative impressions with me at first, and I hated them. Over time, they broke me. It honestly makes me wonder if it is possible for me to actually want to wait on them eventually.

Thank You Guys!

On another note... Recently, I have received some very nice comments. From readers telling me they enjoy the blog and for me to keep writing. I really appreciate the feedback, and really appreciate people taking time out of their busy lives to read my bitchy posts! So, thank you all once again for reading! I blog to vent... I blog for you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Warm Flashes"

On Vacation!

Alright, so I've been out of town for a while. I went on vacation ("holiday" for you Brits) this last week. While we were there, we of course ate out a lot. The experiences were mixed.

I should explain, that when I go out to eat at a restaurant, I always read the menu. I don't like to ask a bunch of unnecessary questions. I also don't like to be that guy... you guys know what I'm talking about.

I should also say that I when I eat out... I'm not going with the intention of judging my server. I'm not the guy who walks in with a dry erase board and pen looking to give a 1-10 rating. I actually try not to do that... but you can't help but notice things, you know?

Anyway, the first place we ate dinner was a chain seafood place. Total tourist trap, but I was ok with that. The group I was with wanted to go there, and I was alright with it. I try and stay laid back and kind of just go with the flow, you know?

Our server was a 20-30 something lady. She was nice, but rather short in speaking to all of us. She had a very laid back waiting style. Very causal. A little frumpy, but this place was not white shirt/ black tie. So no worries. Overall, it was pretty good for what it was.

The next server that comes to mind was awesome! A guy in his late 20's or early 30's. He worked at a small coastal brew pub. The atmosphere was great, and he was totally cool after I mentioned that I was also a waiter (which came up after his surprise at my macro brew knowledge and questions). He recommended some awesome stuff for the group and was way cool. This was by far my favorite restaurant experience on this trip. The menu was also amazing at this establishment.

The place we dined next was a seafood/Italian cuisine joint. It looked like a little mom & pop joint, made from a converted house. Our waitress here had a bit of Restaurant Rage for sure. She had to repeat herself a couple of times and point to the menu (due to a few in my group who weren't paying attention). This place wasn't the best service, but thank God for their Chef (or kitchen staff). The food they put out made up for the snotty server. My guess... lots of tourists that day or she just simply needed to get some (possibly both).

The last place we stopped today, took the cake. We were eating breakfast due to the fact that we were leaving town and needed to get home by the early afternoon. She greeted us in a quirky manner. That's pretty admissible in my book, since it takes a special type of person to work in this industry. She must have been in her 50's or so, but looked at least 10 years younger. The reason I assume this, is because she walked by, grabbed her shirt just below the neck, and did that fanning motion people do when they are hot. She looked at us and said "Sorry, Warm Flashes." Then rolled her eyes up and stuck out her tongue. Confused, we all kind of shot each other the "what the f*ck?" look that comes without words. She awkwardly wait on us for the rest of the meal, and add "Whew... warm flash," here and there. It got to the point of being very annoying mixed with some super weirdness. We still tipped well, and left as soon as we could.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Still Mooing


Last night, I'm waiting. I'm in the first section to get phased, so my mentality is to get in and get out. About three hours into my shift, I can feel that restaurant is within a half an hour or so of clearing out. At this point, I'm doing everything I can to keep my tables moving.
I approach my next table. I greet them, and things are off and rolling smoothly. I grab a quick drink order and run off. Upon returning with their drink order, I drop the drinks and then I begin to take their food order.
I take one guy's order, move on to the little girl, and then I come to the lady. Here is where we come to a little hick-up. I'm a little cautious, but not entirely concerned as we continue:
Me: "...and what can I get for you ma'am?"
Her: "I'll have the top sirloin."
She starts to pick her conversation with her friend.
Me: "How would you like that prepared?"
Her: (realizing she isn't finished ordering yet) "Oh, um...."
(Her party and I wait with bated breath)
Her: "I'll.... I think, I'll have it rare."
Me: "Are you sure? Our rare is RARE."
Her husband: (interjecting and addressing her)"Medium rare..."
Her: No, I like it rare.
Me: "Our rare still has blood, is that ok?"
Her: "Yeah, I like it bloody. That's fine, thanks."
A little weary, but not completely concerned, I finish the rest of the table's order. The steak lady wasn't all prissy and high maintenance looking. The lady looked like a seasoned meat eater, so I trusted that she knew what she was doing.
I continue with my let's-get-the-hell-out-of-here waiting frenzy. I swing by the expo window about 20 minutes later and that table's food is up. I run it out, drop it off, everyone looks happy and I move on to my side work. After a few minutes of side work, I return to the floor to check on my tables.
Me: "How is every one's dinner?"
The table: "Good." "Fine" "Mmmm..."
The steak lady and I make eye contact. I can tell she has something to say.
Me: "Ma'am how is the steak?"
Her: "It's pretty rare..."
(Really?! Didn't we just have a full four minute exchange about this?)
Me: "You asked for a rare sirloin..."
Her: (giving a half hearted surrender) "Yeah... can you guys throw it back on the grill for a moment?"
(Seeing as she had already picked it completely apart and touched all of it... we have a few sanitation rules you know?)
Me: "I'm afraid we can't do that ma'am... I'll talk to the kitchen."
Her: "Well... it's not just rare, it's kind of grainy too."
I kind of scoffed to myself and decided to move on. After all, I was almost done. My manager, the sous-chef, and I all had a quick chat about the incident, and recapped the situation. We got the lady another steak, and I... THANK GOD... went home. Haha.