the waiting game

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we spent a good deal of time this weekend eating outside the home.  we also spent a good deal of time this weekend waiting for food to arrive at the table.  it’s not something we like to do.  just sit and wait for food to arrive.  then wait some more.

the first dining experience was this past friday.  we got a flyer in the mail concerning a new chinese place not far from where we live.  a very ambitious menu that looked pretty good.  had we known that they had only been open for one day we would have probably waited to try the place out.  g/f says you know where this place is?  yeah, i think so.  we were going to home depot for something and we would stop by on the way home and get some take out.  of course the place wasn’t the one i was thinking of.  so we had to hunt it down but that wasn’t too bad.  we found it to be just a small hole in the wall with a number of folks already waiting. 

we placed our order and were told it would be 15 minutes.  we were still waiting 35 minutes later.  it was actually a pretty good show with a few babes wandering in and out.  the fucking waiting was not.  at one point i was worried the cook was going to just up and quit and we would never get any food.  the owner had come in and started yelling at the poor chef, in chinese, telling him he was ruining his business with his slow cooking.  g/f translated.  actually it really wasn’t the chefs fault.  it was the dumb ass owner who had this menu that really wasn’t suited for such a small place and the kitchen was way too small to pump stuff out.  only room for 2 people in the place at one time.  we both agreed that the menu has to go or the owner will be gone.  soon.  the chef will go before the owner.  oh, yeah,  the food wasn’t that good.  it’s still up in the air if we will ever go back there.

saturday night we took the nephews and one of the girlfriends to a high end place we’ve been going to for a number of years.  superb food and a nice wine list along with a trendy atmosphere.  the food is still superb along with the wine selection but for some reason the service was just ghastly.  the owner running around doing stuff the waiters should have been doing and the waiters probably working in the kitchen.  it was one of those deals where it’s sorta obvious that the guy is in trouble.  cutting back on the help in hopes of saving some money.  plus, he wasn’t ready for a busy night.  most of the tables were occupied and we all sat there way too long waiting for food to arrive.  though, like i said, when it did arrive it was outstanding.  will we go back?  that’s the question.  i don’t know.  some of the appetizers are just too damn good to just forget about.  curried oysters on the half shell with caviar.  fucking amazing.  the thing is, will the place still be open if we decide we want to go back?

yesterday’s lunch was a traditional chinese banquet.  it’s was for g/f’s parents anniversary.  a pretty good chinese restaurant that we had all been to on previous occasions along with banquets as well.  things started out pretty good the dishes arriving when they should with no waiting.  then  there’s maybe just as bad the dishes arriving too soon and they begin to stack up on the table.  which is worse?  ah, waiting too long.  as the place got busier the dishes started taking longer to come out of the kitchen.  the men began to get restless.  we got up one by one and paced around in the room we had.  grandpa, even got up and wandered out of the room, promptly getting lost as he is want to do.  all the pacing and grandpa getting confused didn’t help with dishes coming out of the kitchen.  the place was just too damn busy and we still had 5 more courses coming, not counting the cake.  it seemed like we would be there until this morning.  the waiter was very sorry about stuff and the owner tried to get things moving but nothing much changed until the crowd thinned out.  we had been there for so long it was decided one of the courses should just be forgotten.  it was a chinese dessert soup.  all in all the food was pretty good and grandma was very impressed with it but the service was just god awful. 

i guess the point being,  is this what the restaurant biz is coming to?  crappy service in order to save some money?  or just crappy service period?  it’s not a good thing, regardless. 

jmh

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