“Big City” Dining
It was my buddy’s 30th birthday last weekend, and his fiance organized a surprise party Peppershit’s Restaurant. There were about 15 of us, and a table had been reserved in the back room, two weeks in advance.
I was looking forward to this. Peppershit’s was in the “Big City” ( a town of about 20,000). At $25-30 per entree, the food was a few steps above the typical Chicken Fingers/Club Sammitch menus I was normally used to.
And for those prices, I figured surely we’d be getting pretty decent service. (SURELY it would be better than what I’ve had to put up with here in Splat Creek…)
It took 30 minutes for Stumbledorf the Waiter to take our order. After 90 minutes we were still waiting for the main course. Stumbledorf finally explained that the reason the food is taking so long, was that there was another large table ahead of us. He had taken their food orders first.
Yeah, we know, we said. They’re sitting right next to us. They arrived AFTER we did!
Stumbledorf didn’t seem to be concerned. He shrugged. Oh well…
Can we at least have some more BREAD? we asked.
Uh….you’ll have to wait, we’re out of bread, he informed us.
Un. Freaking. Believable.
As my Dad would have said: “Never in my life…never in my WHOLE LIFE…have I ever seen a restaurant RUN OUT OF @#%$ BREAD!!”.
(…ONLY in Small-Town Ontario!)
I think they actually went to Saskatchewan to thresh the wheat with which to make the flour. Because it took another 20-30 minutes for the extra bread to arrive.
Two measly baskets, for 15 people . And like a pack of wolves, we devoured them within minutes. While we watched the other table get their main courses.
Time ground to a halt. Our bellies started to bloat.
Some of us started to lose teeth (I think scurvy had set in).
I was half-tempted to go to Tim Horton’s across the street and bring back some donuts. Meanwhile, the other table started to get their dessert.
Finally, the @#(%#* food arrived….TWO FREAKING HOURS after we had sat down.
I wanted to shovel the chow into my face as fast as I could, at that point, but seeing how this meal was going to be p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y s-l-o-w, I made each and every morsel lasted as long as possible.
But some of the ladies hardly touched their plate. I asked why..they said they had gotten past the point of being hungry, that they didn’t even want to eat anymore.
At least it took another hour for dessert to arrive, though.
At this point, the manager should have shown up. Or the waiter could have tried to make things right (offering a discount, or a free dessert). But no such luck. Stumbledorf was nowhere to be seen.
In (typical of Small-Town Ontario) some people started APOLOGIZING for the bad service (“It’s not really the waiters’ fault…they just have too many people…“)
By now, the other table had not only finished eating. Not only that, but they had paid their bill, and the staff had cleared their table, down to the bare wood. The room was half empty.
Except for us. We were stuck here on the Wreck of the Hesperus, eating the Meal of the Damned.
Though look on the bright side: it only took another 30 minutes to get the bill.
People started to take their wallets out to pay, but Stumbledorf had already left the room again.
One of the women almost started weeping. (“I just want to LEEEEEEAVE!”)
To speed things up, we all ended up storming the front desk, to pay the bill ourselves.
The same woman blatantly told Stumbledorf:
“I’m not coming back…the service was awful”.
And (why am I not surprised?) the 22-year old was incredulous:
“You didn’t think my service was good?”.
“Well, NO..”, she said. “It’s 9:30…the dinner took FOUR HOURS…!”
Stumbledorf took their credit card, and mumbled a half-assed apology. If I didn’t’ know any better, he was actually pissed off at her, and couldn’t believe his ears. He had NO IDEA why the customers were complaining.
On my bill, I had noticed they had forgotten to charge me $4.50 for a beer. (Well, you know what? Screw ’em!).
That was my small victory for the night.
On the way home, I stopped at McD’s Drive-Thru for a Quarter-Pounder (which thankfully I got within 60 seconds).
At least you can depend on McD’s.
Not to mention, this extra protein helped rebuild my hunger-ravaged body, and gave me enough strength for the 45-minute drive home.
On the way, I listened to the local radio station.
And (I can’t make this up, folks), they played a public service ad, encouraging us to get out there and shop, and support the local businesses.
You have GOT to be shitting me.
Thus Endeth the Big City Fine Dining Experience.