Over the past few years, I have done a number of restaurant reviews that have met with, to say the least, mixed reactions. Some of those restaurants that I thought left a lot to be desired are someone else’s favorite, and, thanks to the First Amendment, people have told me how wrong I have been in no uncertain terms.
In talking to my friend Mary this morning, she offered to go with me to any restaurant and “help” me review it. I pointed out to her that she was “too nice” to do a restaurant review. She finds good in everyone; in everything; to the point that I sometimes wonder how she can be such a good friend.
But then I got to thinking of a review I did with my friend Eric, who was also upset because I was critical of the service and food of a restaurant we went to together. In fact, when a new restaurant was to open and I asked him if he wanted to review it with me he made me promise only to say good things about the place. Needless to say – we did not go together!
So Mary and I did a “mock” review – over the phone – that I would like to share with you – because we had fun doing it and I was bored this afternoon and decided to write it up. Here it is:
(Judi) to the hostess – “We’d like a table by the window.”
(Hostess) Here’s a window seat.
(Mary) Hmm. Did you really mean a table with a window that looks into the bathroom? It’s a nice table though. The chairs don’t wobble.
(J) The glass is dirty.
(M) But the water is clean.
(J) The napkin has been used before.
(M) But it is folded nicely.
(J) Wonder what is taking them so long to give us menu’s?
(M) We’ve only been seated for 15 minutes. They are probably busy.
(J) There are only two other tables with people at them.
(M) We don’t have any other place to go.
(Waiter) Here are the menu’s
(J) Would you tell us about the specials?
(W) There are no specials today.
(J) There is a special of the day board visible as you walk in the door.
(W) It was for yesterday.
(M) It’s ok. I want something from the menu anyway.
(J) What is the soup of the day?
(W) Whatever the chef had left over from yesterday.
(M) I don’t want soup anyway.
(J) My friend is gluten-free. Do you have a gluten free menu or items on this on that she can eat?
(W) Nothing is gluten free.
(M) That’s ok. I’ll figure something out.
(J) Can she order ala carte? Or substitute the potatoes for fruit or salad?
(W) It will cost more.
(M) It doesn’t matter. I don’t mind paying a little extra.
Order is placed, and Mary orders a soft taco on a wheat tortilla, no cheese, and instead of rice and beans asks for fruit.
I order a tamale with no sauce; no rice or beans and a small salad.
(J) There is sauce on the tamale and there are rice and beans on the plate. No salad.
(M) We can take the rice and beans home to the students.
Mary’s order comes in a fried corn tortilla, cheese stuffed inside, and a double order of rice. No fruit.
(M) I can take the cheese out and Eddy will like the rice. I didn’t need the fruit anyway.
(W) I just write the orders and deliver them. I don’t fill them.
(J) May I just have a small salad on the side please? And a small plate of fruit for my friend.
(W) I’ll ask the chef.
(J) This waiter will not be left a tip.
(M) Oh, he’s trying. He brought us our order. He smiled nicely.
We did not receive the salad or fruit but we are charged for it on the bill.
(J) Sir. You charged us extra for the salad and fruit and we didn’t receive it. Please take it off the bill.
(W) Do you want it now?
(J) No. I just want it off the bill.
(M) Ah, let’s just go ahead and pay it. He’s trying.
(J) He’s trying what? To elevate my blood pressure. He only has one other table.
(W) New bill – and it’s taken off.
(J) But the total is not right.
(M) Come on – let’s just pay it and go.
(J) No! He overcharged us; gave us poor service; didn’t tell us about the specials; and didn’t bring us our order.
(M) Maybe next time he’ll do better.
(J) Next time? You gotta be kidding.
(M)It wasn’t that bad……
And that is why, folks, that Mary will not be going with me on any reviews in the near future. Happy Holidays; Happy Eating.