Sunday, September 20, 2009

Um, are you sure you work here?

On Friday night my friend B and I decided to celebrate the end of the week in style: a girls night out with dinner and a movie. There's a plaza with several restaurants where the movie theatre is, and after wandering around for 20 minutes (we had to look carefully at each restaurant before we picked one), we decided on a Mexican place that looked really fun.

I'm all about the ambiance, and this one had oodles of it, and I love Mexican food. B had never had Mexican before, and was using her 'weekly-diet-free-day' on our outing, and her pre-requisite was that she be able to get a steak and mashed potatoes, and since this place was a Mexican grill, it was perfect. We went in, were seated, ordered some drinks, and settled in to look at the menu. There was no Caesar Salad, so it was obviously going to take me a while to decide what to get, but we weren't in any particular hurry, so it was fine. The menu was like a 17 page book, so it was taking a while to get through it all. B had zeroed in on the steak menu, and didn't take long to settle on the T-Bone with Mashed Potatoes and Corn. B absolutely loves corn, and once she saw it on the menu, that's all she wanted. I was tossing up between a couple of more Mexican dishes, and was close to deciding on a chicken Quesidilla.

Then the waitress arrived. She was a really contentious looking girl, with dark hair pulled up in a tidy bun, a fringe (bangs), and dark framed I-use-a-mac-computer type glasses that she pushed up her nose every 30 seconds. She could tell I was still trying to decide (pretty obvious, since I'm turning the pages back and forward and B's saying things like "yeah, just get that one. Or, okay, sure. That one.... Just pick one", more patiently than anyone should have to). So our waitress offered to give us some menu suggestions.

Waitress: Okay, well, let my start by just telling you what not to order. Definitely stay away from the xxxxx because we really don't do a good job with those. And whatever you do, don't order the xxxx - they're disgusting!

Us: Ahh, okay. (Wow, okay, but I'm glad she told us if they're that bad).

Girl: And our xxxx have no taste, at all - whatever you do, stay away from those! And definitely not the xxxx - they're really soggy. And we always overcook the xxxxx here, so just skip past that entire page. And (and here's my favourite one) stay away from anything with seafood in it, because the seafood we serve here is totally (she then made loud gagging noises for 10 whole seconds).

It was at about this point, that I (attempting to hide my delightedly confused smile) actually glanced to my left and my right looking for the hidden camera! Surely this girl was a paid actress for a candid camera stunt. This girl was hilarious! Was she for real?!

Me: Ahh, okay. Well what is good here.

Girl: Okay. I'd totally recommend the Quisidillas. But not the seafood ones because -

Tammy: (cutting her off before the gagging could start again) - yeah, no, not the seafood. I'll get the chicken.

B: And I was going to get the T-Bone with steak with the mashed potato and corn.

The girl hesitated....

B: What's wrong?

Girl: Well. The T-Bone steak is always really, really, really dry. I'd stay away from that one if I was you. Why don't you get the xxxx steak instead.

B: (her smile faltering just a little) uh, well, okay, but I really felt like the corn, and that only comes with the T-Bone.

Girl: No - you don't want the corn - trust me! Our corn is terrible!

B's face fell, and her shoulders slumped, and I lost it! I just started laughing - I couldn't help it! I couldn't even hold it together until after she walked away! It was like she was playing some private game with herself to make sure we didn't order anything. Or maybe the owner of the restaurant once killer her mother and this was her idea of revenge!

But the girl didn't even notice my laughing, because she was still talking:

Girl: - Trust me. Go to Woolies, buy yourself some corn and cook it up at home. It'll be way better than what you get here!

A debate ensued. The girl was pretty set on the xxxx steak, but B was worried that the sauce on the xxxx steak was too spicy (and the girl concurred of course), so they finally fixed on the xxxx steak, but with the T-Bone sauce. And B wouldn't budge on the corn and potatoes. The girl gave a long suffering sigh, pushed her glasses back up her nose again and finally left us.

20 minutes later, we got our food: B's steak was dry, her corn was no good, and the potatoes (which the girl hadn't said anything about) were the worst of the bunch - completely flavourless! (I advised B not to mention it to the waitress though - surely she didn't need another menu item to add to her list of never-order's!)

My dinner was completely and utterly delicious :)

Moral of the story: totally pays to listen to crazy waitresses! Although I'm not entirely sure that I shouldn't mention her to the management before she completely does them out of business...

xo Tammy


breckster said...

loved it!

Jessica said...

You just made my day! I totally needed a good laugh. Maybe she's given notice that she's quitting and she's trying to put them out of business before she leaves.

emilysuze said...

Too funny. :)

Sandy M. said...

I think it would save a lot of time if this girl was planted on a rostrum in the centre of the piazza.. wearing long white gloves and directing prospective restaurant patrons to the poison of their choice..

"You want corn? Sizzler for you; it's the only place you're going to get something edible!"

"Mexican? Ok, you're probably safe with the chicken Quisidillas at XXX - but DON'T order the potatoes, whatever you do!"



Jennsie said...

LOL Tammy the moment you cracked up laughing, it set me off. I could just see myself there and then and the whole senaro playing out. It sounds to me it would have been easier and a lot shorter if she had just said what was good, rather than the lengthy process of what wasn't good.

Jonny and Jessima said...

Oh this is great Tammy!!! hehe, I can't believe it. I wish I was there with you. Would have been awesome to have had that experience. Note to self: don't go to THAT mexican restuarant. I guess its good 'ol Montezuma's for me :)

Love you!

Abby said...

Lol I'm reminded of a waiter in Las Vegas telling us that we could "get better burgers basically anywhere else on the planet than here" :) It's nice when people are honest, and it's funny that what she told you was true. I know (through my sleuthing skills and the fact that you only ever go to one piazza) which restaurant not to go to - there is another good local Mexican restaurant which we should go to to help B move past that experience sometime. xo

PS: I'm loving that when I check your blog there's a post! :)

charrette said...

That is a hilarious story! Yeah, I'm sure you were grateful for her pointers, but I must say (let's call her Maria), "Maria's not an asset to the Abbey!"

We once had a really obnoxious waiter at P.F. Chang's who steered us away from the stuff we already knew we liked and convinced us to order something truly dreadful.

I never went back.