Danger! Danger Will Robinson!!!

25 06 2008

DISCLAIMER:  I am very upset…angry…in the vernacular, P-O’d.  Sometimes a woman’s patience just gets pushed “so” far….  What’s up??  I’m so glad you asked…and if you didn’t….would you please do me the favor of leaving the kitchen, ‘cuz I’m about to get MOST UN-ladylike.

Are we squared away now?

All the munchkins out of the room?

No one reading aloud?

I’m serious….I’m really whizzed.  And that’s the last time I’m going to rein in my tongue or my fingers.  It’s on you now…

Are we alone now?

Okay….here goes…

If you own a restaurant…and it’s getting close to closing time…TOO close for your establishment to SEAT patrons and let them eat their meal…then WHY SEAT THEM????  Especially in a Chinese restaurant specializing in “take out”…  I am SO freaking furious!!

Scenario….8:40 p.m., late June, a couple walk into a Chinese restaurant…an old, established, been there 75 years kind of place.  The diners didn’t catch on right away; there were several other tables with patrons lingering over their meals.  Both were tired and settled quickly upon the “house” dinner for two, but could “we please add mushroom foo yung?”

The first clue that the couple would be dining to the strains of the “dining room hustle” was when halfway through the soup, the appetizer arrived, immediately followed by the first dish of the entree.  Mere moments later, the remaining dishes arrived.  The avalanche of dining room catastrophes was just getting started.

The pair might have been able to eat a little faster if the soup had had any flavor.  She remarked that it tasted very much like cornstarch.  Both added salt, pepper, and soy sauce trying to create some element of flavor in the pale excuse for “soup of the day.”  Ok…chicken-rice noodle soup is tricky.  You need to use chicken AND broth.  Damn.  I knew something was missing.  One of them had to go “in search of” hot mustard…let’s see…how DOES one serve BBQ pork slices, fried prawns and paper-wrapped chicken (not fair…it’s seasoned!!-But, then again…we didn’t EAT that- -YET!)?  The obligatory S&S sauce arrived in a bowl, but there were no other condiments available.  Faux pas #2.

As we…oops…the “couple” began to fill their plates, the waitress arrived asking for payment…so they “could close the register.”  Ok…fine, the food is on the table; no beverages were ordered so there was no need to “refill” or “replace” any beverage.  The appropriate plastic was exchanged, and the little pieces of paper were obtained, and set aside.

The meal wasn’t even begun, let alone concluded.  If the folks thought they were getting a guaranteed T.I.P., they were at the wrong table.  Please…don’t misunderstand me.  I DO NOT STIFF service staff.  My mom was a waitress, and her tips were the difference between my existence and my carefree childhood.  I grew up knowing the value of tips, and that service staff barely made any money, regardless of how hard they worked.  I honestly tip 20-35% on the average.  My state believes all service staff receive at least 8% on every ticket, so staff are charged for that up-front by the state.  Even when I feel I’ve been totally screwed by the staff, I still leave 10%…even if it makes me chew nails and spit out staples.  And so, I held the ticket open until we’d concluded our meal.

At least I thought I was going to keep the ticket open until we’d concluded our meal…  Maybe 10 minutes after the food was delivered-remember, it all came at one time-, but not more than 15, another server came to the table asking for the ticket.  “Oh, don’t let us rush you,” the young man said, as another service member came to the table with a bus-cart to take the plates that were no where near empty.  No, no one brought “to-go” boxes to us.  Honestly, we had to get those for ourselves.  They did, however, bring a plastic bag to our table for the boxes.  I hadn’t had a chance to finish my meal.  Seriously.  I hadn’t had a change to eat the original portions I’d put on my plate to start with.  We had serving plates heaped with food, and the staff was all but drumming their fingers waiting to clear the table. We were permitted to get our own containers for the remaining food, transfer the food, bag it and leave without so much as a bye-your-leave.

I’m absolutely furious.  Where in the bloody hell does any restaurant get off behaving in such a f-d up manner?  It’s not like the food was even GOOD!!!  I guess being the “only game in town” gives one the feeling of security.  Well….not from this gal.  It’s going to be one damn cold day in hell before I cross that threshold again.  I can cook Chinese better than what I got tonight, and there are a few towns within 30 miles that have to have better food.  Admittedly, perhaps not at 8:30….but I’d still put money on it.

Oh, and for the record….We parked our car at 8:35 p.m.  We were back in our car by 9:05 p.m. with “left-overs” in hand.

You know what’s even worse?  I was hungry when we got home.  I hadn’t been able to finish my dinner.  I left with food on my plate.  Ok…if I’d touched that plate at that point, it would have gone flying.  I was so angered by having to leave before I’d finished eating, I was ready to start breaking dishes.  Hey…it would have ended the concern about 2 people still eating!  Anyway…when we got home, I put the cartons in the refrigerator, but saved out the fried rice to stave off my remaining appetite.  I love rice, especially fried rice.  I got a spoon, sat down with the carton and proceeded to…wait…what’s that thing?  Wait..please…no.  There’s not supposed to be anything really thin-threadlike even-in my fried rice…  No.  Please, no.  Oh f.  It’s white.  And black.  S.  It’s half and half.  And more hair-like than I can abide at this point.  Normally, I’m not squeamish.  I’ll roll my eyes, make a wise-crack and go on eating.  Not tonight.  That was seriously the freaking straw.  I’m so done.

Just don’t eat Chinese in Oroville…  I know I won’t be.

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One response

26 06 2008
sara

damn. That was really unfortuante. Obviosu, you’ll never go back. DInning out is a big deal to me, and I will not tolerate bad service. I’m sorry for your experience. But, Hurray! You’ve koined Whisk Wednesdays! I can not wait to read your posts. Best!
-Sara

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