15 May 2011

The Lovely Ladies do dinner

I went out for dinner the other night, and the food was fine.  It was an Italian place near my house and I could have easily made the dish myself (as is often true with Italian restaurants), but it's still nice to not have dishes to wash now and then, right?  That's worth getting robbed for a glass of wine once in a while, I think.  But the food was not the problem.  They knew how to boil pasta and toss it with some chopped vegetables and butter just fine.  It was the service that weirded me out.

Our waiter was named Buzz.  I don't know if that was his real name--maybe he's preparing to become a very famous server and he's trying out some splashier names for the future publicity.  He looked like a Darryl or maybe a Brett to me, but what do I know?

He was painfully eager when we first sat down, but my friend and I, who made the mistake of being happy to see each other after about a year of subsisting on Facebook messages, chatted before opening our menus, so the first two times he asked to take our order (he came twice in five minutes), we were not yet ready.  It was 5pm and we were the only ones there, so I don't think they needed the table right away.

By the time we were ready to order, he had given up on us.  Or more likely, his nicotine craving had kicked in, because when we finally flagged him down to give him what he'd been waiting for (just the order, guys--come on) he reeked of cigarette smoke.  Reeked.  He had also failed to give us a drink menu, although he had certainly been eager to take our drink order earlier.  So we ordered our meals and when he said "and how about those drinks then?!", I told him that, although we did not have a wine list, I would like a glass of Pinot Grigio if they had it.  He didn't hear the last part because he scampered away to the bar to grab the drink menu.  OK.  So he gives it to me and then reads it over my shoulder with me, and he finds the Pinot Grigio before I do, because he gets all in my space and points it out, shouting "there it is!" a little too loudly in my ear, which is quite close to his ashtray-smelling mouth at this point.  So, problem solved.  Bravo, you have Pinot Grigio.

We proceed to wait for a good 30 minutes for our pasta with butter, white wine, and vegetables to arrive, though he came screaming out of the kitchen with that glass of wine, perhaps hoping I'd have time to order a second.  The food was good, though I wasn't quite ready to discuss dessert five minutes into the meal, which is when he first started asking.  Another ten minutes passed and he checked on us ("Are you Lovely Ladies saving room for some dessert?"  I won't go into the multiple problems with this query.)

Finally he went away, I feared for good.  Just as I was starting to think we could make it out of there without having to pay, he appeared and asked very specifically if we would like a piece of Tiramisu to share.  I don't know if being that very specific is taught, but  as it so happens, we both dislike Tiramisu.  And why did we need to share?  Were we looking bloated and Less Lovely?  We looked at each other, said no, thank you, and he left before we could order the coffee we had wanted.  He returned soon, looking somewhat dejected, I thought, with the bill.  We had to stop him in the middle of his "You ladies have a great night" shtick to ask for said coffee (big mistake--pretty sure it was Sanka) and make him redo the bill.  He came by later to ask how the coffee was, but he quickly answered his own question with a "pretty good, huh?" and an enthusiastic thumbs up.  I'm not kidding you.  I was so dumbfounded I just said "OK", which I realize does not quite answer the question, but he seemed happy enough.

And when he brought us the bill, he said, "You lovely ladies have a great night, whatever you're headed out to do."  Is it me, or is that just a little weird?