It’s one thing to go to a new (or new to you) restaurant and be disappointed. In some ways, I think it’s even worse when you go somewhere you enjoy and have a dismal experience. Yes, you know they aren’t always this bad, but it’s upsetting because you know they are so much better than this.
Tonight, I decided to treat myself for the hard work I put in last month and was paid for this week. Khaila wanted her standard, a Happy Meal with apples and apple juice, so I called the local bar and grill to order carryout.
I was a bit shocked when they told me almost 45 minutes. It’s Thursday night. We’ve ordered on Fridays and never had to wait longer than 30 minutes during fish fry! When I questioned the time, she responded, “Yeah, we’re swamped. It’s going to be that long.” Okay, no problem.
After about 35 minutes, I made the one block walk from my house to the bar. I was a bit surprised to see a total of 21 people in there, including two bartenders (one on break, eating her meal) and two cooks. Yes, I counted. After almost 10 minutes, the bartender working finally acknowledged my existence. She then acted as if I was wrong for daring to show up early. I had to fight the urge to smack the back of her head as she rudely told me it wasn’t ready yet.
For the next 20 minutes, I watched the bar. One woman had ordered a hot pretzel. There were two men drinking nothing but wine. There was a woman sipping a Lite beer and carrying on (rightly so) to the man next to her about winning the shake of the day. There was a family of six who had received their food. Mostly chicken strips and such. Two women sat at another table finishing their drinks before they left. The group of four sitting behind me ordered their food as I waited.
As I walked out, I couldn’t help but wonder why, with two cooks working, I had to wait over an hour for a reuben, a burger, and fries for each. I figured that was the end of a bad experience, but I got home and found out that instead of cheesy fries (fries smothered in nacho cheese) we got regular fries with cold nacho cheese in a cup. Yes, I know it’s not a big deal, but it wasn’t what I expected.
Will I go back? Definitely. As I said, this was one bad experience after many good ones. Will I try to catch the owner when he’s in? Definitely. I don’t want anyone to get in trouble, I don’t want compensation. What I want is for him to be aware of things that go on when he’s not there. He runs a good business, he’s a good man. That’s why I haven’t named the business here.
I wonder, am I holding them to a higher standard because of my past experience?