Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Celebration that turned out OK

The Boss Lady wanted to celebrate her last day at her old job by going out for Italian food. Our favorite place closed down about a year ago and I don't think we have eaten at any Italian restaurants, except The Olive Garden, since.

There is nothing close, except for a Romano's Macaroni Grill. Since this was a special meal, we decided high dollar dining would be OK.

Now on to the bitching:

The hostess stuck us in the back of the almost empty dining room. No big surprise, since the kids were eating with us. But I hate getting crammed in the corner. Must be left over anxiety from my elementary school principal's office.

The waiter was quick to get drinks and take out order. That is not bitching, but those are about the only things he did right all night. It is hard to give good service when you disappear for half an hour.

The kid's food came out really early, before our meals. Nice if the kids are starving, but the pain is that they will finish quicker and then we can't finish our own EXPENSIVE meals. But they did help slow down the meal. The kid's food and plates were just about boiling hot. After blowing and fanning a smoldering cheese pizza for ten minutes, I was about to hyperventilate when my food arrived.

My food was over cooked, but the potion was huge, so I figured I could just avoid the edges and still have an OK meal. It was also near the point of spontaneous combustion when I first bit into it. But it tasted really good. I was going through the water like crazy, since the sausage in my meal was really spicy. That is, I was drinking a lot until I got cut off. After waiting 15 minutes for water, I finally got up and grabbed some from the drink service area across the dining room.

The waiter came back to clear the table and asked how was everything. He did not wait for the long answer. When she told him that her food was overcooked, he was gone with our plates. And of course, the only time he returned quickly to our table was with the check.

Luckily a manager cut him off with our check to explain that he has comped The Boss Lady's meal. He seemed concerned about everything else, so he got an earful. We were willing to pay for our meal, since we did eat. The manager wanted to know why we had not complained to our server. I explained that it is very hard to complain to The Invisible Waiter Man. It was pretty obvious that the waiter should not have been too busy at 5pm and the manager told us, "Gosh, he didn't even have that many tables to serve".

The manager understood that we were not planning to return. So he comped our entire $50 meal. Then he handed us his card and asked us to let him make it right another time. We will see about that. But there is a pretty good chance we will try again, but we will be calling ahead to make sure that some manager is on duty.

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