The above is a paraphrase of a Henry Ford quote. But this one I made up after a series of incidents at a Ruths Chris Steak House in Pikesville,MD(suburb of Balto.)
In September 2012 while at this restaurant I ordered a "Beefeater Martini,straight up,shaken very cold,olive." Now I have been ordering this exact drink since April 17, 1960,the day I turned 21. A time when Martini meant gin, dry white vermouth to taste and an olive or lemon peel twist.
Now I am very aware that James Bond rocked my world a bit with the
choice of vodka. I am also cognizant that over the past 10 years many have invented fruity,treacly sweet concoctions served in Martini glasses.
There are even "Shrimptinis"
I,however, believe that a supposedly top tier steak house's bartender
could still fill my classic drink order properly. I WAS WRONG WITH A VENGEANCE.
The first drink I received was so loaded with olive brine that it was undrinkable and I had not even ordered a "dirty martini." When I got my waitresses attention I explained the problem and said "all I want is the gin,a little vermouth, and this time I'll try a twist." And she says,"Oh,we make all of our martinis with vodka and we never put vermouth in them."
I responded by saying "even when the customer orders gin by brand and now asks for vermouth. Please ask your bartender to make it my way." I got my drink. All was now right with the world.:I thought.
The episode bugged me. What primarily bothered me was "is this really
Ruths Chris POLICY. I found that hard to believe,so the next day I called
manager. His assistant told me" oh no that is our POLICY." I told her I was stunned that a customer's order would be totally disregarded in a top of the line restaurant,"even Burger King does it my way." She apologized and said she would take it up with her manager, and to please "give us another chance."
I did. In November friends suggested Ruths Chris and I said what the hell,let's see what happens. Even worse. When I order this time I am very specific and am again told of the POLICY(with a great deal of attitude.) I am now in total anger management mode, and tell her I still want gin to which she comes back with "and do you want red or white?"
I am momentarily puzzled and ask "red or white?' to which she responds
"Vermouth.I have many customers who prefer the red in their martinis."
And with every ounce of self control I can muster "white" She leaves and through a busboy I summon the manager and relate what has just happened,with the waitress at his side.He expresses shock and apologizes. I ask him to get a different server and we finish the evening.
I put in a call to Steve De Castro,the franchisee of about eight RC restaurants. He gets back to me in a couple of days and we have
a very frank and pleasant conversation during which he in turns seems to be stunned at the stupidity of it all ,angry at how I have been treated,
and apologetic.He implores me to wait two weeks, try us again and you will be happy. Against all better judgement I say I will.
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED
After a disheartening Raves game,NEVERMORE