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SEA - Porta in the Market - a disaster

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SEA - Porta in the Market - a disaster

howard | Jan 19, 2006 10:56 AM

i was most anxious to try this 'new' downtown spot especially since its reputation at its eastlake venue was so good. greeted effusively by dimitri who made a real effort to accomodate my wheelchair and had a pleasant conversation with him over the menu. this was boding well! ordered, began to enjoy my well-prepared beverage and then realized that there was literally no one staffing the small dining room or adjoining bar - dimitri was bartender, waiter, host, cook. it was relatively early; only myself and a couple at the bar; this was weird but not a problem. dimitri (who else?) brought my first course salad and stated that, since the roasted beet garnish stated on the menu was not available - how could the only person there not know that? - he would "knock a few bucks off". of course, the thing to have done was inform me and allow me the option of changing my order. points off but not fatal. the 3/4 salad was excellent but, when seeking some bread (none had been brought) and another drink, the dearth of staff became a real problem. after fully 10 minutes of hoping for dimitri (isn't that a movie?), a young lady appeared and began to set tables at the far side of the room. somewhat angry at being neglected, i called her over and discovered, sadly, a parody of every blonde joke ever told - she did not quite understand that the bread was wanted now, that an empty glass indicated action and kept assuring me that the vaunted dimitri was working hard on my dinner. she then vanished only to reappear a minute later with my entree and - hooray! - some bread. that my salad was still on the table waiting for said loaf was greeted by the blonde as a surprise and the statement "aren't you done yet?" she than had a burst of sense and offered to have my entree "kept warm" until i was ready. one of the customers at the bar (apparently a regular) actually apologized to me and assured me that the food was wonderful - i had had enough abuse and simply got up and made my exit; my last impresssion was of the lovely server asking me if i would like her to box up my meal. after years of hospitality experience as both a host and a guest, it had never occurred to me to totally abandon a customer. in keeping with the golden rule, i shall now abandon them...

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