Not About Food

This is my third visit here for dinner.

Gastronomos | Apr 2, 201305:45 AM     93

This is my third visit here for dinner. We usually have breakfast here. Seven of us entered a packed place for dinner, the line practically out the door, and the parking lot jammed with cars, got in line to get our names on the list and waited, about 25-35 minutes we were told, to be seated. The hostess grabbed some menus and then grabbed us and told us to follow. We did and when the hostess put the menus down on the table she turned around and stood there and waited for us to move out of the way so she could double back to the hostess stand. She wouldn’t budge until she literally plowed through us. I thought, “how rude”, and then brushed it off as the usual way I see the hostesses in this place doing it.

We sat down and shortly afterward the bus boy brought us short water glasses and additional paper place mats and flatware and napkins.

Looking over the long menu, which is ten laminated, spiral bound pages, front and back, with lunch and dinner page inserts and a page ‘slipped in’ the middle describing additional “fancy seafood’, I was hoping to find something very filling as I was quite hungry and thirsty as well. The waitress came over and asked if we would like something to drink. A small carafe of white wine, several cokes and a juice were ordered and a “just water, thank you” and she asked if we were ready to order. We asked for an additional minute or two, please, to look over the menu, which is very long. A few minutes later and a couple of pages into the long menu the waitress comes with the drinks and asks if we are ready. No one has been able to decide in such a short time and on such a long and diverse menu what to order so we asked for an additional minute or two, please.

I cruise all over the menu finding the Hot Open Roast Beef sounding appetizing and the menu states it comes with soup, salad, potato and vegetable, a soft drink, coffee and dessert. I was very hungry and thirsty. By this time the waitress has disappeared. Not even showing up at any neighboring tables so we could grab her. It was a very busy night and this place is always packed to the rafters 24/7. When we come here, usually for breakfast it’s a mob house.

The bus boy stops by to refill our water glasses and we ask if he could flag down the waitress for us. He smiled, looked at us like he was very nervous about it and left for the kitchen. A few minutes later the waitress comes; looking a bit disheveled and asks for our order. We gave her our orders, Hot Open Roast Beef, matzo ball soup, Italian dressing, fries, and broccoli. A hamburger deluxe, medium well, (the deluxe comes with fries, lettuce and tomato.) A cheeseburger deluxe, medium well. A grilled swiss cheese with tomato and bacon. A romanian steak, well done, manhattan clam chowder, greek salad, fries, and stewed zucchini. A garden omelet. A stuffed cabbage dinner special.

We ask for refills on the soft drinks and she is off to the kitchen. A bus boy brings us the bread basket. It is full of sliced challah bread and cellophane wrapped saltines - packs of two and melba toast - the same. The top two slices of challah bread were toasted and had some garlic margarine on them. And a small monkey dish of individual butter packs nice and cold.

A bit later the waitress comes running by us and says that our order is coming.

Waiting, a bus boy brings us the two soups. A few minutes later someone brings us the two salads. I give my salad to others at the table that don’t get soup or salad and didn’t order a soup or salad a la carte as I was still trying to eat my soup.

We see the waitress a couple of more times, she doesn’t make eye contact and goes into the kitchen. I am hungry. The bread basket is empty.

Finally the food comes. We all dig in and devour every crumb. The waitress came toward the end of our meal and asked if everything was ok. We ran out of soft drinks and the water glasses were, happily, refilled during our meal, so we were, “OK”.

She asks if we would like coffee. My dinner comes with coffee and dessert she says, and 4 more coffees were ordered, I got a thin slice of ‘house dessert’ cake, a slice of cheesecake and a jello with whipped cream, a rice pudding, and a chocolate horn were also ordered and brought to our table along with the check.

I paid at the cashier in the front by the door and doubled back to the table and left a cash tip at the table and we were all off on our merry way.

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