Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Waffle Versus the Egg

"We're vegetarian.  We don't eat egg or egg white," they told me for the tenth time in less than an hour.  I get it.  You're from a part of the world that worships cows and you don't consume animal products, but you are getting on my last nerve.  And I was on my last nerve over two hours ago.

Your dietary restrictions, whether based on religion or allergens, are fine with me.  But please stop making it the responsibility of the server or the restaurant to cater to your needs.

This couple came in for just desserts.  The woman ordered a hot chocolate.  But she said she's vegetarian, but somehow she is okay with milk.  Then her husband came in and joined her.  He said he's vegetarian.  He wanted to know what desserts we had that didn't have any egg or egg whites.

But before I left to get a dessert menu, he stopped me and ask me to have the chef make sure that he would have an eggless waffle ready for him when he comes in for breakfast the next morning at 7am.  Eggless, waffle?!?  I don't even want to imagine how that is going to taste, but if you don't eat eggs, then maybe you shouldn't eat things that have eggs in the recipe.  

I went and got the dessert menu and I reviewed it with them and explained what they could and could not have.  Again, the husband explained to me that they're vegetarian and cannot have any dessert that have eggs, meat, or fish.  Seriously?  You're the same guy that is going to eat an eggless waffle tomorrow morning, right?  I know you don't eat that stuff.

By now, I had my fill of vegetables.

"I'll be right back.  I need to check with our Pastry Chef to see which of our desserts have fish.  I'm pretty sure you can't have the caviar sorbet."

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Butter Knife

I've noticed that the majority of customers that come into my restaurant know which silverware to eat with for each course.  But this blog is not for the majority of customers that come into my restaurant, it is for the the people who live life on the edge, by trying to cut their steak with a butter knife.

I'm talking about the short knife that is on the edge of the small bread plate that is to the left of your salad fork.  Sorry, I know I just dropped a lot of knowledge just now, but try to keep up.  If it were up to me, we would just use sporks and a steak knife for everything.  But that is not the world we live in.

We live in a world where a customer yells at me to bring them another knife, or asks me why their drink is taking so long to get to them, and I have to point out that the knife and drink that they asked for the first time, is sitting right-in-fricking-front-of-them.

"Anything else I can get for you right now?  I didn't think so."

Pay attention, please!  Get off your phone, stop texting imaginary people who you think care about you when you are sitting next to someone doing the exact same thing.  And use the butter knife to butter your bread; the small fork for your salad; the big fork for your entree.  And use your big knife for your entree or steak knife for the same.

And please don't steal any of the above said items.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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Thursday, June 11, 2015

#TBT Throw Bad Tips

It's like quicksand.  Meaning, that the more I struggle to get out of the restaurant industry, the more I sink into to it.  At this moment, I can't even get fired from my current gig, and I'm not even knocking on wood.

Summer can be a lonely time for those of us that work far from the beach.  As I write this, any server working in a Santa Monica restaurant has made at least $200.00 for a lunch shift.  And if you didn't, you probably still made more than I did on my night shifts.

I have almost come full circle at my current restaurant.  I helped open the place 9 years ago, and it was the busiest and most profitable gig I have had to date.  It wasn't perfect, but at least I knew that all I had to do was make it to the end of the shift, and I would somehow see the light.  And that light being at least $300.00.  Nowadays the light is very dim.  But the new light at the end of the tunnel is a complete renovation of the space.  That's right.  Soon I'll be opening another restaurant, in the same spot that I currently work at.  Yes, even my head is spinning.  But like they say, when one door closes and you can't open it, it's because a manager has the key, and you can't find them.

All of this does however give me ample time to work on all of my impressions of my managers and co-workers.  And I must say that they have become quite good.  Maybe I should start doing impressions in my comedy act?  If only strangers would know who the hell I'm talking about...

I remember one time, years ago, the restaurant manager wrote me up for pointing at him during a busy dinner shift.  I had to put in orders for three tables, and he wanted me to go and greet a new table that just got sat.  Yes, I know that he should have just gone over and greeted them, but he's a manager... remember.  He just kept telling me to go over to the table, so finally I got frustrated and just pointed at him.  I didn't say anything.  I just pointed.  The next day, he sat me down in the office with the assistant manager, and they went over the write up with me.  He wrote my name 17 times in the actual write up.  17 TIMES!  "Joey did this.  Joey acted this way.  Joey grew increasingly frustrated.  Joey.  Joey.  Joey."  WTF?  The fact that my name is at the top of the form, inside the box that says, "name of employee," should have sufficed.

Another time, I was waiting on a guest who was sitting outside on the patio.  She was joined by two friends.  She didn't want to see a menu, she just wanted me to order things for them.  When they finished the first course, I went to clear the dirty plates.  She stopped me and demanded that I go get them another bottle of wine.  As I turned to walk away, she stopped me again to say that she wanted more shrimp, and she asked for the bottle of wine again.  As I turned to walk away again, she stopped me and began to stack the dirty plates that I had left because she had demanded more wine, and barked at me to take the plates away.  As I had the plates in my hands, she pushes my arm away and tells me to get them another bottle of wine.  Somehow, I forgot that I was clocked in and said,

"Don't fucking touch me!"  And I stormed back into the restaurant and told my manager that I wasn't waiting on her anymore, but I was still getting the tip.

I think I understand why Danny Glover's character in Lethal Weapon kept saying, "I'm getting too old for this shit."

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Don't Forget Your Teeth

An older lady was dining with her husband, granddaughter, and her granddaughter's boyfriend one night, when the old lady turns to me and says,

"What do you have that's soft to eat?  I forgot my teeth."

Who the hell forgets their teeth?  Let me get this straight, when you looked at yourself in the mirror before you left, you didn't notice something was missing when you smiled?


"I know how you feel," I said, "sometimes I forget my phone.  I feel lost without it."  She just looked at me as if she didn't know what I meant by that because she still uses a rotary phone.  (Look it up.)

I explained that we have soups that she could have, but she was concerned about her choices for salad.  She and her family were using a Groupon, so they had to select from the items on the prefixed menu.

"Is the salad soft?" she asked.

"I could have the kitchen chop it fine for you.  That would make it easier to eat." I replied.  I was also going to suggest that our food runner, Gerry, chew the food for her and then feed to her like a mama bird.  But I managed to keep my mouth closed on that one.

The first course arrived for everybody, and the old lady was enjoying her soup.  Then she calls me over to ask for another spoon so her granddaughter can share the soup.

"I'll get you one," I answered.  And I grabbed a spoon and quickly returned to see that the old lady was indeed sharing her soup, but she had managed to pour the granddaughter's portion onto her bread-plate.  (I'll give you a second for this one.)  Let me type that again, she poured the portion of soup she was going to share with her granddaughter on a bread-plate!

I turned to the granddaughter and said, "enjoy your puddle of soup."

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!