Adventures in Dining

There are certain people who, no matter when or where you go out to a dining establishment with them, something so bizarrely absurd occurs so as to make it something of a regular “thing.”  

A friend of mine from college and I attempt to get together every month or so for dinner, lunch or whatever our packed schedules will allow. Once a month usually turns into once every two or three months by the time we coordinate and reschedule seven or eight times, but the effort is always there, and we have no trouble picking up right where we left off when the planets finally do align.

Now, just within the last year, we have gone to dinner at probably one, two, three, four different places (which shall remain nameless), one on two different occasions. Each time, without fail, we have had something of an adventure. No, scratch that. She has. They must see her coming.

The first incident was harmless enough. We found an abandoned cell phone at a neighboring table and, after deciding it would be fun to take random pictures with it before bringing it up to the counter to be claimed, we asked the unsuspecting busboy if he could tell us what time their Open Mic Night was set to begin – the joke being that this particular establishment has never had, nor will ever have, an Open Mic Night. The look of bewilderment alone was priceless. Absolutely priceless.

This, as compared to another venue which did, in fact, advertise an Open Mic Night. We thought this sounded like a fun night out. Our mistake. Perhaps if all the participants weren’t rejects from the Senior Citizen version of American Idol… And we’ll just leave it at that. In fact, we did just leave. Right after that.

Fast forward to our next dinner, where we had enjoyed a relatively peaceful and uneventful outing just months earlier. This time, we were graced with a waitress who was… a little over-eager, to put it nicely. Meaning, my friend’s half-full plate of food was taken away as she sat, fork still poised over it, attempting to finish her meal. This was followed by 15 successive trips back to our table to ask if we were through ordering. Being in an especially obnoxious mood at that point, we decided to “think about it” for – oh, I don’t know – probably close to an hour. Upon which time we decided to order dessert.  

Just last week, we took a chance at lunch, where we had a waiter who uttered not more than three words the entire time, simply hovering over the table with his pad and pen, apparently an unspoken signal that he was ready to take our order. After waiting what seemed like forever, we were brought out three entrees, two of which we did not order. Apologies were followed by still more waiting. Then came the news that what my friend had ordered didn’t exist in that form on the menu, despite a giant, color, glossy photo of it on the cover, and a detailed description within. It was at this point that she nearly settled for water with lemon and called it a day.

For our next outing, I’m thinking Fondue… what could possibly go wrong with that?   


{Published: April 14th, 2010}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment