Saturday night we try an Arlington restaurant that has a promising menu. You'll note I'm not mentioning the restaurant's name or opening with a rave because even though the food was okay to good it was overshadowed by a number of strange moments. Yeah, I'm overly critical. Check this out anyway and tell me if this is the kind of dining experience you look for...
Strange moment #1: The table or Do we not clean up well?
We arrive promptly for a 7:00 reservation and are shown to a table in the half-full restaurant. They show us to the table closest to the bathroom. And, before you ask, we were dressed appropriately and acting appropriately. We weren't even doing the potty dance. We asked if we might be seated somewhere that wasn't right next to the bathroom. The hostess said "Sure!" and pointed us to the next table over.
Strange moment #2: The order or I didn't mean to confuse you.
The waitress is taking our order. It goes something like this...
Me: I'd like the Grilled Mushrooms... and the Fisherman's Pasta, please.
Waitress: You want... what?
Me: *pointing at each item on the menu* The Grilled Mushrooms for my appetizer and the Fisherman's Pasta for the entree. Please.
Waitress: Grilled Mushrooms?
Me: *pointing to menu where it says Grilled Mushrooms* Yes, and the Fisherman's Pasta.
Waitress: That's so weird. It used to say Stuffed Mushrooms. They must have changed it.
Me: Stuffed? Often, stuffed mushrooms are fried. Are these fried or grilled?
Waitress: Well, even when the menu said stuffed, they weren't really stuffed. No, they weren't fried. They were grilled, I think.
Me: Okay, I'll have that.
Waitress: I didn't know they changed the menu.
Waitress: *writing* Okay, the Mushrooms and the Fisherman's Pasta.
Now, call me quirky, but I expect the waitstaff to know what's on the menu. And, if they don't, I don't think they should be dwelling on this fact.
Strange moment #3: The Bread or The waitress giveth and the waitress taketh away.
The waitress comes by to check on us as we are starting into the complimentary (yay!), warm (yay!) bread. It's kind of funky--a cheese bread. I'm not complaining but she sees my expression. She asks if I don't like the bread. I say it's okay. She says she can bring me something else. (Nice, right?) I say if it's no trouble that would be lovely, and she brings a basket with different bread in it. This time a multigrain.*
Picture it: we are two people sitting on the inside seats of a four top. This means that half of the table is empty. Space is not an issue--for us. In order to put the second basket down in front of us (why in front of us when there's half an empty table?), she pushes Hubby's water out of the way and nearly dumps it in his lap. As she puts the basket down she says "You probably want to combine those so you don't have two baskets." (Again, why?) While she is off at another table we meekly comply and she whisks away the empty basket when she swings by.
Once we have received and enjoyed our appetizers, she decides we've had enough bread, even though the basket is still half full. She picks up my bread plate and stacks it with the dirty appetizer plates. She starts to reach for my husband's bread plate...
Hubby: I think I'm going to have more bread.
Waitress: *pause* Oh.
She then turns to me and says: Would you like your plate back?
Me, looking at the stacked dirty dishes: No, that's okay.
Strange moment #4: The bill or You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.
In lieu of dessert we opt for after-dinner drinks. We are maybe a quarter of the way through them when she deposits the check in its billfold on our table. Um, huh? It's not like we are at the Waffle House and it's not like we have been dallying for hours and it's not like every table is taken and, most importantly, its not like we asked for the check!
* Bonus curiosity: If you managed a restaurant and had two types of bread, wouldn't you just put both types out for the table? Is there some reason you'd serve one type of bread at a time? What am I missing here? Help a blogger out.