The Wo and I treated ourselves to a dinner out on Friday night. We went to one of our favorite local spots, Red Snapper, where the kimchi is homemade, and everything is delicious. Shortly after our appetizers came, a young couple was seated near us – well within earshot, and it was hard not to hear them as they ordered. The man ordered a tofu dish, and the woman began a long list of what she could/could not eat. We shared a waiter, and he was spot-on professional. She didn’t want peanuts, meat, rice noodles, eggs, seafood or dairy. She did want pad thai (?) but just the sauce, over buckwheat noodles. I puzzled over that order in my head, as many of her absolutely-not ingredients were, like, KEY to making a good pad thai!
Their food arrived. She indignantly told our waiter she did NOT want zucchini, she did NOT say it was ok to give her any kind of squash, WHAT were those peppers doing there, and back to the kitchen it went. Wo and I looked at each other and did that Vulcan mind meld thing, sending each other the “Whoa, wtf?” message. Our entrees arrived, and then shortly after that, our neighboring table’s re-do order came back. This time her voice rose, as it STILL contained vegetables she didn’t want. Our waiter ran over, dutifully listened to what she seemed to want, then ran it back to the kitchen again.
At this point, the Wo and I couldn’t look at each other because it would have been abundantly clear to our neighbors that we were a bit horrified by her.
I had the Spicy Calamari, by the way. Utterly delicious, and brought half of it home with me. JWo had the orange beef, and it was fantastic. We got a side of fried rice that filled an entire carryout container, despite both of us eating some with our meal.
Third time, here comes the dish de impossible. It looked like a pile of seaweed and noodles, but it was met with praise from its recipient. Finally! We kind of look at each other share that smirk of “WTH? Whew, that’s over.”
Two minutes later, she has waved our waiter back over.
“I don’t like the texture of this. It’s not what I expected it would be. What is that over there? (gesturing at our table)” and she proceeds to order some fried rice – but without egg. And, I believe, certain vegetables. We left before that order arrived. Who knows how many times that one went back.
When we got home, I called the manager, and told her that Philip not only was a fantastic waiter, but that they should do something extra for him tonight, like buy him a shot when his shift is over. She laughed and thanked me. First of all, if you have serious-ass allergies or personal convictions about your food, Pan-Asian cuisine does not strike me as a great place to go for dinner. (All I could think about was how many dishes use fish sauce or shrimp paste!!!) And even then – Red Snapper is the kind of place that would bend over backwards to make you a dish – just tell them what you can’t have/don’t like. But to make a waiter run back and forth for 20 minutes, and in a pretty condescending manner? I hate to think about how they tipped him.