Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

And People Call Me Picky?

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.”

Oh no.

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.


  1. korin

    I am one of those people with ridiculous food allergies (peanuts will kill me – soy, rice, chicken, beans, eggs and the others just make me feel crappy). Eating out is awful.. mostly because I hate having to look like a fucking dipshit cause i can’t order off the menu. I just don’t GO to places that i’ll be allergic to 99% of the options. Sushi… sigh no more for me. Thai? vietnamese? nope. god I miss chinese food. LOL however when we were in Maui, Ryan insisted on going to this sushi place, and there was ONE thing on the menu I could have (after the chef made me a special sauce) and it was divine. And I never had to send anything back, and I tip well. 😉
    that lady sounds like an asshole, not an allergic. biiiig difference.

  2. PlazaJen

    y’know, Korin, JWo even said after we left, “Why didn’t she just tell the waiter her food issues, and ask them to make her something with X, Y & Z?” Instead of half-ordering off the menu, where they would end up including anything she hadn’t forbidden, only to discover she didn’t like those things. They totally would have made her something, that’s how great a place it is. I think most quality restaurants try to create something to satisfy their diners, while being mindful of allergies or even taste buds. I suspect you’re right though, it wasn’t about allergies, it was more about being a primadonna. Blerg. I’m so sorry you have all those no-nos, tho! That stinks!

  3. meesha.v

    My kid is allergic to peanuts,nuts,beans, etc. but not in a deadly way. We never once had a problem ordering,just need to make sure the stuff is not on the plate. That’s why I am not a waiter – the lady would be wearing the food on my third trip back to the kitchen

  4. shannon in oregon

    kudos to you for calling and commending philip! not enough people call to praise those who helped them, normally they just call to bitch. you are an amazing human, jen!! xo

  5. Carolyn J.

    I don’t understand extremely picky people who go to specialty restaurants like that. Why didn’t she just go to the McD’s across the street? Everyone would’ve been better off.

    And the chef must have been about ready to come out & hit her on the head with a frying pan. Doesn’t she remember the rule that you NEVER piss off the people who are cooking for you?

  6. Liz

    I agree with Shannon…nice work in making sure the waiter was praised for the job he did! That woman sounds like a miserable human being…not because she clearly can’t/won’t eat anything….but to drag people into her little pain cave is appalling.

    Any hot waiter sightings?!?! Next time you go eat some noodles, slip Nick (I think that was his name) my digits, would ya;) I tell ya, that’s one waiter that worth giving a call:)

    Love you!

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