Maybe I should have been bitchier.

24 Oct

I’m really super nice to my servers.

I never get visibly upset or frustrated when crap happens. I always laugh it off or am overly apologetic when I make a request that doesn’t get made. And I’ve only ever sent food back like five times. And the mistake has to be huge.

Like chicken on my vegetarian pizza or having refried beans and Mexican rice on half of my plate when I very clearly requested to not have them at all.

Like on Friday night at Matt’s el Rancho in Allen, Texas.

It’s my fault in the first place for agreeing to go to Matt’s. I knew that this place wouldn’t be veggie friendly. I’ve been to the Matt’s in Lakewood, and their top seller is queso with ground beef floating in it. Not a good sign. Plus, Allen, Texas, is Texas Suburbia, which doesn’t look to kindly on those types of people (said in the thickest Texas accent you can imagine).

Anyway, my server was the sweetest, nicest guy who’s ever donned a server’s outfit. When I politely told him that I was a strict vegetarian (I wasn’t about to get into the whole could-I-stab-it-to-death-atarian thing), he immediately came up with a fantastic sounding option for me: a chile relleno stuffed with broccoli, cauliflower and other veggies with guacamole salad on the side instead of rice and beans.

I couldn’t wait. That sounded like salty, veggie-Mexican food heaven.

So when my party of four received their meals and I didn’t, I just knew my order didn’t get placed.

Cue the awkward request that my friends start eating without me. (It doesn’t help that my darling, good-hearted friends were so concerned about me eating in the first place. They scoured the menu for me, asked several times if it was okay to eat there, and were even prepared to talk to the waiter for me. This brand of mothering used to get me really upset because I’ve been doing this for 16-plus years now and I’m a grown-ass woman, but it’s sweet.)

So after only fifteen seconds of me surveying the nearly empty restaurant, another very kind, very concerned server asked what I had ordered. When I explained, his face went blank. Always a good sign, no?

Our server came by and apologized. I smiled, touched his arm and said, “It’s okay. My husband is an ex-server. I totally get it!” as I buried my mounting rage and hunger in chips and salsa.

Anyway, someone put my order in and it came out ten minutes later. Completely wrong.

Chicken stock rice and lard beans all over the plate. Where was my guacamole (that my waiter suggested) on a happy bed of shredded lettuce?

¿Cómo se dice “what the fucking fuck” en español?

I never once complained. But I politely requested it be fixed for dietary reasons. And I knew they’d simply scrape off the sides, wipe off that half of the plate, and plop my guac down in that spot.

Whatever.

But they forgot the guac. The food runner said, “I gave you some extra lettuce,” like she had done me a fucking favor.  Adding insult to injury, there were still little chickeny bits of rice and dollops of beans clinging to a sizable fraction of my veggies.

Which I scraped to the other side of my plate so I could quietly eat the (hopefully) uncontaminated side.

Realizing now that this post is getting long makes me a little angrier at myself. I should have expressed my apprehension to eat, my disappointment in being forgotten, and the fact that I was really hungry and not going to get full off of the meager amount I could eat with a semi-clear conscience.

So when I received my bill and I was charged full price for everything (including the full price of a dessert I shared with the table, whatever), despite that I had not received something I had ordered, my order hadn’t been placed, everyone was waiting on me, and I was still fucking hungry … I was royally pissed. But I said nothing, because this kid was just trying to make a living in Allen, Texas, and I didn’t want to risk him having to pay for my meal. Because it was a new restaurant and they were working out kinks and I’m 100 percent certain that I  make way more money than that kid does.

Anyway, should I have complained? Perhaps. If I could go back, would I have? I have no idea. But I do know one thing: I’m going to start bringing peanut butter sandwiches with me when I go to restaurants. I’m over this shit.

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