We had a reservation for Randy's Steakhouse at 2:00. A bit late for brunch, yes, but that's what we were left with when our previous plans fell through at the last minute. And we were grateful that we could get in then.
We arrived at 1:50 and were seated pretty promptly, not that it mattered... and we met Todd. Todd, the waiter. Todd, who had probably been there all day. Todd, who needed to go home. Now.
The lunch started off innocently enough with me asking a simple question... could I get the chicken salad sandwich on anything other than marbled rye bread. I don't like rye bread. Todd shook his head and said that there was a log jam in the kitchen.
He mean't that things were backed up in the kitchen and special orders were next to impossible. Switching out a bread is next to impossible? I guess I looked shocked because ol' Todd decided that he would go check with the kitchen... to see if just perhaps they might be able to switch out that rye bread. And while he was checking, I would, you know, select something else, just in case.
And what do you know? Todd returned and announced that I could have my sandwich on white or wheat. I chose white.
The afternoon was off to a good start... or it would have been if Liz hadn't asked Todd if she could trade in the two sides that came with her filet mignon... for a caprese salad. Todd frowned. He reminded her that the kitchen had logs in it. And since we aren't rich, Liz then got to choose one or the other. Not both. She opted for the caprese salad. She left the filet mignon on the menu. Rick ordered his favorite thing on earth, the chicken fried steak.
About an hour later, Todd returned and announced to Elizabeth that the restaurant was out of tomatoes. Therefore there was no caprese salad to be had. Liz was sad but then ordered the filet mignon. With a baked potato.
About another hour passed when Todd brought out my soup and salad and asked Rick if he'd decided on what he wanted to eat.
Rick re-selected his favorite food, the chicken fried steak. Todd wrote it down and then promised to bring us some bread.
I ate my soup, I shared my salad and there we sat. Waiting. And waiting.
When way too much time had passed, Todd finally returned to our table and announced that our food would be out in about ten or fifteen minutes. I kid you not, he told us it would all be out in just a mere fifteen minutes!
I blamed Liz. I told her that the log-jammed kitchen must've been waiting for her filet to cook before they could send out the rest of our food. Luckily I didn't even get to finish that thought. Before I could say it, here came Todd with our food.
"That was a short fifteen minutes," I said. Todd smiled. He was so proud that he was able to get our food out so fast.
And I saw my sandwich. Just sitting there, wrapped in rye bread.
And there was Elizabeth's filet... sitting next to some mashed potatoes... which she hates. Her baked potato was nowhere to be found.
And there was Rick's chicken fried steak... black as could be. Yes, it was burned almost beyond recognition. Thank goodness it hadn't cooked for another ten or fifteen minutes!
I decided to just eat my sandwich the way it was... because I might grow old waiting for the right bread to arrive.
"Is everything alright?" Todd asked. Liz did not speak up. Rick did not speak up. But I decided to.
"Do you think I could have this on white bread?"
"You said you didn't want white bread..."
"No, I said I didn't want RYE bread. That's why you went to the kitchen to check... remember?" Todd seemed shocked. He had no recollection of our previous conversation.
Todd then ran off to the kitchen... again... to see what he could do about my sandwich. Moments later, Todd reappeared with some toast in his hand. White toast. In his hand! And he handed me two slices of that white toast. Amazing what you can find in a kitchen. Logs or no logs.
Todd left. And there I sat... with the option of making my own sandwich. I don't usually get to do that in a fancy restaurant. What a novel idea!
And you know what else? Three was a giant tomato slice on my plate. Even though the restaurant was out of tomatoes.
It was an odd lunch. All around us, people were telling Todd that they were disappointed. I know this because I kept hearing Todd say, "I'm sorry. But there's a log jam in the kitchen."
We'll return to Randy's... but not when the kitchen is busy rolling logs. And not until the lumber jacks in that kitchen can figure out what a tomato is. And definitely not when Todd's on duty.
And, uh, when our bread is ready. Because, yes, we are still waiting on our bread.
What kind of a tip did you leave Todd. I'd have stiffed him.
You're not going to believe this... but we left a good tip. After all was said and done, I realized that ol' Todd was not going to be getting ANY tips. People all over the room were complaining. And since it was Easter... I somehow felt sorry for this guy and gave him a decent tip.
Hard to explain.
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