My wife and I had a rare opportunity to escape our children for night out. It did not start well.
There’s a restaurant in our little town, a handsome looking place in an old bank building overlooking the town square.
We walked in the front door. The place was empty. This should have been a warning sign.
“Sit anywhere” said a voice behind the bar. Ok. We wandered over to a nearby booth and waited. And waited, and waited.
We looked at the drink menu. The beer list looked OK – it had some decent craft beers – but I could tell from the look on my wife’s face that the wine list left something to be desired.
After 5 minutes, a woman – who I assume was supposed to be our waitress – brought us some menus and told us about the daily special.
“We have a swordfish steak that’s nicely seasoned with lemon pepper and, uh, salt.” Wait, what? Isn’t everything that comes out of you kitchen seasoned with salt?
And then, before she could take our drink orders – no doubt she was busy serving non-existent customers at the other tables – she was gone. Not good.
We looked at the menu. I’ve seen smaller phonebooks. I’ve got a theory that the quality of a restaurant is, all else being equal, inversely proportionate to the size of its menus. A restaurant that has only a few offerings is likely to do everything well. One that offers everything under the sun… well… I never got a chance to test that theory at this place.
And what a menu! The chef clearly has a thing for butter chicken. There’s the butter chicken curry, the butter chicken penne, and the butter chicken pizza. I don’t think I’ve ever seen three butter chicken dishes on a single menu. Certainly not at an ostensibly Italian place. And chorizo! I like chorizo, but if you’re going to give a dish a pretentious Italian name, maybe an Italian sausage of some sort is in order. But this place, everything seems to have chorizo in it.
And still we waited. 5 minutes passed. 7 minutes. 9 minutes. My wife was looking towards the door and clearly thinking “fuck this”. 10 minutes.
We had a lovely dinner at the Italian restaurant down the street – with a decent wine list and nary a chorizo or butter chicken in sight.