Mom Overreacts At Olive Garden… (yawn)

A mom went to Olive Garden this week and had a less than wonderful time which ended with her toddler being covered in a strawberry daiquiri. Obviously, the mom and I have differing opinions about what constitutes a good time, because if my night ended up with me being covered head to toe in strawberry daiquiri or any other kind of alcoholic beverage, I would consider that a very successful evening. Nevertheless, it happened and Ashley was upset enough about it to go to the Olive Garden Facebook page and complain/hope for a gift card so she can go back again.

Her gripe is that it was the server’s fault because the drink was placed in front of the child which resulted in the baby bukkake strawberry daiquiri disaster. While none of us were there, we can only assume that Ashley is telling the god’s honest truth and that the server practically handed the cocktail to the toddler. Nevermind that far too often, we servers have no place to put a drink down because the table is covered with cell phones, iPads, diaper bags and coloring books. Or maybe it was one of those issues where there is a high chair at the end of a booth making it near impossible for us to reach the table top at all. The only thing we can be sure of is that Ashley wasn’t paying attention and her baby done spilled a cocktail on itself.

Ashley went looking for a manager to ask for a new server, because it’s totally, 100%, all the server’s fault, right? Pouring salt into her wound, she was dismayed to learn that the restaurant would do absolutely nothing for Ashley except give her husband a new strawberry daiquiri. Wait, what? What else was she expecting? A formal apology that her baby hasn’t developed the necessary motor skills required to properly handle a cocktail? Did she want them to buy her baby a new onesie since this one was undoubtedly ruined? Did she require a promise from Olive Garden to pay for the dry cleaning bill? Did she want the server to return to the scene of the crime and gently swab the baby with dampened bev naps in order to remove every drop of sticky sweet simple syrup and strawberry puree from the poor child?

Look, Ashley. Mistakes happen and whether or not the server placed the drink too close to your child’s grabby little hands, it certainly wasn’t intentional. And as a parent, you have to bear some responsibility for the accident since you are the one who should be watching your precious little angel every second to ensure he or she doesn’t grab a steak knife, eat some salt, stand in a high chair or knock over a strawberry fucking daiquiri. It’s a shared responsibility and by no means the fault of Olive Garden. Your baby survived, right? Why not just chalk it up to that time you went to Olive Garden as a family and something funny happened and you can laugh about it for the rest of your lives? 19 years from now when your child is puking its guts out into a toilet because of too many White Russians and tequila shots, you can lean down to your child and hold their hair back as they release it all. And somewhere between them puking out Kahlua colored vomit and dry heaving, you can say, “Awww, sweetie. It’ll be okay. Hey, it all started when you tried to drink Daddy’s strawberry daiquiri at Olive Garden when you were a baby.” And the two of you will laugh and laugh.

Or you can just get upset about it and never go back to Olive Garden. Your call, Ashley.

p.s. Your husband drinks strawberry daiquiris at Olive Garden?

Lazy Husband Puts Literally No Effort Into Wife’s Birthday

News alert: everyone in the world has a birthday. In fact, the US Census Bureau reports that there are 361,481 babies born each day around the world which means that there are 251 babies born worldwide every minute. In the time it takes for you to read this blog post, there will be over 500 more babies born and a good percentage of those babies will eventually turn up in your restaurant and want something for free. Having a birthday is literally no big deal and it is not the responsibility of the restaurant to make sure your day is special. Well, someone didn’t get the memo.

A husband last week made a dinner reservation for his wife’s birthday and it appears that he wanted the restaurant to make the day special for her while he did absolutely nothing except type in some special requests:

A quiet are/table for privacy for my wife, Qiaoer, celebrating her birthday. Some flowers. Calla lilies are her favorites, roses work too, if available. A nice card. A small cake after dinner with “Happy Birthday.”

Really, dude? Are you planning on doing anything for your wife or are you just going to depend on total strangers at a restaurant to come through for you? It’s one thing to mention that it’s your wife’s birthday, but c’mon! What fucking restaurant has a bunch of calla lilies laying around for a customer’s birthday? And it’s so nice of you to let them know that “roses work too,” because we all know that if a restaurant is out of calla lilies, they will 100% totally for sure have roses. They keep them in the walk-in right next to the tulips, peonies, birds of paradise, daffodils and the corned beef that will be the special next Saturday for St. Patrick’s Day. And a nice card? This isn’t the fucking Hallmark store, sir, it’s a restaurant. And who is supposed to sign it, the staff? I can see it now:

“Happy birthday, Qiaoer! Thank you for dining with us on your special day. Hey, did you know your name sounds like quinoa? LOL. Love, Brittney the Hostess”

And you also want a small cake? Not a slice of cake, mind you, but a small cake. I’m sure the pastry chef/dessert line cook is going to whip up a little mini cake for you and your wife using a specially purchased cake pan that is just big enough to make a “small cake” for all those assholes who can’t be bothered to stop at a bakery to actually buy a birthday cake for his wife. And that cook is surely going to filly a pastry bag with icing and pipe the words “happy birthday” onto it since your wife’s being born is the most important thing to happen since the other 250 people were born in the last 60 seconds.

People have every right and expectation to go into a restaurant to celebrate their birthday. I do it myself each year. However, I don’t expect the restaurant to pull out some calla lilies and shoot off fireworks for me. In fact, I don’t even tell them it’s my birthday because I don’t want to give them the impression that I am fishing for something free. Our birthdays are the responsibility of ourselves and our friends and family.

As for you, Qiaoer, I hope in the future that your husband can at least make a little bit of an effort for your birthday instead of sending a ridiculous list of requests to a restaurant. You deserve more than flowers, cake and a card from people you don’t know. Not like the restaurant did any of that. I mean, what restaurant would? And that probably means that your birthday consisted of having dinner with your lazy ass husband at a hopefully quiet table for privacy. Ironic that he wants privacy yet invited the whole staff to help him out with your birthday, isn’t it? Happy birthday, Qiaoer.

Man Has Question for TGI Fridays. I Answer It.

Because I am a giver and a true humanitarian, I take every possible opportunity to share my knowledge with those who are not as well-versed in the ways of the restaurant world. That’s why, when I saw this query from Dane on the TGI Fridays Facebook page, I knew it was my chance to educate him. Dane went to TGI Fridays on a Saturday night after 6PM and was dismayed to learn that he would have to wait 30 minutes for a table despite the fact that there were several empty tables in the restaurant. I am going to skip right over whatever life choices had led Dane and his friends to be eating at TGI Fridays and instead delve right into the explanation of his question.

Here’s the deal, Dane. A restaurant can only seat customers based on their available staff, not the available tables. There could be 150 empty tables in your local TGI Fridays but only one server, so that would mean that they are only going to seat the number of customers that the tired, overworked, stressed-as-fuck server can handle. Imagine Dane, if you will, when you go to the grocery store and see several checkout lanes but only a few cashiers. Do you go to one of the lanes that is not staffed? Of course not, you wait in line for one of the lanes that actually has someone who will be able to help you. Same thing in a restaurant.

Still don’t get it? Okay, here’s another example. When you go to the bank, you get in line and wait for a teller to call you over, right? Well, sometimes there are only four tellers even though there may be seven or eight windows. Only an idiot would wait in line and then proceed to one of the windows that doesn’t have someone there to help you. Now, if the restaurant seated you at one of those many empty tables even though there was no server to take your order, wouldn’t that be the same thing as going to an empty teller window at the bank and expecting to make a deposit?

I know what your next question is going to be, Dane, so let me answer it for you. You want to know why the restaurant doesn’t have enough servers to take care of all the tables, right? Well, there could be several reasons for that, including but not limited to, a shortage of staff, call outs or maybe the manager just doesn’t give a rat’s ass if customers have to wait thirty minutes before they get a chance to shove a Bourbon Barrel Chicken down their eating hole. My guess is that a couple of servers called out sick that night. There is a flu epidemic going around and you certainly don’t want your server to have a 104° fever and snot dripping from their nose into your bowl of Spinach & Queso Dip. Or maybe the servers didn’t call in sick and they called in “I just can’t anymore.” Both options are quite feasible.

Dane, I hope this clears things up for you. The next time you go to a restaurant and see empty tables, now you will understand why you won’t necessarily be whisked over to one immediately. If this still doesn’t make sense for you, I can only assume that you are that person who goes to the grocery store and stands at a checkout lane that doesn’t have the light on and you wonder why it’s taking so long for you to pay for your TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks, now available at your local grocery store!

This Woman Wanted a Meatball Pizza Bowl and Was Denied

A few days ago, I posted something about Olive Garden’s latest menu addition, a Meatball Pizza Bowl. Basically, it’s a bowl made out of pizza crust and then filled with balls of meat that are covered in cheese and sauce. I have never been a huge fan of Olive Garden, but I would totally eat that and then cry myself to sleep with shame right after sitting on the toilet to forcefully eject it from my colon. It would be a day of extreme highs and even lower lows. I went to the Olive Garden Facebook page to see what people had to say about this monstrosity of carbs and calories that I want to make violent love to and I came across this post by Catherine:

Saw FB ad for the meatball pizza bowl yesterday and it looked sooo yummy that we made the decision to go try it. We didn’t see it on the menu, so asked the waitress when she came over – – imagine our disappointment and disgust when we were informed that it isn’t available on Sundays as “it is a lunch item.” I looked at the waitress and said, “but it is lunch.” She then responded that it is only available during the weekdays! Wish that would have been noted in the ad and made the comment that it should be. As we were leaving (didn’t want anything else as had specifically come for the pizza bowl), the waitress informed us that we were the only ones to ask for it and so would just have to return on a weekday! **How could we be the only ones to ask when she had said early another waiter had gotten in trouble for accepting orders last Sunday for it!

I want Catherine to know that I feel her pain. Sometimes we just have a hankering to fill our gut with processed cheese and sub-par ingredients and nothing but a Meatball Pizza Bowl is going to fill that void. Catherine was so set on this particular combination of foods, that nothing else was going to scratch that itch. She was so filled with disappointment and disgust when she learned it was only available on weekday lunches, that she had to leave, presumably to go find a Meatball Pizza Bowl somewhere else, like maybe in a flaming dumpster behind the old Pizza Hut by the railroad tracks.

Let Catherine’s pain be a lesson for us all. If you are in need of a Meatball Pizza Bowl, make sure you only go to Olive Garden for lunch on a Monday through Friday, otherwise, you too will be slapped in the face with reality and that reality will be a sad plate of Parmesan Zucchini Bites and a Five Italian Cheese Fonduta. Saturday lunch? No Meatball Pizza Bowl! Sunday dinner? No Meatball Pizza Bowl! And to Olive Garden, I ask this of you:

How can you offer something so tempting and then surround it with a barrier called “dinner” or “the weekend?” Have you no soul? Catherine needs to experience the joy of 10 meatballs on her tongue, followed by the saltiness of parmesan, mozzarella and asiago and climaxing with a burst of tangy tomato sauce and you are going to deny her that pleasure? You’re an animal, Olive Garden, a cruel tempting vixen, teasing Catherine and the rest of us with the lure of a Meatball Pizza Bowl only to have that desire ripped away from us because it happens to be a Saturday lunch.

In Catherine’s honor, I have created a petition that we can all sign in an effort to persuade Olive Garden to allow this culinary masterpiece at any time, and not just Monday through Friday at lunch. Click here to sign it. Do it for Catherine.


How To Reheat Chocolate Molten Lava Cake from Chili’s

Because I am a waiter, I can’t help but jump at every opportunity to assist someone when it comes to matters of food and restaurant life. Serving is in my blood. Literally, my veins course with water, salt, proteins, red and white blood cells, platelets, a few ounces of tequila and some serving, so when I was reading the Chili’s Facebook page and saw that someone wanted to know how to reheat their Chocolate Molten Lava Cake, I wanted to help this woman. Never mind that Chili’s already answered her question with a half-assed answer telling her to put it in the microwave for thirty seconds. That might be an adequate way to reheat a Chocolate Molten Lava Cake, but this Chili’s customer deserves a better answer and I am here to serve. Yes, Carolyn, you could be a Basic Betty and put it in the microwave for thirty seconds, but don’t you deserve more? After all, if you are treating yourself to the luxury of a dessert from one of America’s finest restaurants, you should want it reheated to perfection. Here you go:

  1. Remove the cake from the plastic to-go container. Do this very carefully, for you do not want the cake to collapse. It is a delicate work of confectionary art and must be handled with care by the hands of a virgin. If a virgin is unavailable, plastic gloves are fine.
  2. Gently place the cake on a piece of ceramic earthenware that has never before seen the light of day. You can also use a slab of marble, solid quartz (not Silestone or some manufactured man-made quartz bullshit), Verano glass or a cedar plank made from the trees of Galilee. If none of these are available, a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil is fine.
  3. Cover the cake with a hand-blown Chihuly glass bowl so it will distribute the heat evenly. There are no substitutions for this bowl. If you don’t have one, give up now and throw the Chocolate Molten Lave Cake into the trash can, because it will basically be a piece of garbage if you skip this step.
  4. Place the cake into a wood burning pizza oven that is heated to exactly 204.444 degrees celsius. It must be placed directly into the center of the oven and not off by even a fraction of an inch. This is what will ensure an even warming so that the chocolate lava will heat up to just the right amount and spew from its warm center at the correct viscosity. If you don’t have a pizza oven, a regular conventional oven will be fine as long is it is a model from 2017 and later.
  5. Set your timer for 7 minutes. Ideally, the timer will be of the hourglass variety with white grains of sand from a secret beach in Thailand. If not that, an egg timer will be fine.
  6. While the cake is warming, you should play a recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV565.” That piece is 14 minutes long, so you will need to play it at twice its normal speed so that it will end at precisely the same time as the last grain of sand falls in the hour glass. A simple software program or app will help you play the piece at the correct speed.
  7. After seven minutes, have the virgin remove the cake from the oven and then have her remove the bowl. (If the virgin is unavailable or has lost her virginity in the last seven minutes, using an oven mitt is fine.) Throw the bowl away, for it has now peaked in usefulness and will never be worthy of anything again.
  8. Your Chocolate Molten Lava Cake is now ready. Top with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and enjoy with a silver spoon from Marie Antoinette’s collection of French silverware. If that is unavailable, the plastic one from Chili’s is fine.

You’re welcome, Carolyn.

Not a Bitchy Blog Post

I was going to write a blog post today about a customer request that was made with an online reservation. The request was silly and unnecessary and would be a typical blog post for me that people would laugh at and relate to. Four sentences into it, it seemed so futile.

Looking at my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I am bombarded with stories about the school shooting in Florida that senselessly took the lives of 17 people. Maybe it’s 18, by now, but does it even matter? After the Las Vegas shooting where 58 people were killed, 17 or 18 is just a blip on our radar.

“Did you hear about the latest shooting?”

“Oh, no, how many people died?”

“Only seventeen.”

“Oh, good.”

Seriously? That’s where we are now? We are so emotionally detached from mass shootings that 17 people being killed seems like a “good” shooting. As I typed away writing about a customer who wanted to make sure they had a good table even though they weren’t wearing their usual Armani business suit or carrying the Coach briefcase they normally have, I knew that my heart wasn’t into it. I am sad today. And hearing about the unexpected death yesterday of my friend’s brother certainly didn’t help.

Life is fucking short, people. It’s precious and short and we never know when we will take our last breath. None of those people who went to that school yesterday knew it was the last time they would go there. My friend’s brother didn’t know that yesterday was the last time he would go to work. But it was for all of them. And now their friends and families are left without them.

I can’t write about stupid restaurant crap today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to let the restaurant request go without blogging about it eventually because it’s absolute idiocy, but today just needs to be a day for reflection. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: tell someone you love them. Forgive someone for something. Appreciate someone in your life. Because if that someone is taken away from you by a random act of violence or a for any other reason, you are going to wish you had used every second of every day with that person.

Have a good day. Be kind to one another.