You know what’s really annoying about customers? I mean other than the fact that they are there in the first place. It would be so much simpler if they cooked at home and just mailed my tips to me. I hate when people ask for something that is not on the goddamn, mother fucking menu. The menu has one purpose and one purpose only: it tells you what the options are in that particular restaurant. If it’s not on the menu, it means you can’t have it. Plain and simple.
This couple came in last week on a busy night. He had a big ol‘ head and stubby little arms, not unlike Mr. Potato Head. I greeted them at the door and informed them that we only had one table left and it was on the patio. He tells me, “Oh, well it’s just the two of us. We only need one table.” I laughed thinking he was making a joke but I saw in his face he was dead serious. Uh, Mr. Potato Head, I was just letting you know that the only table I have available is outside and making sure you are okay with that. They followed me to to the table where I handed them menus. You know, menus? Those things that will tell what you can order for dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head asked for two glasses of champagne. I imagine they were celebrating that they found her missing ear or Toys R Us was having a sale. When I came back to the table, they were ready to order.
“Do you have potato skins?” they guys asked. I looked around to make sure I wasn’t accidentally working at T.G.I.Friday’s or Hooters. Once I confirmed that there were no televisions playing sports and no other guests were eating huge plates of nachos, I knew that I was still at the same restaurant I had punched in to three hours before. Then I looked at his menu to make sure I hadn’t accidentally given him a Bennigan’s or Houlihan’s menu by mistake. Nope, he had the right menu; the same menu that everyone else was given that offers appetizers like curry mussels and baked goat cheese with mesclun salad.
“No, sir. We don’t have potato skins.” My eyes resisted their urge to roll.
“Oh, that’s too bad. Can you make them?”
Is he for real? Can we make potato skins? The cooks don’t even like when I ask for the french fries to be well done and he thinks I’m gonna ask them to make potato skins? Sure, sir. Let me just run to the kitchen and grab some potatoes. I will then scrub them, bake them, slice them, hollow them out, grate some cheese, fry some bacon, fill the skins, bake them again and then add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle it with scallions. I’ll be back in an hour and thirty minutes.
“No, sir. We can’t make potato skins.” Maybe there’s another appetizer on the menu that you and your spud of a wife would enjoy and do not ask if we have a fucking Awesome Blossom. We don’t. Nor do we have Buffalo wings, fried mozzarella, spinach artichoke dip, popcorn shrimp, sliders or quesadillas, so don’t ask for that either. Look at the menu. Choose something. Order it. I will bring it.
They settled on mussels and a side of fries. As they ate the fries, I couldn’t help but look at them a little bit like they were cannibals. Seriously, this couple looked so much like Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, that every time they put a french fry in their mouth it looked like they were eating one of their own kind.