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Two Men Face Charges After Gun Threat at Ay Caramba Restaurant

Tensions are running high in restaurants these days thanks to the added stress of Covid, but it nearly boiled over at a restaurant called Ay Caramba in Asheville, NC earlier this week. Asheville police charged two individuals after they say threats were made during a dispute over takeout food. Yes, takeout food became such an issue that two men, George Christian Anagnostopoulos and West McCaskill Hunter, were freaking arrested because they were so upset about their Ay Caramba order.

Dudes, calm down. Was it really worth these charges:

  • Assault by pointing a gun (3 counts)
  • Going armed to the terror of the public
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Open container of alcohol in a vehicle

Both men were arrested on bond, but surely they woke up the next morning and thought, “what the fuck did we do?” While we cannot know for certain what went down in that Mexican restaurant, we can imagine it, can’t we?

(insert dreamy harp music here)

Becky: Welcome to Ay Caramba! Are you picking up food that you ordered?

George: Chorizo.

West: Schlimazel.

Both of them: Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

Becky: Okay…so are you picking up food to go then? What’s the name?

George: My name is Luka!

West: He lives on the second floor!

Becky: I don’t have time for this, boys. I’ve been wearing a mask for the last six hours and my glasses are so fogged up I can’t even see how drunk you are, but I can smell you. What’s the name on the order?

George: I like big butts…

West: …and he cannot lie.

Becky: Okay, is this your order? I have a Nacho Supreme with extra guac, jalapeño poppers, a burrito fajita, and an order of flautas.

George and West fumble around for their wallets when a gun falls from the pocket of one of their hoodies. And then another gun falls to the floor, landing in a small puddle of pico de gallo.

George: Aw, man! My gun got salsa on it!

Becky: I’m gonna ask you both to leave right now.

George: But I want my burrito!

West: He likes big burritos and he cannot lie.

Becky: Get out or I’m calling the cops.

West: Hey, look his gun is all covered with salsa and my gun isn’t covered in anything. No fair! Can I have some sour cream for mine?

West points the gun at Becky.

Becky: Sir, does this look like a Wendy’s? Put the gun away.

George and West put their guns back into their pockets.

Becky: Give me one minute to get you order together, alright? If you’ll sit over there and wait for ten minutes, I will give you a complementary order of churros, alright?

George and West: Churro! Churro! Churro!

They both do as Becky asks and they sit down to wait for free churros. Meanwhile, Becky calls the cops who show up five minutes later and drag their asses to jail.

Of course we don’t know if this is how things actually transpired, but wouldn’t it just make fucking sense?


A Thank You To Servers For All You Did in 2020

If there’s anything the year 2020 taught those of us in the restaurant industry, it’s that most people think we’re unimportant. Well, 2020 didn’t necessarily teach us that because we’ve known it all along. It’s been a difficult year to be a server. (Hell, it’s been a difficult year to be a human being.) Most of us have had to endure restaurant closures or working fewer shifts in less than ideal circumstance. And then there are some of us who continuously wore the apron throughout the pandemic dealing with whatever consequences came with it, be it fewer customers, getting sick or at the very least being worried about getting sick. My guess is that some of you never heard a thank you from either your bosses or your customers, so please allow me.

Thank you for your willingness to do whatever was asked of you this year to keep your restaurant running. Wear a mask for hours on end while at work? Done. Wash your hands so many times they feel as dry as a well done burger? Done. Deal with outdoor dining during rain, heatwaves and blizzards? Done. You did that because your bosses asked you to. So, thank you.

Thank you for your resiliency. Some of you were laid off from your job and then asked to come back only to be laid off again. But you did it. You bounced back because you knew you had to in order to make some money to pay for frivolous things like rent and car payments. You persevered even though you didn’t know if it was the right decision or not. So, thank you.

Thank you for doing your best to make your customers feel welcome at your restaurants. As they sat in your section laughing, talking, and eating, you diligently wore your mask and served them so they could have just a brief respite back to something normal while your life was anything but that. I bet a lot of you were smiling underneath your mask even though no one could see it. Your customers might not have said thank you enough, so I will: thank you.

Thank you for all the hours you spent on the unemployment website or on the phone with someone trying to understand what benefits you were eligible for. It’s navigational nightmare trying to decipher what you have to do to receive some financial help while our livelihood is dying, but you did it. You spent hours figuring it out because no one else was going to help you understand it and you needed that money. Your family needed it for groceries. And after you fell into that black hole of an unemployment website and wasted so much time, you immediately had to do something else like cook dinner for your kids. Thank you.

Thank you for being a good parent and learning what remote learning is making sure your kids are okay. They’re struggling just like we are and you were there for them every step of the way. You swallowed your stress so they’d have less of it. Thank you.

2020 has taken a lot out of us, but it didn’t take away our hope. Every year, we step into January 1st full of hope for a better year to come. This year is no different. Servers are innately optimistic, because every time we approach a new customer we don’t know what to expect, but we always hope for the best- a big tip, a kind customer, or an experience that will remind us that waiting tables can sometime be very fulfilling. That’s the last thing I want to thank you all for: your hopefulness. Don’t let it go. You hold onto that hope tighter than you hold onto a credit card receipt on a windy patio. Your hope is what’s going to get us through 2021.

Thank you.

Mike Pence Is (most likely) a Lousy Tipper

Before I move forward with this post about Vice President Mike Pence possibly leaving a less than generous tip to his server, I need to make two things clear:

  1. We do not know for certain that this receipt is actual. I’ve done some digging and it seems very likely, but I have not been able to confirm. More on that later.
  2. This is not a post meant to slam Vice President Mike Pence simply because of who he is. This post has all to do with the fact that a very famous man who has plenty of money apparently left a bad tip to his server and I slam anyone who leaves shitty tips.

Moving on…there is a photo of a receipt going viral on Twitter that alleges Mike Pence went to eat in a restaurant and left a $5.00 tip on a $44.25 check. The Tweet is from a “friend of a friend” so it’s ripe for hoaxes, but a lot of it checks out.

The receipt is from a restaurant called Coyote Cafe and dated 12/29/20. There is a Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek, Colorado and their online menu shows the exact same sandwich on the receipt, a chipotle chicken sandwich. Mike Pence was in Vail, Colorado this week and Beaver Creek happens to be a quick 18 minute drive from Vail. The signature on the receipt looks very similar to Mike Pence’s real signature with the same swoopy-loopy “M” and the open “P.” Finally, doesn’t Mike Pence and his wife seem like they would be the kind of people who order two hot chocolates and a ginger ale for lunch? I did reach out to the Coyote Cafe for a confirmation, but have not heard back from them yet.

Now, let’s move on to the amount that Pence ALLEGEDLY left his server. The bill was $44.25 and he left $5.00. That is an 11.29% tip. So, maybe he doesn’t tip on the tax, right? Okay, that would make the bill $42.38 and the tip balloons to 11.79%. Giving Pence the benefit of the doubt, let’s say he also ignored the B.C. Assessment (B.C. Assessment is “Beaver Creek Assessment.” Every business in Beaver Creek Resort pays this % for upkeep of the resort) and tipped only on the food and beverage itself which was a total of $40.23. That means he left a 12.42% tip. Any way you look at it, it’s a crap tip. Servers in Colorado make $8.98 an hour while minimum wage in that state is $11.10. Granted, while servers in Beaver Creek aren’t making the pittance of $2.13 an hour, they probably still expect at least a 15% tip, especially from someone who has enough money to spend their Christmas vacation skiing in Vail. The annual salary for vice president is $235,000 so I’m pretty sure he could have reached deep down into his Dockers and found another few bucks.

Alright, so maybe Pence and Mother received awful service and that’s why he left such a grinchy ass tip. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter! When you’re as famous and wealthy as someone like Mike Pence, you have to know that leaving a bad tip is going to leak out all over social media just like Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye. It would just make more sense to squeeze out an additional $3.85 to leave an even 20% tip. That way, the server might be disappointed for not getting more from a rich person, but couldn’t really complain either because 20% is what we all strive for.

Again, I have not been able to clarify that this is an actual receipt. All signs point to yes, but if the restaurant reaches out to me with more info, I will let you know. However, I don’t expect that to happen. They probably want the story to go away. Mike Pence probably wants the story to go away. And the server who got the bad tip is probably looking for a new job since posting a photo of a tip is probably against the rules of working in a restaurant that caters to the rich and famous. (If you’re the server this happened to, PLEASE reach out to me!)

4 Ways to Actually Help Your Local Struggling Restaurant

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to decimate our country, small businesses and restaurants are taking the brunt of the devastation. Well, other than the 300,000 lives lost to the virus. Over 110,000 restaurants have closed either permanently or long-term since the health crisis began and with indoor dining shutting down in more and more states and the weather making outdoor dining less of an option, it’s only going to get worse. Since it seems that our government isn’t ready to step up and help the restaurant industry, it’s up to customers to do it for them, but how? If you have a favorite neighborhood restaurant and you are wondering if they are struggling or not, wonder no more: they are. The restaurant owner can use your help and so can the few employees who are still working there and here’s how to do it:


Did a Customer Actually Leave This Note For Their Server?

First off, thank you to everyone who has sent this image to me. Second off, what the actual fuck? It appears that a customer left a note for their server that said: “I do have Covid-19 so clean this table effectively!  Thanks.”

I don’t know if the photo is real or if it’s a joke, but maybe by posting it we can soon find out. If you are the person who took this photo, please share with us the full story. In the mean time, I want to discuss the various options for its validity.

  1. A COVID positive customer actually left this for their server. What kind of human being is okay with knowing they have a contagious illness that can possibly infect others and lead to prolonged sickness or even death and still go out to eat at a restaurant? (The answer: an asshole.) My first thought is that no one can ever be that inconsiderate, but then I remember picking up a dirty diaper left on a restaurant table so I do know for a fact that people can truly be that awful. Still though, it’s shocking to see that level of utter assholery right there in front of us. If this person is reading this blog post, please do kindly fuck right off.
  2. A customer left this on their table as a joke. It’s not funny, okay? Over 3,000 people dying every day isn’t really a solid base for making a joke about having COVID, so please do kindly fuck right off. (Kudos to you for knowing the correct use of “effectively.”)
  3. A server wrote this note themself and posted it on social media to get attention. This scenario is also very, very possible. We’ve all seen it before: a gay server writes something onto a credit card receipt about not tipping fags, takes a photo of the doctored receipt to post on social media, the photo goes viral, and they earn thousands of dollars in a GoFundMe campaign. The only difference here is that if a server did post this on their own accord, what’s the point? There is no attached link to donate to them or to gain any sympathy, so why? Maybe just the fact that it got attention was enough for this person.

How will we ever know what the truth is unless we track down the person who snapped this photo? If you are that person, reach out to me. The world needs to know the story behind this photo! (Or at least, I want to know.) Whichever scenario is the truth, NONE OF THEM ARE OKAY.