Monday, November 29, 2010


This entry could alternately be titled "The Disgruntled Nine Top". 'Cause that's what we were. You see, as my parents have been in town for the Thanksgiving Holiday, we decided it would be nice to go out en famille before the oldster's hit it back to AZ until the next 'round of togetherness in a few weeks. So my sis-in-law called Maggiano's to make a four o'clock Sunday reservation. I could hear the discussion now.......Mom: "Oh.....let's go to Maggiano's......Dad LOVES Maggiano's". It was confirmed that this is EXACTLY the conversation that lead up to the decision to dine at this family style Italian establishment. Normally I'm not one to eat that early but whatever........we had two old people and three kids, so I wasn't about to protest. We were to all meet up the restaurant prior to our reservation. In a shocking turn of events, MY part of the family was actually early, so we sat at the bar and had a drink. I noticed Dave, who is not the most particular of gentlemen, swipe a used straw and napkin away from him. I would also like to point out that this place was not at all crowded and had a bunch of waitstaff just standing around. Dave actually commented that you would think one of the people walking around would have wiped off the table tops. We chalked this up to an oversight, and when the rest of the family arrived, we were escorted to a large table in the back corner. Now, normally we have had to frequent a joint before they know to stick us in the back and away from the more civilized diners. None of us had been to this particular Maggiano's (it's a chain, for the uninformed) before. Oh well, big party......guess they had noplace else to put us. In this largely empty restaurant. So we sit down. Eight of the nine plates set out were dirty. Not "Oh a water spot" dirty but "Oh shit, that's somebody's denture's" dirty. We are not a very particular bunch. No silverware checkers here. So we're sitting there. And sitting there. Around 4:15, Dave went to inquire as to where our server might be as no one had yet acknowledged our presence. Everybody knows that if you're demanding satisfaction, you send the guy in the turtleneck. A turtleneck screams authority. A couple of waiters came over and gave us bread and water and announced that they had no idea where our server might be. Around 4:25 and after another round of trips to ask for manager's, etc. our waitress limps (no lie) over and apologizes for the wait but that she was on her break. Uhhhhhhhh.......okay. So we order drinks and immediately order our meal as well. Drinks come back. She's got my vodka tonic, the kid's Shirley Temples, my dad's martini, my mom's wine and Dave's bourbon. My brother, who had ordered a beer was informed that "they are changing the keg". His reply? "I bet they weren't changing it twenty minutes ago". My sister-in-law, who had ordered a glass of Chard, was given something pink. Back that goes. A few minutes later, we hear a crash. My brother: "That was probably my beer". The odd thing is, she eventually brought him a bottle. Thought they were changing the keg? So, everybody is somewhat pacified because we have our cocktails (I was quite happy that we had arrived early and were one up on everybody in the drinks department) and we're trying to have a good time. A car horn starts blaring right behind us. Some smart-ass says, "It's probably our waitress". Now, most of us had worked in food service and understand when you have "one of those" tables. Some people are just asses. We are not. Trust me. We're pretty easy-going fun-loving sorts. This girl just sucked. We did feel for her though as you could tell that every time she was forced to stagger up to our table she would rather have crawled into a hole and died. Still. You're in the wrong business, Hoppy. Eventually, after several more ridiculous turns of events, my dad goes up and talks to the manager. We're all just sitting there wide-eyed. He apparently demanded an "adjustment" and the card of both the manager on duty and the GM. When he came back to the table, my mom said, "Did you give him YOUR card???" which was met with laughter because as my brother said, "Your card saying WHAT???? Disgruntled Retireee????" Which is apt as my dad has been retired since he was in his early fifties. One way or the other, we had to get through the meal and it was hard knowing that all of the other servers were looking at us and referring to us as the said, "Disgruntled Nine Top". Which of course, we were. The good news is that when the server came over to give us what we thought was the bill, it was announced that it was all taken care of. I should have had more to drink. And I don't really think dad loves Maggiano's anymore. 

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