Friday, April 18, 2008

The Cat, the Owl, and the Eating Utensil

Nevermind the title.

Sitting at this wonderful little cafe, on the porch, having a chat with this nice lady about what makes the place awesome.  It's the people, of course ... the food is  usually great but you can never trust them to actually have exactly what you want, and more often than not it will arrive with their own little twist on your idea of your meal. 

It's a place of community.  Last night, The Fatted Calf played a nice night of bluegrass and general fun, patio was packed.  Any weekend morning, place is packed for breakfast.  Etc etc.  The kind of place you can play scrabble at once per week, and bring your own food some nights.

The kind of place where the waiter cares about who you are and how you treat him.  Go to Random Chain Restaurant and you get ... worshipped?  What else do you call it when You Are Always Right ?  Here, as we were discussing, especially this particular waiter, you get treated according to who you are.  So, if you show up in a huge group on a random Sunday night, when the place is traditionally dead, and you get upset because service is slow because there's only a single waiter because they didn't know you were coming because you couldn't be bothered to call ahead...well, you get the treatment you deserve.  I watched the following exchange:

Customer: "Excuse me, my salad is cold.  Could you microwave it?"
Waiter: "We don't have a microwave." (exit stage right)

Awesome.  Actually, double awesome.  He told them to call ahead next time, all the while treating them to the evil eye. 

Back to today:

I mean, the place looks nice, especially at night, but let's be real - it looks nice in that sort of quaint, dumpy way that dive cafes (with amazing food and drink) might.  The waiter is walking around in 10 year old dirty black Carhartts with a bandana on his head.  And...

And a young couple shows up, acting all European and all over each other, they order a bottle of wine, he brings it out, lays out the glasses, skillfully decorks it, pours a taste, and hands it to the young man.  With a look of pleasant, mild surprise, the young man has a smell, a taste, smiles at his lady, and then both glasses are poured and the beautiful afternoon in the sun picks up again.

I applauded him as he passed :-)

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