Sunday, December 23, 2012

I can has customer servez?

The other day, Mr. RK and I were talking about how some things should require IQ tests first - or should I say common sense tests. You know, gun licenses, driving licenses, reproduction.

After an experience at a work dinner Friday night, I am going to add being a waiter/waitress to the list.

As you know, I've been doing a vegan diet for the past few months. Now, this is pretty easy to do here, as I live near a city whose motto is "Keep Portland Weird!" (No, I'm not kidding. And yes, it really is like Portlandia.) There are entire restaurants and grocery stores that are vegan-only.

I called this restaurant ahead of time as the only vegan item on their menu was an appetizer salad. They said no problem, they could make any pasta or risotto without eggs or dairy.

I confirmed this with the waitress at a dinner with my boss, husband, co-worker, and his wife.

Then I attempted to order.

"The almonds are toasted in a little bit of butter, is that OK?"

No. No dairy whatsoever. (For those of you who might think I'm just being picky, I discovered that dairy not only made my blood sugar a lot higher, so now I can take a lot less medication, but that it also made me ache. A lot.)

I request the mushroom risotto without parmesan.

"You might not like the risotto without the cheese."

Don't. Want. Cheese! Remember, because I am a vegan and that means I can't have dairy.

"Oh. Hey, can you have bacon?"

Pork is not, as Mr. RK noted, a vegan food.

I am not making this up. In fucking PORTLAND, no less. Now mind you, Hawthorne Street in SE Portland is like weird central, or as close as you can get to being in Berkeley. Across the street from the restaurant is a pizza place where you can get pizza that is vegan, gluten-free, etc., and any combination thereof. By the slice.

She told me that I really wouldn't like the risotto, so they'd make me a vegan pasta.

Then she came back and said they were making me a vegan risotto.

Which was actually quite good, but at this point I was just embarrassed at being the center of so much unwanted attention and also probably shooting daggers at her through my eyeballs.

The best part: at the bottom of the menu, it read, "Please let your server know if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. We are happy to accommodate you!"


Lazlo Salieri said...

A vegan once bit my sister. Mynd you, vegan bites Kan be pretty nasti...

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Vegans have to be very, very patient, I've observed.

The Elephant's Child said...

I am vegetarian rather than vegan (so far) but eating out is fraught with perils. Hiss and spit. Even at the homes of family - last Saturday two separate family groups decided that I eat chicken? Huh. WTF? I have been vegetarian for twenty years... They also thought that just a little bit of bacon in the salad was fine.
I am glad that the risotto was good after all that. It would want to be.
I love your cats in this post. All true.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

OY! I cannot believe how damn difficult that was...Stupid is the right word!

I love all the pictures, but that last one---Futility---is PERFECT...LOL!

I hope the Risotto was really good!I mean...what is so difficult to understand?? HELP!

Granny Annie said...

You are nice and competent and courteous and have the understandable expectation that others will be the same. Ain't gonna happen!

G. B. Miller said...

I can see that the waitress was hip deep in the throes of that pesky disease called S.I.S.S.

Yes, Self Inflicted Stupidity Syndrome can roar its ugly head at the most inoportune moments.

People who work in the service industry or who are any kind of supervisor often come down with this dreaded disease, for which there is no known cure.

All we can do is show a litle kindness, a little mercy....just before having a drive-by bitch slapping performed on them.

Holland said...

Jeez... that one is truly superbly stupid. lol

A Beer For The Shower said...

This was painful to read. Reminds me of a time I went to eat with a friend who's extremely allergic to cheese. Like, it will make him violently ill. He told the server no cheese on my sandwich, please. They brought him a sandwich with cheese on it anyway. He politely said I asked for no cheese. They said sorry sir, we'll fix that. They took it from him, and came back 2 minutes later... with the same sandwich. The cheese was just scraped off. His eyes lit up, and he just said in the scariest voice I've ever heard, "I want to see your f***ng manager. NOW."

Manager comes, kisses his ass like there's no tomorrow after he explains that he's very, very allergic to cheese, and our entire meal is free. Meanwhile, I was just astounded. As my friend said it, "I'm not a f***ing idiot. I have fingers. I can scrape this off if I wanted to. This isn't me being "picky." This is me avoiding a severe allergy."

Cheryl said...

I like your list for pretesting for common sense...driving licenses, gun licenses and reproduction.

I am a real skeptic about food being prepared without me seeing what is happening. I do eat eggs and dairy but very little meat. (I do occasionally go I don't consider my self a vegetarian.) I don't have the discipline for vegan and am awestruck at how good you are.

If I ever encounter a waitress that ditzy, I will order water in a bottle...unopened. Maybe some little crackers still in the cellophane as my entree.

Darth Weasel said...

It always amazes me when I order things one way, they bring it another, I send it back and as BftS said, they scrape it off; the reason I ask for it without it is I don't like the flavor; when it has been on the food, the flavor sticks.
The Goose laughs at me because I refuse to eat food that has been contaminated by flavors I don't like. I won't even eat something that has been sitting on top of packaged lettuce because the lettuce stench does leak through and assault my nostrils/taste buds.

With that said, though my rejections of foods/textures/flavors has no purpose other than. you know, enjoying my does let me understand how idiotic some people (such as the staff in your story) are.

And insensitive.

Reminds me of the Outback we went to where you and Mr RK wanted the Blooming Onion depending on how it was made and she could not understand the question about what the grease was made of

wigsf3 said...

A waitress once said to me "I know it says it on the menu but we don't." So if the menu is wrong so is your bill.

"I know the bill says 100 dollars but I'm only giving you 50."

Claire said...

Vegan Bacon. To quote Liz Lemon, commence eye roll sequence...

Rock Chef said...

If they are that bad I bet the carnivor food kicks ass!

Have a fantastic Christmas!

LL Cool Joe said...

The question about the bacon cracked me up. Erm....

Happy Christmas!!

Ileana said...

After realizing that butter and parmesan are not acceptable she had to ask about the BACON?? Really? She had to be kidding...or as kitty would say, full of stupidity.

Betty Manousos said...

merry christmas to you and to yours!!

big hugs~

Introverted Art said...

the "can you have bacon?" part was just priceless. My niece was vegan (back to vegetarian) but she always goes through that. She explains No animal byproduct and the waiter/waitress says "oh you can have this but it is cooked in chicken broth, is it a problem?" :p

Lynn said...

That is so odd that happened in Portland! Of all places...

I was vegan for a time and it used to embarrass my ex-husband when there was so much discussion about the food between me and the waiters. :)

Shionge said...

Merry Christmas RK & a blessed New Year :D