Lately, our restaurant experiences involve calling for take out, and crossing our fingers in hopes that our starving children don't cannabalize each other before the food arrives, but I wanted the real deal tonight. Waiters, conversation, napkins in laps. The whole bit. Also, I didn't feel like cooking.
Things started out well. Picked the restaurant with no arguments (nice!). Found front row parking (score!). Walked in to discover that Wednesday is "kids eat free" night (bonus!!).
We were greeted by our host, who might be the worst in history. (I really thought, until this point in my life, that the only qualification needed to work the host table is a cup size upwards of DD. I was wrong. Those top heavy ladies have all kinds of interpersonal skills. I never realized. And, I am sorry.) He brought us back to our table...in the bar. Tables actually. He gave us 2 tables, in the bar, with 3 kids (We borrow kids sometimes because 2 isn't nearly enough). We weren't sitting with our kids, and the person next to us had her purse on top of our table, which grossed me out exponentially (germaphobia is a sad and debilitating disease).
Um. No. New seats, please.
We strolled back up to the host table and waited for what felt like 5 or 6 years for our new seats. It was really more like 10 minutes, but you have to take in to account that time moves very slowly when you're hungry in the lobby of a restaurant. It moves at a painfully, glacial pace when your kids are hungry in the lobby of a restaurant.
Finally, after we celebrated Christmas and New Years of 2018, we were seated.
What happened next is best described as a waiting game.
Got our drinks...Waited...Then we ordered...Then we waited...Then the basket(s) of chips came...Then we waited some more...Then the food...Then more waiting. So much more waiting. We spent over 20 minutes waiting on the bill.
At that point, I had reached my frustration saturation point. I was done, so I set out to solve the case of the missing bill by myself. I didn't want to make a big deal about it, but the volume at our table was increasing at the same rate as my annoyance. We had been there for too long, and we needed to escape.
The waiting had nothing to do with the quality of the restaurant. The food was delicious. The waiter was nice. I had a great time talking and laughing with my family and rental child. The waiting is just a normal part of the dine out experience. A normal part that I happen to have absolutely no patience for. It's my problem, not the restaurant staff's.
I am certain the food would have been just as good in my house where I could do all the waiting wearing sweatpants with my feet up while talking and laughing with my family and rental child. And, I wouldn't be held hostage by a bill afterward. I could stumble straight to my bedroom, and slip peacefully into my food coma without another thought about it.
The moral of this story? Always order take out. Stick to what you know.