From there, the dinner my wife and I thought we would enjoy tonight was a bizarre and hilarious adventure.
After Julie ordered the salmon, the server turned to me. I simply pointed to a picture of the asiago sirloin and fried shrimp combo. There may have also been a dollop of mashed potatoes on the plate in the picture.
He then asked me about my two sides, I said I would have no sides. His face contorted a bit. He asked Julie about her two sides. Julie wasn’t big on the sides either, but ordered broccoli to be polite. He reminded Julie that she was due two sides. To appease the server, Julie ordered a second round of broccoli. He left looking a tad concerned. .
Thirty seconds later, he returned to ask my about my sides. “Is it mandated that I order two sides?” I asked trying to inject a little humor.
“It really is. I can’t enter the order into the computer without two sides,” he said. I told him to let the staff pick the two sides, and they were welcome to enjoy them. He smiled, “That’s very nice of you! Thanks!”
We both got the endless salad bar, and Julie went for a second round of spinach and hard boiled eggs. While she was there, the server came back to our table in a bit of a panic, “Umm, the order never made it back to the kitchen, so I’ll tell the cooks what you ordered, and they’ll get it started right away. Might be a little late though!”
I started looking around for Jim Avila from that wacky hidden camera show on ABC where they test the resolve of people in awkward environments, and told him, “No problem – not in a big hurry.”
Not 20 seconds later he comes sprinting out of the kitchen, “It’s OK! They’ve been cooking your order for nine minutes. It will be out on time!”
Another 30 seconds passes, and he walks past, stops, turns, and asks, “Did you already get your food?” I thought maybe he was kidding and I politely laughed. He cocked his head and said, “Hmmm, I guess not. I’ll check on it.”
I smiled, and Julie came back to the table.
No more than another minute passed, and Julie’s salmon was delivered along with two bowls of steamed broccoli. My plate had a sad and lonely sirloin – minus the asiago, shrimp, and mashed potatoes.
“This is short a few items,” I said with a smile, still unsure whether that crazy bastard Avila was hiding somewhere with his crew.
“It sure is!” the server agreed. I told him to leave the steak, and round up the other stuff that looked so nice in the picture on the menu. “Oh, I can’t do that. I want to make sure the cook don’t screw it up again!”
I was confused, but undaunted in my quest to remain upbeat. “Okay then. Thanks!”
The manager emerged from the kitchen thirty seconds later with the original steak, but this time covered with a white cream sauce, which I assume was the promised asiago. “We’re still missing some items,” I reminded him.
Meanwhile, Julie was not thrilled with the salmon – as it had been served minus the bourbon sauce that made it look so good on the menu. “The salmon’s not good, but the broccoli is perfect,” she said, focused on the bright side – as always.
The manager came to the table to tell us the shrimp had just been dropped in the fryer, and I smiled and told him, “That’s OK – don’t worry about that. I’m fine.” I handed him the plate with the lonely steak on it.
Julie and I are quietly laughing as the server returns, and says, “I’m really sorry about the broccoli.” Given that the broccoli was the only satisfactory part of the meal, we found that even funnier.
I asked for the check, and the server delivered it within a minute. He said, “You wanted your bill, right?” Again, I scanned the dining room for a camera hidden in a potted plant.
“I sure did!” I said with a smile.
I tipped the guy 25% – not for the food, but for the laughs.
Can’t recommend the food, as I didn’t eat, but for laughs? Hell, yes.
Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.