While on the Calamari Convention Trail last month I sampled food at more restaurants in out of the way places than I care to mention. As previously stated, I chose Calamari as a main stay because it can be prepared by most chefs without any problems and it really is nothing more than a carrier for the sauce.
Albeit, some Calamari was much better than other Calamari, it was the service and delivery that really made the difference.
In one establishment the service was so outrageous that it certainly deems mentioning. The story by which the waiter began his introduction was right out of the
I always thought it would be a great endeavor to begin a learning institution for hacks that would highlight manners, hygiene, the difference between acceptable and unacceptable body odor and the parameters of a good story told in order to increase tip proportion.
The same holds true for waiters.
At Stonewood, a small chain restaurant just outside of
When asked how he was doing, he replied that his day was better because he had just bought his son a $1200.00 game board. He proceeded to tell us he couldn’t afford it, and that his original intention was to go to the pawn shop and buy the boy something used.
He added that he only had given the little guy hand me down presents all of his life so the big ticket item was a real joy. He also claimed that for Christmas the youngster had gotten a pair of his brother’s old shoes.
This rendition of the waiter’s family life immediately registered 20% on the tip scale.
By mid meal, the fact that he wasn’t doing that well in the tip department nudged the meter to 22% without question.
His dessert description – of a chocolate bread pudding- that came out of the kitchen and was a “bomb” topped the ridiculous as the meter went to 25% just because of the passion this guy had for bread pudding.
By night’s end we had the proverbial up sell: One chocolate bread pudding, one key lime pie, and one tiramisu cheesecake. The chocolate pudding, remember, was the “Bomb”, something we would fight over.
Needless to say, after I realized what I had done the meter decreased slightly as the ride I was on was becoming a bit bumpy. The desserts were awful. They all bombed.
With sarcastic wit, I asked if I could possibly get the recipe for the large mass of crusted, mounded – resembling something on the sidewalk in early morning – chocolate pudding.
The response was breathtaking.
To the recipe, he replied, “You know that bread you were eating, earlier? Well, we take all the old bread and dump it in a bucket filled with chocolate syrup. We let it sit for two days and we fill it with old bread. We pour a bunch of sugar on top, mix it up and bake it. Isn’t it the best you ever had? Would you like to take the rest home?”
A word of advice: tell your waiters that all recipes are proprietary and they are not to give out any of the details that go on in the kitchen. None of them. Not even a peek into the inner workings of closed door cooking.
The meter dropped. He got 17% because he did give us the recipe.