Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day pro-tip...

It should go without saying, but if you are going to go out to eat on Mother's Day, make a reservation.  Bill and I were reminded of this axiom today when we decided at the last minute to have lunch at Taverne beim Griechen, a local Greek restaurant we've visited a few times since moving to Unterjettingen.

The reason we decided to go out for lunch is because after we took a walk with Zane and Arran, I was feeling really hungry.  Unfortunately, when were at the Real yesterday, we neglected to get stuff for our midday repast.  We are planning to have a light vegetarian meal for dinner, so I wanted a substantial lunch.  We lacked the goods to make that happen.  We figured the Greek place was close and the other times we've been, it hasn't been super busy.  I had a handful of cashews before we left; that turned out to be a blessing.

We got to the restaurant at just before 1:00.  As we walked in, we could see the dining room was almost full of people who looked like they'd come from church.  A huge family group was there along with several other smaller parties.  One of the waitresses, who looked slightly panicked, asked if we had a reservation.  We said we didn't.  They directed us to a two top, which they very quickly cleared of another diner's leftovers.  We were brought menus and they said they'd be back for a drink order.  There we sat for the next forty-five minutes, sans drinks.


We finally get beer after a thirsty wait...

I have a lot of patience for wait staff in the weeds.  I have been there before and it's not a nice feeling.  One of the waitresses seemed to be handling the demands rather well while the other one looked like she was very stressed.  Bill and I sat quietly and talked.  While it was annoying to be sitting there for so long with no service, it occurred to me that this was a first world problem.  It was just food, after all, and neither of us (nor anyone else in that place) are in any danger of dying from lack of nourishment.  Thanks to the cashews, I wasn't even really "hangry".  At one point, we thought about leaving, but realized that most any restaurant today is probably crowded.  So we stayed patient and waited as I watched the clock.

It would have been good if one of the waitresses had thought to get our drink order, but I know that when you're that weeded, you don't think about such things.  Besides, they might have been silently hoping we'd just get up and leave.  I know when I used to wait tables I used to feel that way sometimes.  Bonus: I actually understood and translated when the waitress said the food was slow.  It was very obvious why.  They really had their hands full.


Despite the wait, this was absolutely yummy!

The less stressed of the wait staff finally got our drink order roughly forty-five minutes after we sat down.  We kept it simple with beer because I don't think she spoke English and our German sucks.  She brought us our drinks after a few minutes, then we waited a bit longer for her to come back for a food order-- maybe twenty minutes or so.  Bill had gyros and I had a Korfu platter, which was gyros and souvlaki.  Fortunately, it was well worth waiting for.  The food was hot and delicious and after the large tables began to finish up and disperse, the two waitresses and the owner himself came over and apologized.  He even gave us the beer for free, bringing our check down to 20 euros.  He didn't have to do that; we weren't really upset.  It was a nice gesture, though.  Yet another bargain!

I felt so sorry for the poor waitresses.  I actually had a bit of a flashback watching them and remembering that panicked feeling one gets when behind on waiting tables.  Timing and efficiency is important and if you screw it up while working as a server, things can get bad very quickly.  I'm not sure if making a reservation would have made our lunch get to us more efficiently, but it does seem like it would have been wise.  Of course, if we'd simply bought more food yesterday, we wouldn't have needed to go out for lunch in the first place.  I usually avoid going out on big restaurant holidays for just this reason.  After waiting tables myself, I know that the experience may not be so good on a hyped restaurant holiday like Mother's Day or Valentine's Day.

On the way back home, we ran into our landlords who brought the family over for a hike.  After Bill finishes his homework for school, it'll definitely be cocktail time.  Hope everyone is enjoying Mother's Day!  Prost!





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