Burns My Bacon: Burning My Bacon!
Los Angeles is a lonely, desolate place to live if you’re looking for great service and properly prepared food at a restaurant. Especially if you’re spending less than a hundred bucks a plate. Oh, it happens now and then. But it’s really become a sort of Culinary Lottery to actually get just what it was you ordered. The kitchen always looks busy, and the wait staff is usually friendly and attentive, but something happens once you answer their meal inquiries. I see them write it down, or repeat it back to me and nod reassuringly. But then they walk away and sometime later food is delivered by new strangers that then ask me what it was I ordered. “The over-cooked rib eye with the steamed, reheated limp green beans?” Oh gosh, that would be me. I’ve been sucking on the ice cubes of my empty drink for so long I almost forgot what I ordered myself. Could I get another drink, please? “I’ll get your waiter.” Yes, please do. I don’t know why I was thinking that you could get it considering that you didn’t know I ordered the steak even though I’m the only one sitting at this table.
And when my waiter finally does return, I know that they will stare down at my untouched plate, look at me, smile and say, “So how is everything? Cooked the way you like?” Why yes, my heat sensitive x-ray vision tells me that the center of both my entrée and side dish are at the optimum temperature. May I ask you to lean closer so that I might bitch slap you into oblivion?
What the F is happening? I used to enjoy going out to eat but now it’s become like starring in my own version of the Matrix. Do ANY of these out-of-work actors really want to be waiters? Here’s a little test that I did at the last 10 places that I’ve eaten: at the end of my meal I always order a cup of coffee and each time without fail, this has been the response; “Do you take cream and sugar?” To which I always answer (very firmly and with conviction), “No, just black please!” And out of the last ten times that this scenario has taken place, only ONE TIME have I received a cup of coffee without an accompanying creamer and assortment of sugars, sweeteners and pink bags of crystal chemicals. If you’re going to bring me these sidecars anyway, why are you asking me how I drink my coffee? And what other information haven’t you processed? My severe peanut allergy? My request to substitute the potato with more vegetables? Asking me if I’d like bread, and then bringing me a basket of it after I replied “no” doesn’t instill much confidence from my end.
And…what’s up with the bacon?
When I ask for my bacon to be ‘limp’ and not ‘crisp,’ why do you bring me something that resembles a piece of driftwood? I even go into this whole spiel about how I like my bacon under-cooked and that they should tell the chef to treat it like a piece of Ahi tuna and that as soon as it starts to bubble or curl, to turn it over for a minute and then to put it on my plate! And all I ever get is this lame ‘Health Department’ explanation of how they can’t serve under-cooked pork, and that it’s a code violation and any other official sounding fairy tale that they can come up with. And yet (as I’ve pointed out at the top of my lungs and was subsequently asked to leave), the Health Department doesn’t seem to have any problems with refilling unrefrigerated countertop bottles of catsup or hot sauce year in and year out!!! GIMME A GODDAMN BREAK!!!
So treat my pig with a little respect, will ya? Why would anybody hire you as an actor if you can’t act like a waiter? Jeesh! And when it comes to bacon I’ll admit that most of those preparing it wouldn’t be considered ‘chefs.’ But for those of you that don’t want to under-cook my bacon or serve me a blackened, well-done piece of filet mignon, why do you have the servers ask how I want it prepared if you aren’t going to prepare it that way anyhow? Just print on your menus: “We don’t under-cook our bacon, over-cook our steaks, or care how you like to eat the food that you’re paying for. We reserve the right to be douche bags and if you don’t like it, take a hike!”
At least THEN you’d get my respect.