IT WAS A FESTIVE OCCASION LAST NIGHT. We all decided to venture out and try the “new restaurant in town, that Italian place.” In this small town in South Texas a new restaurant opening up is a major event. Make that new restaurant something other than BBQ or Mexican cuisine and it is time to stop the presses!
This town where we are visiting family has a population of about five thousand souls, seven bail bond storefronts, and three donut shops. And now it has an Italian restaurant.
When we arrived the Greeter/Headwaitress asked if we had reservations. The answer was “Yes,” but under my breath I mumbled, “Yes, but we came anyway.” Sometimes I can’t help myself.
The place was crowded. Something new draws attention.
From where we were seated I could see into the kitchen. There was “The Chef” who was also the owner I believe. He was the only person wearing a toque (Look it up). The rest of the crew in the kitchen seemed to be busy with moving dishes and making salads. That was not a good sign. An hour later it was still not a good sign.
The menu had a couple of basic dishes missing. I was surprised to not see any Eggplant being offered and there were no coffees available.
At about one and a quarter hours after ordering food began to appear at our table – for five of us. My Chicken Parmigiana was nowhere in sight. The Headwaitress/Whatever came over to tell me that “They are just finishing it up.” Another ten minutes and they apparently were finished with it in the kitchen.
OK…I’m not fussy, but…I’ve eaten cold pizza the morning after the night before on too many occasions to be fussy, but…my general opinion of my meal was that it was not quite as good as Marie Callender’s frozen version of what I had before me.
After we finished our entrees the waiter regaled us with their dessert menu. It was pretty much what you would expect, but I wasn’t interested after my TV Dinner. I asked the waitress for a Cappuccino instead. Oh, boy?
I could see the Espresso Machine sitting on the counter. It looked brand new. Our waitress went over to the Headwaitress/Ubersomething and told her what I had asked for – a Cappuccino. A panicked look crossed her face. The Espresso Machine was her turf and she looked lost. She stood looking at the machine with her hand over her mouth and despair in her eyes like she had just been handed the helm of the Starship Enterprise. I was expecting her to come over and tell me that the machine was broken.
After a couple of minutes of me staring and the Headwaitress/Bouncer breaking into a flopsweat she acted – she went and fetched the Chef from the kitchen who walked her through the process of making my Cappuccino. When she finished with the Espresso Machine that was huffing and puffing like a tiny and expensive locomotive she brought it over and set it down without saying a word. She will get better with practice…I hope.
All in all it was a pleasant outing because of the people not the pasta. I hope that the restaurant improves and survives. It would be a good asset to the town. At least none of the staff was wearing paper hats.