This is a longish rant about a dining experience. Move along if you don’t want to be bored to death.
I do not eat out at restaurants a lot and because of this, when I go out to eat without my wife in tow, I am usually in a state of consternation about what, and sometimes how, to order. More often than not, I’ll text her (but on the DL) and ask questions like ‘Hon, what do I like on my sub again?’ ‘Hey, what was it that I enjoyed the last time we were at such-and-such restaurant?‘ Thai and Chinese food, forget it. If it’s not buffet, then I am not going there without her. She’s my food advisor/connoisseur.
So what was I doing out at a restaurant without her on a Sunday afternoon? Like I said, if you were paying attention, it’s only ethnic restaurants that I won’t go without her. This was at a Burger Joint. A place called Burger Factory. (You can’t get any more hardcore than that). I was taking the Teenager out for lunch and quality time. He loves burgers and so do I. In fact, this trip was planned a week earlier and I was looking forward to it as I, yes wait for it, rarely eat out at restaurants.
Once in the order line, I was like a deer caught in a headlight. Hmm…should I get the Factory Special or a double cheeseburger? Everything SOUNDS soo good. Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Oh, go ahead and take Teenager’s order. Scanning the menu with eyes darting like a cornered animal, I found the BLT under ‘Sandwiches’ and had a quick thought. This sounds healthy. I could get this and a small drink and not be too full for the Pulled Pork dinner Amie was preparing. Plus she would be impressed that I didn’t make a pig of myself and could still sample her first pulled pork. (She takes her cooking seriously). Yes, BLT it is. Err..gimme the BLT and a small drink please…
Do you want everything on your salad? The teenaged cashier asked. Salad?? It comes with a salad? “Yes sure, why not? Put everything on it.” (The wife would REALLY be impressed now. Me eating a salad). Burger Factory is one of those places with the assembly line going on. You watch your food come off the grill and tell them what you want on it as it moves down the line. Like a Ford plant.
So I am waiting for my food to make it on the line and I noticed that only one drink cup was on my tray. (Teenager’s meal included fries and drink) I looked down at my receipt and saw I was being charged for a BLT and a small Greek Salad. I never ordered a salad! I would never order a salad! The overly attentive cashier had heard 1 small salad instead of 1 small drink. Should I bring it to his attention? Nevermind, just leave it. Salads are good for you anyways. Plus, it’s like making a scene and I’m much too nice for that.
Some really yummy burgers were being paraded down the assembly line like models on a runway. (what’s with the similes?). Suddenly, there was this one with 5 or 6 strips of bacon, resting rather uncomfortably on a dry-looking, plain white bun. (Forget models on a runway!) It looked like it was missing something. A lot of somethings…
The assembly worker turned to me and asked what I wanted on my BLT. LMAO! My options that I could see were Fried Onions, Pickles, Mustard, Relish and BBQ Sauce, none of which appealed to me. My image of a BLT was shattered into a 1000 pieces. Deviating from Mr. Nice Guy, I asked her in my most sarcastic tone what does the L in BLT stands for and she replied ‘Lettuce’. I gave her the look that said ‘So then where is the lettuce? Come on, spruce the thing up!” To her it probably sounded more like a whiny, ‘Oh, I never knew that. Can I please have some on my BLT then?” She took my excuse for a sandwich around a corner and brought it back with lettuce playing peekaboo with the sides of the bread. I quickly chose fried onions and relish and took my food.
At the table, I was fuming inside. I waited a week for this? I ate my salad, as it was supposed to be good for you but didn’t bother opening the burger. To add insult to injury, a fellow church member and his wife were eating at a table next to me. He saw my salad and said, ‘You came to a burger joint to order salad??’ To which I pointed to my ‘Piece de resistance’ and let him know I was saving the best for last.
Well as you can decipher, it was not my best dining experience. Maybe if I had not been so nice, I could have pointed out to the guy, that he had incorrectly taken my order. Maybe I should have gotten the factory special and not made such a simple thing so difficult. Maybe, maybe, maybe. At least I temporarily lived my life vicariously through the hungry patrons around me sinking their teeth into their scrumptious looking burgers.