Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Another weekend in the urban jungle because Dr. Wife was on call again on Sunday so we went to mass on Saturday evening and ate at my new found favorite Chinese restaurant that I blogged about a few weeks ago by the name of Kwong Tung. A few weeks ago we had the chance to try the dim sum on Sunday and it was excellent too but this night was strictly ordering off the menu.

We entered into the menu and sat in the same booth we have the last two times we have been in the restaurant. Mostly because there is very few people in the restaurant so we always have a choice of seats and it is by a large fish tank that keeps my daughter occupied. Unfortunately, I learned this last time it is also next to the booth where a regular sits every Saturday night and has for the last five years.

The first time I noticed him was our first time there when he seemed like one of those lonely guys who has nothing better to do but eat at the same restaurant every night and takes great pleasure in trying to carry on a conversation with a wait staff who seems less than enthused that he is there. Sure enough, he came in a few minutes after us and sat down in his booth but announced loudly to Katie the waitress that he wasn't going to order right away because he had a friend who may or may not be coming by and that he would be waiting for awhile and possibly would be switching tables so that they could talk. I looked at my watch and according to his announcement to Katie, his friend was twenty minutes away.

About the same time, a couple guys walked in and started shuffling tables together telling Katie that at least fifteen people were shortly arriving. Because as I stated before, this place is always deserted, the entire staff seems to be the owner who cooks and Katie. Naturally Katie was getting busy and the man behind us heard the same thing we did and called out, "Katie," as she walked by getting more drinks for the crowd of guys pouring in.

"I'll order a half order of crab rangoon," said Dan (I later learned that was his name) behind us.  I looked at my watch and saw that barely five minutes had passed since Dan had told Katie he wouldn't be ordering right away. So went the evening as Katie busily kept trying to get drinks and taking orders for the large group and Dan behind us kept shouting "Katie" every time she walked by ordering more food (still ten minutes left before his friend was going to get there), wanting more of this, or that. Finally his friend was obviously near from the conversation he was having on his phone and I heard him tell Mike that he had already ordered because he hadn't thought that Mike was coming. I checked my watch, still five minutes before Mike had said he was going to arrive.

By this time, we had finished up with our meal that consisted of a steamed Tilapia and Spicy Northern Beef on fried noodle sticks, both of which were excellent and had been waiting for Katie to catch up and stop by so we could get a couple of boxes for the leftovers and get our ticket. But Dan kept shouting Katie every time she walked by asking for this or that, informing her that his friend was coming any minute and hoping she could get his order in without having to wait until after the large group was served. I had finally decided that Katie wasn't going to give us any attention with the large group and Dan taking it all up, so after she delivered yet more drinks to the large group now over twenty strong and taking up half the tables in the restaurant, I put my hand in the air to flag her down as she walked past. She was still a good fifteen feet from me and had just noticed that I was trying to get her attention when I heard Dan shout, "Katie!"

It was all I could do to restrain myself from giving him an evil eye and if Katie had ignored us for him I would have at least said some choice words but she stopped at our table and requested that I would like a box for the leftovers and the check. Another ten minutes would go by with Katie still bring more drinks, appetizers and food and yet no boxes. Dan shouted Katie another two times and his friend Mike finally arrived. I finally stood up and walked into the galley to get a box when Katie looked up from getting more drinks and told me that she was getting me a box. I wanted to say that obviously she was getting drinks and ignoring everyone else for the large group and Dan but I just bit my tongue and stood there until she came back and finally got me two boxes.

As I was boxing up our leftovers, Dan was loudly telling Mike that he had been coming to this restaurant every Saturday night for five years and always sat in the same booth. I almost ran up the aisle the other way and ended up waiting at the cashier's stand for another five minutes until I could pay and leave. The last thing I heard as I made my way through the front door was "Katie!"


R. Sherman said...

It never ceases to amaze me how rude or inconsiderate of others some people are.

BTW, it sounds like the owner needs a stand-by server.


Ed said...

R. Sherman - He evidently does. She came in, took off her coat and rang me out at the register while apologizing that she had only gotten the call fifteen minutes ago.

I should also state that while Katie seemed to get preoccupied on one large group to the point of forgetting about her other customers, the owner/chef never did. He personally brought out our meals, checked in on us and made sure we loved the food. It is for that reason why I will probably continue to go back however I may opt to sit away from Dan's usual booth on Saturdays.

Bone said...

Ha, way to bring that one full circle.

We were in a restaurant a couple of weeks ago and got seated near the bar. There was one guy sitting at the bar. He kept trying to chat up the male bartender. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Oh, did I mention he was drinking Sierra Mist? Kinda reminded me of your "regular."