I have been wanting to go to Expensive National Chain Steak Restaurant for a while, so Mike used some of our credit card points to get a gift card for us to be able to do that. We went on Sunday. And the food was really good, though I have to say that Mike makes a mean steak that is kind of hard to beat. And we have an excellent creamed spinach recipe. And we can steam broccoli with the best of them. I didn’t have the mashed potatoes, but I hear they are excellent, though The Pioneer Woman’s recipe is pretty hard to beat in my opinion. So I am not sure it was worth all that money, even though it was fun and delicious. The only reason I am even mentioning it is that Mike and I experienced a little drama in the dining room of Expensive National Chain Steak Restaurant that I would like to share with you.
When we got to Expensive National Chain Steak Restaurant, we were the only people there, and we were seated in the dining room. About ten minutes later, another couple came in and was seated at the table directly behind me. Because that makes sense. There’s nowhere else to put them, right? Mike and I rolled our eyes at each other about this development and moved on.
The servers were very attentive (what else did they have to do, really?) and the manager did come by and ask how we were doing. Things were fine, we told him. And then, shortly after he left, the lady behind me started complaining loudly about the time they went to Arizona and she never got any southwestern food and she had to eat at P.F. Chang’s for a week. This went on for quite some time. They were apparently going on another trip and she wanted him to know that she wanted a different sort of experience this time. And she was telling him. Repeatedly. To the point that I was considering turning around and telling the guy that, you know what, he really might want to consider breaking up with her. It would be in his best interests.
After listening to her diatriabe for a while, I told Mike that if the manager came back by, I might say something about why they were seated directly next to us when the entire dining room was empty. But, of course, he’d already done his rounds, so there was no need for him to come back by. So I told Mike that I was going to mention it at the hostess stand as we were leaving, just to say, you know, there’s no reason to seat people directly next to each other when the dining room is completely empty. We did spend a good amount of money and we tipped well, and the whole idea of maybe seating people across the dining room from each other is not completely insane, right?
Now, you guys know that I have been, in the past, a little bit overly aggressive in these sorts of situations. So I was trying to be careful. And I don’t like to make a fuss in restaurants, because I don’t like to be That Guy. The woman opened the door for us, and as I was passing her, I kind of said my piece. And, y’all. She looked completely hurt. I thought she might start crying. I almost made the hostess at Expensive National Chain Steak Restaurant cry. It is possible that I am a terrible person. I don’t mean to be, but it is possible.
To the manager’s credit, I think he saw that something was up, and he headed right over and said we should be talking to him instead of her. Which . . . maybe. I was certainly not trying to make her almost cry. And she’s the one who seated us. To the manager’s discredit, when Mike started explaining the situation (I tagged out and made him take over), the manager (who was well over six feet, bald and tough and intimidating) totally blamed us! He said that we should have asked to be moved and went on and on about how we should have said something and we could have been moved to a private booth. We pointed out that it had gotten worse after he came by, but it was clear he thought we were jerks and idiots. Which, maybe we are. You know me and my jerkish ways.
All I really wanted was for someone to say, “You know what, you’re right, and we’ll consider that when we’re seating people in the future.” We were seated there first and it made it kind of hard for us to ask to move. Plus, we were already settled. We didn’t really want to have to move. My whole thing was that they shouldn’t have been seated next to us to begin with. When it was clear that we were getting nowhere with the manager, we just went out to our car. Mike looked at me and said, “He just blamed us! For where we were seated!” We laughed about it for a while. I added my main concern: “Should we have said we wanted to be moved right in front of the other couple? That was the whole problem! They could hear everything we were saying!”
I guess, Expensive National Chain Steak Restaurant, this is the end of our relationship. If we go back, the manager will probably try to beat us up. Which is kind of a shame, since you didn’t seem to have a lot of customers.