My favorite deeds have become the ones where the Good Guy role changes several times during the story. Tonight was one of those times.
You may remember my shilling outside of the local taco restaurant a couple of months ago, telling passersby they simply must stop in for a bite. Now the same owners have taken the first, tiny joint they were in and turned it into a dumpling den. I couldn’t wait for it to open.
But it did, at last, this evening. And the papers had already been given a taste, evidently, because the reviews were in: fantastic. So I trundled over to pay my respects. Jammed. And the place had only been open two hours! I kissed the owners (who, it should be told, have offered me an extra culinary treat every single time I’d visited the former site), found a stool by the window, and squeezed in.
Well, no one could have seen this coming — seems, as kitchen people say, that they were “in the weeds” a little already. Things seemed sluggish, some diners agitated.
Here’s the tale of what transpired, and how we each tried to out-good each other:
1) I arrive for opening night to show my support.
2) Every seat seems to be taken. This does not deter my support. I find a stool and cram myself into a 14-inch space along a ledge.
3) I order, and I wait. And wait.
4) Waitress offers me free drink. I decline, but inquire about my food. I am told it went it to wrong table.
5) I continue to be a delightful customer. And wait. (Did I mention this was just dumplings?)
6) Another half-hour passes. I am told my meal will be comped. (I love free food – who doesn’t?) Now I’m excited.
7) Dumplings arrive. Scrumptious.
8 I tell waitress to bring me check, regardless of boss’ orders. “OK,” she shrugs.
9) I sit and feel good about myself.
10) Waitress returns. “No go on the check,” she reports. “Still free.”
11) I give her a huge tip, and thank her.
Hold your tongue. (Except for dumplings.)