Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Not a review, but an experience I should share.

Took a month off from updating...but not from eating.

If I were the kind of blogger who gave ratings with cute icons...well, I'd be a different kind of blogger and this a different kind of blog. If either of those were the case, however, I would have had to come up with a whole new icon to relate my feelings about what happened to #1DC Antoinette and me two weeks ago.

Out for breakfast one Saturday morning, we cruised the neighborhood looking for something that might jump out at us. I suggested the Nickel Diner, but we decided it was a little expensive for our tastes that morning. I then suggested the Brite Spot. I hadn't been in a few months and never for breakfast. After that fateful morning, though, I may never, ever go again...

You will not see a lot of pictures in this post since it is not a review. I didn't go to the Brite Spot to review it. I went to get some breakfast, to strap on a feed bag and go to work. I was off the clock.

We walked inside, racing another couple to get a spot since we could see people piling up at the door. The Brite Spot is divided into two sections. On the right hand side I saw the waitress that I had had there a couple of times. She was clearing a table for us when I noticed my friend Dan (author of Banana) and his fiance sitting at a table on the left. We went over to say hello and they invited us to join them. They had just ordered so there shouldn't have been that much of a discrepancy between when their food and ours arrived.

The waitress in this section was a anemic blonde running at half speed--no--make that quarter speed. After a little under ten minutes, we got our menus and in a little under an additional ten minutes, we ordered. Our order was simple: oatmeal with banana for #1 DC and a breakfast burrito for me. We both got coffee as well and proceeded drink a lot of it. The refills came at a decent pace since another person entirely was handling that function. After about fifteen minutes, our friends got their food--at least most of it. Halfway through they realized they had never gotten their toast. After flagging down our waitress and reminding her of the toast, she paused for a few seconds and replied, "Oh, right." Then she moved on.

After about five minutes of our watching people who had been seated at the counter after us getting their food, our waitress brought the toast. "Umm, sorry.. it got all messed up. Better late than never."

Your waitress saying that about your food is just...wrong. It goes beyond terrible service.

We then reminded her about our food. " Oh, yeah.... it's coming." #1DC Antoinette suggested that we leave, but I don't walk out of places. I just don't. It's not something I am comfortable doing. I see it through.

At this point our friends were done eating. We talked for another ten or so minutes, waiting for the check to arrive. They finally had to flag her down again to get the check. She avoided eye contact with our side of the table. [Remember waiters: give the gift of eye contact.] Now, remember what our order was? Oatmeal with banana and a breakfast burrito. These take twenty minutes at home. We have now spent close to an hour at our table.

Our friends went up to pay and we said our goodbyes. After a moment, our food arrived. I took a bite of my burrito. Antoinette took a bite of her oatmeal. "It's cold," she replied. I jammed my finger into the wet mound of cereal and felt that it was, indeed, cold.

That was it. I had taken all I could take and I couldn't take any more. We got up and walked to the door. Our friends were still at the counter waiting to pay. As we walked past they asked what happened. "It's cold!" we announced and finished our walk out the door.

Dan said he watched the slow realization dawn on the face of the waitress when she looked over and saw an empty table.

This was such a bad experience that I did something I never do. I had done it only once before and that was at a Guatemalan restaurant that had stale chips and a wait staff who blatantly ignored us. I might go back to Brite Spot again someday; it's near where I live; it's near where I hang out; if I do decide to return, I will certainly refuse to sit in this waitress' section again.

All's well that ends well, however. We ended up having a delicious German brunch at the Red Lion Tavern on Glendale Blvd.

Brite Spot
1918 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 484-9800

Red Lion Tavern (only open for breakfast Saturdays and Sundays at 11am)
2366 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 662-5337

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