The best part of the experience, aside from the company.
We stopped in at a little joint Sunday afternoon down in the West Village, Tortilla Flats, hereafter referred to as the place with the worst service. Ever.
Our party of three arrived at what I think of as the “shoulder season” of dining hours, around 3:30 or so. There was a distinct lack of greeting after we entered, but the bartender finally acknowledged us and directed us to the lone waiter, Mr Frazzled and Angry. Just like his hair. He agreed to seat us and selected the only unoccupied dirty table. Naturally, it needs to be bussed and wiped, which he did in between other tasks. His sense of prioritizing was poor.
We sat and perused the menu, giving the margarita list the bulk of our attention. We selected a path to tequila awareness (Sauza Hornitos) and waited for the server’s return. We waited a long ass time, actually. We waited so long that we finally sent a representative to the bar to place the order directly with the bartender. In a remarkably rapid fashion, the server brought us our pitcher, with the correct number of glasses salted (2 out of 3) and garnished with limes. Drinking commenced.
About midway through our first drinks we again flagged the server down to place an order for nachos with sides of guacamole and salsa. A short time later we received our nachos, which were unlike any nachos I’ve ever been served. They were flat, looking more like a quesadilla than a pile of crispy chips topped with cheese and beans and whatnot. For clarification we inquired if we had been served the correct item and to remind the server that we had also ordered a couple of sides and that utensils, plates and napkins would be helpful. With a remarkable level of surliness for a human being over the age of 16 or so, he retrieved our guacamole and salsa, but no plates or napkins.
At this point we were drinking our second drinks on fairly empty stomachs. You see, we didn’t have plates or napkins or utensils with which to eat our food. Even though those are all obviously, to most, considered essential items when consuming food. Eventually, once the ray of sunshine who was our “server” had cleared a neighboring table (which was unoccupied) and stood at the bar for a few minutes, we received plates and napkins. Silverware never was provided. The (finger)food was tasty.
My commitment at that particular moment in time was weighted heavily in favor of the tequila, so I elected to not sit that kid down to painstakingly itemize all of the lapses in service which he had committed. Our interlude ended on a high note when the waiter inquired how everything was – a question he posed for the first and only time as we paid the check. We were able to exit the restaurant laughing, a state I don’t imagine he was able to replicate with the paltry, yet still generous, 15% tip we left for him. At least there’s always tequila, buddy.