Tonight I went out with Shannon and Julia (aka JLo). Whenever Shannon and I get together, things tend to become a little interesting (see The Interview Adventure or Dinner with Amy H for examples), and tonight was another dining fail.
First off, let me say that I wanted to go to The Olive Garden. I love The Olive Garden. I'm a big fan of pasta and their breadsticks are the bee's knees. However, Shannon and Julia wanted to go to Open Sesame. Trumped by chicks again! I'd never been to Open Sesame before (in fact I'd never heard of it) so I figured it's always good to check out a new place. Because I had never heard of the place, I had no idea where it was. A quick check with Google and I found the address. While getting the address, I noticed there were several reviews about the restaurant, and the average rating of the restaurant was a solid three out of five stars. I didn't like that rating too much, so I figured I would read some reviews and find out what was good and bad about Open Sesame.
The reviews almost unanimously panned the service at the restaurant, with most people claiming the staff were rude and not attentive to the tables. There were a few quibbles about the food but the common denominator given by the reviews was shitty service. I wanted to text Shannon and let her know that reviews weren't favourable for the restaurant, but the HSPA network seemed to go down and I couldn't call or text anyone. Open Sesame it would have to be.
I met Shannon and Julia at Open Sesame and we went in. Being a Sunday evening, it was not too busy. A hostess seated us at a half-booth. In other words, the girls took the comfortable padded seats and I got this crappy wooden chair that looked like it was out of a 1915 schoolhouse. My ass was sore just looking at the thing. But it was either that or squat on the table like a masturbating chimpanzee.
I expressed my concerns about the restaurant but JLo emphatically stated that the food was delish and there would be no regrets. I trusted her because her name is Julia, and neither Julia Stiles nor Julia Roberts would ever lie to me, so why would JLo? A short time later, a brillo-headed woman came to the table and told us that our server Matt would be with us shortly. The firecrotch SOS pad took our drink order and then fetched them for us lickity-split. She was actually really nice and was prompt with our drinks, so I'm not sure why I'm being mean. I guess because it's funnier that way. She also took an appetizer order from us (we wanted samosas). They samosas came rather quickly. Things were looking okay as far as service was concerned.
Anyway, Matt never bothered to come to our table and so Curly Sue decided to take our order. All three of us decided to partake in the stir fry buffet. If you're unfamiliar, basically you go around a small buffet and pick out sauces and vegetables. You take your bowl of ingredients to the cooks and they stir fry it and mix it with your choice of noodles or rice. It's a neat idea. Shannon, Julia, and I all filled our bowls with so much stuff that they all were heaping with ingredients. My bowl was so full that I had to perform a delicate balancing act to ensure that everything remained in the pile instead of falling to the floor. We dropped our bowls off at the cooking station and returned to our seats.
Well it was a good forty minutes before anything happened. We all just talked and were having a good time, so it wasn't a big deal. However, that's no excuse. Forty minutes to fry up some noonoos and water chestnuts is ludicrous in a restaurant that was hardly busy. Before our food came to us, "Matt" made his appearance. He had a bowl hair cut...that skater/boarder kind of cut that all the kids are wearing. He also seemed to be either stoned or just really stupid. Perhaps both. I don't recall why he came to our table at first...maybe it was to bring us silverware (which by the way I did not receive). He then went to retrieve our food, which had been sitting ready at the counter for god knows how long. Despite two visits to our table, the dumbass didn't seem to notice that I was lacking eating utensils. We asked for some, and Matt just took a set from the nearest (empty) table. Thanks, man...I could have done that myself.
Shannon, Julia, and I ate our stir fry. It was okay. That's the shining review I can give about the food. It was okay. Is it something I could have made in my own apartment using whatever the hell I have in my fridge at any time? Sure, though I could probably make it taste better because I would add an extra ingredient: LOVE.
Matt swung by once to perform the obligatory "how is everything" check. The girls said it was fine. I said it was okay. He did not bother to inquire as to why I felt it was only "okay," nor did he even seem to be listening to our answers. He then moved on to the next table and then fucked off into the back again. We sat with empty plates for about a half an hour before Curly Sue showed up and bussed the empties off the table. At that time, Julia requested the bill, and Curly Sue obliged rather quickly. We all looked at the bill and then deliberated on an appropriate tip. Yes, Curly Sue did a reasonably good job, but she wasn't responsible at all for our table (she wasn't a hostess, cook, or our server). Matt was more useless than tits on a board, and how much to do tip a cook who throws a bunch of ingredients that were already picked out onto a hot surface and flip them for a few seconds before dumping them all in a bowl? Shannon wanted to leave a goose egg for a tip but Julia and I were a bit more considerate. We eventually agreed on 10%, the bare minimum accepted by society.
We went up to the front to pay our bill and Matt came running out from the back. Seriously...WTF? The guy had such poor presence during our dining experience that he could hardly be considered our server...he was a busboy at best, and a shit-poor one at that! Curly Sue should have taken our payment.
Matt was smiling now and didn't seem to be so emo. It would seem that the prospect of money gets his boat floating, but the prospect of earning that money isn't worth any effort whatsoever. Since we were splitting the bill three ways, Julia first paid for herself and Shannon (Shannon paid Julia her third in cash). I knew when Julia paid first that I was going to be the one that Matt hated, because once he knew what portion I was paying, he would know how much of a tip he would receive. Therefore, I watched Matt carefully. Matt used his index finger to punch in the numbers on the debit machine before passing it to Julia. Then came my turn. He asked how much I was paying and I told him. The smile faded from his lips and he now used his middle finger to punch in the numbers for me. Ooooh, how creative...AND clever! In the history of mankind, no one has ever subtly used their middle finger as an obscene gesture toward a customer. When Matt decided to play the "fuck you" card, I no longer felt guilty about leaving a low tip. I was actually tempted to change how much I wanted to pay, but he would simply deny the offensive gesture and a pointless argument would ensue.
We all left the restaurant and had a good chuckle about Matt Douche's pathetic attempt to express his frustrations. It was briefly discussed and agreed that our visit tonight to Open Sesame would be our last.
Now you know. Open Sesame should be called Open Suckame. As in Open Suckame sideways, you terrible excuse for a restaurant! The only good thing I can really say about that place was that they had some jalapeno peppers at the buffet and now I have a craving for more. Where the hell do I buy jalapeno peppers at 11:45PM on a Sunday evening? Anyone? ANYONE?