On Saturday, our family and my sister along with her boys (in town visiting from TX) did a boat day out on Lake Washington. Super fun- sunshine, music, water sports. We planned to grab some dinner and then attend the outdoor movie at Carillon Point at dusk. We made a reservation for 8 people at The Beach Cafe. I'm not sure at what exact point we may have crossed over into the Twilight Zone, but the night quickly went downhill from the moment we walked through their door.
We were seated on the side patio, which was lovely. Clearly the location and sweeping lake views are the Beach Cafe's biggest asset, because they have forgotten how to make food and deliver it to tables, typically key ingredients in successful restaurant operation. It took 20 minutes for us to be greeted by our waiter to whom we explained our state of starvation and promptly ordered. 40 minutes later and there's still no food. When Steve asks to speak to a manager, a woman comes out and starts laundry-listing excuses of 'an emergency in the kitchen' and 'another table's food.' To which Steve replies, "This is a restaurant. Aren't there supposed to be tables of people that you bring food to?" In our famished delirium the rest of us start laughing, but it's really no laughing matter as now we have a teary-eyed seven year old with his head on the table and I'm considering eating my arm. Ten more minutes and another manager magically appears (still no food). He's from 'upstairs' (bin on the lake?) and tells us how incredibly busy they are up there too and how very sorry he is. He'd like to offer us 50% off our bill. Uh.....ok....but where's our FOOD? We're debating whether we should cut our losses and go eat elsewhere or if that will end up taking longer. I could have fished something out of the lake faster than it took our super soggy calamari to arrive. And then more plates- it's a miracle! But wait-- that's 1,2,3,4 of them. Ten minutes later 2 more arrive. And we are 8 people. One missing entree was mine and I can see how someone might think I could stand to miss a meal. But the other missing dinner was that of the super testy 7 year old that is on the brink of a hunger breakdown. Waiting Waiting, it must be just coming around the corner, right? Then we notice other tables nearby also complaining. The place wasn't even full (no wonder, right?).
Our poor waiter who has mostly hidden through this embarrassing situation did finally present himself again with a heartfelt apology for the many mishaps that occurred. I felt bad for the guy. I've waited tables before and nothing is worse than when your kitchen can't get their part of the job done for ya. But I also think he could have been more communicative and creative perhaps by holding us off with some bread and drinks. He then proceeded to inform us, "Obviously you don't have to pay tonight." At this point we decided our last 2 meals were likely never going to appear and so we headed up to the outdoor movie which we were now late for. It sounds like this experience isn't too out of the ordinary. Someone else told us they had (tried to have..) lunch their the other day and it never came.
So then the Twilight Zone continues, as there is a woman sitting in my chair for the movie (one that I brought from home and set out earlier). My son had told her it was ours and she brushed him off saying she was waiting for a taxi and enjoying the movie. I sat in our chair next to her and gently tapped her on the leg and leaned in and said excuse me....nothing...glassy eyed and laughing like a zombie at the screen. Lights were on but nobody was home. Apparently she had already been removed from one of the other restaurants and a cab was called. Security came and removed her. Icing on the cake to our super weird night that left me hungry and confused. ~j