Sep 21, 2007

Friends of David Lunch: Good Food with a Bad Attitude

I recently (today) invited some friends of mine downtown for lunch. I had threatened to have lunch with several people in the last few months and had to bail out for some reason or another so I decided to invite everyone to a "Friends of David" lunch. Don't worry if you weren't invited. It probably just means I don't love you as much as someone else. :-) Really, it just means I wanted to limit the group to 10.

I called ahead to BluePlate to reserve a table. BluePlate has been on my "must try" list for a while. I had heard really good things. Old school soda fountain, comfort food, and a daily menu made it seem like a great idea. So today the crew (Jeremy, Chris, David, and Suba) piled in to the Skylark and headed to Downtown P-town for some grub.

When we arrived we found friend Aaron guarding our table with his life. In the end, only 6 of the 9 FODs that had RSVP'd showed up but we had a great time anyway. David and Aaron talked shop and debated mobile phone features (Aaron was fresh from IDF) while Suba, Jeremy, Chris, and I debated Brittany Spears' career trajectory (Chris is a HUGE Brittany fan, very emotional right now) and why the BluePlate logo was not blue and did not incorporate a plate. We laughed, we cried (Chris), we ate some DELICIOUS food.

BluePlate has a different menu everyday. Today's features were BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, Meatloaf sandwiches, and something else I can't remember. I ordered an Eastern Connection (orange, ginger, lemongrass, and kefir lime leaf) with my meatloaf sandwich. My meatloaf sandwich was perfect. Homestyle meatloaf was nestled between white garlic-toast with a couple tomatoes, lettuce and onion. The garlic-toast was a pleasant surprise and made up for the lack of ketchup-brown sugar crust that I grew up with. My Eastern Connection was a unique and refreshing sweet and sour concoction that kept me sipping. The rest of Team FOD rounded out our selections with a couple three-scoop milkshakes and an IBC rootbeer float. Chris had the grilled-cheese and I was a little jealous.

Good food, great ambiance, and good friends. What a perfect lunch! However, one sentence muttered hastily through gritted teeth ruined our entire lunch.

As our delicious food settled in our stomachs and we made lazy motions toward the door, the chef came by our table. I had barely noticed his presence, but I am sure his face was contorted in fury and he said, "Just so you know, I lost about 150 bucks today because of you!"

And then he, contorted face and all, walked off. WTF???? Our collective jaws dropped. Again, WTF???? Why on earth would someone say something like that? I debated going over and giving this fellow a piece of my mind but decided not to. I figured I wasn't going to be able to teach this IDIOT the principles of customer service in 30 seconds. I would probably end up telling him to eff-off and his reaction would have certainly be no improvement.

On the ride home we puzzled over his words. He had, in one sentence, ruined our entire lunch. David L. offered, "If he had said two sentences, he could have ruined an entire week!" The once savored aftertaste of my delicious meatloaf sammy now only taunted me! Such good food ruined by a complete asshole.

I'm not sure how he figured we cost him $150 but it will never add up. This isn't a fucking math problem. I'm assuming he was upset that our party of 10 ended up to be a party of 6. Even if we follow his deluded logic, he would have had to turn away about 13 customers (at an average of $11 a plate) in about 15 minutes in order to "lose" that much money. I didn't do a formal study, but I don't think there was 1 customer a minute coming up to the door and saying, "shucks! I guess I can't eat at BluePlate!"

As soon as we realized we weren't going to have 10 people, we gave up our additional table. I was disappointed that the turnout was not as good as expected, but we did have 6 people. I'm pretty sure we aren't the first reservation to ever come up short. Besides, what would have happened if we underestimated?

ANYWHOO, if I had been able to pierce through the frustrated soul of this a-hole, I would have said this, "How much money did that one sentence cost you? $150? More? Possibly THOUSANDS of dollars?"

Its funny how someone who can create such brilliantly nuanced food could reduce their own art to a simple math equation. I hope he figures it out.


MediumTall said...

WOW, I left right before the sparks flew! Amazing. I guess we just need to hope that a miracle happens and he gets a clue or he continues on his current course and the business fails.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that. I'm never going there again. Maybe he was just upset that you didn't invite him.