Really Bad Service and Eternal Damnation

On Father’s Day, we took my dad to a horrific speakeasy in Soho. To clarify, the food was fine, but the service was so horrifying that we didn’t tip—something I don’t think any of us has ever done. I mean, when the service is bad, I tip 15% and call it harsh.

Arrival

We were escorted downstairs, where the hostess told us to walk “that way.” We walked through a sweltering hot kitchen where the chefs were shaving meat from stakes. As a vegetarian, I did not appreciate that, but to each her own. On the other side of the kitchen, we waited to be acknowledged, which took some time. Eventually, a hostess came over and told us to “wait here.” We stayed where we were, and she huffily commanded, “Sit down!”

Seating

Finally, another hostess came over and took us to a table for two crammed against a wall.

“Is this also ours?” my father asked, pointing to the table for two next to us, which was less than an inch away from ours. There were four of us.

“No,” said the hostess.

Immediately, our waitress came over and told us they had sparkling, still, or tap water. “Can I start you with sparkling or still?” she asked rhetorically. We asked for tap. Then she began rattling off appetizers at lightening speed. “Can we have a minute?” we asked. She said yes, and gave us an extra 19 minutes for free.

Ordering

Twenty minutes later, the waitress returned to take our orders.

Delivery

The waitress delivered our drinks and appetizers. Interestingly, the guacamole we had ordered seemed to be of the deconstructed variety: some chopped tomatoes accompanied by slices of avocado. Later, we were charged separately for these items.

Approximately one minute later, a server came to deliver our entrees. Remember, we were four people sitting at a two-person table. “Are you finished?” the server asked my mom.

“No,” she said. She took a bite, and as her fork was raised, the server took the plate out from underneath her.

“Are you finished?” he asked my brother and dad.

“No,” they said.

The server sighed. “I don’t have anywhere to put these.”

While shoving plates around, he held a wet cutting board over me and dripped water in my lap.

“Excuse me,” I said.

He looked over. “It’s just water,” he said.

Well, I did prefer that to hot lard, but even better would be if he could drip nothing on my lap.

After the server slammed down the rest of the items, he walked away in a huff.

Dessert

…was something we did not order. However, the waitress presumptuously brought over four plates and forks and set them on the table.

After she brought over the check, she stood over us and watched us pay. We paid exact change in cash, because no way were these people getting a tip. As we stood up, the waitress reached across us and scooped up the money, before we had even walked away from the table.

Other Notes

°This restaurant has a bouncer.

°Every employee who passed our table gave us side eye, like we were going to steal something.

°My plate had crap on it, but since that has happened at other restaurants, I decided it wasn’t crucial to the story.

°We went to a lovely whiskey bar and sat outside after this. A homeless man came over and asked us for money. When we said no, he threatened us with eternal damnation for approximately five minutes, until the bartender chased him away.

2 thoughts on “Really Bad Service and Eternal Damnation

  1. That sounds horrific, but I am not surprised that on a celebration night in NY the tables would be crowded together, the wait staff would be rude and rushed, and the whole experience would be entirely unpleasant. You didn’t mention the noise — I am imagining having to shout to be heard. I really hate that! Glad the whiskey bar was more or less ok. PS: I’ve heard worse stories from friends about NYC restaurants. Seems like not leaving a tip was a really good idea — surely sends a message…. But Happy Father’s Day belatedly Dad!

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