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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Talking NOT A Cheffie Dinnner

    This was in the local paper from home:

    Hilarious dining disaster worthy of Basil Fawlty

    Pam Freir, Times Colonist Published: Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    It was a dining experience that John Cleese would be proud to have scripted. It made the buffoons at Fawlty Towers look like a Michelin all-star team. And it all began as a casual night out, a reunion in Toronto with old friends. Our hosts selected the venue, a Belgian cafe, one of their favourite local haunts.

    Posted at the entrance was a notice informing us that the restaurant was due to close in a few weeks and thanking us for our patronage. Apart from that small portent of doom, first impressions were good. The place was handsome and spacious with plush banquettes and sumptuously set tables. There were more waiters than patrons, I noticed, but that was all right: we'd be well served.

    The wine list was extensive: eight pages long and pretty much inaccessible. We found just three offerings under $100, all Chiantis. We chose Chianti No.1.

    I thought at first our waiter was near-sighted. He squinted, he squirmed, he chewed his pencil, and asked us to please indicate our choice once again. We did, spelling it out carefully. He took lengthy notes and scampered off.

    We turned to the menu. This too made for copious reading but consisted mostly of mussels: moules Provencal, moules Florentine, moules in a Calvados sauce -- moules every which way imaginable. Three of us chose moules.

    Then our wine arrived. The waiter -- Roland was his name -- looked pleased with himself. This, he announced, was the last of this particular Chianti left in the cellar. Well, we thought, how lucky. So we drank up Chianti No.1 and ordered more: our fallback this time, Chianti No. 2. Roland was back in a flash, full of apologies. They were all out of Chianti No. 2 unfortunately. Would we consider a similar vintage, on his personal recommendation, in its place? He produced his peace offering: it was -- miracle of miracles -- a bottle of Chianti No.1!

    When they arrived, the moules proved equally puzzling. Mine were bloated and dry. There was no evidence of any kind of sauce, but I'd forgotten what I'd ordered by this time so it hardly mattered. My husband, the Calvados enthusiast, was glooming over his mussels as well -- equally swollen, equally overcooked, and 100 per cent sauce-free. One of our friends fared less well: her bowl consisted solely of shells -- no mussels, just little nubs where mussels had indubitably been. She hailed our waiter, explaining that as she was quite hungry she would really like something to eat. Preferably mussels. We decided that, under the circumstances, more wine was in order. We would have another bottle of the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't Chianti No. 1.

    Our friend's second bowl of mussels were of the same nub-like proportions as the first. Not to worry, she said, she'd settle for broth: there was none. The wine that came to the table was, to our thrilled amazement, another substitution: Chianti No. 2! Roland giggled, as baffled it would seem, as we were. He was, I now realized, royally, happily drunk.

    On to dessert: one order of creme brulee, and two creme caramel. Roland squirmed again. He was deeply sorry, but there was no more creme brulee. Fine. A chocolate mousse would be acceptable instead. We waited, breathless. He reappeared with two creme brulees for the people who had been witless enough to order caramel. And no chocolate mousse. They were clean out. Sorry. To compensate, he offered to bring us one of everything that was left on the dessert menu. We accepted the challenge: one chocolate tart and something unidentifiable which nobody ate. It didn't matter. We were laughing so uproariously by now that our aching tummies could accommodate nothing more.

    When we bid goodnight to the harried Roland, my husband expressed regret that the restaurant would soon close and asked what plans he had for the future. Roland shrugged.

    "No problem," he said. "There's always work for an experienced waiter."

    pam@gulfislandswireless.com


    **now before someone slams me for putting this in the wrong place.... apparently I can't read header text today... my apologies. RH.**
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.


  2. #2
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Default

    But did they mention the war....?!!
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Default

    I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that one.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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