Why not take a friend?

Last night I took my friend Kelly out for dinner at… of course, the O.G.  But a different O.G.  I’ve spent all my time at the Olive Garden in La Mesa, so I wanted to try out my #pastapass in a different location.  There’s only one other restaurant in San Diego and it’s not exactly close, but we considered it an adventure.

It certainly was busier than the one in La Mesa.  I guess that makes sense because it’s over by the airport and all the touristy stuff.  We were told the wait would be about 20 minutes and given one of those vibrating hockey pucks.  Thankfully the wait time was less than 10 minutes, because the entire time we sat at the bar, not one employee acknowledged our existence or took a drink order.  Based on my experience during my second visit, I’d say the staff doesn’t seem *super* well trained on how to handle things when they are really busy.  Having managed a chain cafe myself, I can say that even telling a customer “I’ll be right with you” is much better than just pretending they don’t exist.  Most people are both smart enough to see that a place is busy and kind enough to be patient when you’re overwhelmed, so long as you just extend a little courtesy in return.  (Back in Starbucks days, if I was overwhelmed and understaffed I would occasionally stand on a stool and apologize to the line of 20 people, letting them know that we were understaffed and would do our best.  People generally were much nicer after that.)

One of the reasons I was able to take Kelly with me was that I had the gift card I’d been sent as a means of apology for the terrible service on my second visit.  This enabled *me* to get something different for a change, as I used the gift card for my own meal and my pasta pass for Kelly’s.  I got the Tour of Italy, which was an old-time favorite of mine.  I never used to come close to finishing it when I was younger, but now being older and fatter I had no problem cleaning the plate, minus a little fetuccini.  The food was overall quite good, though the chicken parm was a bit overcooked.  Not badly, but it had that “deep fried” taste.

I enjoyed an Italian margarita, which from what I could tell was just a regular margarita with an add-shot of amaretto.  Kelly had a pretty good glass of red wine along with her pasta, though she barely finished a quarter of her first bowl.  As I’ve mentioned before, I think the first bowl is just too big, which means you either don’t order a second bowl (and I would say thus feel cheated because you didn’t get the “never ending” part of the deal) or you waste most of the first bowl in order to enjoy something different.  Honestly, and I’m not judging here, you’d have to be a fat bastard to be able to finish the first bowl and still enjoy a second or third bowl.  😉

We boxed Kelly’s meal up along with some breadsticks and ended up having it for lunch the next day.  Also, Mom finally got a chance to enjoy the spaghetti and meatballs I brought home to her from my last solo meal, and she was very pleased with it.  That’s good, because I don’t think I blogged about it in here, but last week I got home late after working on changes to my Christmas musical and was starving.  The only thing in the fridge was a plate of spaghetti I’d brought home the night before.  I heated it in the microwave, prepared a plate for it, and grabbed a drink.  When I pulled it out of the microwave it was steaming hot and smelled SO good… until one corner of the box sagged open and the entire meal slid out and right onto my foot/floor.  I was so hungry that if I’d been in my own apartment I’d probably have just scooped it back up onto the plate an eaten it, but my mom has a lot of dogs and doesn’t mop every day and… well, let’s just say I swore quite a bit.  Then I clean the burning hot pasta off of my foot and the floor, grabbed a bag of chips, and went to bed in a terrible mood.

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