Monday, April 21, 2008
Minnesota nice, Miami Vice.
Some bars/restaurants are opened with the unspoken understanding that their longevity is based solely on how long their gimmick can last before it starts stinking like Aunt Penny's tuna salad sitting in 100-degree heat at the yearly potluck.
Saturday night we went to one such place, called Restaurant Miami, located in the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis.
I should note here that this particular place opened about a year ago- a fact that only serves to prove how monumentally uncool I am. I can't even be bothered to go to the "of the minute" place within a YEAR. Christ, I'm boring.
This place has a "retro 80's" "Miami Vice" theme to it. Everything is white and neon, and we were treated to the likes of Paula Abdul (pre-Idol, pre-schizophrenic) and theme songs from the popular movies of the decade BLARING from the sound system.
Overall, the theme worked, but I could have done without the lit up plastic palm trees and cheesy "VIP" section. Seriously- the place was almost empty. Perhaps it is eternally reserved for Crockett and Tubbs, who knows?
We were there with our friends J and D, who live in the area and go out a lot. When they suggested this place I said "Um, why?", knowing full-well that it would be "interesting", but not great.
If we're keeping score:
J & D: 0.
I'll give them credit, though, the drink names are pretty awesome. They're all named after lines from the movie "Scarface" and have names like "Her womb is so polluted" and "Another quaalude and she'll love me in the morning". I had something the name of which I can't remember except that it had an unfortunate word in the title that my delicate constitution prevents me from repeating, and it was delicious. Kind of a super-lemony martini. Unfortunately, however, our drink order was the first of many, many moments during this meal where we questioned our server's ability to both read and understand basic human hand signals.
We all ordered different drinks, yet when she dropped them off not only did she not remember who had what, but the first two drinks that she set down she referred to by the same name, even though one was neon pink and one was vivid green. Mr. WM got something he was sure wasn't right, but wasn't entirely sure was wrong either.
A few minutes later, after we properly distributed the drinks ourselves by going back and referencing the menu like some sort of adult pop quiz, our server came back with another drink, saying that the bartender made the wrong drink entirely and here is the right one.
So, whatever. The Mr. got a free fruity-girly drink for free, all was right in the world.
Whatever, indeed. Unfortunately we were too subdued by the delicious cocktails to notice the universal signs for "hope you don't have any expectations because if you did you'd be fucked".
We ordered our food: I had (and I should note here that the menu is kind of small, as they are more of a "bar" than a "restaurant") a caprese salad and pesto pasta with chicken (yes, boring- I know. I wasn't feeling 100% and wanted something simple), the Mr. ordered a melon & berry salad and a seafood pasta thingy. J and D ordered calamari as an appetizer, then J ordered Jamaican jerk chicken (seriously, the menu is all over the place) and D ordered crab cakes.
My salad was fine, the calamari (according to my dining companions) was "gross" and the melon & berry salad was seriously an unripe half-cantaloupe with berries in the middle and some sort of strawberry-orange puree/dressing.
I didn't realize "hospital cuisine" was so big in the 80's. Silly me.
When our entrees came, the server brought out three of them and then...nothing. She just walked away and didn't come back. J just sort of sat there and we all started giggling. Then I noticed that there was no chicken in my pasta.
Still no server.
When she finally came back, I asked her (very nicely) about the chicken I had ordered. "Um...you know that's extra, right?" she says.
I replied, "Yes, I knew that when I ordered it, but that's o.k. I don't need it. Really. I just wanted to make sure I don't get charged for the chicken when it isn't here."
"Um...I didn't have that written down. That you wanted chicken." (blank stare)
(So, lesson here: Just don't write anything down and it doesn't exist.)
Me: "Um, fine. Whatever."
She ignores me, tells J his food will just be "a minute" and sort of meanders off. Meanwhile, we are all about halfway done eating (We didn't wait. That's not our style.) and J still has a big fat plate of nothing sitting in front of him.
The server returns.
"Um...o.k. I guess the cook forgot your food. Sorry. It will be a bit, but I'm totally not charging you for it. No one in there speaks any English, you know."
J is being very, very polite and gracious.
"That's fine. No big deal. Can we just order more drinks?"
"Sure." (she pulls out her magic pad of paper. They order cocktails, I order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, which- for the record- is white.)
"What?", she says.
"Oh, Sauvignon Blanc. O.k."
Minutes later, we get our drinks. She plops a glass of red wine in front of me. J and I look at each other and giggle. She walks away without a word.
"I'm just keeping it. It's not worth the effort."
J: "Do you want to bet and see if it says Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon on the bill?"
Me: "Good lord."
J's food comes about the same time the rest of us are done, I drink my red wine, and we all share a decent chocolate cake thingy for dessert.
When the bill comes we realize we have nothing to bitch about as she forgot to charge me AT ALL for my entree, J's entree is comped, one drink was comped and, according to the bill, I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, which I DID get charged for.
You know, I don't care what sort of tax break you get for hiring out of work wannabe actress/models, they just don't make good servers if they can't read, count or process basic cognitive information.
We really should start some sort of charitable trust for these poor people.
What's that? One already exists?
Well, bless their hearts.
Send your checks to:
The Benovelence for Indigent Models and Behaviorists Out of work foundation, or BIMBO
1234 Glassyeyedstare Lane
New York, NY 12345
We thank you.
On another note:
In my ongoing quest to never again wear anything not covered with pet hair, and in an effort to keep my borderline mentally "touched" cat, Pooter, from getting lonely...
I got another damn cat.
That looks just like my first damn cat.
Meet Troubleman, a.k.a. Mr.T: