A long, long time ago, far, far away, I worked at a family restaurant as a waitress. I had other girls there that were my age and we had so much fun in between killing ourselves serving, cleaning, bussing, and restocking. The cooks really liked to give us a hard time. They called me “Bird” and I could hear the big one scream that name from the kitchen when I did something wrong, which was quite often according to them. I can’t remember how many times the line cooks locked me in the walk-in freezer, making it look like I did it, only to “accidentally” find me and rescue me as if they were some kind of heroes. Or a real favorite was when one would sneak in behind an unsuspecting waitress, close the door, and turn the light out just to hear her scream. Dorks.
The restaurant was on a little lake where we liked to ice skate after work in the winter. The lake was shallow and would freeze solid. The restaurant owner would plow it for us so that it would be smooth for our hockey games. That made the long and hard work worth it. One summer evening I was in the Green House, which was one of our more popular dining rooms, cleaning up and saw a hot air balloon crash out back behind the lake. I went screeching thought the kitchen yelling, “call 911, call 911 a hot air balloon just crashed!” No one believed me, the nerve. It did sound ridiculous as no one hot air balloons in South Jersey.
During a very busy dinner rush while I was taking this old lady’s order, she caught her menu on fire from the center piece lantern. I definitely noticed and wondered how long it would take her to notice. She never did. I grabbed the burning menu from her hands, blew out the fire and handed it back to her so she could finish ordering. Did you know she ratted me out and said that I grabbed the menu from her. My boss was on my side this time as the big burn hole gave her away. She still stiffed me though.
THE VEGGIE PLATTER
Anyway the Vegetable Platter was a very popular menu choice. There was always at least 10 vegetables to choose from along with staples such as potato salad, coleslaw, and apple sauce. One could choose 4 vegetables which were anchored to a plate by a fluffy mound of homemade mashed potatoes that almost tasted fake they put so much butter and milk. Each of the four veggies were divided with a little triangle of toast to fancy it up some. Last night we had Veggie Night in which I tried to make at least one of every one’s favorite vegetable. FAIL. I made roasted cauliflower and broccoli, yams, corn, Harvard Beets, pinto beans, and a raw vegetable tray with Ranch Dip. I enjoyed the meal immensely but I think my kids went to bed hungry.
Have you ever waited tables? Any good stories?