I think I must have had a black cloud over me today when it came to eating at restaurants.
It all started at lunch when I took a HairBoutique.com team member to GrandLux at the Dallas Galleria. It was right on our way to pick up some HairBoutique.com products. I suggested stopping because the last time I went to GrandLux with my guy for dinner, we had a valet problem.
A valet problem? Yes, strange as it seems when we arrived for dinner at 8:45 pm the valet barked at us. He said "you will have to be finished with your dinner by 10 because I leave then." That was a little weird, but we didn't think too much of it except that the valet was just rude. The valet problem got worse when we went into the restaurant and were told that there was a one hour wait. Sheesh. There was no way we could eat and be back to the valet in time. So we left without waiting for a table.
You guessed it, the valet still charged us full price for parking even though we were in the restaurant for all of five minutes. My guy deemed GrandLux off limits which is the kiss of death for any restaurants I like. Once he puts a restaurant on his black list, he refuses to go there again. At least for the next nine months or so. Which means if I love the restaurant, I have to go there without him. Or completely give it up too.
Which is what I was doing today with my HairBoutique.com team member. Going to the GrandLux without him since it is still on his black list.
Unfortunately, once we were seated at our table, our waiter approached looking quite ill. As he was taking our drink order he turned his head and sneezed and coughed into his hand. YUCK. He walked away coughing louder and harder. When he returned to our table with our drinks, we noticed he sounded extremely congested and his nose appeared to be running.
Being a human flu magnet, I was completely freaked out. I didn't want to get the waiter in trouble, but I didn't want to catch whatever bug he happened to have. I called over the manager and told him that our waiter was very polite, but I was completely paranoid because he was coughing, sneezing and seemed to be ill. The manager, Billy, apologized and within seconds we had a new waiter who was great.
Billy The Manager At GrandLux Was Fantastic
I was so impressed with Billy and how he handled the situation I promised myself I was going to lobby my guy about removing GrandLux from his black list.
I was so happy with the removal of the ill waiter that I relaxed and completely enjoyed my meal. Not only do I love the food at GrandLux, I love the atmosphere and the service, which is normally cough free. The manager, Billy, came back to our table to check on us twice. I was extremely impressed as was my companion. Even the valet was polite and very prompt with our car. What started as a scary experience turned out fantastic and GrandLux received 5 stars in my book.
Maggianos In Plano
Maggianos in Plano is another one of my favorite places to eat. I love the lasagna with Alfredo sauce. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but try it sometime instead of the red sauce. When my guy picked me up he asked where I wanted to eat. I said Maggianos would be nice. Yummmm.
He warned me that Friday night could be tough. I reminded him that they had a call ahead policy. I even have their phone number programmed into my iPhone as a Fav. I called and asked how long the wait for a table was. They said "no wait at all". Really I asked? "That's correct" they said emphatically. I told them that we were on our way and "would be there in less than 10 minutes". I also asked "could we please put our name on the list for a table?" he hostess replied.
I was thrilled. Two of my favorite restaurants in one day. How cool is that? How wrong I was.
We arrived in exactly 10 minutes and walked in the door and gave our name. The hostess said "oh you have to wait". I politely said, well we literally called 10 minutes ago and were told there was no wait. She said, well it will only be 10-15 minutes for a table. Huh? That's weird. I asked if she had our name and she said she did. But you still have to wait for a table.
OK. So my guy turned to me and said "your favorite restaurant just lied to us about the wait." Ugh. I knew that was a bad omen. After waiting 15 minutes we were called and they showed us to what must be the absolute worst table in the restaurant. It was the table right inside the front door where everyone has to walk by to get to their tables. Even worse, people were spilling over from the adjacent table.
We saw the table they were taking us too, after already waiting 15 minutes after being told there was "no wait" and leaving our name. My guy gave me a look and I knew that it was all over. He told the hostess we didn't want to sit at that table.
That was it, he wanted to leave. So we left the restaurant, tipped the valet for our 15 minute wait for a table that we didn't take and left to go eat somewhere else.
I knew it was going to happen. My guy said "well, now they are on my list too". He pointed out that if they had a wait, they should have told us and not that there was no wait. He pointed out that for a restaurant to go from no wait to a 15 minute wait in the ten minutes it took us to get there, was just crazy. I had to agree even though visions of lasagne was floating in my head.
Of course now I am not only disappointed because of what happened, I know I won't be going to Maggianos in Plano anytime soon. If ever again. Yes, there are other Italian restaurants in North Dallas, even GrandLux has a great lasagne. But it is still disappointing.
I don't get to eat out very much because I usually work so late, there's little time to stop. So when I do get to go out to a restaurant, I want to go somewhere that I really enjoy.
At least my experience at GrandLux turned out really great - kudos to Billy. Even though my experience at Maggianos, turned out bad - no more calling ahead or even visiting if my guy has his way.
What would you do if you experienced a coughing, sneezing waiter? What would you do if you called ahead to a restaurant and were told no wait but then had to wait when you arrived even after they said they could take your name for a table?
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