1. The Green Bean Incident
A few years ago, on Mother's Day, my family decided to meet at a mom-n-pop diner for Mother's Day brunch. We were in a town, population 7,200, that I don't dine in very often.
The young waitress was doing a fine job-as we were a bit of a larger party (about 10 or so) on a day many decided to treat their mothers out. As she told us about the specials, she mentioned the vegetable of the day was green beans. Then she proceeded to go around and take everyone's order.
For some reason, I was in a conundrum over whether I wanted to green beans or not and decided to ask the waitress about them.
Me: 'How are the green beans prepared?'
Me: 'Yes, are they sauteed or steamed?'
Her: 'Uh, steamed, I guess.'
Me: 'Ok, that sounds great-I'll have those with my entree.'
The waitress seemed a little baffled by my questioning of something so trivial and I couldn't help, but to be a little irritated by her confusion. That was, until my food arrived.
As she set down the platter and the side dish of green beans-I almost started laughing out-loud. Not at her, but at myself. You see, as soon as those green beans were put on the table, I recognized them. They were not steamed or sauteed at all! They came from a can. Because in a breakfast-lunch-diner establishment, they are working on the side of efficiency and are making no claims of farm-to-fork and nor do they care. I had been so wrapped up in my own little foodie world-I forgot that sometimes, in some places-I'm the only resident.
2. The Wine List
A friend of mine and his girlfriend heard about a little cafe in a little neighboring town and decided to go there for dinner. He told me how scenic the little cafe was, how it was cozy and there was working fireplace in the dining room. They requested a table near the fireplace and proceeded to look over the menu.
When the waitress arrived, my friend requested to see the wine list. To which the waitress responded, "Dude, we have a red, a white and a white zin. That's the wine list." My friend, embarrassed, ordered his glass of 'red' and enjoyed the rest of their evening. With the occasional chuckle about how they probably came off to the waitress.
3. The Mayo Incident
At work one day I had to make up some boxed lunches for a meeting. They are fairly simple and straightforward containing a sandwich, cookie and two types of salad (of the person's choice). This went without incident until the next day when the manager received a rather disgruntled email from one of the attendees regarding how the broccoli salad contained mayonnaise. Apparently, she felt that mayonnaise was a ridiculous addition to the salad and couldn't fathom why we would ever think to include it, as mayo 'only belongs in France'.
After an apologetic email and offering to change the salad for her specifically in the event of a future order, the lady was still showing signs of agitation that our recipe contained mayo. Apparently, in her opinion, Americans don't eat mayonnaise.