Monday, May 18, 2009

Maddie's Birthday Dinner

If this is indeed the 'restaurant of the future' you may count me as among those who prefers to dine in restaurants of the past.

Speaking of, we took Maddie out for her birthday dinner last night to a restaurant called The Melting Pot, which is a fondue joint that combines the communal dining experience, say, of Benihana with the do-it-yourself process of making s'mores around a campfire. Definitely fun, but not necessarily haute cuisine.

Nor was it meant to be, of course. With this in mind we actually had a very nice meal. The only trouble was digesting all that cheese, wine and chocolate. I had to sleep sitting up and it was no better for Valery or Maddie, who don't even suffer from the acid reflux that bedevils me every time I have a late meal.

To top it off, after the waiter cleverly extracted from me the fact that I work at H_____, when the bill arrived, it was zero. Now, we had just talked with the owner, who took the time to come by our table and see how we were enjoying it, but he never gave a hint of his generous intent.

After all, I usually never allow my association with the business to come up because I don't want it to seem like I am angling for special attention. I prefer to pass judgment on a restaurant based on my experience with the food, not the service. Not that service isn't important--the reader will doubtless recall plenty of previous posts stake out my position on service--but if and when the food doesn't measure up, even getting it for free won't improve the flavor.

The post facto indigestion notwithstanding, the food was quite good and I'd have said so even if I'd had to pay for the meal. Of course, the server got the best deal, since I left him nearly what I would have paid had I been presented the full bill, but the owner gets high marks for the gesture. These days I can't afford to return the favor, quid pro quo, but I will certainly welcome him to H______ with a special treat when and if he comes in!

1 comment:

Trevor W Goodchild said...

Sweet! Now thats what i call conviviality of the restaurant scene!

10 years ago, I worked for Free Birds, and the employees have long since spread out amongst different businesses, but the camaraderie remains and often there will be an unexpected free movie rental or meal what have you...this is what Austin is all about.

Tell Maddie I wish her a belated birthday, I have been lax i fear in keeping up with your posts.

cheers

Trevor