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Dinner At Luigi’s . . . And “The New Waitress”

Jan 14

filed under: Living In Fountain Hills, Shopping and Good Eats

Dinner At Luigi's Pizza & Pasta and The New WaitressLast night Howard and I had a dinner experience that was shall we say “comical”. It was one of those spare of the moment decisions as I had seen a 20% off your entire meal coupon from Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta, one of our really good local Italian restaurants. Plus it was only good through last night, and the thrifty side of my brain along with the lazy side commiserated and said “what are you waiting for?” So off we went at 6:30 pm. Now let me set the stage here. It was obvious to me as soon as we arrived that 20% off might have been mistaken for ” come have a free meal” because the place was packed. Once we were seated I took note of where our table was logistically in the room. I had a birds eye view of  the waitress/waiter station, you know the place where they keep the silverware, add up the customer checks etc. I also had a good view of all the waitresses flying around the room at breakneck speeds and I could see that maybe they might have been on the short handed side.

I must say it did not take long for our seemingly frazeled waitress to come over, introduce herself, and initiate taking our order.  “I’ll have the spaghetti and meatballs and a diet coke”. “What kind of dressing would you like on your salad” she asks? “What are my choices I respond”. She immediately turns toward Howard, looks directly at him and begins to rattle off the dressings. After a double take of thinking  “that’s pretty wierd” I spoke up rather clearly and in a slightly raised voice, so she knew I had indeed not left the table said “Ranch”. Moving right along, Howard orders Spaghetti with a meat sauce and a salad with Bleu cheese dressing. Howard’s order is really not important to the story, just thought it would be nice to tell you what else is on their menu in case you don’t like meatballs or ever go there.

So our order is completed and now I think it would be a good time to announce that we have the 20% off coupon before she takes off to God knows where.  I also did’nt want to end up giving it to her at the end of the meal after the check has been tallied. They hate that, check gets all messy, the numbers never come out right, and they think your an idiot and now their tip is going to be smaller. Well the response to my having this 20% off coupon went like this. Her: What’s that about?  Me: It was in the newspaper (thinking why do you think all these people are here on a Thursday night). Her: “Do you have it on you?” Me: “Yes, here it is”.  Her in a very high anxiety, body twitching way: “Well I don’t think I can handle that”. Me: now looking around for John Quiones, you know the guy on that new Dateline show “What Would You Do”? I’m thinking this is’nt for real. I then look across the way to a table within 5 feet of ours and I see one of the three people, silently and looking directly at me, mouth what looked like the words “we had her and we feel your pain”.

Well off she goes with the order check and the 20% off coupon to the waitress/waiter station and I know she is about to try as hard as she can to figure out how she is going to mathematically deduct 20% off our order. I watch her for maybe two to three minutes in total mental agony. But then out of nowhere I see Luigi. I flag him over to gently tell him he has a waitress that is coming totally unglued and maybe needed some help. Hey I’m not going to lie here, I also did’nt want to end up with a check that was 20% more instead of 20% less. Who, what, where, she said that?? Over there I pointed. Oh that’s, and of course I won’t say her name, not that it matters as I don’t think she will still be there if and when you decide to go Luigi’s) SHE’S NEW” he says. At that point I knew it was all down hill from there.

Approximately 20 minutes later out come our dinners. Huge portions by the way. Next come our salads. Gee I thought those usually came before the dinner. “Oh I’m so sorry” says NEW WAITRESS. “Can I get you a refill on your diet coke?” “Yes” I say. Taking a sip after a few bites of my really good spaghetti and meatballs, I think since when does Diet Coke taste like Cherry Coke? Carry on I think to myself, it’s just about over. What else can go wrong, the food is really good and we’re too full for desert.  Time to wave over NEW WAITRESS. . .”We’ll have the check  please”. You’re guess as to which way it was incorrect.

As a short P.S. on our way out we saw a group of five getting rather impatient that no one had waited on them.  We heard them call “Miss” and NEW WAITRESS headed their way.

Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta is located at 16740 E. Palisades Blvd. in Fountain Hills.

Written by Howard Harris