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Monday, January 02, 2006

Lesson Learned

Just in case you were under the mistaken impression that I was perfect (and hadn't had time to discuss this error in judgement with any of my friends) I am going to share this cautionary tale with you:

One Sunday morning, my boyfriend and I were kid-less and decided to go out to an elegant brunch to celebrate our temporary freedom.

It was a gorgeous warm morning with slight fog that a light breeze was whisking away. What better place than the beach? And of course, if we were going to the beach for an elegant brunch, we felt that the famous Don Cesar hotel was the place to be. They supposedly had marvellous (though rather expensive) brunches. What they're really famous for (and all we can recommend, as you will see) is their architecture and views.

Without a care in the world, we arrived there, stood in line, and when we finally got to the front, the maitre d' looked at us and said "What time are your reservations for?"

We both looked at each other in subtly disguised panic. We each suddenly realized that although we had meant to make the reservations, each of us must have forgotten. So, simultaneously my boyfriend said (very rightly) "no" and I said "yes"! It surprised me that my boyfriend is usually the scoundrel, and here *I* was, lying through my teeth. I justified it to him by pointing out later that 3/4 of the dining room was empty.

Ah yes. This is not a proud moment in my life, but you will see that I was paid back richly.

"What time?" asked the maitre d', narrowing in on me. "10 o'clock," I said promptly, hoping that I was even close to what actual time it was. He got our names and ran up and down the list, twice, without finding it. Of course that was to be expected, but we could hardly tell him that. "Don't worry," mouthed a girl next to him. "We'll get you in!" Well, that looked promising! And yes, within moments we were whisked to a nice table for two.

The food was good, but it wasn't great. For a great buffet at the same price, I'd highly recommend The Renaissance Vinoy Resort instead which is also a gorgeous old landmark here. Still, we enjoyed the meal, wandered about the historic hotel a bit, and went home.

I thought it was somewhat odd that I wasn't hungry for the rest of the day, but being female and always happy to lose weight, I considered it a boon. Until nightfall.

As we know, at nightfall vampires come out and other unholy things rise, and so did my buffet. I found that there is nothing more wonderful than your own bathroom when you're paying homage to The Porcelain God. And I worshipped there in solitude for a very long time.

My boyfriend was sick as well, but nothing in comparison to the person who had lied about the reservations.

Obviously it was food poisoning. There were tons of things in creamy sauces, including seafood, which were left out at room temperature and not properly nestled in vast beds of ice. Then again, the creamy pasta sauce was kept hidden under the table until the chef brought it out at the last minute, so that may have been the source. But I'm not eager to go back again and figure out just which one was the culprit.

So, let it be a lesson to you all: Don't be gate crashers. That is, unless you are up to hanging out with the expert, here. I plan on crashing a Nazi Kegger next. Are you in?

34 comments:

mal said...

crash a Nazi Kegger? COOL!! They have the BEST beer!!! I would prefer to do it after the JDL and NAACP meetings in case any of them would like to come along

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mallory! Great idea! I see you have the same sense of self-preservation that *I* do!

Tabasamu said...

I guess we know why "3/4 of the room was empty", Saur! *LOL* I'm definately in on the kegger.

Aunt Jo said...

I have had food poisoning and it was one of the worst things that has ever happened to me. I hope you are feeling better.

I think we can learn a lesson from this. When the dining room in mostly empty and the bathroom is mostly full, leave immediately!!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Aunt Josefina, I've had it a couple of times in my life, but only when I ate out. The other time was at The Melting Pot. We found out later that they leave the cheese out (for the fondue) and that cheese is supposedly the #1 carrier for food poison. It's a real petri dish, I guess. Bleah.

You're right in your assesment, though! We should've got the hint...

TC, yeah, you're right! It should've been our first clue. So much for thinking that I could out-sleuth Nancy Drew!

Kathleen said...

Vinoy is a much better choice for food. But, I do love the Don for the beach and the pool bar!

Jamie Dawn said...

Oh, you DID pay a price and so did your less guilty accomplice. I say less guilty, because although he didn't lie initially, he didn't forsake the eating of the spoils that you gained by lying your way in.
I bet that even the HONEST people that ate there that day were upchucking too. The rain falls on the just and the unjust...

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jamie Dawn, ah, so very true. ;o)

Kathleen, You're right! I agree with you on both counts.

michelle said...

Oh Saur! You bad girl. Just wild and crazy, living on the edge.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Michelle, :P Bleah!

~Deb said...

God works in mysterious ways, huh? (hehehehee) Had to say it! Oh wow--what a story. Hmmm...maybe it was karma? Getting food poisoning is awful! Ugh. Sorry you had to go through that. This sort of reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. You should sell this story to NBC! ;)

Well written as usual! :)

Lee Ann said...

Oh, oooh, ewwwh! Very beautiful place. It seems almost typical that a maitre d' in that type of restaurant has to subtly embarrass someone that doesn't have a reservation instead of saying something like "Well fortunately today we have a table", immediately. You would think in that type of restaurant, they would be a little more cautious as to how their food is served. I am sorry that happened. I feel the same way you do, a lie usually comes back at you...no fun!

Bar Bar A said...

FTS sent me! I'll be back to visit again :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A wary tale for us all. I wasn't well in Egypt or Russia, The food was awful in both places.

Ellen said...

How awful for you both... all over a little tinsy lie. Who says karma doensn't act in mysterious ways?
I'm curious though... did you ever report it to the restaurant or health department? Regardless of how you got in, they should be following strict food temp codes insuring that no one gets sick over their sloppy habits of storage or holding techniques.

Eddo said...

I just now noticed your sidebar with "Eddo's Family" on it. You told me about it, but I never looked, I read it on my Blackberry - which can sometimes be a blessing, but most often it's a curse.

the background is nice, but in order to have a fluid flow, background images have to have a "blurred" border if they are going to look like they are one fluid image. I would suggest taking the grayer color and smudging the edges of the picture on all 4 sides and then it might flow better, however, I don't think it looks that obvious now.

Besides, we come here for the great writing, the design is just a bonus! :)

Ivy the Goober said...

I hate throwing up more than anything. Sorry you got sick.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Ah, I see it all. You were not on the maitre d's list, so he put you on the shit list. It all makes sense to me.

Mike said...

I've never had food poisoning...perhaps it's because I refuse to wait in line to eat...lol

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mike, ;o) Or maybe you have the good sense to stay away from the stuff that *I* like!

Old Hoss, *LOL* Leave it to you...

Ivy, thanks, hon. It wasn't a pretty sight.

Eddo, is there anyone I should add? Thanks for the tip. I tried it, but it didn't make it any better so I went back to the original.

Ellen, I did report it to the restaurant. They expressed the appropriate shock and dismay and were amazed since noone else had gotten sick. Of course.

Jean-Luc, two places I'd love to go. But it's tough to eat like a native when you're not.

Well Woman, welcome! I'm delighted to see you here!

Lee Ann, yeah, you'd think... but it may have been a bad day for them, and the extra set of controls they might have in place somehow were omitted?

Deb, thanks for the compliment! Yeah, it was probably karma. I'm just glad karma doesn't always come my way. ;o)

uncle joe said...

Was the girl next to the maitre duh' a famous blogger too who might have recognized you? I recently had a bout of food p. with Santa in the bathroom with me.recorded in a previous post. Not funny then but in hindsight (pun intended) highlarryus.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, maybe that's it! A jealous blogger-wannabe! My deepest heartfelt empathy as to the food poisoning. Bleah.

FTS said...

Wait a minute. You're not perfect?

Say it ain't so...

dddragon said...

oh, my. ick. so sorry!! Chi Chi's in Pittsburgh (and everywhere else, I think) closed after some patrons caught hepatitis A from their food.

actonbell said...

{{Saur}}sorry about your illness. Yuck. Been there, and I didn't even lie about anything.
It's surprising that this would happen at such a posh place. Yeah, hurling is one of the grossest experiences.

Senor Caiman said...

Dddragon,

Good Gracious and good gravy juice. You just described my wife and my Chi Chi’s experience. Every week like clockwork margaritas, chips & Burros. Ralph, the excellent Gay Waiter, actually called us at home. We really missed Ralph’s excellent service but you never forget food poisoning. My joints ached for a week. My wife got sick first and I was thinking to myself boy I’m glad I didn’t get it. I paid dearly for that thought.

Saur,

I was at the Outback Bowl and saw someone who looked like you getting into a Winnebago directly across from the stadium. Were you there?

michelle said...

Hey! It just hit me. My hubby and I love the Vinoy. Let's go!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Michelle, you're on! I think that's an excellent idea. In two weeks, sans kids?

Mr. Gator, you never know...! ;o) Yeah, funny about ChiChis. In the 80s it was my favorite restaurant! I don't even think they exist anymore(?)

ActonBell, ...especially when you'd like your Other Half to think you're always a glamma girl...

Dddragon, I used to love ChiChis in the 80s. I still can't find a mexican/american restaurant I like as much. But,I'm not willing to die for it either. So they went out of existence entirely?

FTS, *g* It ain't so.

michelle said...

I am thinking no kids. We can take them for chololate chip pancakes at the diner.

Did you check out PC's blog? She has a New Year's gift for you.

Badoozie said...

i admire a woman who can so gracefully empty her stomach, and not go back for revenge. and i will take heed to the warning. never fake reservations, because god will punish you, severly.

Brianne said...

Ouch.. never had food poisoning, but it always sounds so horrible. I'll take a lesson from you!

PS. Nice John Mayer add!

Human said...

Hello. This is response to your question
"ARGH! It's not big enough for me to read. Where else can I find it?"
you asked on blurred clarity.
www.craigmurray.org.uk/weblog.html

Peace

Human said...

Ooops I meant to add "go to his Dec. 29th post.
Peace

Three Score and Ten or more said...

What can I say but tut tut tut, Whoda thunk it.

The word verification zkkgit. Phonetically it seems appropriate.