Settling down to breakfast at Doughboys on Highland, I was thrown by the wide array of options. Great to have a choice, but it seems harder and harder to find somewhere serving a simple eggs and toast option - without the biscuits, pancetta, latkes, ham and pancakes. When I asked if they had such an option, our friendly waiter asked if I was English. I felt a little offended, as if only a foreigner would dare ask for something so unimaginative. I admitted I was and he suggested ordering a side of eggs and toast.
So that's what I did - wheat toast and eggs over easy.
And here's what arrived:
Yummy, right? Not only was the toast burnt, but had been cut on an odd angle, as if by a blind person. Now don't get me wrong, the blind deserve employment as much as the next person. They just shouldn't be cutting toast. The broken piece was also prepared in the kitchen - as if to facilitate my first dry and crusty mouthful.
I should mention the toast was dry. No butter in sight - either on or off the plate. The ooze you see is the yolk, which quickly encircled the charcoal islands.
Could it look less appetizing? Yes. Could I have sent it back? Certainly. But, when it takes 30min for food this crap to arrive, I know that round 2 will take equally long and be almost as bad, by which stage I'm no longer hungry. So I ate it. Well, a little...
I know that if I ran a restaurant, I would ensure (either personally or through trained personnel) that food at least LOOKS well prepared before leaving my kitchen. Perhaps Doughboys was running a Cajun special our waiter didn't know about. My buddy James sent his eggs back because they were raw inside - that delicious translucent congealed goo state before becoming a solid. The waiter's retort: "well that's how we do our eggs". It's a good excuse for what any sane person would call incompetency. I can imagine Bush responding to critics of his policy in Iraq (or anywhere else, really), with a snigger and "well that's how I do the presidency".
The moral of the story (and you know I'll find one), is if you want something simple, (whether it's breakfast or a foreign invasion) prepare it at home. Otherwise, prepare to be disappointed. Or order Doughboys' "famous" SOS (sh*t on a shingle).
At least you'll know what to expect...