"We should not be wallowing in hate. We should be wallowing in a beautiful brunch of Belgian waffles and berries. And sausages of both link and patty."
Happy Mother's Day!
It's a day to honor Mom. It's also a day about food. Restaurants will be jammed pack with people celebrating their mothers. As Robert Barone, from "Everybody Loves Raymond" said in the quote up top, people will be waiting in line to have brunch. Bring on the Belgian waffles. Bring on those berries. Sausages will be flowing...and yes...both link and patty.
I think back on dining out with my mother. It was almost always an adventure.
We start with the time I visited her when she was living in Palm Springs, California. I showed up a little early. She told me she was glad I was there because we had dinner reservations at 4:30. Early bird dinner. I told her I'd buy dinner and give her a $100 if we could go at a normal time. She told me to STFU and said to get ready to go.
Next up was lunch at a crepe restaurant in Northbrook, Illinois. The Magic Pan. While we're looking at the menu, food is being served at the table next to us. One of the women has something that looks awesome. My mom is staring at the food and the woman catches her looking. Their eyes meet, which leads to this:
Mom: I was just wondering what that is?
Stranger: It's crab crepes.
Mom: It looks good.
Not so much a stranger anymore: It's delicious. Would you like a taste?
Mom: Oh, thank you so much.
And the woman, whom neither of us have ever seen before, passes over a piece of food. My mom thanks her, eats it, says it is very good and then orders something else.
There was not enough alcohol that day!!!
But the piece de resistance was the afternoon we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Laguna Beach, California. Las Brisas. It's a beautiful place, located on the beach, looking out at the Pacific Ocean. It was one of my favorite restaurants in California. What could go wrong? If you're really asking that question, you never met my mother.
We're sitting at a table looking at the water. It took about ten minutes for someone to bring us some water. Another fifteen minutes went by before we saw a waitress. It's a busy place so sometimes these things happen. Good thing the Ocean keeps me calm. We put our order in and twenty minutes later, here comes the food.
It was not the food that she ordered....or so she said. Which led to this lovely exchange:
Mom: This isn't what I ordered. I wanted the tacos.
Howie: I think you did order this but tell the waitress. She'll help.
Mom: Excuse me, Miss. I ordered the tacos.
Waitress: Maam, (showing my mom the order form with a lot of attitude) you did order this. I can get you the tacos but we're pretty backed up now. It may take another twenty minutes to get them...maybe more.
Mom: Half an hour for tacos. You are kidding, aren't you?
Waitress: (With a lot more attitude) Sorry but we can't get it any faster today.
Mom: (angry and sarcastic) Fine, I'll just eat this. It's fine, nevermind. (And under her breath as the waitress walks away) C**T!!!
That meal was in the 1980's and I'm shaking my head as I type this, remembering that lovely afternoon. Pro Tip 1 for wait staff: Lose the attitude. Make your customers happy. You'll make more money that way. Pro Tip 2 for customers: Don't drop C-bombs on the person serving you at a semi-fancy restaurant.
And for this meal, there was definitely enough alcohol available to make that moment go away.
For those of you having brunch with your mothers this weekend, I hope your meal goes better than my examples. It almost has to, right? I wish you all a good Mother's Day.
I also wish I could join you.
My mother died in 2003. It's hard to believe that we're coming up on fifteen years that she's been gone. So much has happened since then...both good and bad. So much life has passed by. Even with the horrible examples I wrote about, I'd give a lot to have one more meal with her.
Hey mom, I wish we could have some Belgian waffles with berries and sausages. Yes, an early bird dinner sounds good. I'll buy!
Related Post: Happy Mother's Day
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