I ordered lunch today and chose the Caesar salad as I have before, with chicken. When the girl put the plate down in front of me, I started to chuckle. "So...am I suppose to cut the romaine?" The romaine lettuce was cut in long sheets about 8-9 inches long and had strips of chicken and drizzled dressing over the top. She quickly brought over a butter knife for me and I had to shake my head. I let her know that I hate being a complainer, but there was no way that I was going to be able to "chop" the lettuce as it should have been in the first place with a butter knife nor on the size of plate that had been given to me. I told her I just wanted lunch but didn't want to work so hard to get the food into my mouth. She said this was how it had always been. Not true. I had the same salad and loved it last week. The romaine was chopped in bite size pieces in a large bowl with bite size grilled chicken. She told me she would take it back to the back and have them cut up the lettuce for me. Grrrreat. We all know what kind of risk we take when we send something back.
She took it and and brought back what looked like the chef had taken the knife through the whole thing one time because a single piece of lettuce was the size of my face and placed in a small bowl. When she brought it, I thanked her for trying and let her know I'll still have to cut it and I just didn't want to make a mess. So what happened? Every time I cut a piece of the romaine, 2 pieces would fall onto the table. This happened about 3 times until I had a small pile of my lunch ON the table and not one bite yet in my mouth. Eff. This.
I signaled for someone else who looked like they were more in a management position and told him to just take it back. He looked at it and said, "Why is it in such a small bowl? Did you get the long strips of romaine?" Ugh. He looked at the mess in front of me and I said I hate to be the person to send something back, but this was stupid. He took it back with no qualms and returned to me a normal Caesar salad.
Here's the thing...
I learned in Culinary Arts that the food you made needed to be beautiful, delicious, but also practical to eat. This was someone trying something way too artsy and impossible to eat, and therefore not fun to enjoy. For the price I paid for my salad, I shouldn't have been expected to do all the freakin' work. That's how it felt: Here's a bunch of leaves of romaine lettuce, a few strips of chicken, some giant croutons, and a lot of drizzled dressing. Good luck not getting it all over your shirt and thanks for the money to do my job for me.
Anyway, not ordering that again. That's not artsy...that's lazy. No matter how pretty the presentation looks, I should still be able to eat the damn thing.