Imagethief recounts his “scorchingly bad experience” at Bubba’s in his latest post BBQ-less 4th of July and the naughty waiter of Hongqiao. Here’s a very short sampling of the very long post:
The first sign of trouble came when it took half an hour to get a waiter to take drink orders. To leave a party of twenty-one hanging dry for half an hour is a restaurateuring felony on the order of cockroach croutons. In fact, the actual wait was longer for some people who had arrived considerably before Mrs. Imagethief and I did. If nothing else, get the beer flowing. After some badgering we managed to get the waiter round to take orders. Apparently intimidated by the idea of keeping twenty-one drink orders straight (an admittedly tall task, but one I’ve seen managed elsewhere), he worked hard to encourage us to stay away from individual orders and simply take pitchers of beer. Most of us were willing to be persuaded on this front, despite some early enthusiasm for the heavily promoted craft beers served at the restaurant.
The next problem was getting menus, although that too was eventually managed with a combination of hand-waving and flailing from most of us and initiative from Mrs. Imagethief who went in search of menus and also cutlery for several members of our party who did not have place settings. As it would turn out, we could have left the cutlery. Most of it would never be used.
We had plenty of time to peruse the menu. About an hour by my reckoning before we managed to strong-arm the waiter into taking our order. The restaurant was obviously running a skeleton crew on the worst of all possible nights, and the waiter was under pressure. Unfortunately he did almost nothing to help himself…
To cut the long story short, Imagethief and his party posse eventually walked out of Bubba’s after waiting for three hours, starving and frustrated (except for two of the 21 of them who got their food).
We are sorry for Imagethief’s unfortunate experience (which was probably – hopefully? – an isolated one). We ourselves have had great meals at Bubba’s before, and we told you about them. By the way, did anyone try their burgers at the Independence Day Grilloff? (We won’t preclude the possibility that our little party was actually what tired out Bubba’s staff and ruined Imagethief’s 4th of July). In the meanwhile, Bubba’s hasn’t responded to Imagethief yet (do busy restaurateurs have time to monitor blogs?), but we think we will hear from them very soon. Keep watching this space.
Update: Bubba’s has responded on Imagethief’s blog. A small snippet here:
One misinterpretation or a point not mentioned by the author is that I personally addressed this group and basically told them they were screwed and that I would pick up whatever tab they had. I apologized profusely and shouldered the blame. I also told them if they wanted to eat, they should come downstairs WITH ME and sit in a small group….where I would feed them personally until they popped. About 6 of the group took me up on this and they left extremely happy and greatful. We drank together, had shots, and ate a load of barbeque. Maybe enough to feed the whole group from upstairs.