Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The earth needs to open up wide and swallow me whole right now!

Embarrassment doesn't even begin to describe how I feel right now. Chagrined? Oh yeah, times 100. Discomposed? Doubtlessly. Mortified? Yup, this is probably the closest word that can aptly describe my humiliation.

"So what happened already?" you're anxiously (and bemusedly, I'm sure) asking.

Ok, so the six of us (the D____ four, plus my parents) went to dinner at this great restaurant called Beaches. They have fantastic service.

Let me say it again: They have fantastic service.

The food is great; the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable; the food is delicious and well-priced; the employees treat you like old friends.

Tomorrow being Hayley's birthday, she immediately pronounced the fact to our server, Stephanie. We had a great dinner, with the girls and my dad all getting individual little pizzas. Hayley ate all of hers. Emma, with leaden chewing, managed at long last to get through half of hers. Dad, with my help and Mom's, ate all but one piece.

Stephanie offered to put the left-overs in box. Scott had also needed a box half an hour earlier when he had to take off for Men's Group, which he then took with him. I'd forgotten, though, that he took it with him, so as we were leaving the restaurant, I realized I only had one box and I thought that it was Scott's burger. Did I bother to check?

Of course not!

I asked the hostess to see if she could track the tiny box of pizza down before it was too late. In the process of trying, she asked Steph, who could have sworn she gave us the box. The manager came over, too. I told them it wasn't a big deal at all and not to worry about it. I mean, it was half a kid's pizza, plus a small slice of Dad's. Really not a big deal!!!!!

But the the overzealous folks at Beaches it was a HUGE deal! I told them not to worry about it, but thanks very much, then got the family into the car. (Remember, Dad is in a wheelchair, so it takes a bit of coordination.) It's pouring. I left my jacket at home. I'm getting soaked as I balance Dad into the car. Mark, the manager, and Steph came running out to stop us.

Did I mention that is was raining?

They were so concerned about this damned half a kid's pizza. I kept telling them it was ok! They kept saying it wasn't. I finally told them (pleasantly, of course) to go back inside so they wouldn't have to work the rest of the night soaking wet. We told them we'd be back anyway and not to worry. (Beaches is Dad's new favorite hangout. We've been there four times in seven days.) At last they went back inside.

Dad, Mom and kids were finally in and buckled, so I pulled my wet self into the driver's seat. I'd just shut the door when Steph came running back out.

Did I mention that it's still raining?

"Can I have your address?" she asked. "Really," I say. "Please don't worry about this. It's not a big deal!" "But it's your daughter's birthday. It's a huge deal!" I gave in and recited my address.

Finally we get to leave. It's only been a few minutes. But a few minutes in Stressville is like a hour, as you all well know. The roads were slippery. It was hard to see, but we got home safely. I settled Dad in, flipped on CNN for him, booted Emma into the shower and Hayley into her room for pj's.

Somewhere in among all the activity of driving and coordinating, it occured to me that Scott took his burger with him and that I had the pizza. Sure enough, when I peeked in the box, the pizza is nestled in a delicious pile. I was so embarrassed and planned to call the manager to let him know my mistake so he really wouldn't worry about it.

Too late.

We'd been home five minutes (well, maybe seven) when someone knocked on the door. I peaked out the window and saw a guy holding a pizza box. I opened the door to tell him he was delivering to the wrong house but I caught my words just in time.

It was one of the chefs from Beaches, hand delivering a full-sized pizza and a mouthful of prolonged apologies!!!!!

Do you see now why I'm wallowing in mortification? All this hullabaloo for three tiny pieces of pizza that I had the whole time!

A whole pizza. Delivered by the chef. In the pouring rain.

Yeah, that qualifies as fantastic service.


Mandajuice said...

Beaches is Dave's all time FAVORITE restaurant. The service is beyond measure. Honestly, I've never experienced ANYTHING better than the Beaches family experience. Your girls might be too old, but they lead my two kids by the hand to make their own sundaes and then let them pick a toy (or two) out of the big treasure box. It's ridiculous.

A friend of our (John Samelastnameasyou) once had a slow service experience and they DROVE a gift certificate to his door to make up for it. That just doesn't happen anymore these days. After hearing your experience, we'll definitely be going there again for our next dinner out. Places that good need to be recognized!

Courtney Jones said...

I wish they had a Beaches in Michigan. I would frequent the establishment based upon your story alone. We miss the Davises...Hope to se you guys soon.

Tana said...

That is Fantastic!! My friend and I had lunch one afternoon at Beaches and our server was less than thrilling (which is odd for beaches). When I got home I was telling my husband about my lunch experience and he called the manager of beaches and the next day they hand delivered a gift certificate to our front door!! AMAZING I SAY, AMAZING!!