Sunday, November 01, 2009

Lake Merritt Boathouse Restaurant is a Work in Progress

<span class=Image by marymactavish via Flickr

Last month we had a meal at Oakland's own brand new Lake Merritt Boathouse restaurant, which they call the Lake Chalet, a nomenclature a little too Alpine for me, but what do I know from marketing?

Wonderful view. Tasty food. Very slow service.

(But they're learning, we thought.)

Today E. and I walked around the beautiful lake itself. Full of pleasure in ourselves, the city, the beauty of the day, the heterogeneity of those who walked with us -- it ain't Alaska, Sis Palin, where the true darkness is your own heart -- we felt we deserved a treat and thus descended on the restaurant's outdoor dining area.Which was packed. Every table filled save one, which we grabbed.

Our vaguely hipster waiter did not inspire confidence:

And also a pork sandwich.

Drinkin' what with that?


And what to eat?

Pork sandwich.

Potato or pasta salad?


And what kind of sandwich was that?

Pork. Pork sandwich. Sandwich made with pork.

That was E.'s order. I wanted the shrimp poor boy, which the waiter did get his mind around, so tightly around it that he brought us two of them. Us being us we kept it without complaint. It was pretty good.

But when we went to get the bill -- in no hurry to arrive, but I blame the mindlessness of paper -- E. did point out the mistake to the waiter since the poor boys were cheaper than the elusive pork sandwich. Ineptitude is one thing, but chicanery is another.

Our harried hipster removed the second poor boy from our bill: Hurrah! And then he charged us for four drinks rather than two. Which we pointed out and which he corrected.

I tipped him nicely anyway, but E. demanded I tip him grandly, which (bless me) I did, since I suppose sometimes I am a little tight-fisted, and I am sensitive to her opinion of me. But this time I hadn't been tight-fisted in the first place, so the new tip was nonsensically large, as if we were apologizing for complaining.

Oh well. It's a lovely restaurant. And they really are learning, or trying to.

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