Friday, October 12, 2012

The Ugly America is alive and well in Patzcuaro

We decide to drop down to town today to have a nice lunch. There are not that many nice places that are quiet and out of the way.

One place is close to the Basilica which was having some kind of function based on the lack of parking spaces and patrons milling about dressed in fine dresses and men in suits etc.....

So we sit down and place our order, there are a few local nationals sitting around having lunch and talking, We get our drinks and soup, sitting enjoying the quiet background music.....all is fine.

Then one gringa older lady comes in and asks for a table, that seats 4 when there were a few empty tables that were empty that were two places.
She whips out her book and asks for the menu , then takes out a book and starts reading.
The waiter brings her some water, and it's obvious that she is waiting for someone else.

After 15 minutes another woman walks in toting two diet coke bottles.

A moment after sitting down the ask the water for two glasses with ice....
Ok, I know Mexico is a third world country by ever ones observations, but come on.....ladies....
A restaurant has overhead and they pay for their ice. Ok, so maybe the didn't know that restaurants in Patzcuaro have diet Coke, maybe, perhaps,

So next, they are given menus.

This place happens to have menus that are printed in Spanish and English so you would think this would put an end to any quandary to selection.

First question was, is the fish fresh?
As apposed to what, rotten?

Next question was, do you use MSG in your preparation?
Huh..... I though the MSG scare was only related to Chinese joints, and in the States? Ok, I realize that some people are allergic to certain chemicals and food items, but do you really expect the waiter or cook to know what is in the stuff they toss into the food at this level?

Ok, next was how many shrimp are in the garlic shrimp dish?  Are they big or small?
Keep in mind that the waiter is barely proficient in English, and probably hasn't even heard of MSG , but they keep on.

The next question was how was the shrimp prepared? Did they use a lot of salt?
Is it a large portion?
Can we order two items and can you split it into two servings?
At that moment there is a glaze on the eyes of the waiter, probably thinking to himself why did these two women ever come into my restaurant?

They place their order after all that for two club sandwiches, after asking a question and not understanding the response anyway.

One of them said " You would think that they would train their waiters better to understand their clientele"
Being in the periphery of food service for awhile, having to do with customers who were picky and had no idea of what people in the kitchen go through, thinking that any request can be handled with easy and professionalism, sometime need  a talking to.

Give restaurants a break now and then, a generous tip when deserved is also appreciated (in general) ( In Mexico the waiters are paid by the hour so a normal tip would be anywhere from 5 to 10% if you are satisfied), and order the diet coke from the menu, it may not make a big difference to you buy I guarantee you that at the end of the year it can make a difference to a restaurant owner who is just trying to make a buck......or in this case a peso or two.......

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