Nacho Grande

Bob Aul

When I arrived at the restaurant last week, you were clearing tables on the patio and motioned us in. As we seated ourselves, you quickly and efficiently wiped our table down and adjusted the chairs. I smiled and nodded my appreciation. We were handed menus by our waiter, who then disappeared for the next 20 minutes even though the place wasn't even close to half-full. As we waited for him to return, you brought us water and kept refilling it—as well as for everyone else in the restaurant. Not only that, but you also served coffee, cleared every table, reset empty tables, seated people as they arrived and did a thousand other tasks that the two waiters dumped on you. An older hispanic gentleman, you clearly took pride in your work. I wondered if this was one of several jobs you held and if you had a family to support. It wasn't easy work handling the entire restaurant and picking up the many loose ends left for you by these slow, lazy waiters whom we watched talking and joking around at the register while customers sat and waited. Our waiter finally arrived and took our order: a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a bowl of granola cereal. My guess for the food's arrival would have been 10 to 15 minutes, tops. Wrong! Try 25 minutes! And we weren't the only ones! A woman at the next table had ordered AND LEFT because it took so long to get her food. You didn't see her leave, and we noticed you shooing the birds away from her food—more outstanding customer service that surely was unappreciated in this place. Now, I'm normally a raving bitch when given such poor service, but you inspired me, Nacho. Your hard-working professionalism and courteous service helped me keep my cool. I wish I were some rich mogul who could offer you a job where you would get the pay and respect I thought you deserved. Unfortunately, I'm not. So $5 and this tribute is the best I can do right now.

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