Strange Italian

On Friday Kamel and I attempted an evening out at a sit-down restaurant. I wanted somewhere with wine. The first place we went to (at just before 6:00 pm by the way) didn’t have a seat until 8:45pm. What kind of grown up world do we live in?! Sigh. So we toddled on over to Macaroni Grill. Ah yes, America! One step up from the Olive Garden (which has a special place in my heart!) and plenty of seating! Oh yay Friday night in parenthood… plus wine.

So, we sit down and the waiter immediately strikes me as odd. I pop Gabe in the high chair and the waiter begins talking to me about him, general stuff.

“So he’s um, about um, I’d say he’s about…

“8 mo-”

“8 months! I was going to guess that!”


When he wrote his name on our table cloth (as they do at Macaroni Grill) he said, “My name is [something I can’t remember now] and then scribbled nonesense on our table cloth. I was almost positive he was drunk, or at the very least incredibly strange.

I’ve worked in food service and I’m always very nice to the wait staff. I think rude patrons are a huge character flaw, so no matter what I work to keep it classy at all times, so I didn’t want to give the impression that I thought he was being a giant weirdo. The whole evening though, was bizarro. Kamel and I kept looking at each other and saying, “Let’s just go with it…. we’re just goin’ with it!”

So, I’ve only been to Macaroni Grill once and I am positive that we had wine glasses during that trip. The first time around we bought a bottle of wine for the table and then took half the bottle home with us afterwards. When the weirdo waiter offered us a sample of the house red on Friday, we both accepted and then decided to order a bottle for $15. Fifteen dollars? Ridiculously cheap – probably lame wine but meh, whatever. We ordered the bottle and when it came, I couldn’t believe it. First it was a magnum, which startled me, and second he began pouring me a full glass – full to the brimmy brim brim – in a water glass. Is this something that happens at Macaroni Grill? It was super super bizarre. I looked around but didn’t see anyone else gulping wine from their WATER GLASS. Like, he poured me maybe 1/4 of an inch from the rim. I was nearly embarrassed to drink from it (nearly…).

The waiter rushed us, which drives me crazy, but mostly he was just so incredibly bizarre and weird that I mentally wished him away whenever he came near our table. He kept bugging us to take our order, and then on his second attempt he began stammering out a special and then moved on to listing different types of appetizers.

“Would you like to hear the specials?”


“We have, um… well we have …. [fill in legit special here]. And um, the calamari is really good. We also offer flat breads. Would you like an appetizer at all?”

And as I am writing this I’m starting to feel like this is actually a really lame story. But I swear! It was the weirdest dining experience of my life. I couldn’t believe it as I watched him chug-a-lug the magnum into my freaking water glass. It just kept going and going and I was so startled I didn’t know if I should say “when”. But if he was expecting that, I think that makes this even more crazy.

Anyway, this was the most exciting thing that happened this weekend. (Besides seeing Catching Fire… alone! in a theatre! like I used to when I was single!) The baby tried to eat the menu, Kamel and I drank 1 step up from grape juice wine out of scratched and well used water glasses, and we brought home a magnum of red in a clear plastic wine bag. Weeee!

6 thoughts on “Strange Italian”

  1. Oh god. I am laughing. I don’t know…what I would do? If someone FILLED a water glass with wine for me? I mean, let’s be real, I do this at HOME — but because I’m too lazy to wash a wine glass (ever).

    I bet he was drunk. That’s my vote.

  2. Hahaha, I have had similar experiences where the waiter is so bizarre I just… don’t … know what to do! Also, I ate at The Cheesecake Factory this weekend for the first time in forever, and it was amazing. A month or so ago I ate at Maggiano’s for the first time since college, and did you know that if you order a (huge and delicious) pasta dinner for $12, you get to take AN ENTIRE SECOND PASTA ENTREE home? We couldn’t even finish our main meal, so we ended up with basically 3 meals to bring home. Macaroni Grill used to be one of my favorites, but we don’t have one nearby…

  3. Too damn funny. Had mom and me laughing our butts off. I’ll keep water glasses I. The cabinet just for your wine. Ha ha ha

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