Every Tuesday, my wife and I meet at a Mexican restaurant for the lunch special. We picked Tuesday because it’s the vegetarian day of the week: cheese suizas. The place is a few blocks from where I work so I hoof it and my baby drives across town.
This week Tuesday didn’t work out. So we decided to go on Wednesday. The lunch special (which is different each day of the week) is chicken quesadillas.
We’re regulars. They know us there. We’ve been doing the Tuesday thing for a year now.
We asked if we could get the lunch special without chicken. “Sure thing,” we were told.
As you might guess, there’s a twist. Or why else would this be a story worthy of the Abyss?
The food arrived and we quickly discern two things. First, the food is cold. The beans, the rice, and the quesadillas, too. All of it. We just shrug. We’re casual and we’re not going to pitch a fit. The second thing is that the portions are noticeably smaller than normal.
Again we just shrugged.
That was one sad little quesadilla, too. It was a tortilla with some cheese in it. That’s it. And no sour cream or guacamole. It was quite likely the most boring thing in the world.
Finally it was time for the bill. We noticed that we’ve been charged 50 cents extra per plate.
Now my eyebrow went up. Holy pollo loco, Batman! I’ve finally had all I can stands and I can’t stands no more. I start asking questions.
“Did the price of the lunch special go up?”
“No, the cook is a stickler for the rules and because you made a substitution we had to charge you for the children’s quesadilla plate.”
Ah. The mystery of the smaller portions is solved. Worse, the waiter flat out lied when he said “no problem” to our simple request. If he would have informed us of their overly rigid rules, we would have likely made different choices. But we weren’t given that option.
“So, let me get this straight. We ask for a lunch special with no chicken and you give us smaller portions and charge us more money?”
The waiter nodded. We like the dude, so I tried to be gentle.
“I’m offended by that.”
His nonverbal response was basically, “go suck a jalapeno.” Now I was getting fiesta. I mean feisty.
“Well, nothing personal, but this just might be a deal breaker. Maybe you’ve seen the last of us.”
He just laughed. Did he think I was joking?
In these hard times, eating lunch out once a week is a luxury, at least for us. You think they’d appreciate our business and would toss their regulars the tiniest little sliver of bone. Guess not. I emailed the owner and she didn’t bother to reply.
I guess they have seen the last of us. The damn mothercluckers.