What I don’t want to see when Eating Out
What is the absolutely last thing you want to see in a restaurant?
Lousy Food? Terrible Service? Loud guests on next table? Or something else?
Ponder while you read this post.
I have seen a lot in restaurants both in India and during my travels to foreign lands. One of the strangest experiences was in restroom of this Italian restaurant in Silicon Valley. As you got ready to…err do you business, you will hear word of the day sprouting from the speakers. So you got your little lesson in Italian while you were minding your business. I am not sure how many patrons learned Italian this way, or how many people prolonged there stay in the restrooms to listen to lady trying to teach you Italian.
While on a trip to Phuket, I and Missus were taking a stroll, when we noticed a restaurant with large aquarium displays in the windows. As we stood there and admired the assorted sea fish and creatures in the aquarium, a petite hostess came out, and invited us in. But soon we rushed out of the restaurant as Missus could not bear the thought of pointing finger to the fish she liked and see it grilled for the supper. Desi veg Indian Khana it was that evening in Phuket.
But the crown of what you don’t expect in a restaurant is given to this small eatery, on outskirt of Hyderabad on Chevella Road. I visit them every time when coming back from Gandipet or Chilkur Balaji Temple. Sometimes I would specially visit them after Mrugavani National Park also, though it means further driving a few KMs. If you are coming APPA Junction going towards Chilkur or Ananthagiri hills side, the eatery known as Vijay Darshini Hotel is on your right side opposite the Dr. Ambedkar statue just as the road forks towards Chilkur. Now the word “HOTEL” in parts of India does not necessarily means a place to stay but simply a place to eat. Vijay Darshini hotel is slightly better than a dhaba with an exclusive family room with AC facility, though I have never used it as I like to sit outside facing road to see the action happening on the road and the small tea stall next to the cash counter.
Though no match for the famous Govind kee Bandi in old Hyderabad, they serve good south Indian fare at reasonable price and I typically gorge on the dosas and idlis with steaming hot sambar. So this time also after a bird watching trip to Gandipet we stopped there and as usual I sat down looking towards the road and ordered my favorite masala dosa, and some hot tea.
It’s only then I saw Donald Duck smiling with folded hands in the Namaste pose next to a one rupee coin. I was wondering what the deal with DD, here at the cash counter was. Only when I took the first bite of my butter enriched masala dosa, I realized that Donald Duck was painted on an old coin operated weighing machine that belched out your current weight and future prediction on a small ticket. I remember this one time when I weighed myself 4 times to get a better prediction or lesser weight once when I have just began my battle with the bulge. All those encounters with the weighing machine were in cinema halls or railway stations, but finding a weighing machine at the cash counter of an eatery was a first for me.
Every time I looked at the weighing machine, I could feel the taste of dosa turning bland, the sambar less spicy and the tea too sweet for my taste. I lost my appetite to order next round and asked for the bill. Who can eat with a copycat Donald Duck asking you to weigh yourself ?
But before heading home I scanned the seats and identified one in a corner from where the weighing machine would not be visible, when I visit the next time. No duck worth his weight on a coin operated weighing machine can spoil my appetite for long.
So neither lousy food, nor service, it is a weighing machine when you are eating is the last thing foodies want to see in a restaurant. What do you say?
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