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Unexpected difficulties derail dinner

A great deal must go wrong to ruin a night out with friends.

Here’s what happened:

We were seated at 7:25 PM on Saturday for our 7:00 PM reservations.

A few minutes later, my wife and our friend ordered glasses of wine. The server suggested a bottle since both women were drinking the same thing, but my wife and friend declined.

Elysha falls asleep after more than one glass.

The server then suggested the bottle a second, third, and fourth time. It was a hard sell. Near the end of the evening, he would remind them to order a bottle next time.

One offer should have been more than enough.

While this was going on, my friend said, “While we’re ordering drinks, I’m going to order some appetizers, too.”

I didn’t understand that he was ordering dinner for the table. We were in a tapas restaurant, and he, his wife, and Elysha were ordering food for the table. This was a problem because his order included beets, Swiss chard, asparagus, chickpeas, and many other things I don’t like.

Beets. Who orders a plate of beets?

In the end, nine plates and several cheeses were ordered. Only three of the plates were palatable to me, though there would soon be just two. And one of them—empanadas—wasn’t something I wanted to eat that night.

The food began arriving almost immediately, though not via our server. Expediters dropped small plates on the table in rapid succession, which is excellent for the timeliness of the food but lousy if you want to order something else (like me) or are wondering where your drink might be (also like me).

I had ordered a Diet Coke amid the other beverage orders. It arrived 30 minutes later. When it finally arrived, the server said, “The soda gun isn’t working, so I’m not sure if the Diet Coke will taste right. Or even if it’s Diet Coke. Can you taste it and let me know? I don’t drink soda, so I wouldn’t know.”

Apparently no one in the restaurant could test the soda. Instead, a patron – me – was made the guinea pig.

One of the few plates of food that I liked was roasted potatoes in a creamy sauce, but the sauce contained mustard. At the beginning of the meal, I had told the server that I was allergic to mustard, but that message apparently failed to land. So I took a bite of potato and knew instantly that I was eating mustard.

So now my stomach was upset for the remainder of the meal (and the evening), making the lack of food just fine.

Our server did not return to the table for quite a while. I planned to order a large plate for myself—a chicken dinner or maybe paella—while everyone else was eating their “appetizers,” but by the time the server finally returned, I had already eaten the mustard, which had ruined my appetite.

Ultimately, I ate two pieces of bread, two meatballs, and half an empanada.

Then, it was time for dessert and redemption: chocolate cake and strawberry cheesecake.

Both were dry and unpalatable. Also, instead of cheesecake, flan was accidentally delivered. The server left it behind for us as he retrieved the correct dessert. Apparently, it was quite tasty.

I don’t like flan. Even the name is dumb.

We left the restaurant as Elysha danced to a Lizzo song playing in the bar area. Elysha is at her finest when she is dancing, even if it’;s just for 20 seconds as she makes her way to the door.

Nothing is more beautiful.

A great deal must go wrong to ruin a night out with friends. This restaurant tried its level best to make that happen.

Happily, I was with Elysha, which makes everything better. We were joined by good friends who offered great conversation. So it was a great night—fun, memorable, and fantastic.

A great deal must go wrong to ruin a night out with our friends.

This night didn’t even come close.