It always makes me a little bit sad when someone leaves New York. So when Larry emailed me to tell me was moving back to California, I was naturally hit with a mix of thoughts and emotions — the strongest being that we had to a proper farewell brunch, or drinks at the SoHo Grand one last time. I hate goodbyes, so I was glad that neither Larry nor I made a huge deal of it, but we settled on a day to have brunch, and chose Tello’s on 20th & 8th ave. Neither of us had been there, but L said he was always walking by and that it seemed to be very popular. Indeed, when I checked in on Foursquare, a friend commented stating that he “loves that place!”While it was nice to enjoy a Saturday afternoon brunch al fresco, I have to say that Tello’s did not come away at the top of my list.
The food was decent. I had the Farmer’s Omelette, with potato, onion, bacon, and Swiss cheese. L had the Crespelle. It was nothing I couldn’t whip up at home in about 10 minutes — yet L and I waited a good 30 minutes or so before flagging down the waitress to ask about our order.
Here’s the thing: I go out to eat for the atmosphere and the experience. I realize that my experience is not everyone’s, and that mistakes can happen. Certainly the two tables behind us who were seated after us, served before us, also paid their bill and left before we were served had a very different, and likely more pleasant, experience. To the best that I can discern, the server simply forgot to put our order in. It isn’t so desirable, that, but it does occasionally happen — it happened when Joe, Joey, and I brunched at Barrio Chino in SoHo as well. The difference is, the server at Barrio Chino apologized profusely and bought us a round of margaritas. Our server at Tello’s briefly apologized, claiming that they “are very busy in the kitchen”. To which L may or may not have replied “they’re asleep in the kitchen…” which, considering there were no patrons seated inside, and at most four other tables aside from L and myself seated outside, certainly could have been likely — had I not seen the kitchen staff diligently at work when I made a trip to the men’s room. I’m more inclined to think that our server was asleep at her post.
Service goes a long way toward building a reputation, and honesty is generally the best policy, I always say. I am much more likely to forgive and forget if you own up to your mistake and take steps to correct it, than if you throw some shoddily constructed lie (which unjustly places blame elsewhere) in my direction before scampering for cover.
Never two to let a rotten situation spoil our fun, L & I continued our last New York meal together, and then hugged a quick goodbye before going back to our busy New York lives.