In 2018, the country was thrust into further turmoil when it came to light that for the first time in our nation’s history, the 4th of July was on a Wednesday. Offices were closed only for the day of the 4th (once again on a Wednesday), right in the middle of the week. This forced us (Americans) to make a huge decision: celebrate the weekend before or celebrate the weekend after.
My high school friends (noted mavericks), decided to say to hell with the weekends! Let’s get brunch ON the 4th instead as our forefathers intended. This was a little bit selfish, as I very publicly, hate eating out in a group. I love my friends and love wins so I agreed to go to brunch as long as I didn’t have to pick the place. One of our trusted friends, Oriana, threw out a suggestion in the West Village and her dad is Italian so I trust her taste in food implicitly. We all agreed to meet at noon on Wednesday the 4th.
Wednesday the 4th turned out to be a hectic morning right from the jump. I had a date the night before and The Guy slept over. The Guy happens to be my friend’s co-worker. Said friend was in the apt that morning with my roommate so the co-workers ran into each other without warning. I got out of bed with just a few minutes to spare before pre-brunch spin class. I threw on some leggings, a bra, and a hat and hauled ass to NoHo.
Class flew by and before I knew it, I was sitting at a table at this restaurant with 4 of my very best friends. Despite my overall feelings on group meals, I approached brunch with an clear head and an open heart.
In traditional dining form, we were handed menus. That’s where the real trouble began. If I’m at brunch at a restaurant, I’m ordering eggs honey. And on this menu, there were no eggs to be found. NO👏🏼EGGS👏🏼 Not only no eggs, really no brunch/lunch items of any kind. Roasted chicken, duck, shit like that. I’m gluten and dairy free so I decided to order mussels with a side of potatoes.
The waitress comes around and I recognized her so I attempted to have a moment of human connection.
Me: Hey! I recognize you. Do you do improv?
Waitress (emotionless): I do stand-up. I know who you are.
Me: Oh… OK.
Me: I’ll take the mussels and the roasted potatoes without cheese please.
She took the rest of our order and was on her way. I couldn’t help but think she was offended by my utter stupidity. She does STAND-UP and I asked if she does IMPROV?! She’s totally spitting in my food.
The brunch conversation turned to the usual topics: people from our high school, politics, and where the fuck is our food? An hour and a half since we ordered and there were no plates headed our way. I’m the type of person who takes timeliness really seriously, especially when it comes to food. If I’m given a Seamless delivery window and my food is not delivered, I’m calling the moment that delivery window passes.
Finally, an hour and 45 minutes post-order, the food begins to arrive. As my plate hits the table, it is revealed to me that the mussels have cous cous in the broth, which is decidedly not gluten-free (and was not mentioned on the menu). No problem–I’ll eat around it because I am so accommodating. My cheese-less potatoes arrive. Only they aren’t cheese-less. In fact there is cheese covering every inch of these potatoes.
This is where, in any dining experience, I have a choice to make. I can suck it up and not eat the food I ordered because it wasn’t prepared correctly or I can say something to the waitress. I went with the latter and 15 minutes later, I got the potatoes as ordered. Then comes the real shock.
Me: Can I get some ketchup for the potatoes?
Waitress: We don’t have ketchup.
Me: Like… at all?
Waitress: We don’t have any ketchup here onsite.
Me (scrambling): OK, no problem. Mayo is fine!
Waitress: We don’t have condiments.
Waitress: We have a salsa verde we use on the chicken.
Me: …I’ll take some of that.
Imagine opening an establishment that serves food to real-live humans and you don’t have a single condiment on the premises?! The lunch was beyond saving at this point. And it was LUNCH by then because it was like 2PM. I bit my tongue and I dipped my potatoes in that salsa verde. (Sacrilege.)
We finished eating and asked for the check. Finally, this nightmare was coming to an end. The bill was triple digits (I don’t remember how much) and we split it–fine. Whatever. We concluded this cursed meal. I just wanted to get the hell out of that place and never look back.
I came to find out that as I was sitting at this brunch, the bacteria in my urethra was stirring, plotting, and scheming. This was revealed to me later that day when the burning pain began. I had contracted a very bad UTI, which I would be forced to deal with in the days following. If you were looking for a happy ending, you won’t find it here. This terrible brunch would haunt me for days to come. In a lot of ways, I’m still at this brunch. Please help me.