‘Tis the Most Wonderful Time…

* Today marked the busiest lunch ever, I think, for my restaurant. Working it were several veteran servers, one newbie, me, and my daytime assistant who can also work the floor as backup help. We rocked. We really did. I thanked everyone, personally, for getting it done and making us all look like we’d done it a thousand times before. I know I didn’t thank them enough.

* “RG, did you see the apple tart the pastry chef made you? You can eat it! It’s really good,” said one of the servers. In the walk-in, I found the plate with the note that told me which page of the gluten-free cookbook that the pastry chef had borrowed from me had resulted in the incredibly delicious, gooey apple tart–all beautifully plated. In my two-plus years of begging chefs to cook just one gluten-free something for me, this chef did it much to my surprise, when asking him to do so was so far from my mind. Never mind the finger prints and uneven edges on the thing that provided proof that everyone had tasted it before me. It tasted so good. So good.

* “RG, how’d you like the bisque?” asked Chef from the line.

“She can’t eat that, Chef,” said the sous chef standing next to him.

“Yes she can,” said Chef.

“No she can’t,” said the sous chef.

“She can’t, Chef,” said the other sous chef.

“But it only has rice flour in it, right?” asked Chef.

“No, Chef. This batch has all purpose flour in it. She can’t eat it,” replied the sous chef.

“That’s right, Chef. She can’t eat it,” echoed the other sous chef.

“Chef, I am sure the bisque tastes great, but maybe I shouldn’t try it today,” I told him, winking a silent ‘Thank You’ to both sous chefs. “Besides,” I added, “I have an apple tart calling my name.”

* “I would have gotten you seats right behind the Kansas bench, but given your daughter’s recent illness, I got you Club seats, so she will be more comfortable.” This from my GM as the busiest lunch shift ever was starting. At the time, I was incredulous and grateful, but could not show it, because I had phone messages to return and an unending string of gift certificates to complete. Later, when I offered to reimburse my GM for these wonderful seats, he was almost annoyed. And I reminded myself to pretend to remember how to graciously accept a generous gift. RG Daughter, on the other hand, said, when I told her the good news, “Email me his email address. And what should I get him from the KU store?”

Tomorrow, I will direct RG Daughter to find something online for my GM–something garish that screams “Go’Hawks.”

Tomorrow, I will thank the go-to servers and the newbie and the floater again for being beyond great today.

Tomorrow, I will properly thank the pastry chef, since he wasn’t in today.

Tomorrow, I will defer, as always, to the sous chefs in all decisions about what to eat in my restaurant and somehow let them know how much I appreciate that they look out for me, even when they toss out the fries before I can scarf them.

Tomorrow, I will sigh with relief and drink a glass or 20 of wine that this busy, busy week is finally over, I will thank the Gods again for RG Daughter’s improving health, I will mostly keep up with my karma deals, and then I may offer a nod to the season I haven’t felt at all like celebrating.

Tomorrow, I will happily remember that today was the most wonderful time.






14 responses to “‘Tis the Most Wonderful Time…”

  1. Dennis Avatar

    I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that this one actually choked me up. Your gratitude is contagious and this post is appreciated. Great writing!

    Peace (in every corner of your life, RG),

    – Dennis

  2. upset waitress Avatar

    Your restaurant is so opposite of mine! I’m jealous. If I ask for a cup of bisque, the drunken cook throws a biscuit at my head.

  3. Kris Avatar

    Okay, that made me smile before I even had a full cup of caffeine in my system at 6:30 in the morning. How wonderful, RG. Silver linings to get you through the tougher days. 🙂

  4. Julie Avatar

    What a wonderful day. It’s nice to hear about generous people like your GM and to know that people are thinking of you like the sous chefs.

    Soon, I’ll leave my work behind me and spend some time with family — and all of our allergies like gluten, shellfish, legumes, poultry along with a nephew who only wants to eat scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese. I love them, but we’re a difficult group to cook for.

    Happy Holidays, RG.

  5. Kim Ayres Avatar

    Sounds like you make a real impression on the people around you, which makes them care about you. Now why doesn’t that surprise me 🙂

  6. Augs Avatar

    Wonderful post. I am very interested in if you can share the gluten free recipes you may have as my sister needs as many recipes as she can have like the one you mentioned. I hope you enjoy yourself at the KU game. I mean they are no UT Horns, but hey, we all can’t be Longhorn fans can we? ha ha ha

    Happy Holidays to you.

  7. Deanna Avatar

    Just wanted to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas. I’ve enjoyed reading about your life’s journeys this year.

  8. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Dennis–Thank you. Your wish of Peace is heartily accepted. And to you, the same.

    UW–Biscuits? Yum.

    Kris–It was quite simply, a great day.

    Julie–Good wishes to you as change comes soon in your work life. I am hopeful it will be a positive change. Have fun with the fam!

    Kim–A hug to you, my friend.

    Augs–Since I don’t cook except all but the simplest food (eggs, grilled cheese on corn tortillas and whatever pre-cooked stuff I can eat from Whole Foods), I only have the one gluten free cookbook. Chef still has it, so I will get the name to you soon. But honestly, I want him to keep it for a while! And um, please–go ‘Hawks.

    Deanna–Thank you. The journey continues and I appreciate your reading along with me. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  9. Brother Avatar

    Funny, I had a particularly wonderful Thursday as well.


  10. Ex-Restaurant Manager Avatar

    When ya’ got the BOH rootin’ for ya’, ya’ got it licked!

  11. Manuel Avatar

    What ex-manager says is true…..also applies to the converse…..if they don’t like you/hate you…..it’s better just to leave……damn they have all the power…….

  12. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal


    Ex RM–All good as far as I can tell.

    Manuel–Hmm. Well, good thing it’s all about food for now.

  13. Brother Avatar

    Dear Sister,

    You know just how out of character this is for me, but I feel compelled to tell you about my day as well — and in this public forum.

    I have had this particularly vexing project at work that I hadn’t yet told you about. We spent the entire day working on it and made tremendous progress. So, I was pleased at that.

    After work, I met a dear friend who I see all too infrequently. Over a glass or two, we talked and talked about everything and nothing. We thought about solving the problems of the world, but we could not get beyond the funny and sad stories of the past, all told with a smile, compassion and love. You even figured in a couple of them.

    As you said about that Thursday that was, it was a most wonderful time. Merry Christmas.


  14. CL Jahn Avatar

    Gluten free? You too? Wanna team up on a “Gluten Free Miami” kinda thing?