Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bubby's Brunch: Bad, Bitchy, and [What's a Word for Horrifically Overpriced that Begins with "B"?]

Maybe it's just because I'm suffering from a case of cramps that would bring down the most stoic of frauleins, but I am feeling PISSED. I don't often complain about the treatment I get in restaurants or mistakes made that affect me when I'm eating out. I love restaurants and eating out and it takes a lot to make me unhappy when I'm waiting for someone to slip a plate of foie gras or a chilled dish of oysters under my nose. Furthermore, I'm utterly empathetic to the injustices and slights endured by restaurant workers everywhere. In my life, I have been both a cocktail waitress and a server at a steakhouse, so I understand that most days consist of jerks yelling at you and turning around five minutes later to pinch your ass, only to not tip you when they finally get move their fat can toward the door. But today just warrants a rant.

I met up with my friend B. for a late brunch. He suggested Bubby's, and since I've heard it mentioned countless times as among New York's best brunches, I agreed with enthusiasm.

We arrived and put our name in and began salivating over the specials, namely the fresh crabmeat eggs benedict and the cheddar, apple, and bacon omelette. We had a half hour wait, so we settled in at the racous and rowdy bar with a nice spicy Bloody Mary and a small glass of juice, which together were a rather shocking $14 (especially given the use of rotgut vodka), but what the hey.

Forty five minutes later we'd still heard nothing so B. approached the (saggy, sour-faced at far too young an age) hostesses and inquired politely where we might be on the list. Well, as it turns out, we weren't ON the list.

The chunkier but marginally less ugly of the two said she'd "See what she could do" since we "CLAIMED we arrived earlier, but she didn't remember us." Nice.

Thirty minutes later, after the hostess most definitively did NOT "see what she could do" (unless she saw that there was nothing she could do), we were finally seatetd, and I was already out $24 for a thimblefull of OJ and two bloody Marys.

The complimentary biscuits were tasty and I began to get excited about the special eggs Benedict, although I made a backup selection in case they were out of it. Which, of course they WERE since by this time it was already nearly FOUR P.M. Our waiter, who I'm sad to say appeared to hardly speak English (which is fine, but you know, it helps to know English if you're trying to turn the tables over 5 times in the matter of 3 hours or so), offered no consolotion, not even a throwaway "Lo siento."

"Gosh, you'd think a place charging EIGHTEEN dollars for an omelette could afford to hire legal residents," my companion remarked. Really, it was no offense to our waiter, but rather, a condemnation of the obviously greedy management. Plus, my brunch companion expects waiters to be HOT if you're paying double digits for a plate of eggs. I tend to agree. Luckily, there was some eye candy sitting in a booth across the way, so he sufficed for our purposes.

Our food arrived 30 minutes later and we tucked in. Three bites in I realized they had brought me not the cheddar, apple and bacon omelette, but one with goat cheese and red peppers (which, incidentally, I don't really like all that much). At this point I was too weaek from hunger and steamed to go through it with the waiter in my crappy Spanish, and the hostesses were still shooting daggers at us with their eyes, since apparently we had become a "problem table" somewhere along the way, even though we're the kind of people who ALWAYS tip 20 percent or more and endure the longest of waits with nothing but a polite smile.

On the upside, the bacon, coffee, and biscuits, were excellent. But, nearly 70 dollars later, B. and I had both agreed to spread far and wide the word that Bubby's should be avoided unless you like having your wallet drained by bitchy people who serve you mostly blah (not to mention the wrong) food.

That's it. I'm emailing Lockhart. Bubby's, you messed with the wrong (dangerously cramped-up) girl this afternoon.

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