There’s this hole-in-the-wall Thai place, unpromisingly located in a squat grey strip mall next to Pizza Hut. It is never as busy inside as I think it should be. The waitress- I’m pretty sure there is only just the one- always greets me with a crooked grin and confirms I want ‘the usual’ before I can even sit down. She is a tiny lady who wears her black hair in a bob and speaks just enough English.
Even if it wasn’t my favorite pad thai around, I would keep coming back because it just feels delicious to be greeted so warmly.
I brought a friend there the last time I was in town. I should note here that she ordered exactly the same meal I did, which I really appreciate because, why is it that when you tell someone a certain dish is the whole reason you go to that place, they don’t just order it immediately? Be adventurous, yeah, yeah, yeah. I can appreciate that but really I also kind of find it so daunting.
I know they will want some of mine.
This trip to Colorado, when the airport shuttle dropped me off in front of the same friend’s house, I slumped up to her front door totally exhausted. She greeted me with this awesome little story. I had to share.
A few weeks earlier, she had taken her boyfriend to my little restaurant and wanted to order what we had the last time; she just couldn’t remember what, precisely, it was.
Luckily, she is a brilliant genius: she remembered my celebrity, how quickly the waitress had recognized me last time. She pulled up a picture of me from Facebook on her phone.
Do you remember her? she said. I want what she usually gets.
After one false start- and I can just imagine the sweet woman looking terribly chagrined when she couldn’t recognize me in the first photo- the waitress was delighted, my friend got her order, the end. A pretty good use of technology, I’d say.