Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dive Night ~ Welsch's Big Ten Tavern, Part 2

Dive Night is a once monthly adventure undertaken by me and Husby, along with our friends Ruthie and Ray. Each couple alternates choosing a restaurant, one which must come under the category of "dive." Our definition of dive: a neighborhood gathering spot hiding under the radar with a laid-back atmosphere and good food. We'll find the most interesting hang-outs in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. Casual attire required. A sip of beer or wine doesn't hurt either. 

Welcome back to the continuing saga of our latest Dive Night at Welsch's Big Ten Tavern.  If you missed the first installment you can find it here

I'll cut right to the chase.  The reason I'll never go back to the Big Ten is because of...the staff. 

When we arrived at the Big Ten a waitress came to take our drink order.  We waited for about ten minutes and another completely different waitress came to us to take our drink order.  We told her someone else had taken our order and she apologized.  Our drinks arrived momentarily.

After we had some time to look at the menu the first waitress came along again to take our food order.  She had a little notebook and appeared to be taking the order in paragraph form.  Husby asked politely that we get two separate checks, and she replied "okay, I can do that later."  So we put in our order of appetizers and entrees with extras like a cup of soup, a side of waffle fries, onion rings, etc.  Once all was said and done the waitress was off to submit our order to the cook.

So there we are, me and Husby, Ruthie and Ray, sitting around trying to talk over the screaming happy-hour patrons directly behind us in the bar, when BAM! ~ a thud so sickening it gave me a little shot of adrenaline.  There on the floor right in front of our table lay an 85-year-old woman who took a tumble on the slanted floor of the dining room.  We noticed her earlier having dinner with whom appeared to be her son, although when she hit the floor the son was nowhere to be found.

Enter, my hero.  Husby rushed down to the elderly woman's side and put into action his training in first aide.  The woman's son is still MIA, but a crowd of waitresses gathers around the moaning lady on the floor.  She's unable to move and Husby continues to question her and comfort her.  The 20-something-aged waitresses stood gawking, and I kid you not, one of them had a finger in her mouth.  Finally I got up from the table and went to the group of airheads and said "could someone please call 911?!"  They stared at me as though I was asking them to perform brain surgery.  I went to find a manager when I saw a very petite girl on a cell phone (woman, actually, but none of these staff people was over twenty-five, which is a girl in my book).  She was clearly part of the staff.  I asked if she was calling 911 and she nodded.  A few seconds later, Mrs. I've-Fallen-And-I-Can't-Get-Up and Husby still on the floor, the cell phone girl asks me "should they bring an ambulance?"  Um, YES!!

I sat back down at the table and look!  Here come our appetizers!  The person delivering them had to practically step over the poor woman laying on the floor writhing in pain, but got our food to us, pronto.  I asked that she hold the rest of our food until the matter on the floor was taken care of.  Just as I made my request, the music started playing.  Nothing like loud bar music to put a fallen woman at ease.

By now the son made his reappearance.  Interestingly he remained one of the gawkers, on his feet, staring down on his old mother who was practically paralyzed on the floor.  And Husby remained her comfort until help arrived.


Help finally did arrive after Husby spent time with the old gal, making sure she was conscious, chatting with her to distract her from the pain, putting her purse under her head for a little comfort on the cold floor.  The EMTs strapped her on the board, hoisted her up onto the gurney, and as they started to wheel her away she uttered a meek "thank you" to Husby who had made her fall a little less terrifying.  The son was also grateful to Husby, but despite his politeness we assessed him to be a complete loser.

*Sigh* Now to dig into the appetizers.  Oh look!  Here come three waitresses with the remainder of our order, all of the entrees.  Well, I'll give it to them that they did actually wait until the broken lady was removed from the floor in front of our table.  But there it all is, all the food, all at once.  Not only that, there was plenty wrong with the order.  Husby and I were missing our cole slaw, they forgot my sour cream, an order of waffle fries was delivered instead of an order of onion rings (or vice-versa, I can't remember), etc.  And none of these three waitresses was our original waitress.

There were the four of us, trying to regain our appetites after watching an old lady crash to the floor, coming to her aid (Husby, that is), and witnessing the complete and utter stupidity and ineptitude of the restaurant staff with a table full of food staring at us.  Then walked in a guy who also looked as though he was part of the staff.  (They all wore black shirts, which doesn't seem like it would be considered a uniform, but it was.)

Recounting it now is kind of a blur.  The guy was talking to someone else, but I don't remember who it was.  It was obvious this other person was cluing him in on what happened with the old woman.    They were standing right in front of our table, in the area where the woman fell.  I remember shouting at him over the drunken rowdies behind us, "are you the manager?!"  He gave me a look at me that suggested I had no business butting into their conversation.  "What?" he asked.  "Are you the manager?" I asked again.  "Yeah," he said, "why?"  I said "where where you when all of this happened?!"  "Where were you?!"  And then I'll never forget what he said.  "Why are you giving me the third degree?"

The third degree.  Well it was very clear right then and there that Ruthie, Ray, Husby and I were the only people in that place with an ounce of common sense, a smidgen of compassion, and a skosh of responsibility.  Apparently the manager was out making a delivery when the incident occurred.  It didn't really matter because even if he had been on the premises the situation wouldn't have played out any differently, I'm sure of that.  But still I wondered why one of his bubble-headed underlings couldn't run a delivery while he, big man on campus, ran the establishment he is paid to run.  He averted our questions like a pro.

Then came the bill for our food.  While we were assured the bill would be separated for each couple when we placed our orders, it was, surprise surprise, not separated at all.  Husby went through the bill and circled our food and off she went once again to separate the two bills.  It still wasn't right and I owe Ruthie $8.  The waitress thinks we owe her a tip too.  She thinks wrongly.  And we think Welsch's owes little old lady a new hip.

Welsch's with the side-ways slanty floors, dopey waitresses, loud and obnoxious patrons, and defensive manager will never see the likes of us again.  It's too bad too, that pizza roll appetizer was pretty darn good. 

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