Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday To You and Soileau's Dinner Club, Opelousas, La.

What's not to like? Before the temperatures reached the high today of 71, I was circling the roadster with a wet soft cloth soaked in soap suds. I scrubbed the little car and rinsed it off then moved it into the sunlight to dry the rag top before I would fold it down into the trunk of the car. I say "trunk" with some hesitation. I know that's what they call it on this car but they should really have called it a "top holder" because that is all it holds.

I took my time as I waited for the temperature to reach it's high for today. Carrie was waiting to be picked up from Gr.Grandmothers and I wanted it to be warm enough to put the top down when I made the 30 mile drive to get her.

We had a nice trip back. She was so happy when I arrived and raced to me screaming "Nanny! Nanny!".
It's better then having a dog. At least at the age of 5yrs. Carrie is as excited as a puppy when she sees me appear and better then a puppy, she can squeal and call out my name.
We zipped down the highway with the wind whipping our hair out behind us or wrapping around our faces. Laughing and singing along with the radio, the sun warmed us.

Today was Poppy's birthday and as soon as she entered the house she raced over to him with kisses and hugs. They played outside most of the afternoon while I did laundry and housework.
I took Carrie back to her house in the late afternoon and then got ready to go for a birthday dinner with the husband. He wanted to try a place about 30 miles up the highway in Opelousas. Seafood was their specialty and he wanted Cajun Shrimp.
This restaurant has been in business for 40plus yrs. and has a good reputation. Anticipation was high for a good meal this evening.

We entered and halted to wait for the host/hostess to appear to seat us. A man sitting on a bench at the front informed us that we could just seat ourselves. We found a table for two by the wall dividing the dining room from the wait staff. Soon a waiter appeared with menus, greeted us and said he would be right back. As good as his promise, he did get right back to us and after that, it slid downhill rapidly.

I looked around the room and noted the few tables that were occupied. Couples were seated at three tables across the room along the wall. Next to us, another couple were just finishing their meal and preparing to leave. The 8 other tables were loaded with dirty dishes and silverware and apparently the waiter/bus boy combo wasn't keeping up very well. He was about 20 yrs. old and appeared to be a little hesitant about his job. When we ordered our meal and I asked about something on the menu, he couldn't answer my question and didn't offer to find the information for me. I nodded and smiled and ordered anyway.

1hr.15 minutes later, the husband finally stopped the waiter and asked if we could have our drinks served. After 20 minutes, I had already mentioned to the husband that we had not been served our drinks but the husband has much more patience then I. It took a full hour and fifteen minutes before he became concerned.
The drinks appeared after another 5 minutes.

20 minutes later, a salad appeared. 30 minutes after the salad, the waiter stopped by to tell us it shouldn't be much longer. They had been busy with a big table on the other side of the  restaurant. We had now been in this restaurant for 2 hrs  and had still not been served our meal.
The husband had had enough and told the waiter to bring our bill for two salads and two drinks. We went to the register where another 20ish fellow showed up to charge us for two drinks and two salads. Not one person looked concerned that we were disappointed in the meal or the service.
It was at this time that I asked to speak to the manager. This 23 or 24 yr old looked at me and said "I am the manager." I then said "I would like to speak to the owner." and to this he said "I'm in the process of being the owner!" I told him that some one should be ashamed of themselves for the 2 hrs. we had spent in this establishment. Didn't they think that this was an unreasonable time to wait? 
He wasn't interested in our complaints and boldly said "He wasn't going to listen to me and he didn't have to."  I could feel the steam cleaning out my ears.
Soileaus Dinner Club, Opelousas, La. 
Somewhere about this time he ordered me to leave while telling me how long this restaurant had been in business. My reply "Apparently you weren't managing it all those years. I'll be back next year to see if you're still in business!"

Apparently this young man thinks his business will survive on the reputation this restaurant owned for the past 40 yrs? I'm anticipating a huge surprise for him.
This adventure tonight started about 1530 hrs. and we made it back home at 2100 hrs. We went to Outback and had our dinner served by professional wait staff. Quickly and efficiently our meal was ordered and delivered. I watched these trained waiters and waitresses that were trained by a big chain store type group and could understand why Outback does so well wherever it opens. Good food and good service and at today's prices you won't survive without both.

It has to be bad before I complain. It has to be REALLY bad. Tonight was one of those nights.

Another nice day has been promised. I knew I should have cleaned closets and done more housework when the weather was cold and drab. Now I don't want to spend my time in the house. I want to be outdoors in the sunshine. Soon it will be too much sunshine for too many hours and I will be hiding out in the aircondtioned rooms.
I'll finish my coffee and get a quick shower and be gone.


  1. Boy oh boy I can't believe you waited that
    long, I would have blown a gasket after about a half hour and as mad as I would have been by the two hour point if he had also been rude I more than likely would have made my first trip to jail for assult. One good thing about your evening, it will be easy to remember !

  2. That young man has a lot to learn. He is in for a shock if he thinks he can trade on a restaurants good reputation, without putting in the work. Without doubt, he will be out of business next year...probably a lot sooner.
    And what an attitude! Is it me? Or do people of his generation just not have any manners these days?


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