Bad waiter, bad Nellie

Sometimes expectations are exceeded. Sometimes they're not. This past weekend contained both for me. Friday night they were exceeded by an exceptionally enjoyable performance of La Fille du Regiment at SF Opera that was much better than I thought it would be. As I mentioned in the previous post, it really was a delight.

Saturday night the Ginger, Mademoiselle MG and I went to celebrate MG's birthday at Greens, the City's legendary vegetarian restaurant at Fort Mason. Overall, the food was excellent and between the three of us we sampled a large quantity of items available on the prix fixe menu and thankfully the birthday girl's choices were the best, though nothing was a disappointment.

The service however, was appallingly bad. Once we were seated (close to half an hour after our reservation), we were there for another two and a half hours. Not that we were in a hurry in any way, but the long amount of time spent at the table was not because we were having a long, leisurely dinner but because our waiter just really didn't care about our table at all. It was really odd, especially since he had time to tell his life story to the tables around us (we couldn't help but observe this). He took almost half an hour to arrive at our table, and when he finally did, it was to drop off the amuse bouche without a word of introduction or any word at all. I asked if he was our waiter, which he affirmed, and was about to leave when I asked if we could order some drinks, which seemed to annoy him. The level of poor service remained throughout the meal, with only the arrival of the check being handled quickly. I left a tip that would cover the host's and busser's payout, and no more. Too bad, because the setting and meal were great, but I don't think I'd ever return.

Thankfully the company was terrific and we enjoyed ourselves despite the terrible waiter. I should add that MG has the ability to summon some interesting forces around her and the bad waiter thing has happened to us previously. So while she may have the uncanny ability to bring unusually warm and sunny days anytime she arrives in San Francisco, she may also be a magnet for seriously bad waiters, though when we had dinner at Sauce on Friday the service was excellent (and by a woman).

Sunday night we went to see Nellie McKay at Yoshi's. MG really liked the show, but I didn't, so since it's my blog, I get to write the comments. First of all, The first few songs were done in a consistent whiny pitch that reminded me of someone doing a bad impersonation of Dido at a piano bar (not that I dislike Dido- I just disliked the constant whine). McKay bills herself as quirky, and she is, but for me the  Doris Day on crack routine (which is supposed to be a tribute to Day) wore thin quickly, and some of the arrangements were just awful. Had  I been alone I would have bailed after the third song. At the end, McKay switched vocal gears into a Rickie Lee Jones mode that worked well on the last couple of numbers, but it was too late to win me over. The rest of the audience seemed pretty pleased by the show- so maybe it's just me, but I thought McKay's show was too much shtick, too little chops.