Disaster struck at Toro tonight. The corn was 86'd (among other items.) All hell nearly broke loose.
"So, you mean to tell me you're out of Brussels sprouts, bacalao, AND the corn??? You're killing me here!!!" I overheard one guest remark to his waitress.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait," the man at Table 31 said to me in proper, slightly accented English after I rattled off the list of 86's. "You just listed about seven items. Is there anything you DO have on the menu???" If you've ever been to Toro, or any tapas restaurant for that matter, you know -- the menu is comprised of at least like 30 dishes. "Yes, yes, there are some things we DO still have on the menu," I said.
I found Table 31's reaction dramatic, but I tried to remain patient and diplomatic. Running out of a dish is a disappointment that just can't be fixed for a guest, even if you are a super waitress. Culturally, we've been facing a lot of disappointment lately, and I can relate.
Running out of food tonight also reminded me of a podcast I listened to today detailing the economic crisis that currently has Iceland under seige, and the rather dramatic (misconceived) notion that Iceland is actually running out of food. "Tonight, Toro is like Iceland," I told my manager.
Table 31 managed to navigate the menu and had a satisfying dinner. They were very nice in the end, and despite their initial shock, remained patient and polite throughout all the disappointments of their dinner. Later, as I was sliding their table's credit card to cash them out, I realized: the accent, the name on the card, the bank...these people were from Iceland.
I know how bad it feels to be living through the American economic downturn, and all I've heard about the Icelandic crisis is that it's far, far worse.
I wish I could have saved them at least one order of the corn.