We were out and about yesterday on the other side of town, so DH and I (with the DDs in tow) stopped in at a restaurant his parents like. I've been there a few times before - it's a big diner, the kind that serves biscuits & gravy all day and always has old people eating there. It's known for being a hangout for local politicians - the last few times we went with the ILs, we ran into some politicians FIL knows.
Anyway, the restaurant is actually three dining rooms - one main room, one side room, and a bunch of booths and tables around a central register near the door. We got there right at noon on a Saturday, so I thought they might be busy, but the parking lot was half-empty. Fine, maybe their busy time is mostly during the week?
We get in and stand around awkwardly for five minutes or so until some other customers come in and brush past us to seat themselves, at which point we realized we probably should just find our own table. (We were standing less than ten feet from the cashier at the register - she was helping/chatting with someone paying, but she still ought to have noticed us and let us know it was self-seating!) We made our way into one of the other two dining rooms and had our choice of two tables (out of the dozen or so there). Not because the others were busy, mind you, but because they all had dirty dishes on them!
Ten minutes later an octogenarian in a waitress uniform shuffles up to our table and takes our drink orders. Menus? Oh, yeah, they do have menus . . . [insert shuffling over to one of the unbussed tables and scrounging for some greasy papers here.] The menus were just printer paper, not even laminated, and had obviously seen better days. Our waitress wanders off after taking our drink orders and picking up one (only one) dirty plate from one of the nearby tables. She did eventually come back with our drinks so we could order (DH's drink was wrong). I asked for my salad's tomatoes to be on the side.
Out comes our food and - surprise! - I not only have a salad covered in tomatoes, but an extra plate of sliced tomatoes as well. "Chunked" tomatoes would be more accurate - the slices were about an inch thick. I made some comment about them as I pointedly added my salad's tomatoes to the extra plate, and the waitress mumbled something about taking the charge for the extra tomatoes off the bill since she had misheard me.
Babybartfast's french fries weren't cooked all the way through, and I couldn't tell which bit on my plate was chicken salad and which was tuna salad
(One was yellow and pickle-fish-flavored, the other was white and pickle-fish-flavored.) Third salad in the trio was waldorf salad, which was pretty good despite the hair in it.
We waited around a while after finishing, and DH finally had to go into the other dining room and flag down someone else's waitress to get the bill. I mean, I'm all for people doing whatever jobs they can do despite their age, but part of being a waitress is being mobile and our waitress . . . wasn't, really.
I don't remember this place being this bad last time we were here, but I'm not eager for there to be a next time either. The sad thing is, it's been open for 80 years - maybe the sad lack of lunch traffic is a sign of change.