SPLIT ORDERS

…aspects which¬†make the dining¬†enjoyable…

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SPLIT ORDERS
In a restaurant review the story’s writer raved about her dinner, at Triples, and the choices which I had made for the two of them, her and her mother. I had not even the slightest idea who they were, until the end of their meal.
Only after they had signed the guest book and paid their check, the younger of the two ladies told me the second reasons for their visit at Triples restaurant. “I’m writing an article about Triples restaurant.” She said, getting up ready to leave, as a matter of fact.
When the two women entered the restaurant, the younger had told me her main reason: “It’s my mother’s birthday.” “It’s a big one.” “I couldn’t think of any better place to take her.” My first guess was, this must be the mother’s fiftieth. She did not tell me her age and I did not ask. I seated both, brought them their ice-water and bread and explained the menu. They did not care for any cocktail. Both ladies found many items they liked and expressed their indecision between the various choices. To make it easier, and to create a special dining experience, I offered to split several courses for them.
While the two women browsed through the menu I went and talked to the chef. After a little arm twisting he agreed not only to split full orders but to make half orders of whatever they would like to try.
Back at the two ladies’ table they had narrowed their choices down to only six items before dessert.
“How about small orders of each of the six items you like to have?”
Both were thrilled about the offer. They liked my rationalization of, “So you don’t have to make up your mind but get to taste a little of everything.”
And I did as suggested. I served them six half orders arranged into fitting courses. I even split each half order at the table for the two. They expressed their surprise when I divided their food with fork and spoon in my hand as equal as possible onto two plates. Neither one of them had expected more than an extra plate being brought to their table. That somebody would take the time to split their food was impressive for both.
Their level of excitement grew when I brought them matching wines and again they got to share. There was not much work involved, on my part, in dividing a couple of glasses of wine, each into two glasses. Nevertheless for the two who said “We are light drinkers!” this dinner escalated into an unexpected feast. Both women cleaned their plates and for dessert I brought them one sampler plate, with a variety of desserts and a burning candle.
I reminded the birthday lady “Don’t forget to make your wish!”
Leaving, both ladies thanked me. Not only made my splitting of the various courses their dinner affordable, it also made it possible for both women to sample a wide variety of our food. Two weeks later I read the half page article in THE COURIER. She wrote: “…the aspect which made our dining experience even more enjoyable, than the split half-orders, was our waiter. He knew exactly when to clear a plate, how to interrupt and anticipated our every need. He added the often missing element to make this the most perfect outstanding meal… .”

by helmut schonwalder