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In France, bad waiter trumps good meal

Posted by guest  April 22, 2011 08:47 AM

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Dear catastrophe waiter
Dear catastrophe waiter
I’m sorry that you seem have the weight of the world over you
I cherish your smile

– Lyrics (with a tiny gender substitution) by Belle and Sebastian


I’m not sure what phase of the meltdown I arrive in, but the sweet-as-honey waitress hadn’t started crying yet.

Walking into at Café Gadagne, a beautiful spot with a terraced patio designed to be a compliment to the newly-refurbished Musée whose name it bears, I’m glared at by the waiter, a walking black cloud whose pants hang a bit too far down the southern half of his rear end for a place this nice.

Turns out he glares at everyone, clanking plates, occasionally pretending everything’s OK, but his whirlpool of bad juju sucks the place down around him. A smart teacher would put this kid in the "time out'' corner. Instead, he bosses the hard-working waitress around in front of everybody until she implodes.

Too bad. The food would be good if you could get past his distraction. I would have enjoyed my pumpkin "cappuccino'' soup with roasted chestnuts – there was a nice hot/cold thing going on, but it’s lost in the chaos. Ditto for my steak tartare.

Appropriately chaotic jazz warbles out of the kitchen and at one point, the chef comes out, smiling and oblivious. This is where I realize the bigger failure: Nobody’s in charge.

Who knows? I was there a few weeks ago and maybe he’s gone by now. We can all hope, but I’m not going back to find out.

Count on about 20 euros.

Café Gadagne
1 Place du Petit Collège
Lyon
011 33 4 78 62 62 34 60

********************************

 

Food and travel writer and photographer Joe Ray is the 2009 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year and author of the blog Eating The Motherland. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @joe_diner


Photo
by Joe Ray for The Boston Globe

 


 



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