The Oddest Waiter in Town.
Irwin & I get together once or twice a year. We like to catch up, have a couple drinks and eat dinner. When I lived in Westport some years ago, I use to eat at Mike Kelly's Westsider occasionally. It was usually pretty good fare.
I suggested the place to Irwin, who had never been there and we planned to meet the following Wednesday.
It was a warm rainy night and customers were milling around waiting for the weather to clear before leaving. We chose a table in the front middle of the room and awaited service.
We noticed our forty-something waiter pecking his way across the room. He stopped at four or five tables (occupied or otherwise) before he acknowledged us - well, sort of acknowledged us. He popped over to the table and asked us what we wanted. As Irwin asked him a question "M" as we shall call him ( not Mike Kelly ) looked the other way and acted as though he did not hear him. He kind of stared towards the kitchen and then floated back to us.
We placed our drink order (beer) and asked for menus. When M came back he awkwardly placed our drinks down and sped off.
The rain stopped and most of the patrons left.
When we signaled M down we had a few questions about the menu and decided what to order. We ordered more drinks and in a sudden unexpected motion M pulled the empty glasses from the table.
Our next round came and we were caught up in good conversation. A small puddle of beer ( half ounce ) appeared and I called M over. As I asked him for something to wipe it up, he reached down, flung my small paper napkins down on the beer and said "Use that" and walked away. Irwin and I looked at each other with incredulity.
A couple minutes later he poked back around and used a handful more bar naps to take care of the problem.
M said nothing to us the entire visit other than what he was absolutely required to. No "how's it going?" or "Hey guys, everything alright?" or "Man, look at it rain!" or even "How's that steak?"
As our attention was drawn towards M we realized something odd was going on. When he would pass a table he would suddenly grab an empty glass and jerk it up into his grasp. Other times he would pirouette around a table to grab his victims.
Our dinners came and were plopped down in a herky jerky fashion. Again we were surprised.
Irwin ordered the mexican-like special and was not impressed. it had cookied veggies and sauces but was all too soft and without substance - but not entirely bad mind you. He ate about half.
I sprung for the 12 dollar steak. The cook knew what he was doing! Nice cut of meat, cooked the way I ordered it and very tasty. Well worth the price. But the damage had already been done.
I noticed that we were about the only ones there that were eating dinner.
A little band of some sort was going to play later and a young longhair with his cute girlfriend slid in the back door and anounced how cool the rainbow was. I excused myself and went out to the parking lot and they were right. They joined me and we quietly watched, dumbly smiling at each other.
I turned and glanced back at the door and M was standing inside staring at me. Creeeeepy....
Fifty bucks. That's what our drinks and dinner cost. On an early Wednesday evening with few other diners at Mike's Westsider, I could only bring myself to tip 10%.
Irwin & I went out the front and decided to stop right next door at the "Boozefish." As we entered we sat at the bar and the sweet longtime owner came over and recognized me. She happily took our order and Irwin ordered a lite salmon special which proved to be delicous. We realigned ourselves and our evening ended happily after all.
JM July 18, 2010
Kansas City's oldest Creole-Cajun restaurant boasts a menu that includes alligator sausage, crawfish pie, muffuletta and sweet blue crab..
The setting is straight from Bourbon Street and so is the crowd. Regardless of the month, Mardi Gras excitement infuses the joint. The bawdy resident musicians, Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band, play most Saturday nights, while a jazz and blues swing band takes the stages on Wednesdays.
Expect all the Louisiana traditional dishes, plus sweet potato soup, crawfish enchiladas and Creole roast pork. Sunday brunch is served until 3pm; with menu selections including crab cakes Benedict, Creole biscuits and gravy, Bon Ton hash with homemade sausage and, of course, beignets. Speaking of sweets, don't miss the rich bread pudding with whiskey sauce or the chocolate almond pie.
What to Bring
Bring an exotic bottle of hot sauce that's not already in Kiki's collection and trade it for a free drink.
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