Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Probably the worst meal I had in Reykjavik, aside from the whale burger. The whale burger was so chewy and terrible that it doesn't even get a photo. However, there is a story that goes with it, but before I get to that, here's what's on the table at Potturinn og Pannan:

Grilled lamb (medium-rare) dressed with béarnaise sauce with orange bell peppers, carmelized onions, arugula and baked potato.

Now, allow me to precede the whale burger incident with the note that Iceland is NOT by any means a tipping culture. In my humble opinion, that means you often find lackadaisical servers unwilling to be (sometimes) pleasant or prompt. You will just sit at a table until a server decides he/she feels like coming to take your order. This drives me absolutely bananas.

So anyway, this burger came with very mushy french fries and the server forgot to bring the ketchup. These fries needed something, anything really, to redeem them. So I asked for ketchup and to my delight (10 minutes later) she brought over Heinz ketchup.

I pour some on my plate, dunk a fry, place in mouth. That was absolutely not Heinz ketchup. I mean, most Americans know the difference, but a Pittsburgh girl knows the difference by heart!

It just simply wasn't going to do. So, my french fry back-up condiment is honey.

I ask if they have honey. The waitress nods and comes back, looking a little perplexed, with a little bowl of honey, sets it curiously on the table and walks away.

When she comes back to collect the dishes, she says:

Were you eating fries with honey? (Gives me the eyebrow)
Because it's a little bit of sweet with the saltiness of the fries. (Didn't even mention the ketchup, isn't everybody proud?)

You are so awkward. So very, very awkward.

I've been called a lot of things in my time, but never awkward. Never even expected to ever be called awkward - by waitstaff, no less.

Haha, I mean, it's actually pretty comical. Can you just see my face? I didn't even say anything to her. I couldn't say anything to her. I was too shocked.

Needless to say, I'm a big fan of tipping societies. If you've done your job well, you get more, if you've done your job poorly, you get less. If you've taken 20 minutes to take an order, tried to pass off inedible ketchup for Heinz and insulted the patron, you get nothing. But don't worry, this waitress was already well compensated for her behavior in her pay check.

On a closing note: Hooooray capitalism!

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