Sometimes you go to lunch and everything goes wrong... hilariously wrong. Lunch today took a good 90 minutes and I laughed for about 45 of those.
We went to the new XO Chinese restaurant in Bellevue.
We were promptly seated in one of the private rooms, and that was the last thing that went right.
The menu was enormous, with at least 100 dishes. After a very long time, a waitress came and asked if we were ready. We were. But she didn't think so because we hadn't filled out the score-card indicating what we wanted. She said we had to fill it out and she'd be back. We never saw her again.
We filled it out almost immediately, but there was nowhere to put drinks.
Eventually a waiter showed up and snatched the score card. We had to beg him to slow down and let us order drinks. We asked for a couple of sodas and an Oolong tea and waters.
The onion-curry-pancake appetizer thing arrived and was delicious. But the appetizer plates and chopsticks were dirty and greasy. Like really greasy.
The sodas came out fine, plus a big pot of tea and FOUR teacups. They said it was jasmine but it tasted like Oolong. Weird. But no waters.
We asked for the waters again, and as long as most everyone was apparently having tea now, two more teacups. We got the SOME of the waters much later but never the teacups.
The manager poked his head in and informed me they were out of the noodles 'n' black bean sauce I ordered. This was annoying because we were forced to inscribe the order on the scorecard, without talking to the waitress. Ordering normally this would have been avoided. So I ordered the "Portuguese Squid Nightmare with Cheese" (as I'll call it) instead, because it was the only other thing I remembered from the menu.
The entrées came out one by one veeeerry slowly, and from different servers every time. The first victim got short ribs. They were supposed to be in a garlic sauce but they were in a honey sauce instead. They were extremely tough and difficult to eat. Victim 1 spent the rest of the meal picking the meagerest bits of protein off the bones.
The second victim got uncooked sliced potatoes with just a smack of pork lost inside. I don't know what it was called but we named it "Ham in a Haystack" since the pork part was needle-sized. It was almost inedible.
Victims 3, 4, and 5 all got Mongolian Beef. The server was extremely confused about who it was going to, and there was tons of unnecessary shuffling plates back and forth, and trying to hand a Mongbeef to someone who already had a Mongbeef. It was like Scooby-Doo.
The Mongbeef was the standard fare, and fortunately big enough to share with victims 1 and 2, who would have gone hungry otherwise.
Victim 4 asked for a side of rice. They asked if we were going to share. We asked how big the rice bowl was. They indicated "small." So 4 and 5 said they wanted one rice bowl each.
Then the weirdest server showed up with my "Portuguese Squid Nightmare with Cheese." Everyone had food but me, but he couldn't figure out who it was for. I just looked at him in disbelief before indicating it was mine. He then LEANED ALL THE WAY OVER victim 2, practically resting his chest on the "Ham in a Haystack" to hand me the Nightmare. There was AT LEAST 5 feet of clearance behind victim 2. He could have easily walked around. It was ultra bizarre. I couldn't stop laughing.
Then a waiter brought out ONE tiny bowl of rice and FIVE EMPTY BOWLS with soup spoons. I don't know what we were expected to do with those. I used one of the bowls to try the Oolong-jasmine tea.
The "Portuguese Squid Nightmare with Cheese" was actually pretty good and full of squid and cheese.
Victim 2 took the haystack potatoes home, to finish cooking them for breakfast tomorrow.