After returning from an arduous morning of picking fresh, ripe strawberries and uprooting dusty purple beets from Larriland Farms out in Maryland, a group of friends and I decided it was high time for lunch. More specifically, it was time for a burger. To Open City we strolled. Now, for a little unnecessary, but amusing, scene-setting context:
It was Pride weekend in DC.
Accordingly, our waitresses were bedecked in flaming purple, yellow and orange Pride beads, and many wore some fantastically flamboyant hair accessories. Think feathers.
To our right sat a table of glum-looking Pro-Life supporters. Outfitted in aquamarine t-shirts emblazoned with messages like, “A person is a person no matter how small,” and “Your mom chose life,” they were looking more than a little uncomfortable.
Now back to the burger. A friend and I ordered the exact same thing – a cheeseburger with fries. Following the menu’s written request to “please inform us of any food allergies before ordering,” I ordered first, requesting that they note the corn and peanut allergies on the meal ticket. My (non-allergic) friend went next: “I’ll have exactly what she’s having.”
About 15 minutes later, our plates were set before us. Two identical plates. Two completely bun-less burgers. We looked at each other, smirking and issuing “ummmm” noises.
We hailed our waitress, who immediately understood the mistake. “We’ve been going through some allergy training,” she said, “and our when our chefs see the word ‘allergy’ on a ticket, they immediately take all the bread away in fear of wheat allergies.” She apologized profusely, and we all laughed at the well-meaning, but misguided chefs. A minute later, we were presented with two perfectly grilled buns, which we immediately slathered with ketchup and slapped on our naked burgers. Delicious.
Props to Open City for the acknowledgement of food allergies in their menu, and in their training practices for staff. They might just want to be a bit more discerning when reading the allergy notification on the ticket…
Open City 2331 Calvert Street NW Washington, DC 20008
Have you had any comedic mishaps at restaurants? How did the management handle it?
For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy this classic “Good Burger” sketch from All That.