Well, I ******* did it again...
Referring to post # 786 of this thread, I seem to be under what I'm going to call the Bagel Curse.
For about a year now, I've been meeting a couple of friends for breakfast every Friday morning. We frequent a local establishment called Tip-Tip Meats
, run by a man named John Haedrich. "Big John," as he is known, is a mountain of a man. A former professional boxer in East Germany, John is presently in his 80s and looks like he could probably still kill a man with his bare hands. In a fight between Big John and Saxton Hale, all life on earth would most likely be wiped out as collateral damage.
Anyway, Tip-Top is a butcher shop of the old school, meaning they actually still purchase whole, unprocessed animal carcasses and do all of the cutting / grinding / etc in house. (Their sausages are incredible.) It also contains a small delicatessen and restaurant; the sort of place where you go up to the counter to place your order and pay, then you find a seat and they bring the food to you when it's ready.
There's also a small grocery store which sells mostly German products. Walking through it always takes me back to the brief time I spent living and working over there, which was a very happy time in my life.
And a very nicely stocked Beer Room:
But I digress...
Breakfast is typically a hearty affair; meat, potatoes, more meat, a couple of eggs over easy, and some toast to dip in them. They also serve up a mean Eggs Benedict. Good stuff. The restaurant itself is also cool as hell. I'm pretty sure that the decor hasn't changed since John built the place just after escaping from East Germany and emigrating to the US in the 60s.
And the staff, well... It's a family affair, meaning three generations of pure-bred German women. And the youngest of 'em ain't too hard on the eyes.
One random morning not so long ago, I happened to not be feeling in the mood for a half-pound of cholesterol. And I noticed, for the first time, that they offered a bagel with lox. So I ordered it.
As soon as my plate arrived, I knew I'd made a terrible mistake.
The bagel was incredible. Perfectly toasted, and carefully arranged with generous portions of salmon, capers, tomato and onion all in an ideal balance. And utterly delicious as well- this could easily give a NYC Jewish-deli lox bagel a run for its money.
Needless to say, the restaurant has been ruined as a result of this. They are still in business, but the following things have happened:
1: The cute waitress (John's grand-daughter) has left. She's apparently moved up to LA and is pursuing some bullshit acting career. Sadly, this is the same one who always remembered our exact orders, spoke perfect English, and never messed anything up at all.
2: The ordering and delivery system itself has changed. Now, you get a little plastic card with a number printed on it when you order, and you're expected to stick it into a holder at the table so that whoever they hired to replace the cute girl can find you. Stupidly, they can never grasp the concept that there are always four of us, and we always order as a group and then sit at the same table at the same time every single Friday morning, so even if you still need to give us a number, at least assign the same damn number to all four of us, since THE STUPID HOLDER AT THE TABLE ISN'T BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD THE FOUR SEPARATE NUMBER CARDS THAT YOU INSIST ON GIVING US!
3: They fixed the electrical cord on the hotplate that the self-serve coffee pots are kept on. It used to spark any time someone accidentally moved it, which was comical and sort of fit with the overall character of the place. Now getting coffee is no longer a hazardous task, and I think the experience as a whole is diminished for it.
4: The jam vendor has changed. They used to have Knotts Berry Farm jams for the toast, and the aforementioned cute waitress always remembered that I preferred the orange marmalade. Now, they have this bullshit from Welch's that's 74% corn syrup, and it doesn't even COME in an orange marmalade version.
I blame myself. I knew full well what might happen when I ordered that damn bagel, but I dismissed the consequences and did it anyway. Now, that bagel can never be un-ordered.