Weird things that have happened to you in restaurants

So here I am, in my third or fourth year of college and in Amsterdam coming off of an incredibly powerful mushroom trip. I’m tired, confused, and easily freaked out by an already freaky city.

I settle into some gross pizzaria and wait for my pizza to cook. Being completely spaced out and intensely interested in the smallest things, I notice he’s got a 42" plasma TV in the corner blasting booty rap with half-naked black girls rubbing up all over a Bentley. I’m stupified at how weird that scene is and apparently gawking with my mouth open, because the Turkish guy manning the register turned towards me and said in his best English, “you like?”

“You like?”, pointing at the huge-assed black girl with thick lips grinding against a car.
“You know. Brown sugar? ;););)”

I gave him a look of “oh dear god how have I found myself in this situation.” He turned bright red and wouldn’t look at me for the next half hour.

Easily one of the most bizarre times of my life.

Last night, my husband and I were walking home from the train station after a long day in the city. We were trying to get to our car, which was parked a few blocks down and in somewhat isolated area. It was dark and rainy, with few people on the streets.

I turned to him. ‘‘I am starving.’’
He agreed, and at that exact moment in time, we stumbled across an otherwise deserted parking lot with rows of what I can only describe as tiny trailers plastered with menu items. The two in the front were dark and lifeless, but emanating from behind them was a pulsing middle-eastern inspired techno beat.

‘‘Wait, is that actually a place that sells food?’’ It was as if, magically, all our wishes had been granted, in the middle of an isolated residential street in New Jersey.

We approached the trailer/food booth, which required us to walk quite a ways back into the parking lot, out of visibility from the street. There were two or three people ordering. I don’t remember everything on the menu, but there was an excessive use of the phrase FAT SANDWICHES. THE FAMOUS FAT SANDWICH. ROAST BEEF FAT SANDWICH. I was aware they were menu items, but somehow nothing on the menu made sense. I felt an overpowering sense of deception.

We were next in line. The guy behind the counter looked down at us expectantly, bathed in the sound of mystical techno.

I glanced over at my husband. We wordlessly came to the conclusion we weren’t eating there, turned around, and got the hell back on the main road. I can only describe it as akin to the sensation one gets when a magical shop appears and a shriveled old man appears hawking a monkey’s paw.

Once we were out of ear shot, husband said, ‘‘Is it just me, or…’’
‘‘No, not just you.’’

We talked about what a surreal experience it was the whole way to Burger King. Maybe we were just exhausted, but a part of me secretly wonders if we didn’t escape unspeakable horror last night.

Sounds like a good plot for a Stephen King story, actually. :smiley:

No gypsies offering pie. I think I’m in the clear.

There is a 70’s style Tiki restaurant near our house. An out of state business associate stayed with us and wanted to go there for dinner. We got there and my wife and I ordered. However, the business associate was a complete air-head. She stared at the menu, asked stupid questions, stared at the menu, asked stupid questions etc. All of the sudden, the waitress, a fat middle-aged women, just took the large tray that she was holding in her hands and literally through it across the room and walked off. A few minutes later the waitress came back and asked us “Now what does SHE want?”. I would have complained but our guest really was an obnotcuous air-head.

olivesmarch4th I have this feeling you would have gotten a sandwich made from roast beef fat.

A friend and I were feeling rather hungry one night, and it was decided by random draw (that is, I was the one who had a penis) that I should be the one to go into the wild and hunt down the wild submarine sandwiches.

I walked into a sub shop owned by swarthy foreigners, possibly Greek or Mideastern. One young man at the counter looked rather eager to help. Possibly this was his first job ever and he wanted to make an impression.

As I waited in line, a man walked in waving a ten dollar bill and told the cashier “I just need two fives.” The eager counter guy eagerly said, in an eager voice, “OK, two fries!”, and disappeared in the back. The annoyed cashier made change for the man, who then left. A few minutes later, Mr. Eager re-emerged with a couple of orders of fries and announced “Who ordered two fries?”

I went to a restaurant with my wife. The waitress dumped a whole carafe of red wine in my lap. As soon as it happened ,my wife recognized her. It was a friend of hers in high school. I went to the bathroom to clean up. When I returned my wife had told her to forget about it, it was no problem. I did not even get a free drink. My pants were ruined.

Whatever you do, don’t eat the frogurt.

You must lead a very ordinary life, if that counts as bizarre to you.

I ate at a little town in Italy (one of the Cinque Terra towns), and ordered a plate of antipasto. I was seated on outside, on a covered deck next to the door. A cat comes around, looking hungry and rubbing on my leg, so I gave it a scrap of meat. Bad idea. All the sudden like three other cats are there, and it’s war. I’ve started a damned cat fight in a nice little restaurant. Brilliant, hu?

Lunch on expenses with some colleagues in an airport restaurant somewhere - Glasgow, I think - We sat down and started looking at the menu and the waitress arrived, greeted us and took our drinks order. Two minutes later, she came back and greeted us and asked if we would like any drinks.

We thought she was just being forgetful, so we ordered the drinks again, in somewhat annoyed tones. Five seconds later, she came back with a tray containing all of our drinks.

Turned out it was identical twins.

I’ve had that exact same experience, Mangetout. I ended up with three drinks and a confused look on my face until I tipped to it.

For me? Carville. Yes, him. Downtown DC someplace. He just worked the tables eating bits off other peoples plates and trying to spin coverage. It was awesome and awesomely weird, all at once. That damn louisianan sure can put on a show when he wants to.

It’s a tie.

#1. My girlfriend and I, in our 20’s, were having dinner at a local Mexican place. An older couple at the next table started arguing, and then started using a stream of four-letter words at each other :eek:, keeping it up through their whole meal. We thought after they left that one of them was going to kill the other. We mentioned to our waitress how uncomfortable that made us feel, and she said, “Oh, they come in here every week and do that.” :rolleyes:

#2. I was driving home at about 2:00 AM with my band from a gig somewhere in Michigan. We stopped into a diner to have breakfast. We were dressed alike, so a few people struck up a conversation and we talked about the band. Two of them asked us if we had a record (no, we were just a local bar band) and the sax player Randy, ever the joker, said, “I think CookingWithGas has a 45,” and something, God knows what, made me say, “No, but I have a 22,” and so this guy pulls out a holstered gun and says, “Well I have a .38!” :eek: Ha, ha, gulp. A few minutes later, they left. There was a guy about 19 behind the counter, flipping eggs and pancakes quite deftly. We were all impressed, so the next time he flipped a pancake I applauded and the whole band joined in. He seemed actually upset about it, disappeared for a minute, and then resumed his duties. Minutes later, Mr. 38 strolls in and wanted to know who was causing a problem. “I hate smartasses. I *love *trouble.” Waving his holstered gun around. I tried to talk our way out of it–you see, we’re performers, and people applaud to show their appreciation of us, so we were just–he wasn’t buying it. We scarfed down what was left of our food, paid, and tore out of there never to be seen again.

Only slightly weird.

I went to a restaurant on a blind date, and just by coincidence the waitresses happened to be wearing outfits identical to mine (a simple black shirt and black pants). So on the way to the bathroom a guy asked me to take his order. I had a good laugh.

Heh. I was sort of thinking that too. In fact I was sure the story was going to conclude how they bought the Middle Eastern mystery fat-food (call it Khlav Kalash), and it was the best thing they’d ever tasted, but they never saw this place again and have never figured out what it was they ate.

But no, having had the mystery food trailer with the near-nonsensical menu appear from nowhere and had the surreal moment of standing in front of a silently expectant vendor blaring incomprehensible techno music… they just walked away? :confused: :eek: :rolleyes:

I guess that’s why they’re in New Jersey! D&R

Seriously though – some of the best Middle Eastern food I’ve ever had was something I still don’t know what it was, I walked into a random place with nearly everything written in Arabic off Atlantic Avenue 12 years ago and equally randomly pointed at something on the menu, after some gesturing and inconsistent English translating by the guy behind the grill (by which I don’t mean a cooking surface: the counter was a metal fence with a slot in it). I asked what three different things were made of, then went back and asked about item #1 again, then #2, then back to #1. Two of the three times (the first and third time) I was told item #1 involved “goat”, though the middle time “chicken” was the answer. I think it was goat because I eat chicken prepared in many different ways and brother, this wasn’t chicken!

I wouldn’t say that’s a weird thing that happened to me, though – basically I sought it out, so it shouldn’t count. Hmmm… Maybe the time I was eating at a Chinese restaurant where the people a few tables over screamed and claimed they’d found a roach in their food (a stir-fried meat and vegetable dish) that then ran off.

This was at a restaurant where at least 80% of the patrons were Chinese, including the complainant. The manager came over and started arguing back, saying that this had to be some kind of trick or lie, to either extort a free meal or money out of them. Because obviously, if a roach had been cooked in the food it would be dead, and what were the chances a live roach would just lie quietly in a pile of food brought in from the kitchen until they’d eaten about a quarter of the stuff? Maybe they brought the roach in themselves! The nerve!

This whole thing began and escalated in (Mandarin) Chinese (which I speak). Interestingly enough, none of the Chinese patrons in the restaurant (including me and my own family) were very much deterred in eating our own food while this was going on, while the non-Chinese patrons, of course, didn’t know what was going on.

Then, the complainer made the strategic move to switch into English to press his case. “It was a roach,” he said suddenly. “There was a roach in my food!” He said this loudly enough that I could overhear from the next table, but only loudly enough that the closest non-Chinese diners a few more tables over could just make note of the fact that English was now being spoken, but not make out the words. You could tell they had, too: they’d been looking over amusedly, but now were looking over in a more curious and interested manner.

Boy, did the manager change his tune. First he protested (in Chinese) “Hey now, why speak in English all of a sudden?” Then as the complainant continued to repeat (more loudly and still in English) about “the roach”, the manager pulled him by the arm towards the corner of the room. The complainant pulled his arm free and demanded to know (now in Chinese again) what the manager was going to do about it.

The manager pulled the guy closer and spoke low enough that even we at the next table couldn’t hear any more, and they did go into a corner, and soon the table was cleared and the complaining party left without any further trouble.

My Mom was pretty sure this was a Chinese Mafia “shakedown”, and I’m pretty sure she was right.

When i was working in a restaurant back senior year of high school, 2 of my friends came in to get root beer floats and bacon cheese fries. They were also peaking on ecstacy + acid (candyflipping). They’d done this before, apparently our fries and shakes tasted heavenly on ecstacy.

One time in particular, they came in and got seated in the smoking section. I came out and chatted with them for a bit, when out of the blue, a family of 6 midgets and 1 normal size person get seated directly next to them.

They both got all clammy, shakey, nervous from the band of midgets running around the table next to them (they had kids, and this was a family restaurant. My one friend wound up spilling his milkshake on the floor. They couldn’t look anyone in the eye, and just kept their eyes down towards the floor for the remainder of their meal.

Wait, how long have you lived in Jerz that you haven’t heard about the grease trucks? Maybe it’s a college thing-- the only time I set foot near the Rutgers campus I was informed of and later visited the grease trucks. I thought that everyone in town knew about them though.

The weirdest thing that ever happened to me in a restaurant was something that I did. It was more embarrassing than weird. I was running a nonprofit and a man that had a family trust contacted me and asked me to lunch to talk about our programs. He and I both knew that the lunch was about getting him to make a donation but it was my first time with a rich donor and I couldn’t get myself to come right out and ask him about the money. The lunch dragged on and on as I rambled nervously about everything that I could think of to tell him. After about 2 hours he asked me if I was ever going to get to the part about money because he had a life to live and had to get on with it sometime soon. I think at that point he was ready to write a check just to get out of the restaurant. I got the money but I never tried the ‘bore them to death’ style of fundraising again. I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t get that lucky twice.

:rolleyes: Sorry, jetsetting me doesn’t send a lot of time tripping on mushrooms in Amsterdam. Sorry to disappoint. Jerk.