Misadventures in Dining: A Very Special Cheese Plate

When you eat out as often as I do, you witness many strange and wondrous things that don't -- or can't -- make it into the review. Here I offer a sampling of these anecdotes.

This actually happened before I worked at the RFT, but it's such a compelling tale of server chutzpah that it seemed appropriate for the inaugural Misadventure in Dining.

One evening my wife and I were having a glass of wine at a well known St. Louis restaurant. We had dinner plans later, but we were hungry, so we ordered a cheese plate to accompany our second glass of wine.

The wine arrived. The cheese did not.

Why not after the jump...

As I said, this is a well known and popular St. Louis spot. An institution, even. And it was busy. We figured that our server was so overwhelmed that he'd forgotten to pick up or maybe even to place our order.

Unfortunate, but no big deal. Shit happens. We're not ogres. We would understand -- though as the time since our placing the order neared 30 minutes, that understanding diminished.

Finally, when it was clear our server wasn't going to remember our cheese plate without prompting, we flagged him down. He said he'd see. He returned promptly and said, with a straight face, "Our cheese chef was on break."

The cheese chef. Was on break.

What was he doing? Milking the cows? Straining the whey? We were so startled that we could only nod. Of course the cheese chef was on break. Most restaurants overwork the hell out of their cheese chefs. Not only was this a well known St. Louis restaurant -- this was a progressive joint.

I think I tipped the waiter extra just for his sheer balls.

- Ian Froeb

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