From Wikipedia: “In the weeds” refers to a waitress/bartender/cook that can't keep up with the tables. Refers back to chefs' military roots, where being in the weeds would cause your army to be slaughtered.
I was so in the weeds last night. I thank god that only a few of my friends showed up at Vito last night after my huge mass emailing promo-ing a good time on a Saturday night because the place was packed to the rims. No one, not even the waiters who have been there for years, had ever seen it like this. We ran out of everything: coffee cups, wine glasses, martini glasses, bread, toastini. (Aside: Toastini are these little cheesy, buttery, garlic-y, slices of toasted baguette that are made fresh at the start of every shift. They’re so good, they’re like Lay’s potato chips - I defy you to eat just one. I wish to be buried with them in case there is snacking in the after-life.)
Customers who were antsy for their tables were starting to stand behind the bar because that was the only place there was room. I promptly tried to move a large older woman in turquoise gabardine to the proper side of the bar but she wanted none of it until she got her Sapphire (to match her suit?) Martini up with a twist and a Grey Goose Martini up with olives for her impatient friend. Fine, will you then get out of my way? Not before she tips me 3 bucks for my troubles, thank you very much. Now I know I’m being an ingrate but she’s in my space, she’s cut in front of about 100 people who are also waiting for a drink (not to mention the 5 waiters who need service) and all she gives me is 3 bucks? 4 or more when you’re being that pushy, Big Mama.
I was happy to have 3 friends camped out at the end of the bar. (shout out to Kerry, Tracy and Susan!) They were three people I knew I didn’t have to worry about. They had their drinks, they had their food, and they had the attention of Mo. Mo, who is 90 – yes 90 - has been coming to Vito every Saturday night for the past 20 years with his much younger wife Beverly. He orders Crown Royal with three ice-cubes while Beverly nurses an Apple Martini. They’re sort of Vito Royalty although Mo complains every week that Vito has never bought him a drink. If you’re lucky enough to sit next to Mo some Saturday night and you happen to be a pretty lady, you’re bound to get a free drink out of him. Susan has. Haven’t you, you little minx?
When the weeds were at their thickest, a man at the bar asked me if I could show him the desserts. The desserts are showcased on a cart that is about 4 feet long which they wheel to your table at the end of your meal. Was this dude joking? It was five people deep behind him, there way no way I was going to try and maneuver that cart through this crowd. I told him to get up and earn his dessert – walk the 15 feet to the cart and then come back and tell me what he wants. It was a standoff until Beverly intervened, thank god, (her husband busy with Susan) and told him to order the flourless chocolate cake. Perfect! We’re all happy! Then Beverly douches me by asking for it served with vanilla ice-cream. F******ck! Beverly! Can you see the crowd here?! I don’t have time to be heating up cake and then fishing around the kitchen trying to find where they hide the vanilla ice-cream. Mary, my co-bartender saw the look of fear on my face, stepped in and took a hit for the team. She’s a good woman, that Mary.
I didn’t see my way out of the weeds until about 10:30pm when Stacey, Chris and Leslie walked in. They had stopped by earlier intending to eat but the crowd was too thick. Chris, a former bartender turned lawyer, said he saw how thick the weeds were but I still had a smile on my face. That’s good to know but I wonder how long it will last.
When the smile fades I will think of this picture of Vito.
How cute is that?