Monday, March 23rd, 2015
As a short, balding middle aged man I don’t expect wait staff to hang around to chat with me, but I don’t want to be ignored. When it happens I make my voice heard to management. Likewise when a server shines I like to speak up as well. All too often people only speak up to complain about service.
I was in New York City last week and it was cold and windy and snowing. Perhaps you saw the news. To take the chill off I stopped into Junior’s in Time Square for some Matzoh Ball Soup.
I sat at the counter bypassing the wait, ordered my soup and a Manhattan. Often these days with younger bartenders I have to explain how I like the drink prepared. I was pleasantly surprised when the twenty-something bartender, Asif, nodded with approval at my choice and asked me if like bitters? In a day where anything served in a cocktail glass in considered a martini it was refreshing to know the art of bar tending is not totally lost. Asif also stirred the dink instead of shaking the crap out of it. It was delicious! I was off to Sardi’s to meet some friends.
The following night I stopped back in to Junior’s, this time for some of their World Famous Cheese Cake. Asif was there but with other customers. I order the cheesecake from another person behind the counter and added a hot chocolate with a shot of Hennessy VS. Asif walked by at this point and said, “What, no Manhattan?”
I can’t begin to tell you how many people sit at that counter on any given night or how many orders are taken. I might have been remembered or looked familiar but I wouldn’t have expected a bartender to remember what I ordered after only one visit. Although Asif didn’t “hang” with me (there were 2 very attractive women sitting next to me) he remembered what I had ordered because he was focused on his customers regardless of what they looked like.
Saif is my SEE ™ (Service Exceeding Expectations) winner for the Month of February. Even if Junior’s didn’t have such great cheesecake I would go back. Below is a video I did for Junior’s in July of 2010.