Lovy dovy ta ta

We were not alone in foraging for food yesterday and the day before. All up and down the Avenue on Friday, tourists were peeking in restaurant windows, reviewing menus, usually in vain, because a lot of the stalwarts that serve continously throughout weekday afternoons were closed, including even Louie’s 106 and the Shoreline.

So, as we walked around downtown between the lunch hour and suppertme, we were happy at last to discover that McCormick & Schmick’s was keeping its doors open. We didn’t like being seated beneath a light that flickered. We moved one booth over and the effect was still with us. At two booths’ distance, we were pleased. Other diners, seated later, didn’t seem to mind the unsteady illumination at all. The oyster sampler was a complete delight for those who opted for it, and the verdict was that the Cape Breton oysters were the best. I loved it that our server was agreeable about our pulling up stakes twice before settling on our seating and also that, after I asked about the “northwest berry sauce” that was to accompany the salmon, the piping hot fish came to the table without the berry sauce at all and with delicious mashed potatoes and spinach. She could read my mind!

Yesterday, we checked out the Maudie’s on Lake Austin Boulevard. It was jumping. Our regular Maudie’s is on South Lamar and I hadn’t been to this one since it was much, much smaller and Jorge Arredondo himself was still there. It was doing a booming takeout business. We all have our favorite Maudie’s menu items. The beans are not in any way remarkable; the rice is good old Austin style, with plenty of cumin. The extra tortillas come hot to the table and stay that way inside their foil wrapping. The salsa and chips are replenished even before diners realize they’re getting low. The acoustics are reverberant, just as they are at Maudie’s on South Lamar; the buzz of human conversation completely overrides any music on the sound system and confidentiality of conversation is preserved no matter how close the tables are to one another.

The print-out at Maudie’s has a space for the table number and the server’s name. The server was “Lovy Dovy Ta Ta,” no doubt because all members of the waitstaff assist all the diners as needed, so any one of half a dozen people might be at your table through the course of a meal, not just one plus someone to bus the table. I’d like to know whether LDTT is the only server entered in the POS system or whether there are other, equally inventive, names in use.

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