Saturday, February 23, 2008

We know more than we thought we did?

Last weekend, I met up with Hank, who was in the Yard for a quiz bowl tournament. I was able to stick around to watch one of the rounds, and was proud that I recognized the plot of Fargo without ever having seen it (Minnesota, represent!). I became even more elated when I recognized Anthony Bourdain from various quotes, before the "clincher hint" that referenced his television show and book of the same name, Kitchen Confidential.

After dinner, I tagged along with him and a few of his teammates for dinner. Apparently all restaurants in Harvard Square are crowded at 8 pm on Saturday nights, or the influx of high school debaters (and coaches) that weekend just decided to fill up all the seats there (and those visiting prefrosh at Annenberg). After checking out Le's, Uno's, and Bartley's (still taking orders in a twenty-person line outside!), we settled on Bertucci's for the legit pizza and the free bread.

But Bertucci's was no exception to the horrors of a dinner line. When we asked for the wait, we were told "typically twenty-five minutes, but thirty-five for all of you" - which makes sense because we weren't the only seven-person group queuing up. So it was a long wait which became equally ridiculous when we realized that a) they only had one large-sized table, b) that thirty-five minute wait approached fifty-five minutes, and c) the servers told us that "we're running out of chairs" and couldn't put a spare chair up against a booth.

Service was fairly prompt - for having to deal with seven starving students who had to wait that long - although somewhat disparate; one waiter was significantly more helpful than the other. Good, but not ridiculously delicious, Bertucci's appeal lies in the free bread - hot, soft and not doughy with a crunchy crust - and the consistency of the food (although the tomato sauce is a little thin, the pizza crust was remarkably similar to the bread - which was a good thing).

The best part of the meal: not having to figure out how much to pay or how to calculate tip with six MIT students around - three of them who were math majors. Whew.


Robert said...

I don't know what is worse, waiting at a crowded restaurant because it's busy and every table is filled or waiting at some place like The Original Pancake House where "first come, first serve" is the policy and parties of 2 are seated in 10 topers because they were there first (While the large party has to wait).

You know what they say about MIT guys, right? The odds are good, but the goods are odd!

Hank R. said...

You left out the great part about how we tipped one guy ridiculously more than the other, and then ran out.