We had intended to go to Little Red Bike Cafe. But they were closed. So we kept driving down Lombard and ended up in St. Johns. It’s a small-townish part of Portland that was really quiet on a Sunday afternoon. We parked and then meandered down the street in search of a place to lunch.
We ended up at Proper Eats, a vegan market and cafe. It smelled so good inside – like fresh bread. And it looked all organic and homemade. It was beautiful outside, so we grabbed one of the empty picnic tables.
Right behind us, a couple and two kids. The woman was trying to make friends with the kids. She, in her perfectly matching black and white skirt and blouse, was trying really hard. Her fish-netted legs were stacked into a pair of peep-toe black and white strappy sandals, which she was tapping on the cement with impatience. In between joking with the kids, tossing her bleached blonde hair and making comments to her rather silent male companion, she would sigh and say loudly, “What is taking them so long with our food? We have been here for an hour!” Then she would start playing with the kids again, in a kind of forced manner. Finally. “You go in there and you tell them that we are leaving if we don’t get our food in five minutes.” The meek husband hesitantly agreed and disappeared inside for about 30 seconds. “They said that ours is the next order.” “Well who did you talk to?” “The waitress that was just out here.” “Well that’s not going to do us any good. She doesn’t know anything.”
Two more minutes of awkward socializing with children. “I can tell when you are mad at daddy,” one of the little girls says. “Your eyebrow goes like this,” making a face. Still no food. More sighs and tapping.
(Oh – at this point, we had been waiting about a half hour for our food. But we were sort of caught up in the drama around us, so we kind of forgot about it.) More toe tapping. “Honey,” the hesitant husband said, “why don’t you go in there and ask them one more time about the food.” The wife jumped up. “Fine. And then we’re leaving. You guys figure out where you want to go.”
In the meantime, a teenage girl walks out of the restaurant, talking on her cell phone and carrying her shoes in one hand, “Mom! Mom! Will you listen to me please! You don’t understand!” She walked around the corner.
The wife came stomping out of the restaurant, followed by an aplogetic waitress. “I’m really sorry. I’m not sure what happened.” “You know what? It’s not your fault. But there are people inside who were not there when we got here and now they are taking their leftovers home. This is ridiculous.” “Okay, well there’s a line at the cashier, so don’t worry about the beers. They’re on the house. Don’t even worry about it.” The step-family walked off, with the wife muttering all the while.
My sister and I played analyst. “She totally tells him what to do,” I said, within earshot of the waitress who was clearing off their table. The waitress started laughing. “Yeah, just because he buys you fake boobs doesn’t mean that you can tell him what to do.” Now that was funny.
Oh our appetizers arrived. Mushrooms with sea salt and breadcrumbs. Delicious. Until we saw the hair. Then our other food arrived. “So, here’s your food. And it’s on the house. Everything is on the house. We had a total meltdown. It will never take that long to get your food again.” Score. Sort of. If you don’t count that we had to wait 45 minutes for a salad with browning lettuce, mushrooms with hair in them and a sandwich.
I want to like this place, but I’m afraid my appetite is ruined. I hope they straighten out their kitchen messes. It was a hoot though. I’d go back just for the entertainment.