A Tale of Two Monkeys

Two breakfasts this weekend at monkey places...

Yesterday, after circus class, we checked out Mojo Monkey Donuts, which just opened at 1169 W. 7th. The place was a complete madhouse, with a long line and people snapping up the donuts as soon as the trays were put in the cases. As annoyed as I got with the myriads of people ahead of me asking "When will [x flavor] be out? Can I wait for it? What's coming up next? How long EXACTLY?" our rhythms were perfect. Not only could we get some delicious glazed donuts, but Patrick was able to get one of just 3 of the maple frosted long johns with a strip of bacon on the top. patrick is not a donut person, but he assures me that this was near-perfection. He's already calculated how far he needs to run to eat two.

The staff was friendly, but clearly harried by all the questions. My suggestion? A whiteboard where you can easily write up the current flavors (and erase them as they disappear fast!), and maybe an East-coast style yell when a new favor comes in ("Tray up of banana creme!") But they just opened, and I am sure it will smooth out.

Today, brunch at Cheeky Monkey. We both love it there, and it's close by and we eat there every chance we can. Today we were happy to walk down with our own hungry cheeky monkey for brunch. It was crowded but not crazy when we got there, and the server arrived right away to take out order; mimosas and juice arrived soon after.

And then close to an hour after our order for the food. )insert cold death glare here)

Beatrix was squirmy and hungry but held up well, probably better than I did. Patrick and I have bad karma of sometimes turning invisible in restaurants, so we were not sure what had happened — was the kitchen slammed? Did they lose our order? This was exacerbated by the fact that our server kind of abandoned us, not stopping back to check on us, let us know that the kitchen was busy, see if we needed anything, offer to bring Beatrix's toast or something before she collapsed in a mess on the floor — anything. I took Beatrix outside several times to run around, and finally our food arrived — when Patrick said "Wow, the kitchen must have been busy" the waitress said "Like nobody's business," but nothing else, no "Sorry about the wait" or anything. Hours later, I'm still ticked.

It's a really tight market in the restaurant business right now, and I've been thinking a lot lately about that. Food margins are tough, and as annoying as the wait was, I was not expecting free food or anything. But I DO expect that, when there's a situation like that, the server will communicate with me. Today, there were a good 8 servers wandering the room. The manager should have had them go tho their tables and communicate with them "Look, the kitchen got slammed, it's going to be a longer than usual wait. Can I bring your toast out early? Is there anything else you need? I promise we're working on it as quickly as possible."

Instead, they had a whole place full of mad people wondering where their food was, and they blew a chance to make those people their allies. As I said, I love the Cheeky Monkey, but I'm not in a big hurry to go back. And that makes me sad.

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