Like many Americans, pizza is my go-to comfort food. And I have had a love affair with Pizza Luce since my days at Jeune Lune, where pizza from the original location was on heavy rotation — hey, I even served Luce pizza to Kevin Bacon! So, nearing the end of a long week, what better dinner solution than meeting our good friend Leah from A Taste of My Minnesota, and her darling daughters, for some pizza?
The evening started simply enough — the waitress forgot to mention it was Happy Hour, but we did solve that and get some drinks, the three girls colored and played with chopsticks, the table next to us, seated at the same time we did, received their pizza quickly and it smelled great. The girls' food came, and our artichoke dip, and we were told the pizza would be soon. And then, nothing.
About 40 minutes in, as the girls were getting squirrely, we asked on the ETA on the pizza. We were told it was "in the oven" (well, I suppose that's good), and it would be out in 6 minutes.
Another 20 minutes passed. The boxes we had asked for for the leftover kid food had not arrived, so their leftovers turned into finger paint. We went off to find a manager, who said that a "big order" had come in and backed up the kitchen. Never mind my feelings about basic kitchen management, wouldn't you communicate that fact to your waiting patrons? The waitress arrived with the pizza, we sent it back to be boxed up because, at that point, we really had to go (near bedtime). She came back and said "I guess we're buying your pizza because of the wait." We paid, and booked out. I just had cold pizza finally for dinner, 3 hours after we first sat down.
I didn't want free pizza tonight. I wanted to sit and visit with my friend, and I wanted good food served to me in a reasonable timeframe and with pleasant service. I wanted communication, and I didn't want the feeling that we had turned invisible. Is that so much to ask?
EDITED: I have to say that Pizza Luce saw this post and took the situation very seriously, sending me a gift card and having two people to call me to find out what happened. I'm totally willing to give them another chance. I will say, though, that it engendered a lot of discussion with friends who had had similar (though not quite so bad) experiences, so I do think they have some PR work to do.