The Restaurant Next Door


I was down in Indianapolis, meeting with a client.  That evening, I was expecting the account manager to meet me for dinner.  Indianapolis is surrounded by a loop of expressways that all end in “65”.  You have to be careful whether you go north or south because – while you can’t really get lost – you can end up seeing a lot of the city before you reach your final destination.  That’s what happened to my sales person.  He made a right instead of a left and circumnavigated 97% of Indianapolis rather than finish a five minute drive.

Needless to say, it was late by then.  We were both tired and starving.  We decided to hit the restaurant next to the hotel.  It looked a bit more upscale than the typical Perkins or Denny’s.  I knew we were in trouble when the host sat us down in a booth.  We each had about fourteen types of placeware to choose from.  I looked at the sales guy.  He looked at me.  We figured out “knife” and “fork” and “spoon”, but the rest was a mystery unsolved.  The waiter came by and asked us what kind of water we would be having for dinner.

I went along with the gag. “What do you recommend?” I asked.

He called my bluff.  “We have a nice Pellegrino for ten dollars.”  Unless the Pellegrino came in a fifty-five gallon drum, that seemed a bit steep to me.  I believe both of us decided to stick with the gratis water courtesy of the tap.  In the end, I can’t complain.  I ate the second best steak I’ve ever had in my life.  It took a little bit of the sting out of the $120 check.  We ate at McDonald’s and IHOP the rest of the trip to balance things out.

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