Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Would you like an egg roll with that?

It's fitting that the first stop on my recently announced world food tour opens right where my love of food began -- my mother's Chinese restaurant in Austin, Texas. I've spent the last couple of weeks scribing takeout orders, seating tables and trying not to bankrupt the place while the boss lady is on vacation.

Here are a few mildly sad things that keep me going while "running" the restaurant:
  1. Seeing how many customers I can convince to order an extra side of soup or egg rolls on the phone. I think I have about an 80 percent success rate.
  2. Planning my next lunch order and trying to come up with food combinations from the kitchen that taste as little like Chinese food as possible.
  3. Spotting exitting customers before anyone else and being the first to yell "Thank you! Bu-bye!"
  4. Hiding behind the bar to avoid people I recognize from childhood (luckily when there are a lot of takeout orders lined up, I can just barely see over them).
  5. Talking to customers with my Chinese mom accent (as an unfortunate side effect, I noticed that I sometimes bow to departing customers now).
  6. Coming up with fun, new spins on the traditional "Thank you! Buy-bye!" 
  7. Getting better takeout tips than anyone else.