Last month my wife and I vacationed in Bethany Beach Delaware. It’s a great area and a reasonable drive from Syracuse. Our hobby is food. My wife reads cookbooks and watches the food channel to learn new recipes and techniques. I am the official taster and sampler of her latest creations, which is one of my favorite things to do!
We arrived at the hotel late on a Sunday night, so we decided to have something to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, which has a veranda that overlooks the boardwalk and ocean. Our waiter that night was Wes, and he did a great job making menu and drink recommendations for us. Everything was great, and we thanked him for making the recommendations that he did. We charged the meal to our room and went upstairs and unpacked.
The next day was a lazy day spent at the hotel pool, and we ate all of our meals at the hotel restaurant again, and lo & behold, Wes waited on us again. We engaged in conversation with him and he mentioned a number of places that we might want to try while we were in town. We again went with some of his menu recommendations and we found everything to be great.
Come Tuesday we decide to have lunch on the veranda, and asked for Wes to be our waiter, to which the restaurant complied. By now the three of us are like old friends and enjoying each other’s company. I asked Wes if he ever takes time off from work, and he said that he rarely does, but that he was off tomorrow night. Well, one thing led to another, and the three of us made a date to go to a restaurant that he recommended that was located in Ocean City MD. We exchanged cell phone numbers and vowed to cover the details of where & when to meet the next day.
Well, as my wife and I were getting ready to leave to meet him in the hotel lobby, Kate expressed her concern that we barely knew this guy, and how did we know that we would be safe? It was a legitimate concern, one that I had but had not voiced to her. Now normally I’m the one who would never of let this happen, but Wes seemed liked a stand up guy, and had shared numerous details of his life with us, and I thought perhaps I should step out of my comfort zone. I assured Kate that all would be fine, as we were meeting him at the hotel bar, in front of numerous co-workers, so there were plenty of witnesses of who we were with should this night out go south, which by the way, we literally headed south to get to the restaurant that he suggested. Just thought I would throw that in there.
In the meantime, he’s talking with his co-workers, and come to find out, they are voicing the same concerns that Kate was! So, as we meet Wes at the restaurant bar and sat down with him to have a drink, and unbeknownst to us, we’re getting the once over by some of his co-workers. I confess to Wes that we might have had some concerns, and he tells us about his coworkers and their concerns, which gave all of us a chuckle!
The three of us leave and head toward the 1st of two restaurants that he recommended. The restaurant’s name is Liquid Assets, and it’s unique in its configuration. It has coolers along one side of the bar filled with six-packs and cases of beer. The other side of the bar has shelves filled with bottles of wine. People stop in just to buy beer or wine, while others come in for the restaurant. The bar is in the middle, between the coolers of beer and shelves of wine. We decided to have drinks and appetizers at the bar. Wes knew most of the staff there, and with that camaraderie came excellent service.
Well we started ordering drinks, and appetizers, and a number of different food items, and it all kept coming all night long. We were having such a great time at our current location that we decided to skip the second restaurant and spend the evening there. The three of us had a great time, not only with each other, but with the bar staff as well, and everyone joined in on the lively conversation. Thankfully my wife volunteered to be the designated driver so we didn’t have to call an Uber.
After Wes and I were quite inebriated the three of us decided to call it a night. Kate loaded us in the car and we headed north and dropped Wes off at his apartment. There were hugs all around and we headed back to our hotel.
The next day Wes conveyed to his co-workers what a great time was had by all, and I shared pictures of the evening with friends and family. Wes waited on us the morning that we were leaving, and he asked if we could have a picture of the three of us before we headed home and we were more than happy to comply.
In case you’re wondering where all of this is going, for me it’s quite simple. It’s never easy for me to step out of my comfort zone, but this time I did. And in doing so, Kate and I met a nice guy, that introduced us to a restaurant with awesome food, that we never would have found on our own, and even if we did, we doubt that we would have stopped in as it’s located in a strip mall. We had a fun evening with lots of laughs and made a new friend along the way.
You know, so many people never give their wait staff the time of day, much less a decent tip. I hope the next time you’re dining out that you take the time to at least learn your waiter’s name, and if time allows, maybe a little something about them. If anyone knows the best restaurants in the area they do, and more times than not they’re more than happy to share that knowledge with you. All you have to do is ask, and in doing so you let them know that they are valued not just for what they can do for you, but as a person as well.
Wishing you a summer filled with good food, good drinks, and lots of family and friends. It doesn’t get any better than that!
And Wes, we’re coming back for another bowl of those mussels!