On Sunday I went to brunch at Lincoln, the biggest, baddest, coolest bar/restaurant in South Boston.
I’ve been to Lincoln a few times, and each time it’s been great. They’ve got some good stuff. Burgers. Chicken and biscuits. Wood grilled salmon. Brick oven pizza. It’s a cool vibe.
We arrived at 11:30am and there was a wait. This was expected. We were a big party (seven). The place was packed.
At approximately 12:05pm, we took our seats. At 12:10pm, I ordered a coffee. It arrived at 12:14pm. Then I ordered French Toast. We were now past breakfast time, and very much into lunch time, but I still ordered the French Toast because I wanted French Toast. I also ordered a donut, because they make their own donuts. The donut arrived at 12:23pm and was eaten by 12:23:06pm.
Around 12:53pm, we started to wonder why the food was taking so long. Thirty minutes seemed like a long time. But the place was busy. So we continued to wait.
At 1:00pm, a projector appeared out of nowhere on the wall next to our table. The Cowboys/Packers game was starting.
At 1:06pm, our waitress stopped by. “I don’t know what is taking so long, but I can promise you that we did not forget about you. Your food should be out shortly.”
By 1:15pm, I was on my my fourth cup of coffee.
Now it’s 1:30pm. No food, a full two hours after we got there and about 90 minutes since we were seated.
1:34pm. The waitress walks over. “I’m really sorry. I don’t know why the food isn’t ready yet. But just so you don’t starve, we’re bringing you some complementary pizza and wings.” Great, because pizza and wings are exactly what I want before breakfast.
1:36pm. The pizza and wings arrive. The football game is now in the second quarter.
1:43pm. THE FOOD ARRIVES. The waitress apologizes again.
The point here isn’t that it took two hours to make our food, because to be honest I didn’t really care about that. It was a Sunday and I had nothing else to do and I was with my friends and it forced us to talk and chat and be real people.
And, yes, we waited for a long time. But I don’t think you have to do something totally absorbing every minute of every day. It was like a built-in life timeout. It also prompted a lively discussion about why it took almost two hours for the food to arrive. Either:
A) The cook had quit.
B) They ran out of food and had to buy more.
C) There was a mutiny in the kitchen.
After the food arrived, no one said a word as we devoured our meals. The French Toast was great. We were content.
Now, remember, none of us had complained, and no one was particularly mad. But as we were getting ready to pay our check, one of the managers walked over to our table and apologized. She said she didn’t want this to be our impression of Lincoln, and she wanted us to come back. She said the meal was on them. The whole thing. And then she walked away.
This wasn’t something they had to do. It wasn’t something we asked for. I don’t know how many places would have done that, proactively, especially for a meal that cost about $140.
We left a very generous tip on the table and walked out of Lincoln three hours after our arrival, back into the cold winter of Boston.