I live in Madison, WI. You know, home of The Revolt. I've always found the attitude of restaurant owners in this city to be very strange. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and was brought up in a family that ate out all the time. I had the only Jewish grandmother who couldn't cook. When she made a meal, we prayed after we ate. Needless to say I know a thing or two about restaurants, and particularly about how a customer should expect to be treated. Like I said previously, a lot of Madison restaurant owners have this strange attitude, like you should be happy they're serving you, rather than being thankful for your business. It's why I'm willing to drive to Sun Prairie to eat at Salvatore's. They treat you like family there. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum from Salvatore's is Gotham Bagel. A quick trip to Yelp will bear this out. My story after the croissant.
I live fairly close to Bruegger's Bagels on Madison's West Side. They make a decent enough bagel, but they are so skimpy on their cream cheese, I just could not bring myself to do business with them any longer. I started to drive down to Gotham Bagels on Saturday's, since it's really easy to move around Madison early on a Saturday morning. For the first few months the bagels were excellent. Than sometime in September, I began to notice that all the bagels were overcooked. The garlic bagels had black garlic on them, The onion bagels had black onion on them. In addition, the everything bagels had nothing on them except sesame seeds and poppy seeds. I also noticed the same thing at my local supermarket that carries their bagels. After 3 or 4 weeks of this I stopped going. About a month ago I noticed their bagels in the supermarket started to look good again. 3 Saturdays ago I went back, ordered a garlic bagel with cream cheese, and it was delicious. Just like they used to be. Last week I went back again. This time the owner was in there. I complimented him for getting the quality of the bagels back up to their previous standards. Instead of a "thank you", I got an argument. The owner, who a week earlier had told the Wisconsin State Journal that his retail business was flat, is actually arguing with the only customer in his store at 7:45 AM on a Saturday, when it used to be busy. I said to myself "What a jackass", but didn't think any more about it.
Today I went back. I arrived there at about 7:30 AM. The door was locked, even though they are supposed to open at 7 AM. The owner comes to the door, opens it about 3 inches and tells me "The bagels are burnt", and closes the door. I told him to "Fuck off". I got back in my car and started to drive off when he comes running out the door challenging me to a fight. He's lucky I didn't get out of my car, because I had my dog with me, and he hadn't eaten yet, and like most dogs leg-of-the-schmuck-starting-a-fight-with-my-owner is probably one of his favorite meals.
Unbelievable. Now I know how Gordon Ramsay feels when he deals with these egotistical jackasses with empty restaurants who swear everything is great.