“Slow” Oven Troubles Toddler

June 12, 2009

in Kid Stories

When our son was about 18 months old, my wife and I thought we might try taking him out to a restaurant. He was a generally quiet, well-behaved kid, even at that age, and we made sure we brought lots of quiet activities and even some Cheerios and other toddler snacks for the wait.

We picked a pizza restaurant that is considered one of the best in the city, but also family-friendly. We arrived around 5:00 so we could be served before the evening rush, and it wasn’t busy at the time. We sat down, received our menus and asked for just ice water to start (in hindsight, maybe that was our mistake – we didn’t order drinks).

We ordered a pizza and waited.

Not long after ordering, a larger party arrived and sat nearby. They ordered wine for the adults and soft drinks for the kids. We waited some more.

The other table ordered their food. We waited. Our son got a little cranky so we gave him some Cheerios.

After awhile we gave him something else. We were out of things for him to do other than sing “Old MacDonald” to him, which probably wouldn’t have gone over too well with the other patrons.

The other table received their food. We waited some more, but only until we could snag our waiter, who was now quite a bit busier, since nearly an hour had passed and many more people had come in.

Our son was now behaving the way you would expect an 18-month-old to behave after sitting in a high chair for nearly an hour watching other people eat.

We got our waiter’s attention and explained that we had not received our food, even though we ordered before the other party had even arrived. We said something about our pizza being cooked in the “slow” oven.

After a little while longer, our son was being more than a little disruptive. We don’t blame him, but we also knew that others didn’t come to this restaurant to sit beside a cranky toddler. So we packed up our baby paraphernalia and started walking toward the host’s station.

On our way we were intercepted by an older woman who may or may not have been the owner or manager. We explained the situation and she called our waiter over. When he gave her the explanation about the “slow” oven, she exclaimed loudly, “What slow oven? We don’t have any slow ovens!”

I don’t know which of the two was right, but we were starving so we asked for the pizza to go, drove the half-hour drive home and “enjoyed” it at room temperature.

That was in 2001 and we haven’t been back since.

G. Ottawa, Canada

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Roto13 June 13, 2009 at 9:01 am

And I guess they, in their infinite lack of customer service skills, didn't even give you a free pizza or anything. Jerks.


Hugh June 15, 2009 at 2:57 am

I wouldn't have taken the pizza, I would have left and told them to stick the pizza in the oven where the sun don't shine.


Nacho June 15, 2009 at 6:09 am

Good on you for taking others' feelings into account with your child. And shame on the staff for being the pretentious tightwads they showed themselves to be.


oh brother June 28, 2009 at 5:52 am

Kudos to you for being considerate!!!! your the type of people I would have no problem sitting next to! I would have left right after the 1st "slow oven" comment AFTER giving the waiter a "do I really look that stupid to you" face!


masquerade June 30, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I hope you pointed out the waiter that told you it was in a 'slow' oven. What probably actually happened was that he either forgot to put it in or the kitchen lost the bill. Either way I hope you got the food for free!

Thank you for taking your child out, too. Even though it was the restaurant's fault you acted quite admirably by removing your disruptive child. Most people would have just sat there and let him scream.


College Kid November 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Kudos for being considerate with your child. You give me hope that all the breeders aren't completely useless.


Sympathy Given December 7, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Slow oven usually means something along the lines of you dared to bring a small child into their restaurant so they were going to make you wait for their time to decide when to serve you basically.


Jonasgal November 3, 2015 at 12:16 am

Honestly! I've never heard anything like that in my life! I don't believe that just because they brought a small child with them!


Amber May 12, 2016 at 2:41 pm

That's only going to backfire by pissing everyone off, other customers included when the small child starts screaming and making a scene.


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