Annoyed About No “Avgolemonos” in Soup

March 29, 2015

in Food & Drink Stories

While working at a Greek restaurant we always gave a complimentary cup of Avgolemono soup, a classic lemony chicken orzo soup, free before the meal comes. Our restaurant is on the east coast, and one night we got an especially uppity group who came in and ordered gyro platters, insisting that the correct pronunciation was “Jai-Row” instead of “Yee-rho” as we have heard from countless thousands of real Greeks who eat there. When their complimentary soup came out, one of them took a taste and motioned me over with the utmost of urgency.

Me: “Is there a problem Ma’am?”

“Yes,” the lady said with a very sour face, “there are no avgolemonos in this soup.”

Puzzled I said, “That’s our famous Avgolemono soup made by generations of our chef’s family.”

The lady retorted, “We know you must be cutting back… everyone knows avgolemonos are green. They grow EVERYWHERE in California. We want our money’s worth; can you please go back in the kitchen and ask your cook to load them up with avgolemonos for us.”

It was all I could do not to explode with laughter at this as I politely collected the four soup cups and went back to the kitchen. I thought Chef was going to lose it laughing when I told him she said, “Avgolemonos grow EVERYWHERE in California.” We knew she meant “avocado,” but we don’t make it a practice of arguing with our customers, especially with a full dining room. We did not have one avocado in the place, so Chef did a Dr. Seuss and put one drop of green food coloring in each fresh cup of soup, stirred them up, and I took them back out.

When I took them to the group they were very satisfied and gave me the suggestion, “Make sure your chef uses only California avegolmonos as they are the best in the world.”

They enjoyed their gyros, and because they gave Chef a good laugh he sent them complimentary Ouzo… which they took to like fish to water. After two bottles of Ouzo and a nice $50 tip, you can be certain that when they showed up the next evening we had California “Avegolmono” soup complete with a wedge of avocado in it waiting for them. The second night they tried the moussaka, had baklava for desert, and washed it down with Ouzo. Got a decent tip that night too, but not a $50 tip.

Moral of the story… when you get one of “those” customers, sometimes it will pay a bit if you humor them.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi March 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Oh this is funny! I'm glad you kept your wits about you and found this humorous instead of insulting. This is why I always tip my waitress/waiter well. I want them to know I appreciate them putting up with me (not that I have ever done anything like this, but I do know how much work you put into your jobs).


aaron March 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm

I think I have seen this story before somewhere.


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