Whenever I dine out, I’m watching.  It never ceases to amaze me that wait staff think customers are not paying attention. 

I pay attention.  It’s my nature.  That’s why I have been a food judge, a restaurant reviewer for various publications and often asked by friends and acquaintances where to eat.

Siam Rice is one of my neighborhood restaurants.  I’ve given them some decent reviews in the past.  However no free pass this time. Recently we went to have an early dinner.  It was about 5:00 p.m. on a weekday and Siam Rice was almost patron-less.

There was a lady patiently waiting to get her check.  She waited a while.  There was a young couple talking.  And us.   The young waitress from Mongolia brought us 2 glasses of ice water and the menus which were slightly sticky to the touch.  We ordered what we usually order.  A Microb and a Panang Chicken Curry with no peppers. It took about 25 minutes to get served. She casually brought our plates, however forgot the silverware.  She went off to eat with another waitress.  She was facing me and saw me wander around looking for chopsticks and told the other waitress to see what we wanted.  She did what many Asian people do. She ate very close to her bowl, head bowed down and even pulled out some food with her fingers.  She never washed her hands afterwards.

In the meantime, the nice male waiter from Thailand decided to fix the façade picture window blinds with a stapler. He walked across the place and into the kitchen about 6 times, used the booths as a ladder and never bothered to clean the vinyl seats that customers sit on.  Two young ladies in white medical uniforms chose the foot-printed booth and sat on all of the dirt that he had trampled onto the seats. 

My Panang was overrun with red and green peppers that I didn’t eat. More peppers, less slices of chicken. In the past we have found hair and a small piece of paper in our takeout food yet we continued to support our local Asian eatery.  

Sadly, we have very few Asian restaurants in our area. However no free pass this time.  If this is what happens in the dining room when wait staff gets too complacent, I’m almost afraid to think of what may be going on in the kitchen.

Siam Rice, 7941 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 33138.