Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Corvette Diner

As I mentioned in my previous post I really am not a fan of being treated like a naughty child and paying for the privilege. Unfortunately our trip to the Corvette Diner last night turned out to be just such an experience. I had been looked forward to the evening out all day- the Corvette is a classic fifties diner serving up a wide range of burgers, sandwiches, sodas and desserts. The wait staff dress in fifties outfit, and the whole decor is very elaborate with a the namesake Corvette parked in the center of the restaurant. Not having been alive in the 1950s for me it is a place reminiscent of Jack Rabbit Slims - Pulp Fiction. There is nightly entertainment - Dave the balloon man was set to be there Friday night, and it looked like we were in for a fun evening.
We arrived, and being a restaurant that doesn't permit reservations we had to wait for 20 minutes for a table. We sat near the ice cream/ soda station and saw the most enormous desserts being created as well as delicious looking shakes and sodas. The atmosphere was fun, a little rowdy but all good natured. Eventually we were seated in a fun little booth. Our waitress, a sixty year old woman with a bouffant wig, passed by and threw some straws at us in what was meant to be a sassy style- a little forced, but we were having fun and it was all good. The waitress returned and took our orders for dinner- this is when the fun and games began. My sister-in-law and I both opted for Oreo shakes, but my wife chose instead to have a glass of Red Trolley Ale. ID was asked for and she presented her federal employment ID, the same one she always uses, the one which incidentally took her one and half years to get.
The waitress wasn't sure if they accepted the ID, was friendly enough about but called over the manager all the same. How the lady who approached our table ever became a manager I have no idea- her people skills were non-existent. She looked at the ID and informed us that although the card had a photo, a federal seal, a signature, and ever a finger print on- it wasn't valid because it had no description. In order to be valid an ID apparently needs height and weight. This was one of the most ridiculous things we had ever heard- people lie in their drivers license descriptions all the time- not to mention loose and gain weight. My own driver’s license being a case in point says I am 12 pounds heavier than I am and states that my hair is blonde, which many could call into question. Slightly perturbed having never had any problem with her ID before my wife politely asked what she should bring along next time she came to the restaurant, as she preferred not to carry her passport around with her. "Well you should"- came the reply from the manager! "No, I really shouldn't", said my wife, "What if I was to loose it, it has my US visa inside...” Then came the strangest part of this interlude as the manager began to tell us about a passport she had found in the restaurant just the over day- thus proving our point that it really wasn't a sensible thing to carry it around. She failed to see this point however and left the table with us all feeling disgruntled, and again treated distinctly like naughty children. My wife is from England, has worked as a bar tender for 3 years, and to be told at 23 years old that she can't have a beer with her burger and fries was a little much for her.
Our food arrived- we had all ordered burgers. A nice thing about the Corvette is that you can choose from lean beef, Boca burger, turkey patty and chicken breast for all of the burger options. You can also chose to have a whole-wheat bun, a nice touch not found at many burger joints around San Diego. Having said that, the food was unfortunately nothing special- the burgers were okay, the fries were not at all good. The Oreo shakes were delicious, but then again if you mix ice-cream, milk, chocolate syrup and cookies it really is pretty hard to go wrong. Our experience had been distinctly marred by the ID incident- it was not the lack of a beer that was aggravating, but rather the way we had been treated. We won't be going back, and I would advise the Corvette diner to more thoroughly vet their management staff and find candidates who actually know how to speak courteously to customers.


FireFlyFiftyFive said...

Just found your blog thru The Linkery blog - nice to get some local restaurant reviews. I'll have to work my way back.

Regarding the ID thing - I was sort of wondering how strict area restaurants might be. We were recently out with my brother's 20 year old girlfriend (both from out of state) and we ordered a bottle of wine at two restaurants and it wasn't an issue at all - they didn't check, just brought glasses for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I have worked at the Corvette Diner for 6 years. I'm sorry you had a poor experience.
We have to be strict on the valid id. Though if that wasn't what bothered you and more the way you were spoken to... then that is a different issue. I don't believe that any of the managers that we have there would have spoken to you in a way meant to be condescending.
Hopefully one day you will return despite that incident... I know who your waitress was. There is only one older woman who works there. There are a ton of other fun servers you could get in the future!