By Joe Ray
The "If You Go" recommendation from my Globe lambic story that said "Skip the food, have a drink and move on" was more accurate than I thought.
A La Mort Subite - French for “sudden death” - is a Brussels landmark bar and restaurant, replete with scores of beer and a beautiful hall for quaffing.
Disasters on this scale are tricky to explain, so let's stick to the facts.
I joined a group of fifty for dinner - we had the upstairs hall to ourselves, a bit too exclusively. Though one guy ran the occasional tray or two of beer up the stairs, here was one waitress assigned to us. One.
She was heroic in her efforts, but at the end of the day, she was all alone. For most of us, it took two hours for our food - salads and omelets - to arrive.
As a restaurateur who has likely known for weeks that a group of 50 is coming for dinner, how do you screw up that badly? If feeding 50 people à la carte (as we did) is beyond your capacity, why not say so and propose another option? Why not make sure you have the staff to keep the beer flowing and the food moving? Why not have the chef chop up a few tomatoes ahead of time?
At the one hour 45 minute mark, I looked over at a friend who had an expression on his face that said, ‘shoot me.’
“You’d better write about this,” he sighed.
A la Mort Subite
Rue Montagne-aux-Herbes Potagères 7
+32 (0)2 513 13 18