I recently discovered a small breakfast café around the corner from my office, aptly named Side Street Cafe. It has great food, has friendly service and is way too inexpensive. Their menu includes one of my favorites — what they call the ABC (avocado, bacon and cheddar) omelet. I prefer my omelets scrambled (well done if you’re wondering), and I’m in the habit of ordering it that way. While some chains have trouble with that, small diners never do, which is one of the reasons why I prefer them to corporate restaurants.
The small twist here is that in another section of their menu — just far enough away to not be obvious (at least to me) — they list “Scrambles.” And, to no one’s surprise, one of them is an ABC scramble — exactly what I want to order. The first time I ordered the ABC omelet but asked for it to be scrambled, the waitress kindly pointed out that my special request was an actual menu item that I could order in the future.
I found myself there this morning, and for fun, I ordered the ABC omelet but “scrambled, please.” The waitress that I asked was the same one who I had met a month or so ago. As I ordered, I saw a small smile quickly cross her face; it was enough to know that she’d been through this before. She didn’t remember me and kindly pointed out the Scramble section, for future reference. I laughed and then it clicked for her that we’d done this dance before. She shared that it happens all the time — in a very professional, very sweet manner.
For me, it was a truly human moment, a nice way to kick off the morning. Sharing a laugh with a stranger is always a treat and my guess is she might remember me the next time I come in. I know that I’ll remember her. And, even if I’m not in the mood, you can bet I’ll be ordering the ABC omelet “scrambled, please.”
One of the best pieces of advice my dad ever gave me was to over tip breakfast waitresses. They have to get up before dawn, serve people who may not yet be at their best, and the checks are usually so small that a standard 15-20-percent tip just isn’t enough.
I left an above-average tip, thanked her on the way out and walked to the car with a little extra bounce in my step. What more could you ask for from breakfast?