Foiled again

By Mir
May 10, 2012

Once upon a time, on a day when I brought Mario home to our house after school, the boys played and played and played some more, and when Mario’s dad came to pick him up, he said, “Hey, we’re going to Crazy’s for dinner tonight, y’all want to come?” [Crazy’s is not really the name of the restaurant. I have changed the name to protect the… crazy.]

Monkey, of course, immediately began begging to go too, so we all went to Crazy’s together and it was there that Mario corrupted my son.

But first, let me back up a minute. We don’t eat out all that often, partly because of cost and partly because we like to cook and also partly because it requires leaving the house, and you KNOW how I hate that. Our food-cooked-by-others preferences tend to run towards take-out (see also: Mexican food, hole-in-the-wall; Chinese food), and while we do take-out once a week, the sit-down-in-a-restaurant thing is much rarer.

So we all went to Crazy’s, which was the first time I’d been there in years.

The reason I hadn’t been to Crazy’s in so long is because—and I know I didn’t get into this at the time, because it wasn’t really what the post was about—the last time I’d been there was the day Chickadee didn’t advance at Science Fair, two years ago. I wrote about her disappointment and my attempts to soothe her, but what I didn’t write about was that she picked Crazy’s as the restaurant she wanted for her consolation dinner, and we waited for a table, and then we sat down and she cried and cried and OUR WAITRESS NEVER CAME. We didn’t even have menus, or silverware, for about fifteen minutes. Then I was able to flag someone down, and she flung menus in our direction, but after ANOTHER fifteen minutes it became clear that no one was ever going to wait on us.

I had two hungry children—one of whom was still snuffling—and the situation was dire. Finally I went to the hostess’ station and explained we were being ignored, and said I really just wanted to order some food to go, could we do that? Oh, she was so sorry, and of course, no problem, what can we get you? I ordered food for the kids, and we sat at the bar to wait for it (the restaurant was really crowded, and they gave our table to some poor sucker the moment we got up). We waited YET ANOTHER fifteen minutes, and then someone brought our food out behind the bar, and it took another ten minutes for me to get the bartender to notice and give it to us.

That was the last time I’d been to Crazy’s. Let’s just say… I am not crazy about Crazy’s.

But here it was, two years later, and surely that was all just a fluke, right? It had to be. So we all went to Crazy’s together and Mario convinced Monkey that Crazy’s has the best boneless buffalo wings on the planet, he HAD to get them. I forget what we grownups ate, but the boys got their wings and begged for more and then they had more and I expected one or both of them to explode—12-year-old boy shrapnel would litter the place!—but they didn’t.

It was a nice meal. The kids had fun, the food was fine, the service was decent. Huh. Maybe I’d been wrong about Crazy’s!

Thus began a targeted Mario-and-Monkey campaign to eat at Crazy’s, well, pretty much all the time. Most of the time we say no, because we’re terrible meanies, but sometimes we say yes.

Like, we went another time with Mario’s family, and that time was similarly fun, and so I began to think the Science Fair debacle was really just a case of poor timing.

But the third visit this year was not to be the charm. We went again, just Otto, Monkey and me, maybe a few months ago. Monkey had begged and begged, and Chickie was off somewhere else, so off we went. The restaurant was not particularly busy, but it took the waitress a looooong time to get to us. We ordered, and then we waited. And waited.

The weirdness began with the notable absence of Otto’s salad. His entree came with a salad and a baked potato, but the salad never appeared, and then the waitress showed up with a plate that had meat but no potato. And she didn’t have any of the rest of our food. And I will give you three guesses (except the first two don’t count!) on how well a hungry 12-year-old who has been waiting forever for his food responds to a single plate of food WHICH IS NOT HIS showing up at the table. Otto tried pointing out that he’d never received his salad, and also his potato was missing, while Monkey HUFFED LOUDLY about how his stomach was digesting itself and he was DYING. DYING!

The waitress scurried off while I tried to talk Monkey off the ledge. Next she came back with my dinner salad, which was covered in croutons. Because I had explained that I couldn’t have any bread, so please hold the croutons on the salad, and that’s for health reasons so please don’t forget. So: CROUTONS! Tons of ’em! Monkey was, by this time, pretending to pass out from starvation, so we gave the waitress the salad back, reminded her (again!) about Otto’s potato and salad, and off she went.

A short while later, she returned with a steaming plate of boneless wings for Monkey. He cheered and dove right in, then turned purple and drank an entire glass of water. Monkey had ordered mild, and these wings were XXXSUPERTRIPLEHOT. Nice. The waitress had disappeared, so we had to flag her down, send Monkey’s food back, and eventually she brought my salad (sans croutons, though I assume by then she’d spat in it), mild wings for Monkey, and a baked potato for Otto. The potato, by the way, came absolutely naked. No butter, no sour cream, NOTHING. Nom nom.

I’m pretty sure Otto never got his salad, too.

It was… not our favorite meal. Otto spoke with the manager before we left, and he was very apologetic and maybe adjusted the bill and assured us it was just an off night.

Earlier this week, Chickie was off at a friend’s house, and Monkey begged to go back to Crazy’s. “Please?” he asked. “We haven’t been there in FOREVER! I want WIIIIIINGS!” Otto and I looked at him and looked at each other and joked about how it couldn’t possibly be as bad as the Naked Potato Day, right?

We went. The restaurant was half empty. We sat. We waited. The waitress took our drink order, then disappeared. When she finally came back, it was with a sense of foreboding that we placed our orders. And then… well, we waited. And waited.

Monkey died a couple of times. It was all very tragic. With the deepest of sympathy, I may have whispered to him, “I’m sorry you’re dead. This is why we don’t like coming here, you know.”

Otto and I had both ordered dinner salads, which it seems like it shouldn’t take that long to make, but what do we know. Maybe they were out killing the chickens. Monkey may have asked if anywhere ELSE has the best boneless wings ever, maybe someplace where they actually bring you your food? We told him we’d look into it.

Finally, someone (not our waitress) brought out three plates, all but dropped them in our laps, and vanished.

Monkey began eating, happily. Otto and I both lifted silverware to our salads, then put it down.

“Is yours…?” Otto asked.

“Yeah,” I answered. “Gross.”

Both off our salads came topped with a freshly grilled chicken breast. Or, in this case, half-grilled chicken breast which was COMPLETELY PINK AND BLOODY on the inside. They slice up the meat before putting it on the salad, so there’s no way the chef didn’t see that he was topping our salads with raw meat. NONE.

It took another 10 minutes to flag down our waitress, during which Monkey ate and we sat there watching him. When the waitress finally came, Otto pointed out our delightfully inedible entrees, and she said, “We’re just SO BUSY tonight—” and Otto actually interrupted her to say, “No, you’re NOT,” gesturing at all the empty tables.

Otto is pretty much unflappable. I admit to getting a perverted kick out of seeing him lose his temper, however calmly that manifests on the rare occasions when it happens.

The waitress then ARGUED that no, they had a party in the back! She was slammed! And she would get us new salads but we were going to have to WAIT. Otto told her that we would be happy to pay for Monkey’s food, but we were all done, as we’d lost our appetites. She flounced off.

[Note to waitstaff everywhere, and I’m allowed to say this because I used to waitress: Lead with “I’m sorry.” We know it’s probably not your own personal fault, but in general arguing with a customer who waited 45 minutes for uncooked food is in poor form.]

Monkey enjoyed his wings with a side of survivor’s guilt. (“I’m sorry! Do you want some?”) When he finished the waitress came over to tell us the manager said it was on the house. That’s nice, I guess, though maybe the manager would’ve impressed us more if he’d come to tell us himself, but maybe he remembered us from the Naked Baked Potato incident and was afraid. Who knows.

On our way out, Monkey grabbed a mint from the bowl at the hostess station. I asked Otto if he wanted one, and he said sure, so I grabbed one for each of us. We three walked out to the car while unwrapping said mints.

“Mmmmmm,” I said, as we pulled away. “Minty! And SO FILLING!”

“Not really,” said Otto.

“I’m sorry,” said Monkey, morosely, from the back seat.

“It’s not your fault, buddy,” I told him. “But… I don’t think we’re going there again.”

I tell you what, though. If you need a little assistance in working up some enthusiasm for cooking at home, again, I think a visit to Crazy’s may just do the trick.


  1. Megan

    Wheee! You’ve just justified my I’m-cranky-and-picky-so-I’ll-only-go-places-I-know-I-like rule about dining out. Which, as I’m also rarely in the mood to pay a large amount for food I could make just as well and also also inclined to hate crowds and noise and long waits in small crowded areas with no seating means pretty much I go out to lunch once a month or so and have sushi.

    The rest of it sounds dire but the raw pink chicken would probably put me off Crazy-type restaurants for the rest of forever!

    [nb – I’d suggest a good wing chain but none of the local ones have made the cut in my cranky-picky selection process!]

  2. shadymama <–for the monkey man, so you can forget alla that crazy's madness! who needs it? also, on a total aside – have you looked into any chinese medicine practitioners for monkey and chickie illness stuff. they can be pretty expensive, but *man*, both myself and my son have had HUGE health-related successes once we started seeing someone who specializes in that field…just a thought? be well, mir!

  3. Lisa

    I’m gonna guess that Crazy’s is the same chain wing establishment we have – food is good (usually) but not near good enough for the horrible service and prices. Plus ours is always soooo loud! Not worth it! Hopefully you can find another place to satisfy Monkey’s need for wings.

  4. Andrea

    Yeah, I’d have to agree that you should not grace their doorstep ever again. Unreal!

    I love your storytelling as it is just like I would tell it, with some background leading up to current events. This, however, drives my hubby nuts. He wants me to get straight to the point, which really? Omitting all that history detracts from the sheer RIDICULOUSNESS of it all. Well done!

  5. Cheryl

    I’ve been known to go back to the hostess stand and say, “is is possible for us to get a new table that has a server attached to it?” So I feel your pain is what I’m saying.

  6. Barry Hollander

    You’d be, um, loco, to go there again.

  7. Chuck

    Thursday nights, Buffalo Wild Wings has boneless wings on special. If that wasn’t the secret identity of Crazy’s you might give them a try.

  8. Aimee

    Why not find a great recipe for mild wings, tell Monkey it’s the recipe for the BEST wings in the world, and just make ’em at home. Cause for sure you’d have to be bananas to go back there again. ANY restaurant can have a bad night. This sounds like a case of chronic half-assery, though, and therefore unacceptable. Boo.

  9. Rachel

    “Monkey died a couple of times. It was all very tragic.” I love your sense of humor! =)
    This place could be several chains that I have been to, unfortunately.

  10. Gigi

    You should actually say the restaurant´s name and tweet about it. How else will they learn?

  11. Little Bird

    You told us the name of the place waaaaaay back when the meal with Chickadee occurred. At least, I think you did. I have a good guess as to it’s identity at any rate.
    We’ve got a Crazys up here in Chicago, and it leaves much to be desired.

  12. Katie in MA

    This might be my new favorite post just because you managed to use the phrase “Naked Potato Day.” I have been waiting YEARS to use that phrase! ;-)

    Seriously, you are much nicer than I – the Crazy deserves to have its reputation hung out to dry after service like that.

  13. Michelle

    It’s not you, it’s Crazy’s. Definitely.

    Seriously, at least write a few reviews online at Yelp or Google Places. Save the rest of us from Crazy’s. You’d be doing a public service.

  14. Lucinda

    I had similar service at my favorite restaurant once. (Fortunately only once). I couldn’t even track the waitress down long enough to complain, so I left a note on her ticket. It’s never happened again but if it did, I probably wouldn’t return. There really is no excuse for poor service and rudeness. The food is never THAT good. Hope you find an alternative to Monkey’s wings dilemma.

  15. liz

    What Michelle said. Uncooked chicken? Poor service that sucketh mightily? Time to let your neighbors know.

  16. Karen

    You know… I just discovered Wendy’s has a new salad that’s OMG delicious, really no kidding. Fast food is awful stuff… but that salad???… it’s their new almond berry grilled chicken salad… .pick it up at the drive through in 5 minutes flat :-)

    I’m wondering if Crazy’s … is Buffalo Wild W*ngs. Just sayin.

  17. Little Bird

    It turns out I was wrong. I do not know the identity of Crazys. And here I thought I was good at remembering some things.
    I agree with the suggestion that you share your displeasure with the place on Yelp or a similar site.

  18. erin

    My husband likes the wings at Amici, but they aren’t boneless. I really like it there, too, for the pizza. I’m assuming Crazy’s is the fake name for the most obvious place (I live in Athens, too)

  19. Jessica (the celt)

    You’re a heck of a lot nicer than I am. I give a place two goes. The first time I get bad service, I complain to a manager (but I should add in here that I also give kudos for good service to the manager and corporate, so I’m not a terrible, bad-news-only person). The second time, I just don’t ever go back. Done.

  20. addy

    Yes, share the name and horrors of this place with the locals. There is no need nor excuse for this ever. Glad Monkey got to eat though. :)

  21. pharmgirl

    reminds me of finding an extremely long hair in an appetizer, sending it back and getting the exact same plate back – we knew because it was short 1 eggroll. (the one still on the table) The waiter denied it, until we pointed out the eggroll and then she came clean.

    They were having to send back so much food to the kitchen lately that they had adopted this nifty new cost-savings measure.

    Of course we left – but not before calling the department of health from the table. The place closed soon after.

  22. Holly from 300 Pounds Down

    Ugh. How awful for you. I agree with whoever said to leave a review on yelp or google for sure!

  23. Liza

    Calling the health department actually doesn’t seem like a terrible idea to me. The raw chicken thing scares me.

  24. Brigitte

    Ugh, yeah, imagine some half-blind senior citizen accidentally EATING some of that!

    I agree with the others who say to Google some recipes to try at home . . you could probably even find a “copycat” recipe, except you would actually COOK yours. ;-)

  25. Holly

    Ugh! This sounds like my experience at Red Robin every. Single. Time! I finally stopped going because the service was TERRIBLE and the food kinda sucked. :-(

  26. Scottsdale Girl

    Ugh I had a luncheon today with work folks and the waitress had a DIRE case of ENNUI. I wanted to slap her

  27. Heather

    Boy oh boy, the universe just LOVES to give you blog fodder ;)

  28. Tracy

    Oh, the story I could tell about my experience at Crazy’s…but I hate even talking about them. My Crazy’s = Logan’s Steakhouse. I tell everyone that will listen NOT to GO there! I don’t know how they are still in business, honestly. :)

  29. Liz

    <3 <3 <3 Andrea's comment! My husband does the same dang thing, and now he's got my 12 year old doing the same thing.

    It's just not the same without the backstory!

    And I so needed this on what started out as a great day, and has been plummeting downhill ever since.

    PS — my husband is an executive chef/general manager. And he's awesome. If someone had an experience(s) like yours, he would DEFINITELY want to know about it! So it might be worth printing this blog and sending it to the GM of Crazy's. Just so he/she is also aware that the rest of the entire world knows about them now.

    Because that's how many people read her blog.

    Because she's pretty :)

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