Last night I had the pleasure of dining at one of my absolute favorite Indianapolis restaurants. Sadly, I shan’t tell you which one, because the tale I’m about to tell is true, and I’m nothing if not discreet (and exceedingly well accessorized, but that’s a talk for another day.)
Allow me to set the scene:
We walked in the door for our 7:45 reservation. The place was packed, but clearly running like a well-oiled machine. We were greeted promptly and assured that we would be seated momentarily. We stepped off to the side to clear the entryway. Another couple came in behind us and approached the host stand. We could not help but notice that the woman was carrying a small dog; possibly a Pomeranian or a toy poodle. It was wearing a little pink sweater and a harness.
The manager on duty greeted the couple, noticed the dog and politely began to say, “I’m sorry, but we don’t allow dogs…” But before she could even get the full sentence out of her mouth, the woman, who was clearly prepared for this, interrupted her. “This is a service dog and federal law requires that you allow her in the restaurant.”
The manager briefly considered the pros and cons of the situation and decided it was not worth a fight. “Your table will be ready momentarily,” she told them. After we were shown to our table, the canine threesome was seated directly across from us in a booth. Throughout the meal, the woman, who seemed miserable despite her victory at the host stand, fed her “service dog” from the table, petted the dog (so much for the service dog mantra, “please don’t pet the dog”) and eventually also administered eye drops to the dog tableside. (To me this seemed foolhardy; what if the service dog was needed to jump into action—perhaps perform some sort of rescue or aid someone to the bathroom—and could not do so because its eyes were clouded by the residual effects of the drops??)
My date and I were transfixed by the situation. Our dinners were affected by gapers delay. We simply could not look away. And we spent a great deal of time amusing ourselves by theorizing exactly what kind of “service” this 6-pound teacup of a dog was trained to perform. And since when are service dogs carried around?
The staff all handled it beautifully from the perspective of the dining room, but I can only imagine the hilarity that ensued in the service station. The whole encounter led me to this, which after what I saw last night, does not seem all that farfetched.
I would like to make a reservation for tomorrow night. Your website states that you are not open on Sunday nights, but I have two service dogs, so federal law states that you must accommodate me. Both dogs will be dining with my husband and me, so we will need a table for four.
One dog is a Rottweiler who is 150 pounds and the other is a 4-pound Yorkie.
The Rottweiler is gluten-free and lactose intolerant. (You do NOT want to be in the same room with him if he has any milk!!) And the Yorkie is a vegan with a severe peanut allergy. (And just fyi, he really doesn’t like tofu either. It doesn’t agree with him. I think maybe he might also have a soy allergy, but I just can’t deal with that right now, and he HAS to eat something, right? But I digress…)
At any rate, I assume that a chef of the caliber of yours can accommodate them.
For me, I’m pretty much good with anything, but I am allergic to corn, so I would request that your delicious-sounding special corn soup be made for me without the corn.
My husband is an alcoholic, so please don’t even bring the wine list to the table!! (I don’t know why he feels such a need to drink; the dogs and I do everything we can to make his life comfortable.) But at any rate, I don’t think it will be a problem for you to remember this, since we will be the only guests because you are not open on Sundays.
Also, we will be in a big hurry but tend to take forever to decide what we want. And we’ll need four separate checks. (The dogs are so independent! Since they earn their own money with their service work, they like to pay their own way.) And for some reason, where ever we go, we seem to find hair in our food, so be forewarned; we will probably demand that our entire meal be comped.
Looking forward to our dinner tomorrow night!