Friday, December 30, 2016

Flipping the Tables

Adulting so hard.
The whole thing seemed like an apt metaphor for this year.

There was a knock on the door after what seemed like an eternity of pacing and staring at the light under the door looking for signs of life on the other side, as if my mind were trying to manifest the delivery person.

I handed the delivery guy $6 in cash as a tip for my $40 order, even though he was now almost 90 minutes later than promised - in total 135 minutes after I had clicked "submit" on the restaurant's circa 1990s web site.

"How's the weather out there?"

"It's snowing." He looked frazzled. I had called back three times.

In his haste not only did he pick up the wrong pizza, but forgot the rest of my order: wings, a side salad and a Dr. Pepper.

I had been out getting after it, as they say, for the last several days and I decided I needed a night off.

The Cavaliers, who when I began this endeavor, were a couple minutes into the first quarter, were now seconds away from beating the Celtics by a respectable margin having lead Boston by at least 10 points for most of the second half.

"Ok well... this order is wrong."

"Sorry sir I'll go back and grab everything," he said, as I grabbed the wrong pizza anyway because I was deliriously "hangry" at this point (but not taking it out of the beleaguered delivery man).

I called the restaurant to let them know they messed up, that the delivery man would be back to collect the remainder of my order, and to expect him to pick up the rest of my order.

Two hours later, I still had no salad or wings, or, most importantly a little Dr. Pepper to mix with the bottle of Jim Beam I had picked up at the State Liquor Store.

Ohio has backwards blue laws unlike California, magical alcoholic's paradise, you can't simply get a bottle of liquor on any street corner bodega.

The pizza I got but did not order was a large pepperoni.

I had ordered a large deluxe.

I don't know why I ordered a deluxe, I almost never do. They almost always come with onions and I never particularly liked onions on my pizza unless they were caramelized or fried.

It's one of my few food pet peeves, and one I always worked around by picking the onions off.

Twenty minutes had passed since the delivery guy left. Twenty five minutes.

I wonder if I'd score a bonus pizza out of this exchange?

The woman on the other end of the phone offered me a $10 coupon off my next order.

I don't think there will be a next order.

Thirty minutes.

I rang the restaurant again.

Ring. Ring. Ring. More ringing. Yet more ringing.

I hung up after 15 or 16 rings.

I should have made the delivery guy give me his cell.

45 minutes.

By now I'd basically eaten the better part of half of the wrong pizza.

I examined it's puffy, not thin crust.

What I ordered was supposed to be thin crust.

The pepperoni was crisp and the cheese slightly burnt  – overdone by most standards, but I am a sucker for burnt things like my father and grandmother, herself far too spendthrift to waste a perfectly good piece of blackened toast.

A perforation pattern on the bottom crust lead me to conclude that the dough was rolled out onto non-stick forms and then frozen.

Three hours and some change after I had made my order, and more than an hour after the delivery man left promising to return, I instructed by bank to reverse the charges on my debit card.

Ironically, when I searched for delivery restaurants way back before even the first quarter of the Cavs/Celtics game, Eat24 (Yelp) told me that the only delivery in the area was Papa John's.

I refuse to put any money into that jerk John Schnatter's pocket, but at least I'm fairly certain that they would not have boned my order as splendidly as Romeo's Pizza in University Heights did.

As for my original itself, its fate is unknown.

Was the order ever fired?

Did the driver abscond with it?

Was it thrown into a dumpster?

I can only hope it was given to someone who maybe is struggling this time of the year to put food on the table.

The bank might drag their feet reversing the charges. I might be out $6 in an underserved tip (yet, I will always pay it forward).

But I have been known from time to time to write a food blog.

--

Romeo's Pizza
14480 Cedar Rd
Cleveland, OH 44121