Somehow I’ve ended up eating out more in the last week than in the past, say…eight months or so. Since two measly reviews don’t make a Restaurant Roundup, I’m giving you more. You’re welcome!
Over the weekend, my son had track practice in the middle of the afternoon, and within about 75 seconds my daughter had draped herself over a bleacher seat, moaning in misery about how starving she was. STARVING!! Luckily there was a nearby beacon of light in the crazy angry whirling fog of hunger that was my child.
This place is awesome. They offer tuition-free culinary and food-service training to people “aged 16-24 who have faced major challenges in their lives, including foster care, difficulties with the law, homelessness, and significant family disruption.” Needless to say, it feels good supporting them.
When we walked in we were greeted warmly by the very friendly hostess, seated immediately, and within moments presented with two plates – one with a selection of breads and jam, one with a variety of fruit. BAM! Happy child. Unfortunately I can’t remember our waiter’s name, mostly because I have terrible short-term memory, but also because I was so thrilled that my daughter had too much food in her mouth to whine at me about how starving she was that I wasn’t really paying attention when he told us.
We didn’t really even need to order anything after our complimentary snacks, but come on…of course we did. We shared some granola with yogurt, and I had some tea because my kids make me super-sleepy and I’m all about the mid-afternoon pick-me-ups.
Earlier that day my family had gone to a Fall Festival, at which my daughter had waited in line for half an hour to get a huge shiny pink butterfly painted on her face. Whatshisname (our waiter) soon noticed that she was scrunching and itching at it with increasing distress, since we all know that dried paint on skin is a bit of a nuisance. Without being asked, he brought over a damp cloth which we gratefully used to wipe off the titanium-like (in both shine and strength) colors, much to her relief. In fact, she was so happy with her fresh face and her yummy ‘snack,’ she decided to show her appreciation with a little property-defacement (shown).
The sweetest part about W.O.W. is that they don’t put a price on their menu or their service – they let it all speak for itself, and simply ask for fair donations for what has been provided. I can’t imagine that this doesn’t work wonders for them. I left a fair rate and then some, plus a large tip, and still managed to walk away well-fed and very pleased – all having not gone broke in the process.
Maybe this fact made me all the more disenchanted at our next stop.
On the way to track practice, I’d made the rookie mistake of promising that I’d take the kids to the sort-of recently opened Boudin SF in Montgomery Village afterward. I’ve never been a big fan of the touristy places, but my kids were super excited, so after we’d collected my tuckered-out and famished son, in we went – to wait in line like a bunch of cattle. From the indifferent cashier we ordered, paid, and got a number identifying us as the small family waiting for what I hoped was what we’d asked for, since nothing was read back or confirmed with me before sending us on our way. After locating a clean booth, we sat to wait for our seems-like-it-shouldn’t-take-very-long-to-prepare lunches…those being a couple of bread bowl-ensconced soups.
While waiting, I dug around for something to entertain my daughter. I was relieved to see some kid’s menus, but when I walked over to get one, the basket next to them which I assume holds crayons under normal circumstances, was empty. I looked around for someone to ask about this, but no nearby employees were to be found.
Our food finally arrived without comment, beyond “who gets the tomato?” Having just shared a delightful snack at W.O.W., my daughter and I decided to also team up on one order of clam chowder – which was a bit on the crunchy side. I looked around again, this time in hopes of catching the attention of an employee to alert them to the sandy soup, but they were all very busy being…too busy, I guess.
When we were finished, my son went up to the counter and asked for a to-go container for the remainders of our bread bowls, which I planned to feed to my boyfriend’s chickens. They LOVE crunchy clams! We were given a large brown paper bag, which I found confusing, but I couldn’t be bothered with the semantics in that moment, and so we went on our full and flustered way.
That’s…really all I have to say about that place.