An interesting thing happened to me and my sister on the way to Marfa, Texas. It was the weekend of the yearly art festival and we arrived on a Friday late morning. Right away we noticed very few people on the streets, and all the galleries were closed. There was no buzz in town. No crowds. Nada. We checked our smartphones to make sure we had the right weekend. No goof-ups. Our dates were correct.
We concluded we had arrived too early so we went into Capri, the only restaurant doing business and sat at a table inside near the bar. The outside area was full of boomers and millennials. The wait staff was a bunch of guys in blue shirts and beards. I didn’t check if they were wearing boots, but presumably so. After all this was Texas.
We sat so long I could have written a play. We were being ignored. So we got smart and moved over to the bar where at least we could order drinks. By then we were thirsty and hungry. The bartender, also a blue-beard, made our drinks and also took our food order. It wasn’t anything complicated, a kale salad and a melted cheese and dip thing.
We watched the bartender make picked okra margaritas, glasses of champagne with tequila, and hibiscus concoctions for the other customers. Meanwhile the blue guys came out with plates of food for the people outside and for three guys seated on my left. It turned out they were the band for the night’s concert. We knew that because the chefs came out and announced every twenty minutes who they were with loud clapping. The chefs also sported beards, but longer ones.
We continued to sit and wait for our food while we finished our drinks. The bartender never asked if we wanted refills, nor did he go into the kitchen to see where our food was. He made no eye contact and was as friendly as a black-tailed rattlesnake.
After an hour – don’t ask me why we waited so long – we got up. My sister went to the restroom and I told the bartender to cancel the food order, that it was a disgrace in customer service. He disappeared into the kitchen – finally – and came out a few minutes later. I had my credit card in hand. He said, “The drinks are on the house.” No apologies, no explanations, nothing.
We were so hungry by then we went looking for another restaurant and found one at the Saint George Hotel. It was housed in a modern building with a museum looking bookstore in the lobby. We walked in and went straight for the bar, but before we could warm our tushes on the bar stools, the bartender announced, “Out kitchen is closed. If you’re hungry come back at 4 o’clock.”
We laughed. Clearly there was no food in Marfa.
We ended up at the corner Dairy Queen eating chicken strips and fries. Then we made a U-turn and hightailed it out of town.
Calvin says, “Goes to show that cowboy country ain’t food friendly.”