Aside from the grossly overpriced dipping sauce, now there's another reason to not go to the Melting Pot in Downtown SLC. I've witnessed some weird as hell stuff in the kitchens of my former restaurant life, but this tops the list. One of my favorites:
(Disclaimer for UDABC--in no way is the author responsible for over-service of alcohol to any of the following subjects. All subjects were drunk as hell before they entered the restaurant, which became clear after I had served them each one beverage.)
Over at Fresco, I had a drunken solitary Power-Lesbian (PL for our purpose here) leave her table, sit herself at a table occupied by an elderly Italian couple, the lady of which being completely senile and plastered as Winston Churchill. PL had been mumbling something about her mom and, while I was busy in the trenches, made a b-line for the Italians.
As I emerged from the kitchen I heard a strange sound coming from the Italian table. As I got closer, it slowly became clear as to what was happening. PL had the drunk old lady cradled in her arms and was singing some kind of lullaby to her while gently stroking her hair as the old man obliviously sipped on his Chianti. In between poorly placed notes, PL could be heard saying things like "It's okay, Mommy" and "We all miss you, except that bastard so and so".
Not having ever had that happen, I flipped an abrupt U-turn into the kitchen to relay what was going on to my chef. As I was stuttering through an attempted explanation, the kitchen doors flew open and Sarah, my dear compadre in the trenches of many restaurants who has a Jerry Sloan-type command of creative language, ran directly to the garbage cans and threw in a bowl of what appeared to be really watery pasta. "The old bitch puked!" she proclaimed, face red with rage. She then relayed the goings on in her part of the restaurant:
A couple with one child and their grandma had been seated toward the front of the restaurant. Before the butts hit the chairs, the old lady grumbled loudly "Give me a scotch and water with no fucking ice... If I want ice, I'll put it in myself, goddammit!" Sarah politely asked if granny was shitfaced, and the family implied that she was simply in the "Tourette's" stage of dementia and that she would settle down with a nice beverage. Sarah obliged and brought out the appetizers and drinks. As she left the table, a spooky silence fell upon the dining room, which was packed on a busy Friday. She turned around as the father explained "It appears mother has vomited" pointing at her bowl of now-laden-with-elderly-bile strozzapreti.
As Sarah was fuming through her story, we heard a loud thump outside the kitchen door. With much fear, we peaked through to find the Italian drunk elderly lady lying face down in front of the ladies room with PL standing over her. The Lesbian, with her assertive businessman hairdo, explained that "Mommy" had fallen and that she would now leave her to our care. We peeled granny from the floor while she sang some songs lightly in Italian and we placed her in the care of the floor manager.
Not surprisingly, the remaining patrons were in no mood for some nice tiramisu following that evenings' harrowing events. Me and Sarah? Only one thing came to mind: "Give me a scotch and water with no fucking ice!"
Update: More info from the SL Trib on the unfortunate death of the Hispanic boy.