Breath of relief

After last night’s disappointing meal, I was wondering what we had in store tonight for our second customer dinner in a row. This customer chose a Peruvian place on the exact same block in Doral as last night’s dinner, so clearly in this very new suburb, the “hip” area was really all on one block. Tonight’s customer we were meeting for the very first time. I had no idea what to expect of him other than the two phone calls we’d had, plus the email exchanges that have all been to-the-point.

“Is there anything you don’t eat?” I asked him as we sat down.

“Nope, I’m not picky at all,” he said, clearly eager to start ordering and eating. “I eat and like everything!”

“Do you like spicy food?” my colleague asked. “Can we get the hot ceviche?”

“Ya, I like heat!” the customer responded.

My colleague and I both looked at each other and smiled. We already liked this guy, but now, we just liked him that much more.

It’s always a crap shoot when you’re taking customers out. You can’t be as blunt with them as you can with your own friends or colleagues where you can critique them or make fun of them for their foibles, what they like and don’t like, especially when you are all new to each other. With customers, I’ve heard everything from they don’t eat animals with more than two legs to a deep hatred of mushrooms to they only eat eggs cooked with the eggs and whites together. It’s a relief, especially when you share dishes, when you can order and eat everything you want without walking on egg shells to suggest the next thing to get.

And in the end, tonight’s meal was delicious, a far cry from last night’s.

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