Is it a spirit of “we have so much business, we don’t need to accommodate you” that makes restaurants refuse to take reservations on a busy weekend? Really, if you know, please tell me because I just don’t understand it.

Son #2’s favourite restaurant is a casual steak place called The Keg. Unfortunately for us, the one in our town closed a few years ago, supposedly because they were building a newer, bigger one even closer to us. (Sadly, it hasn’t happened yet.) The nearest one is now about a half-hour drive away. We know that Fridays and Saturdays are so busy it’s not uncommon to encounter 90-minute waits for a table, if you can even find a place to park your car. People are crammed into the entrance, the hallway, the bar and any other available spot; there are a few chairs and benches, but not nearly enough. The last time we were there with my parents, my 83-year-old father, who has had two hip replacements and can’t stand for long, ended up waiting for a good hour in the only available spot: my car. So for this visit, celebrating Son #2’s birthday earlier in the week, I called to see if there was any way we could make a reservation.

The quick answer to my explanation and request: Oh, no, not possible. But if you come at 5 p.m. it shouldn’t take long.

We arrived at 5:30 so I guess we missed our little window; the place was packed and the promised wait was now 60-90 minutes. To make a long story short, we managed to find a place for Dad for what turned out to “only” be an hour’s wait. Then we were seated in the lounge area, with nearby groups of people waiting for their tables loudly talking over the music and forcing us to repeat ourselves several times if we wanted to talk. (Reminded me of Donna Papacosta‘s recent post about her noisy restaurant experiences. Why don’t restaurants do something about the acoustics??)

So, Son #2 got his steak and he was happy. I can’t say that the experience left me wanting more.