Ron Gage and Henry McKinnon were enjoying a nice, romantic dinner together at Prime Rib in Washington D.C. That is, until dessert rolled around.
“When it came time for dessert, we asked for one sundae with two spoons,” Gage tells The Washington Post.
That’s when he says their waiter, who had been very courteous all evening, suddenly morphed into a monster.
Gage claims that he “said he would bring it in two separate dishes. He said ‘It wouldn’t look right with two gentlemen eating out of the same sundae. It doesn’t go with the ambiance of the restaurant.’ ”
“We were speechless,” Gage recalls. “We weren’t expecting it.”
The men promptly left without asking to speak to the manager.
“I’m kind of embarrassed to say we didn’t say anything,” McKinnon adds. “It just took us back to such a shameful place, in a way.”
The restaurant’s general manager, James MacLeod, says the company doesn’t “condone” such behavior from staff.
“The waiter in question is Bulgarian, and he does speak four different languages,” MacLeod explains. Since English is not the waiter’s first language, “I am not sure if he got confused as to what he was saying, or how he was saying it.”
He continues, “I cannot believe that a waiter would have ever said anything like that. There’s no way we would condone anything remotely like this.”
MacLeod says he plans on reaching out to the couple; however, Gage and McKinnon don’t think they’ll ever go back. And we can’t say we blame them.
“It was so humiliating,” McKinnon says. “It was unbelievable how it made us feel.”
Related: Donald Trump erupts on Twitter after scathing review of namesake restaurant
What a shock, a waiter from a rabidly anti-lgbt country is a bigot.
My only issue with the couple is they need to not go back to that place of shame from childhood. No tip, get the manager over next time. Don’t be afraid to shame the waiter for what he did and what he is.
By all means ask for the management. If the Manager doesn’t want to help ask how to contact the Owner or District Manager if it’s a chain operations. There is no place for this in the US. And when you don’t ask, you’re giving them the permission to continue. After the fact or the next day doesn’t solve the problem.
Bulgarian American here. On behalf of my people, I’m sorry for their ignorance and homophobia.
I absolutely see this happening in Bulgaria btw, but someone should have told this guy that things are a little different in the west! Two guys definitely can share a desert, couple or not…
You know if you are immigrating to a new country don’t bring your cultural crap to your new country. Especially homophobia. These are the same guys who harass gay men in cabs who show affection to not renting to gay people to this incident. If you aren’t willing to adjust go back to wherever you came from.
I was unsure if you wanted me “go back to wherever [ I ] came from” or if that was a general statement.
While I understand where you are coming from in terms of mistreatment of LGBT+ people by immigrant populations, I disagree with the statement that they should not “bring [their] cultural crap” to their new country.
If you follow what you preach, I implore you to go to Palestine and enjoy their falafel, I prefer to go to the Palestinian joint in Andersonville 😉
With Love, a gay Bulgarian-American who can smell a troll from a mile away.
I am sorry, but I can’t generate much outrage here. The couple didn’t complain at the time, so the facts are unclear. We only have their side. Perhaps the waiter would have said the same thing to an opposite sex couple. What he was objecting to was diners eating off the same plate, not the genders of who was doing the eating. Because the couple left to offense and failed to investigate or complain, we don’t know if this homophobia or high standards.
What I’m stuck on is how on earth do you use the terms “prime rib” “sundae” and “swanky” appropriately in the same sentence. Maybe with a “not” thrown in there, but even then it’s a bit of a stretch.
People sharing a dessert is a common event, regardless of gender or age. It might be different in Bulgaria but here I see it regularly and I have never seen anyone make a deal of it. Pretty silly to see a waiter trip on a dessert request and jeopardize a tip for would have been a rather expensive meal. Of course, Miss MacAdvisor has solved the mystery for us by assuming there is something nefarious and the couple is lying. So we can all go back to doing whatever we were doing before.
Exactly. I have never had a server question a single dessert between me and my male dinner companions. Many times they assume we are going to share and bring an extra utensil.
Miss MacAdvisor here (at nearly 60, 328 pounds, and only 5′ 8″, I don’t know if I count as a miss, but I am unmarried), I never suggest the couple is lying. I suggest they are jumping to a conclusion. There is a big difference. Some restaurants split the dessert rather then having their guests share plates. This could be a case of homophobia, but, because the aggrieved couple leaped to a conclusion rather than investigate a bit further, we won’t really know. We don’t have the waiter side. I try not to base conclusions upon hearing only one side.
You all know what happens when we assume.
320 pounds!?! Perhaps you should avoid this subject since you probably have no experience with splitting desserts? 🙂
Wow… fat jokes? I expected more from you and am SO GLAD you’re right down in the gutter with me!!!!
I’m just wondering why or how this ended up being covered as news. Sure it sucks, but it’s a relatively minor slight and they didn’t even ask to speak to the manager, so it’s not like they made a scene and the story was picked up that way. Are the couple just friends of a staff writer st the Washington Post? Does the Washington Post just go around asking people if they had any discriminatory dining experiences lately?
Okay so it looks like they later felt slighted enough to post about it on Facebook and Yelp, but that was not mentioned in this Queerty post, and it’s still a little unclear why this was picked up as a story. It’s still a pretty minor slight that did not end up causing a scene, and it doesn’t even seem to be the restaurant’s policy so much as the call of one waiter who might have even thought he was being helpful somehow. Also, it’s funny to me that the couple still chose to tip 15% after that if it bothered them so much.
What we all should take from this, is never let homophobia go unanswered. It bothers me that the couple simply left without razing hell; if someone thinks they can cross the professional line of respect and courtesy, they have given the green light to push them back immediately.
There is no reason to feel bad, no reason to carry this “shame” around, push them back, don’t be silent when this kind of disrespect happens.
Liberal towns can be even more homophobic than conservative towns. Liberalism is based on the bisexual double standard – girl-girl “hot”, guy-guy gross.
DON’T EVER LET THEM INTIMIDATE YOU! Stand up for yourself and make your voice heard! Call out the server and demand to soak to the manager then call him out!! I would have caused a scene so grand everyone dining would remember for a long time!!
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