I was born in 1973 and have been eating food for as long as I can remember, just about 40 years. I can’t recall a more recent episode in my life as a ‘foodie’ or human being where I have had such an insulting and ‘let-me-take-a-deep-breath-before-this-situation-gets-worse’ experience than at the Ritz Diner in Livingston.
My friend and I had been dining for several hours and had a very pleasant experience with our food and attentive waitress. We were engaged in an important conversation when interrupted by the cashier who told us that we had to leave because the waitress had limited seating in her area and needed to make money on tips. Rather than asking us if we’d like to order anything or letting us know about the limited space/tip relationship and encouraging us to order more, she boldly asked us to leave. Initially shocked and insulted, I reminded myself that some folks have less polish and know-how when it comes to interacting with people as well as lack basic common sense and intelligence, and felt better (for the moment). I excused myself and went to the bathroom while my friend collected the check.
When I returned, we waited in line at the cash register and my friend paid our check with a $100 bill. While I waited for the change, she went to find the waitress and provide her with her tip, personally. I had glanced down to look for my keys in my purse and when I looked up, the cashier was holding the stack of bills as change, waiting for me to take it. Now, I do recall this woman had been pretty vocal a few minutes before, but was suddenly silent—absent basic manners to say something to the effect of, ‘excuse me, here is your change,’ or something like that. But then again, Neanderthals could have been blonde too, right? In any case, I took the change, waited for my friend to return and we started out the exit door.
As we were leaving, Blonde-Neanderthal-Insulting Female starts to squawk, “Hey, did you ladies leave the tip?” She came from behind the register, leaving the line of people waiting to pay, to follow and harass us in the vestibule area. I told my friend that this was unbelievable. I told the now vocal Neanderthal who recovered her power of speech that of course we paid and asked what kind of place this was to question us and/or treat us like that. She squawked again and my friend took my arm to leave and another employee reined her in.
As my friend and I spoke about it outside, the mediocre food that had been sitting quietly in my stomach started to make me feel queasy. I don’t blame that directly on the food, but certainly on the agitation that this experience with such a nasty individual, who I later found out was the owner/manager, ultimately provoked. I apologized to my friend for selecting this diner as we typically dine elsewhere and we were curtly reminded why. For those of you looking for a diner, go to Union, South Orange, or Blooomfield, (not an exhaustive list) where you will certainly have diner food and a more favorable experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.