On The Utterly Weird Experience of Being Refused Service

buon  Yeah, I didn’t think THAT happened anymore.

I run the cheese, cured meats and beer program for an upscale retail market and cafe on the Upper West Side called Gastronomie 491.  My boss loves the Buon Italia bresaola, and suggested I try it too, especially since my preferred variety Larchmont was unavailable and I didn’t like the suggested substitute brand, Creminelli.

I went to the Chelsea Market and after visiting some of my fave shops, Fat Witch, Dickston’s Farmstead Meats, and Lucy’s Whey, I went to Buon Italia.

When asked at the counter what i’d like, I explained that I was from a wholesale client and I’d like to taste the Bresaola as my boss thinks it’s divine, but I run the cured meat and we like operating from consensus.

This brought about a blank stare from counterperson.

I explained further that if I get on board with the Bresaola, then we’ll probably order lots of it.

This turned the stare into a glare.

I was mystified, and said, you’re looking at me as if you don’t think this is a good idea.

The counterwoman responded “I don’t think it’s a good idea.  I can’t just give taste to anyone who walks in here.”

Oooohhhh, I haven’t risen above the “just anyone” yet.  I figure I’ve been in the business long enough that I don’t have to prove it.  And for another anyone asking about bresaola knows more than a thing or two about cured meats. They ought be taken seriously without presenting credentials.

Frankly I was flustered so I left.  I’m more than willing to fight for my principles but for a taste of bresaola, eh, I’ll save my ammunition for something more important (like protesting the current wave of police brutality).  My distributor tells me that the Larchmont will be back in stock soon.  I’ll wait.

About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at thejoyofcheese.blogspot.com. In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and www.theroot.com. I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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