Good morning and welcome back to reality. Let’s start this (joyfully) short week off with a letter to Phil Romano. You know Phil. He has given Macaroni Grill, We Oui (Hi, Nick!), Fuddrucker’s, Nick & Sams to our fair city. Oh, and Eatzi’s. Everybody loves Eatzi’s, right? At lunch it’s a mob scene. The market is crowded with baskets of fruits and vegetables crammed next to shelves lined with gourmet products. The center of the space is a round food case filled with prepared foods, fresh fish, and meats. Boxes of wine are on the floor all over the store. The environment is semi-controlled chaos—it makes you feel like you’re in a space where everyone wants to be.
I like to be at Eatzi’s on Lovers Lane around 6:00 in the evening. Check that, I have to be at Eatzi’s after work if I want anything to eat on the nights I don’t dine out. My refrigerator is a science project—Styrofoam containers with leftovers in various stages of decay and condiments. It doesn’t make you hungry.
Neither does the blaring opera music at both Eatzi’s location. Ave Maria! Last week I asked the gal at checkout how she feels when she gets off work. “That’s the way the boss wants it,” she said as she squeezed the top of her nose with her fingers to relieve the pressure of what was probably chronic cluster headaches. “Oh, but we love it,” she said. “It keeps us on our toes.”
Phil, I’ll give you this—you’ve got your cheery staff well trained. But every customer I surveyed in the store was annoyed by the Placido Domingo’s voice piercing their ear drums. Phil, please turn it down. We might stay longer and buy more.