That morning we had Reese’s Puffs, which is fine because I like Reese’s Puffs. But Tyler hates Reese’s Puffs. He got so angry. And Terry got mad too.
Before I was at the table, Tyler yelled, “What is this shit!”
I sat at the other side of the table. I didn’t wanna listen, but I did. I had to.
"It’s like you fuck up on purpose, Terry!" Tyler said. "I told you to buy the Hershey’s S’Mores cereal! Why are you always so stupid!"
Terry said, “Now Tyler…”
"Fuck you, Terry!" Tyler said.
I think Terry is nice. Sometimes Terry talks to me or asks how I feel.
Tyler kept yelling, “I don’t have to eat this shit!” He threw his bowl on the ground. The milk got on the carpet.
"Tyler!" Terry screamed. Terry was mad now.
Tyler didn’t care. He was going crazy. He said, “Fuck you!” He said, “You don’t even have a job, Terry! You don’t even do anything except stay at home all day and you can’t even fucking do that right!”
I kept eating the cereal. It was ok. I didn’t mind it.
Tyler took the milk bottle and poured all the milk out on the floor. All the milk stained the carpet.
Terry went crazy. He grabbed Tyler’s arm and twisted it really hard.
"Help! Help! Miranda help me! Help" Tyler said, but now he was crying. I didn’t know what to do. I just kept sitting at the table cause I was really scared. I stopped eating my cereal.
Terry slapped Tyler’s mouth. He hit it real hard. Tyler spit blood.
"I WISH I WAS DEAD! I WISH I WAS DEAD! I WISH I WAS DEAD! I WISH I WAS DEAD! I WISH I WAS DEAD!" Tyler screamed. Then Tyler puked.
Terry stopped. Terry was breathing really hard. Then Tyler got mad again. Tyler picked up a bowl and threw it at Terry. It missed and it broke.
Terry got really mad then. He picked up a chair and threw it at Tyler. It missed. Tyler ran to the drawers. He ripped out the drawers and threw the stuff inside. He threw the forks and spoons and knives. Terry had to hide. Terry hid under the table.
Tyler hit me in the eye with a fork. It hurt really bad. It bled. I didn’t cry though. I was too scared. I just put my hand on my eye to make it hurt less.
When Tyler was finished throwing things Terry stood up. He walked over to Tyler. Tyler punched and kicked but it didn’t matter. Terry grabbed Tyler by the hair and pulled him down. He picked Tyler up again and hit him in the face. Then Terry threw Tyler at the wall. Tyler stopped screaming. He didn’t cry either.
That was when I started crying. I was really really scared.
"Shut your mouth!" Terry screamed. "Go! Walk to school," he said.
I left the house and cried. I got to school and stopped crying so I didn’t get in trouble. I tried to forget about breakfast but I couldn’t.
A Yelp Review by Karen Lemper
When a person goes out to brunch, s/he expects an atmosphere in which she can relax. Such an atmosphere requires customers to have a quiet, personal space for eating and talking with friends. Without this, there really is no reason to go to brunch.
Cubano Romano is very bad. Don’t go here. I would rate it less than 1 star if I could
This is because, at Cubano Romano, their atmosphere is far from welcoming. While their food is by no means bad, it does not deserve the reputation it has accrued through local alt-weeklies and other oppositional Yelp reviews.
Let’s start at the beginning. Upon arrival, the restaurant’s “matron d’” (if you could use such a term to describe a teenage girl wearing jeans) told us we had to wait 45 minutes to be seated. As a brunch veteran, I understand long waits are the name of the game. But Cubano Romano has neither a patio nor a bar. There were not seats or even a bench outside for me to sit on! A disgusting homeless man was sleeping in the alley no more than 40 feet from the door. Thankfully, there was a Container Store near by (which I DO recommend patronage!) where my party and I passed the time.
So, when we came back I’d say no more than 65 minutes later, the restaurant rudely informed us that our table had been given to the next waiting party! Are you serious?! What’s the point of putting down names if you just skip over them!
Thankfully, we were able to sit down 5 minutes later (although it’s the principle of the whole thing that really gets under my skin). But of course, we get the worst table in the restaurant! Right next to the window, adjacent to the door. Great! We had to watch everybody walk by instead of focusing on the ambience of the establishment. Remember what I said about the importance of atmosphere?
Exactly! So we ordered our food and I just got what was recommended by the paper. It was a Cuban Breakfast Platter which was recommended as one of the freshest, most unique breakfast plates in the city. Fat chance! It is not that good. There were these strange fried banana things that were grilled. Who grills bananas? Gross!
But then, like two minutes after we got our food, something happened that made the entire meal an absolute living nightmare. The homeless man sleeping in the alley must have dealt drugs or something? I don’t know. But the police came to arrest him and he refused to move. They started shouting to get him to wake up or whatever but he didn’t even budge. The police say he was resisting arrest and I agree.
Then, and I don’t know for sure if this is what happened because even though I did see it, since I was very stressed and I am by no means making accusations here, one police officer hit the homeless man with his little black baseball bat thing. It was horrible! The man was mumbling and sort of screaming? My girlfriend swore she heard his bones snapping but I don’t believe her. Anyway the other officer joined in with his little black baseball bat thing. He shouted, “He’s going for my gun!” And I was horrified! Who knows what would have happened if that man got the officer’s gun! He could have shot innocent people like me for all I know!
Eventually, the fighting stopped. The man was all brown and bloody. He moved even less than when we walked in the restaurant. Later, I learned he was dead. Needless to say, brunch was ruined.
By the time the EMTs left I wasn’t even hungry anymore. Of course, the food was free, and the restaurant manager offered us a free brunch to make up for the commotion, but I will not be taking him up on this offer! Sure, the few bites I tasted were good, but how can someone eat comfortably after a time like this?
I strongly advise you to avoid Cubano Romano.
Late, Late Dinner
So many strange things happen on third shift, I swear, I could fill a book if I had the time. But the strangest things don’t register until you think about them in retrospect. It makes you grateful.
“There but for the grace of God go I…”
A few years ago this fat dumb drunk stumbled in my diner. He smelled like piss and whiskey. I remember walking over to his table to pour him some water and I nearly puked. He was pushing 40, and I’m sure his greying beard never came in without the patches. His eyes were bloodshot and he wore a strange hat—kinda like what a newspaper boy would wear back in olde-timey times. He talked kind of affected, not like a nelly cause his voice was quite deep, but like he was trying something hard. Maybe he was just drunk. One thing I knew from experience: these types of characters are the ones you get money from before you put their order in.
He told me he wants coffee, but I should bring the whole pot. Then he looks me square in the face says he wants to order immediately.
“Fine,” I said, and he tells me, “I want everything on the menu.”
Now I don’t even feel bad making him pay up first. He takes out big brick of a wallet and I knew he was a criminal right then and there—only a rat carries that much cash. I bet he stole it from an innocent family. Then, reminding me he was a disgusting drunk pig, he burped in my face and asked, “Will this about cover it?
So I tell him, I can’t serve you everything. We don’t have an everything button I can press that charges you for everything. I have to tell the cook exactly what to make, then I charge ya for everything you buy. Then, like an asshole, he reads off every item on the menu.
“I want eggs. Scrambled, fried, over easy, sunny side up, poached, hard boiled—I want two of every egg,” I don’t even tell him we don’t have hard-boiled, he’ll find out when the garbage is all ready.
“Do you know what a Grand Slam is,” he asks. Of course I do, I’m a waitress. It’s a stupid ham egg and cheese sandwich on toast. But we don’t make those, I tell him. f you want one, order whatever crap you want on it and assemble it yourself.
“Nah,” he says, “I don’t make nothing. I’ll just eat everything separate. Gimme all the meats whatever. I gotta have bacon. And do you have Canadian bacon? And sausage, links or patties I don’t care, both if you have them. Any meat. Bring me every meat you got.”
“And pancakes!” he shouts, so I tell him to quiet down. But keeps saying he wants, “Pancakes, and waffles, and french toast—all of it! And hash browns! Potatoes every way you cook them! Do you make biscuits and gravy? Gimme all of it!”
“And more coffee! And juice!” He tells me. He’s getting all excited, sweating all over the place. His shirt is literally wet, like he spilled on himself or something. God, did I hate this assshole. Nobody’s in here all night, nobody’s bothering a fly and he comes in just to waste food? I had half a mind not to serve it to him.
“Bring it out as it finishes so it’s hot,” he demands. “I got the money, gimme it all, gimme everything! Charge me as you go and keep cooking things until I say stop. You can have all the money, I don’t care. Don’t try to stop feeding me until I walk out the door.”
Boy was he a pig. What a disgusting bag of lard. But I didn’t know the half of it.
“You sure eat some dinner, mister,” I tell the asshole. And believe me, I’ll never forget what came next. He laughs in my face and says, “Lady, this is just breakfast!”
Then I hadda tell Vince behind the fryer he’s gotta cook all this and my god was he livid! I showed him the money but he didn’t care he says, “Fuck this man I’m not even supposed to be here today! I’m covering for Randal.” But honestly I really don’t care. Sucks just as much to carry all the food out to him as it does to cook it.
So finally I had to start bringing out the plates. God, what a disgusting slob, I’ll never forget him. First he starts shoving the meat in his mouth letting the grease drip down his chin, scalding the skin on his neck. It seems like most of the mashed meat gets all stuck in his teeth, while the rest flies out and hits the other end of the table. He starts sucking the syrup off of the pancake then shoved the whole thing into his mouth. He got the French toast powdered sugar on his nose like a drug fiend. He’d try and eat every egg in one bite, two only if necessary. And while he’s eating, he got hotter and hotter, perspiring like he’s just won a marathon or something. He was rubbing his temples, wiping his forehead. All I could do was sit there and watch him.
Finally I knew he was finished when he sat up straight. This wino had slumped over like an old man’s you know what from the second he walked in the door. But when he finished eating he sat up like the priest was blessing him at his first communion. That’s when I notice the fear in his eyes. Made me nervous he was gonna snap or something until he gave a loud belch. He burped up what looked to me like black tar. A dark, sticky, black liquid. Reminded me of baby shit, that pulpy black shit that comes out the ass of a newborn baby. He burped up a little and let it dribble down his chin. I said, “If you’re gonna hurl you get the hell out of here, buddy! Don’t even go in the bathroom or nothing!” I took a menu and I started hitting him. I knew I was the one who’d have to clean up the mess, so I start smacking the guy.
He walks outside and just like I thought, he vomited profusely. Like sewage erupting from a broken pipe. Just filthy, vile muck. Sloshing like mud, reeking of rot. It gets all on the ground and splashes on his legs and shoes. Just sickening. He goes on like this for maybe 20 minutes.
Then, he goes and lies down in the front of his truck. I said, “Screw it,” and I called the cops. No reason for a bum like him to sit outside our place all night. But right as I’m describing the car he pulls out and drives a few miles down the road. Sure, the police eventually found him. They said his truck had burned all the way through, like somebody set fire to it. Couldn’t have been the slob though, cause his charred remnants were still in the driver seat. The cops told us you could pick out the melted fat amongst the soot and ash, mixed in with burnt fabric. The coroner didn’t know what to think, he wrote it off as the rare case of self-immolation. I think the man was sent from Hell.