Late Saturday morning, before heading up to Cal Anderson Park, I decided to snag a couple of slices of pizza.
Since it had been a long time since my last visit (I think the last time I ate here was sometime in the 90’s), I decided to re-acquaint myself with Hot Mama’s Pizza on Pine Street. I tried to have lunch here a couple of weeks ago, but when I walked through the door at 11am, the man behind the counter told me that they had just opened and that the pizza would take awhile.
Come on, fellas, rise and shine. Getting to work at 11am was fine when you lived on your mother’s couch, but now it’s time to get up and face the day at a reasonable hour. We’re not all hungover until the afternoon.
This weekend I put my previous irritation aside, and walked the couple of blocks over to Hot Mama’s.
When I got there, I encountered a man behind the counter who clearly sleeps on his right side at night.
Here again, no offense guys, but if you don’t want to use a comb, and you are forced to work in a service job, at least have enough respect for the customers to throw on a hat. The “I just woke up” aesthetic doesn’t look nearly as cool as you think it does … especially when you are serving food.
“Good morning, may I get two slices of pepperoni?”, I asked Bedhead.
“We don’t have any right now, it will be out in about 5 minutes”, Bedhead replied.
“No problem, can I just wait for it to come out”, I asked.
“Uh, okay”, he answered.
I took a seat in front of Bedhead as he served other customers, and about 5 minutes later, sure enough, the pepperoni pie was put in the glass case.
Bedhead did not summon me, though. He didn’t say “Sir, it’s ready”.
Instead, Bedhead started selling the pepperoni pizza off to people who had come after me. He had completely forgotten that I was there.
When I re-queued in line and finally got back to the cash register, there was only one slice of pepperoni left. Bedhead looked up at me and said “uh, may I help you.”
“Yes, I would like a slice of pepperoni please”, I replied, a little annoyed but not visibly so.
“Okay”, he replied, at which point he finally handed me the last slice.
Oh well, so much for killing my hunger. At 6’3” and 200lbs, a single slice of pizza doesn’t really fill me up, but what the hell, I can stand to lose some weight.
After receiving my slice, I looked high and low in Mama’s for utensils to no avail. I decided to approach Bedhead with my dilemma.
“Excuse me, do you have any plastic utensils? I’ve been riding my motorcycle without gloves and my hands are kind of dirty”, I said.
Bedhead looked at me for a few seconds, blinked a couple of times, and then said “hmmm, the only silverware we have is metal, and I would have to go in the back to get that.”
We stood there looking at each other in awkward silence for bout 10 seconds, and then I finally spoke up.
“Um, okay, I would be happy to use the metal utensils if you don’t mind”, I said.
Bedhead looked at me, blinked twice, and … awkward silence. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he spoke.
“Uh, alright, I’ll go get it then”, he said.
“Thanks?”, I replied.
30 seconds later, Bedhead emerged with a container full of silverware, which he stocked at the silverware station.
And do you know where he had to go to get it?
ALL THE WAY TO THE BACK!
I mean, it had to be an entire 15 … maybe 20 feet.
Seriously, I don’t know if Bedhead was baked out of his gourd, was hungover, or if he is mentally challenged. I will tell you this, however … homeboy’s not right. Something upstairs just isn’t hitting on all cylinders. I kept waiting for someone to come running out to tell me that I was on Candid Camera. The entire interaction was just so bizarre.
When I finally got to eat my single slice of pizza, my annoyance subsided a bit.
The pizza itself was pretty good. I think they tried to make a New York pie, and while they didn’t get there, they at least got somewhere in the ballpark.
The pizza had a nice layer of gnarly grease, the sauce was flavorful, and the crust wasn’t half bad. I could totally get down with one of these pies every now and then.
The thing is, I’m not sure I’ll make the effort.
Even though there was a long line at Mama’s, I got the feeling that the line existed because the line existed … if you know what I mean. The lemming phenomenon. Hot Mama’s Pizza is above average for Seattle (which isn’t saying much), but there’s really no legitimate reason to endure poor service for it. No “thanks”, no “have a nice day”.
In my opinion Hot Mama’s is overplaying their hand with the apathetic retarded hipster vibe.
I mean, they just have to know that the guy behind the counter is severely autistic and/or too hip to work in a pizza joint. After all, they hired him.
People will tolerate bad service for exceptional food, but that’s what the food has to be. Exceptional. It can’t simply be good.
Unfortunately, simply good is what Hot Mama’s Pizza is.