Kaite wrote: "What gives with the Woodswether? I pass it ... every day, and about two weeks ago I noticed it had been painted white! All those marvelous rabid cabbages and alien appliances and wacky rabbits are gone!" Well, I almost had a coronary at that news, so I made a quick phone call to owner-cook Jerry Naster, who ran the café for more than nine years in that wildly painted building.
"We've moved to a new location, real close to the old place," Naster said. "It's on 1414 West 9th Street. It's three times bigger and with more parking. Better food, too. And, yes, I'm going to paint it like the old place."
The new diner will have the same menu and hours -- 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday -- and will be called Jerry's Woodswether on 9th. A waitress explained to me over the phone that if I drove near the old joint, took a left on Mulberry and a right on 9th and saw a sign for the Warehouse Grill, I'd be there. The new sign goes up soon.
Another reader, Suzen, e-mailed me to ask how I feel, as a former waiter, about servers who don't write down orders. "Do I have the right to ask my waiter/waitress to write down my party's order?" she wrote. "Whenever I see a server approach our table without paper or pen, I cringe, knowing it's quite likely my order will be screwed up in some way."
Well, honey, I've had plenty of screwed-up orders from waiters and waitresses who seemed to be writing everything down. As a waiter, I believed in having a paper record of any order in case either the cook or the customer accused me of shouting out the wrong information. And, yes, I also distrust servers who try to memorize the orders of more than two people. It's a cute trick, but invariably something goes awry. The diplomatic solution is to ask, "Are you sure you can memorize all this?" If the server nods yes, then goes ahead and gets the order all wrong, it's perfect grounds for complaining to the manager. Or for leaving a stingy tip ... guilt-free.