Just chill, it is all part of Gladstone's dining experience

"JUST chill."

The advice came by text message. I was standing at the bar, and had been for about 10 minutes. But this wasn't a bit of friendly cocktailing-making wisdom.

My fella was sitting 20 metres away, phone in hand, grinning at my gritted teeth.

I was investigating whether we were going to get fed - and hope was fading fast.

For our wedding, sweet Melbourne friends had done their research, and presented us with a voucher for a Gladstone establishment, the one with superior views and an apparently unenforced no-thong policy. (Don't change!)

We'd chosen a lazy Sunday evening to spend it - but two beers in, our culinary plans were kaput.

"We need the original voucher," the waitress said firmly. "This is a photocopy."

It seemed unlikely that our mates would have had a voucher sent out, only to photocopy it for the presenting.

Perhaps they'd been emailed the voucher, and printed it - "Is there any way anyone could find out?"

I thought I'd said it calmly. As she scurried off, the text message lobbed. Maybe not.

Like any struggling student, I've done my time on the other side of the bar.

And for all the burnt coffees and mixed-up orders delivered by teenage waitress me, no doubt I'm owed some foodie frustration in return.

I've just never known karma to be so geographically centralised.

Like the time we finished a perfect feed at the second-fanciest joint in town - only to be corralled for 20 minutes. Only the owner could take payment - and he was off buying milk.

Or the two-hour wait for a Wednesday night feed, when the waitress wore a track coming back and forth between us and the kitchen, offering apologies and complimentary drinks. In the end, we got it free.

So no complaints! While uncharitable thoughts occasionally occur, dining dramas are just a challenge.

Like the old adage "it tastes better when someone else has cooked it", an uneventful feed out tastes sweeter still.

Back at home on Sunday night, and full of homemade Mexican, I got a flustered call - the voucher was found, we could come in any time.

And honestly, I can't wait - after all, a side of frustration still tastes better than my cooking.

Topics:  dining out gladstone restaurants mary bolling opinion

Dreamworld reopening cancelled amidst investigation

Images from the scene after four people died on a ride at Dreamworld at the Gold Coast

Dreamworld has canned its plans to reopen on Firday

Investors eye new local estate with dirt cheap property

A new estate, Aquatic Vista, has opened at Agnes Water.

BUYERS to go crazy for an entire new estate put on the market.

Curtis Island workers could be axed in new job cuts

Santos has reported a US$1 billion loss for the first half of this year.

Santos has started a new round of job cuts across the company.

Local Partners

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Investors eye new local estate with dirt cheap property

A new estate, Aquatic Vista, has opened at Agnes Water.

BUYERS to go crazy for an entire new estate put on the market.

OPINION: Banks fear Gladstone future: Councillor

REGIONAL Queensland deserves a helping hand on housing.

Bank reclaims Goondoon St complex plan, places on the market

Multi-million dollar development plan up for sale.

MULTI-MILLION dollar plan for Goondoon St complex on the market.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Coles to pay new owner of Tannum servo $320K

UP FOR GRABS: Expressions of interest in Tannum's new service station, which will house the new Coles Express, closed this month.

INVESTORS bid for new Tannum service station under construction.

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'