Witnesses confirmed Friday that Janet Byrne of Fresno, CA, immediately began reading the menu at Mimi’s Cafe out loud to her daughter, Meredith, to highlight menu items she might enjoy.
Meredith, an adult woman who typically feeds herself with no issues, says her mother tends to bombard her with suggestions from the moment they sit down.
“My mom went on and on about how chicken soup would help with my cold,” Meredith explains. “I mean, I guess I was sick but I’m also a vegetarian.”
Unfortunately, according to Meredith, rejecting one of Janet’s suggestions is a risky move.
“Whenever I tell her I’m not in the mood for whatever she’s told me to order, she gets really quiet and broody,” Meredith says, shaking her head. “Then she usually whispers something regretful, like ‘I was just trying to help. I’m your mother.’ Honestly, it’s a disaster.”
“I remember suggesting the mussels,” Janet recalls. “Because, you know, Meredith isn’t allergic. Poor Dottie’s daughter, Chrissie is allergic. And that’s just so sad. If you’re not allergic to something, you should order it!”
“It’s a very emotional process of ordering for Janet,” Janet’s husband Bill says. “I usually try to stay home from restaurant outings.”
Witnesses say that Meredith attempted to maneuver the conversation away from her mother’s reading of the menu on several occasions, but Janet would not stop recommending the kale salad because it’s “quite popular right now.”
When the waiter came to take everyone’s order, Meredith requested the grilled cheese sandwich with a side salad—neither of which had been recommended by Janet. When the server asked Janet to order, she was not ready, having only looked at the menu with Meredith in mind.