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Old 09-16-2006, 02:21 AM   #81
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fryboy, i hope you realize that you are a restaurant's nightmare. the constant victim of negligence or circumstance. (notice no smileys).

the next time you sit down and you feel the ac blowing on you, ask for another seat right away. my wife does that all of the time. if it becomes uncomfortable during a meal, ask again. don't just sit there and become bitter about how badly you're being treated. and ask the waiter to get the admin from massachusetts at the next table to put on some clothes.

same goes for all of the other technical improprieties you've mentioned. cold butter can always be nuked. wine temp should be poured to your liking. children can always be duct taped to a chair, and gagged. etcetera, etcetera.

of course, bad food or service is just that. but work with the wait staff, have a little patience (you don't own the place), and then tip generously if they've come close to your needs.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:23 AM   #82
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My peeves that are not yet mentioned are about menu's.
First thing that's bound to get on my nerves is poetical menus. To give an example, a few weeks ago gf and I are hungry after a day in the city and we go to a nice not overly fancy looking diner. I can't remember what my gf had, but I had devillish fish in it's flavourful buttery sauce accompagnied by a marriage of potato and baby oignon. Devillish fish was a give away. It's a poetic discription of what we call "zeeduivel" (literally translated "seadevil" or monkfish in english). The flavourful buttery sauce turned out to be a beurre blanc and the marriage of potato and baby oignon was a potato and spring oignon mash. Ok, It was realy tasty but not more tasty than monkfish and spring oignon mash with beure blanc.
Closely related to the previous is cryptic descriptions and "surprise" on the menu. I love "trivial pursuit" but that doesn't mean I want a menu to be a quiz (especially not if the correct aswer doesn't yield a price). I also don't like surprises on my plate. If I'm to be surprised by anything in a restaurant, I prefer to be surprised by the quality of the ingredients mentioned on the menu, the skills of the chef who combined them into a dish and the one or two secret ingredients that make you say "wow". So please don't serve me an "asparagus surprise menu"... especially not at 80 Eur per person.
Thirdly, I like classic dishes to have the authentic ingredients without too many creative additions or omissions. For example: there is a clear distinction between a greek salad and a salade niçoise. And the distinction is much bigger than the former being a green salad with oignons and feta and the latter being a green salad with a can of tuna and a hard boiled egg.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:45 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
and ask the waiter to get the admin from massachusetts at the next table to put on some clothes.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:10 AM   #84
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Worst dining experience to date happened this summer in NYC, west of Central Park.

We (DH and I) were seated outdoors at what seemed an upscale place. We gave our orders for drinks, were served, gave our meal orders. We chatted together, enjoyed the summer evening, etc. A waiter (not the original one) came with our meals, but they were not what what we had ordered. We said so, and he took them to another table.

Then we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, about 40 minutes after the wrong meals had been sent to us, we were able to catch the eye of our original waiter and ask about our order. He apologized and put our order in again. Another 30 minutes or so later, we had our food.

While we were eating, darkness fell--and no outside lights came on! The place was inky black. A patron coming out from the interior of the restaurant actually tripped and fell in the doorway, where there was an unseen step going down to the pavement.

We finished our meal and asked for the check--and it was not our check! It was obviously for a table of 4, not us. We pointed this out to the waiter, and he eventually came up with the right check.

I did leave a tip, because I know that restaurant staff aren't usually paid enough to live on, especially in a place like NYC, but I would be very surprised if that restaurant is going to be in existence for long.
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:02 PM   #85
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i'd leave, if to say to them meals inadvertantly lack an unspoken etttiquette of proper preparation. sigh. i'll wear a Chef's coat so as to silently say, 'yeah, i'm a Chef, so cook my meal properly.'
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:31 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
fryboy, i hope you realize that you are a restaurant's nightmare. the constant victim of negligence or circumstance. (notice no smileys).

the next time you sit down and you feel the ac blowing on you, ask for another seat right away. my wife does that all of the time. if it becomes uncomfortable during a meal, ask again. don't just sit there and become bitter about how badly you're being treated. and ask the waiter to get the admin from massachusetts at the next table to put on some clothes.

same goes for all of the other technical improprieties you've mentioned. cold butter can always be nuked. wine temp should be poured to your liking. children can always be duct taped to a chair, and gagged. etcetera, etcetera.

of course, bad food or service is just that. but work with the wait staff, have a little patience (you don't own the place), and then tip generously if they've come close to your needs.
Bucky, as they say in court, you assume facts not in evidence. Of course I ask for a different table or to have the music turned down or the A/C adjusted if the situation warrants and if it's something that can be corrected. But in well-managed restaurants, the need to complain rarely arises.

Ignorant, inattentive restaurant management and untrained staff are the diner's worst nightmare. Diners may not own the place, as you argue, but the restaurant has no right to our business, either. Those that act like they are entitled to our business rarely last.
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:51 AM   #87
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Luvs, I live in a very small town. It is a tourist town. I recently tried to give a member of our group advice on where to eat here for a family reunion (total stranger), and she said she had a hard time finding a place (even with my help) finding a place that wasn't too noisy. We aren't talking high-end big-city places. We also aren't talking trashy places either. I'm talking small, family owned places who should be smart enough to cater to their audience, so to speak. And yes, we are a small enough town that we DO let the owners know about the problem. My point was that the bartenders and wait staff should NOT be the ones to select the music (or for that matter, the room temperature). Someone should actually pay attention to the customers. Just tonight I asked a local pub owner if he would mind turning down the TV in a local place (a simple local pub), since no one was watching it. He turned the volume OFF,since no one was watching it. This is service. Having an 18 year old decide the music and volume for a crowd of people who are 40-80 .... well, it is time for the owner to actually consider the concept of walking into his restauraunt. And there are a lot of them like that. I'm lucky; it is a small town, and what I do say matters. I did tell restaurant owners that they lost out because ..... well, whatever. I feel for people who spend money and have to put up with it.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:36 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
Bucky, as they say in court, you assume facts not in evidence. Of course I ask for a different table or to have the music turned down or the A/C adjusted if the situation warrants and if it's something that can be corrected. But in well-managed restaurants, the need to complain rarely arises.

Ignorant, inattentive restaurant management and untrained staff are the diner's worst nightmare. Diners may not own the place, as you argue, but the restaurant has no right to our business, either. Those that act like they are entitled to our business rarely last.
ahh, ok, sorry, mea culpa. i know several people who are perpetually miserable and can only relax after they complain about something.

agreed about well managed joints.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:15 AM   #89
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I agree that there are a number of diners who live to complain. I know quite a few. They travel to different places for the sole purpose of being able to say that it is better where they live. They go to restaurants simply to be able to complain about them. As a traveller and lover of restaurants, pubs, and yes, even (maybe especially) local dives, I rarely complain and when I do, it usually works, pronto. I have an aunt who I went to a local place with in Florida, and she immediately lit into the waitress. The fries had to be such, the burger so, etc, followed up with "I used to be a waitress and if this isn't the way I want it you won't get a tip!" My sisters, Mom and I were apalled. I'm suprised the poor girl didn't leave on the spot. Another uncle has the $$ to travel, and when he comes home does nothing but complain about the food, hotels, etc. A bathroom down the hall sends people like this into conniption fits. These are New Englanders, and they do nothing but gripe about how the seafood in the south (or anywhere else) doesn't measure up to theirs. D'ya know what? Spiny lobster is delicious, as is Maine lobster. Pink, white, and gray shrimp, large prawns, are all delicious. And rock shrimp really rocks my boat!!! On our last trip to Florida, that was #1 on my list of things to eat. Why some people live to complain really makes me wonder. And when you get them in your restaurant, I feel for you. Here in town, for the most part, when I complain (rarely), the restaurant owners immediately fix the problem. I simply stop frequenting the ones who don't. Given our bar bill, and the number of guests who visit us, it is really THEIR problem, not mine. BTW, the place where I complained about the volume of the rock music in a room where I, at 51, was the youngest paying customer, was recently purchased by a favorite restauranteur of ours. THAT will never happen again. THAT restauranteur knows where the $$ is, and it is with people who continue to come back, and he instinctively knows what his customers want. AND he actually walks through his restaurants many times every night.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:25 AM   #90
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My sister has a lifelong girlfriend. They and their husbands go out to eat together often. S.O. and I was unlucky enough to be invited along one Saturday night. The girlfriend complained all night long.

"Is the coffee fresh? If it's fresh I'll have a cup. I hate coffee that's not fresh..."

She was intent on getting her husband to say something negative about his meal and he didn't want to. She kept harping at him and he finally agreed with her that the steak was tough so she wouldl shut up.

That ruined my whole meal. We won't be joining them for dinner again.
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