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Old 01-25-2015, 08:33 AM   #1
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Same Restaurant, Different day, Different chef, not the same taste..

Im sure all of you have experienced this at one time or another.

You go to a restaurant that you frequent often.
Order the same dish, but its not as good some days as it is on other days ( lack of consistency).

Could be the chef is inexperienced / inconsistent
Could be the chef just had a bad day, maybe too busy, rushed ...
Or, could be just a different chef in the kitchen.

How does everyone deal with the disappointment of going to a restaurant you enjoy, ordering a dish that you've had in the past with high expectations, and it just not being the same every time you go there?

Should you find out who the chef is and just call in advance ?
Do you say something at the time of service ?
Do you just play your luck and hope for the best?

Just curious

larry

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Old 01-25-2015, 08:41 AM   #2
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That has happened so many times, that we basically stopped going out. We had a great Italian place (no pizzas) ran by a family from Umbria. Waiters in tuxes, fabulous food and service, but they were expensive, which I fear was their demise.

We found another one while vending at a reptile show, but it is 270 miles away!
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:10 AM   #3
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We have so many amazing restaurants in a short distance they have no choice but to be ontop of their game ALL THE TIME, I have had visitors from Italy stay with us and comment on how good the food around us was. We own a home in italy and comparatively there are 2 Italian restaurants that I put above anything I have eaten in country.

I think it is just part of the gamble of going out to eat, I worry more if the chef just came back from vacation in Africa and carried some ebola with my filet than if the dish is going to be exactly as it was on a previous visit.
I also worry that my filet was left out on the counter all night by accident, or that they didn't wash the counter and some janitor from the cleaning service threw the bathroom garbage bags on there the night before, or that someone didn't was their hands after using the bathroom then set my plate, etc etc etc, I think its just safer to eat at at home..

As far as what to do about a dish that isnt as good as it was before, I am not sure, I would never send something back, if it was not good enough to eat, I would just order something else that was fast and make like I changed my mind, I have seen what unhappy wait staff and cooks do when they get customers they don't like...

a couple weeks ago we went out and I ordered chicken rose which I have gotten plenty of times before, the chicken ws obviously over cooked and dried to death, but I woudn't ask for another one because 1-it will take 20 minutes to cook, 2-maybe the chef seen the chicken was "iffy" and said I better overcook it so none gets sick 3-I don't want anyone spitting in my food... So I just ordered a wedge salad and they rushed it out, I didnt even taste the rose, and at the end of the meal the waitress said "was everything OK?" and I said "yes", she said "you didn't touch your meal, I said "it was a little dry" and smiled, she looked at it and said "god yes it is, I will take it off the bill"... Simple, I didn't have to eat spit {I know it is unlikely, but I would be worrying the entire time and not be able to enjoy it} and I didn't have to pay $26 for dried out chicken...

When I ordered the wedge salad, I simply said "excuse me I am so sorry but I meant to order a wedge salad, is there anyway to rush one for me?" she said "sure, let me get it for you" and it was out in less than 5 minutes...
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:16 AM   #4
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Would your home in Italy happen to be in Puglia?
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:44 AM   #5
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Would your home in Italy happen to be in Puglia?
No, actually almost as far away from there as possible, lol.. We bought a villa in Liguria. I know it is very touristy and full of vacationers, BUT we fit in, lol.. We go there for that purpose and we don't have the translation issues I have had when vacationing there before we bought the place. I am not saying the food is bad in anyway and we have eaten at some amazing restaurant over seas {there was one in milan that was so good it explains why they are so religious out there, because you taste their Coq au Vin {french but when italians do it with the sausage, oh my god, its unreal} and you know god exists...

I have never been to the southeast part of the country {that is where puglia is correct?, I googled it quickly}... When we were looking for property, my wife wanted beaches and I wanted english, and it seems like the further south east you go the less english is spoken and understood, I know some Italian and it is getting better the more we go, but not perfect. We found a couple out of NY that were selling their place in Liguria because the husband was not well enough to travel anymore, they had no kids, and she would never go alone, so they were trying to sell it for almost 2 years, but needed an american buyer that could meet with them, so its just a drive for us, w shot over and met up with them. We fell in love with their stories and they loved our kids so we traded, no sa just kidding, I kept the kids, lol. But they showed us pictures and we started negotiating.
A week later the husband {Stanley} called me up and asked if we would like to go there, I said I would love to, so I booked a flight, they had us bring some of their belongings back with us, and while we were there my wife fell in love with the place, everything about it, 6-7 bedrooms, walk out onto a beach, 15 ft ceilings, french doors everywhere, its heaven on earth...

We bought the place fully furnished and agreed to bring back a list of belongings they wanted, some pictures, paintings, mostly art and personals they wouldn't trust to a shipper, probably about the nicest people I ever met..

Anyway thats my italy story, we are going for the kids vacation in February and in the near future {when my oldest is a senior} we are going to go for an entire year so he can do his senior year there. And my youngest will do his sophomore year, after that we will play it by ear, see how much we miss the US at that point I guess..
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:08 AM   #6
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O absolutely.
A favorite Diner / breakfast place. Itís a bit of a jaunt and I pass any number of places on the way which offer the same kind of meals. Weekends are the busiest. The weekend cook is excellent. Keeps up with orders, food prep is per what is requested, all the things one would want if not prepared at home. Going out for breakfast is a treat, not a necessity.
The M-F cook, I figured out after several visits this last year, how hard is it to screw up eggs +. Apparently pretty easy. Both cooks have been at this diner for a long time. Iím surprised mgmt. keeps the weekday cook. Maybe heís the owner?> Oops.
At a more close to home restaurant we have dined at for years, we know many of the servers and chefs/cooks. They have the usual combo of chef turnover and a few long term. Being new/ or unknown to me is not in itself negative, my comfort level is increased if itís someone I know and have learned to trust their skills. So yes, when our server runs off the Specials spiel before ordering, I may ask who is tonightís chef.
Going out should be an enjoyable experience. There are a few places we like to go for specific dishes. Have learned that we like how Restaurant A prepares x better than Restaurant B. And if we are hungry for something else, we may go elsewhere even if itís on R-/ Aís menu. I could see going to 3 different Chinese restaurants to complete a full take out meal. LOL.
If itís a totally new dining experience for us, I look at several newspaper reviews, reader reviews, talk with people we know who have dined there, the usual. Canít say any are more reliable than another. Itís part of the experience of choosing a restaurant. I tend to give a restaurant 3 chances to meet expectations before not dining there again. A very few places use up those chances in one visit, or we may go elsewhere anyway, there are options galore.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post

We found another one while vending at a reptile show,

Quote of the day!!!

BTW I just sent back my go-to brunch dish at a place I eat at a lot.
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Im sure all of you have experienced this at one time or another.

You go to a restaurant that you frequent often.
Order the same dish, but its not as good some days as it is on other days ( lack of consistency).

Could be the chef is inexperienced / inconsistent
Could be the chef just had a bad day, maybe too busy, rushed ...
Or, could be just a different chef in the kitchen.

How does everyone deal with the disappointment of going to a restaurant you enjoy, ordering a dish that you've had in the past with high expectations, and it just not being the same every time you go there?

Should you find out who the chef is and just call in advance ?
Do you say something at the time of service ?
Do you just play your luck and hope for the best?

Just curious

larry
I learned to avoid my favourite restaurant on Mondays. The food was still fine - just one of my favourites wasn't the same.

To be fair, the same thing can happen at home when, for some unfathomable reason, your signature dish doesn't taste right even though you haven't changed the ingredients or the method.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:12 PM   #9
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I learned to avoid my favourite restaurant on Mondays. The food was still fine - just one of my favourites wasn't the same.

To be fair, the same thing can happen at home when, for some unfathomable reason, your signature dish doesn't taste right even though you haven't changed the ingredients or the method.
True, but we only spent a fraction of what most restaurants charge.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:15 AM   #10
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We are down to four go-to places. One is breakfast/early lunch only, so since we've been pretty slow in the mornings we haven't been there in a while! Of the other three, we've been there often enough we wouldn't hesitate to ask why our meal isn't up to its usual excellence. Except their meals are always reliable.

Like MC said, sometimes you can botch something at home you can usually turn out in your sleep wonderfully. But like Craig said, it's not costing as much. I've gotten to the point where I have to be desperate to go out - I've turned into a food snob for my own cooking.
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