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Casual, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, NBTD, Restaurants, Special Issue

Nightmares From Beyond The Dish: Dylan’s Top 4 Worst

Editor in Chief’s note:

Greetings Everyone,

It’s been a while! We here at Foodoofus are picking up the pieces and getting back on track. Dylan is pursuing his Law Degree and whereas I’m restructuring the backend of this site as well as updating other items for internet friendly optimization.

In this issue, our Associate Editor Dylan is sharing is top four worst services. In due time, I will share my own (and it’s not going to be pretty).

So sit back, eat some popcorn if you must, and above all else, do your best to avoid these cringe worthy moments at your favorite restaurants.

In our new series entitled, Nightmares Beyond The Dish.

-Ryan (Foodoofus)

Chef Archer Picture, courtesy of: http://reviewsnshit.tumblr.com/

Chef Archer Picture, courtesy of: Archer of FX/ http://reviewsnshit.tumblr.com/

***

“Excuse me, this pasta is a very al dente. Could you possibly cook it a little longer?”

“I apologize sir, we can remake it if you wish.”

Concessions. An attempt to remedy the situation at the very least.

Service is a key component to making customers feel welcome and want to come back again. Service lets the customer know you care about them and want them to enjoy their time at your restaurant. Service can ruin the finest of dinners in a blink of an eye.

I am sure you have all had your fair share of nightmare service stories, but today, we would like to share our top 4.

#4: A16

It is a Friday night and my parents decided they wanted to go back to a local restaurant called A16. As we walked there, I asked my parents what they enjoyed about the restaurant. They told me their pastas were good and the pizza they had last time was enjoyable, so I was looking forward the meal.

As we settle down at our table, the waitress was very kind and quickly attended to the water. She told us the specials for the evening and gave us a few minutes to order. As I scan the menu, my eyes settle on the Orecchiette pesto and I ordered that. 20 mins go by and our food arrives. My grandma ordered another pasta dish, my mom ordered fish, and my dad ordered a mushroom pizza.

As I taste the first bite of my pasta, all I can think about is the taste of raw flour. Hmmm. Maybe it was just that piece? So I try another, and another, and by the fourth piece, the pasta was just too floury. I ask everyone to try a bite of my dish to see if it was just me but the verdict was that the pasta was a bit too al dente. My grandma experienced the same thing with her spaghetti, which was hard on the outside, extremely firm, and tasted like flour.

At this time, we called for our waitress and asked if we could get the pasta cooked longer or if they could remake the dish. Instead attempting to address the issue, the waitress began arguing with my mom about how the restaurant prefers to cook the pasta al dente and how she prefers her pasta a bit more cooked and does not enjoy the way they cook the pasta.

Wowowowowowo back up back up. First you start arguing with your customer about how the restaurant cooks the pasta and how it is a preference and then you tell the customer you don’t like the way your restaurant cooks the pasta? Alright, that is fine, I understand al dente can be good, but when you taste the flour, I think it may need to be cooked a bit longr. So she says she will have the chefs remake the dish and it will be out soon.

10 mins…15 mins…20 mins…25 mins…30 mins…35 mins pass with no sight of the pasta. Maybe the kitchen was backed up? The place was not even completely filled out for the entirety of our stay. By the time my grandma’s dish and my dish came out, my mom and dad has already finished. We asked at the 20 minute mark if the food was on its way and the waitress simply told us they cook the pasta typically for 16 mins and since we wanted it cooked longer, it would take longer. Ok, fair enough. As we try our longer cooked pasta, it was still as al dente as before. How can you cook the pasta twice as long and end up with the same result? I will never know, but I sure won’t be going back there.

#3: Lai Hong Lounge

I really wanted to like this place, I really did.

My family decided to go out for dim sum on a Friday afternoon. We were immediately seated although there were a bunch of people standing around the front. The system they used was quite smart. They gave you laminated menus and a marker to mark how much of which dish you want.

I digress.

We handed the menu over and the pace of the food coming out went well for half an hour. Then all of a sudden with four orders left, nothing came out. 15 mins pass by and we ask a waiter if the food was on the way only to be told “it is coming”. Hmmm odd, doesn’t check and just says it is on the way? This can’t be good I thought in my head.

30 mins pass and we ask another waiter if the food is on the way. Again, they tell us it is on the way. Great! It is coming soon. 45 mins pass and we ask another person and they go check the machine. The man claimed the machine had an error and our orders were not processed and asked if we still wanted the dishes. 3 of the dishes would take too long so we just asked for the mango pudding since it was already prepared.

45 mins of time wasted because the first person nor second person knew how to check an order instead of just say “it is on the way.” Can’t get any better right?

Lucky for us, it got better. As we got our receipt, instead of any concession or apology for the mistake in the order (which would have probably made this whole situation fine), they decided to HANDWRITE THE TIP IN THAT THEY SHOULD GET. Are you kidding me? You screwed up, didn’t apologize, and then HANDWRITE a tip in that was beyond 20% (I still don’t get why some places tip on the tax, it does not make any sense.)

Maybe it was a bad day and they were tired in the afternoon, but service like this is an example of exactly what not to do. (Food is pretty good here to be fair)

#2: Isa

Years ago, I used to go here a bunch with the family since it was pretty good until one fateful night. My dad had an opentable coupon so we decided to go. Meal was fine, everything was fine, until we got the bill. We presented the coupon to the waiter and was told we could not use the coupon.

Huh? The coupon didn’t have any fine print or anything and simply said we’d get points for dining there through open table. However, the waiter claimed we could either get the points or get half off of one drink that we ordered during happy hour. Well, alright, we took the points and called it a day but wait!

The manager decides to come out and argue about how they couldn’t give us happy hour and the open table points because they have to pay opentable 3% fee. Why does this matter to us? You did need to come out and try to justify yourself and argue with your patrons at all. We were going to settle with the points and be done with it but what can you do I guess. She gave us a card for a discount drink the next time we went but it is just collecting dust somewhere still (It does not help they spilled a drink on my mom on her birthday when we went before and did nothing about it.)

#1: Hime

The curse of starting a restaurant on Lombard and Steiner across from IHOP has continued to this day and the remnants of this site are under construction for who knows what, but this happened over 8 years ago when I was much younger.

Hime was one of the best restaurants around the area at the time. My family went around the time it just opened and we were all blown away by the meal, especially their kobe beef dish was beautifully served. They had a crispy rice medallion on the bottom (think the shape of Koja Kitchen Rice Bun except the rice wasn’t as sticky) with 3 alternating layers of kobe beef stacked on top (imagine jenga with kobe beef). By far, one of the best dishes I had at the time and my family agreed.

Fast forward a few months. We decided to go to Hime again and they unfortunately didn’t have the kobe beef dish anymore. Ok, that is fine, it happens right? Restaurants get rid of their popular dishes all the time (honey Dijon chicken bacon sandwich from Panera Bread or the old pesto dish served at Cheesecake factory). So we order and 20 mins later we all get our dishes, except my grandma. This was odd because she ordered ramen, something that usually doesn’t come out last. We call the waiter over and ask where the ramen was and he went to check and came back to say it was on the way.

Ok, sure. 20 mins later, after everyone has finished their meal, my grandma’s dish still didn’t come. We call the waiter over and ask again if my grandma’s ramen was on her way. Again, the waiter checked, and assured us that it was on the way. 15 minutes pass and they bring the bill. Lo and behold, they include the ramen on the receipt and the ramen was still not there.

This place was a small, fancy Japanese restaurant that was not particularly packed at the time and they still can’t get out a bowl of ramen in an hour? Add in the fact that they still included the ramen on the receipt and the ramen wasn’t even there by the time the receipt came? I will never understand how that can happen but we never went back there and the placed shut down shortly after.

Afterthought

“What was the point of this?”

Service does not need to be fancy. You do not need to check on your customers every minute or make sure their water glass is never below half full. You just need to make sure you address any problems that may occur and not simply ignore them. If you screw up, it is ok to apologize. However, the last thing you should ever do is screw up, argue with the customer about how it was not your fault, and then still not apologize or attempt to remedy the situation.

Author’s References
Chef’s Archer Picture FX/Tumblr.com “http://reviewsnshit.tumblr.com/post/52646236523/archer-season-4-in-review-part-2”, last seen 1 April 2016, last updated 10 June 2013″

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