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Thread: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

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    How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    I like to consider myself a foodie. We try new places at least 2-3 times a month, budgets considered.

    When I eat out for lunch, I try to go to quality places. This generally means no fast food (though, strangely, my stomach can handle Burger King's Original Chicken Sandwich) but instead better fresh food that is quick. Pancheros, sushi, low salt deli meats on hoagies, etc.

    But lately, there've been a lot of places we've gone that there's just been something wrong.

    For example, today I went to my "good old standby" for lunch sushi. 9 bucks for a "cooked sushi" box and soup.
    The box consists of six each cooked salmon and tuna, wrapped, and 4 California rolls. (I do like raw sushi, but I get the cooked box because of travel back to the office.) Normally it's very good. However, today, almost half of the fish the sushi was made from was undercooked and inedible.
    Since I've been going to that restaurant for 4+ years, I'll go back, but if the issue continues, they'll get written off.

    Similarly, the Applebees near my office, which I used to go to with the other members of my department 3-4 times a year on slow days (or Federal Holidays) or with m'Lady for a movie dinner, has been really bad of late, with 3 of us on 4 separate occasions getting bad food. One of the guys even ended up with food poisoning for almost a week right after July 4th.

    Or there's the "famous" Italian place that a coworker suggested. Some of the food was good - the bread at the table was fantastic, and the caesar salad was quite tasty - but the pasta was sticky, the sauce was flat and relatively tasteless and my own entree (veal with arugula) was a paper-thin sheet of veal covered with more leafy green stuff than had been in the salad bowl.
    We haven't gone back since it was so disappointing the first time.

    Or the diner attached to the hotel that had orange bacon. Yes. Bright neon orange bacon. I never took a picture, I was so damned shocked.

    And then there's the "full menu changes."
    When the Fuddruckers in my area all closed, they reopened a few days later as a generically named "American Prime Burgers" (or something similar) with crappy burgers, terrible rolls, and chintzy out-of-a-bag fries. We stopped going, and they closed a month later. Sadly, the only burger place to eat now that's not a pizza/steak place is Five Guys (which I detest unless I'm deeply craving burger.)

    Or the Italian place that used to offer family-style dishes that changed their whole menu from family-style to gourmet portions for a much higher price.

    Let's not forget the places that totally screw up your order.
    Like the hoagie place where I ordered "tuna salad with tomato" and got "straight oil-packed tuna with bruschetta." It wasn't bad, but it lubricated my system for a day.
    Or the other hoagie place that always gives you onions, when you say "No Onions." Or peppers. That's always a good one, too.

    Places we've actually written off:
    The sushi place where m'Lady got sick before we left the restaurant, and I got sick later that day
    The mexican place that didn't cook nopales correctly, making them a slimy lump that still makes my throat spasm when I think about it
    The diner near m'Lady's house that they added a sports bar onto, that no longer gets orders right and also has music playing so loud during all business hours you can't talk to the person across from you
    The diner with the orange bacon

    What about you? How much change do you tolerate in places you eat? How many mistakes do you let slip by?

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    I'm like you, if it's a place I've frequented and had good stuff at I will give them a retry after a sub-par meal, but after a couple of times I figure something must have changed and it won't get back to what I liked. New places get one shot, and if I find the food boring I won't go back.

    I'm lucky that I've never gotten sick after eating at a restaurant, although I have been to some where the food was so bad it made me want to be sick.
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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Unless it's pretty minor, I ask the waiter about it, or at the very least point out that it's wrong, and say I'll eat it and request they pass the complaint along. That usually can get things sorted out pretty quickly.

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    If there is something drastically wrong with anything I order in a restaurant, I'll tell the waiter/waitress. I will not eat anything bad, and have almost always been given something else, and comped for the meal. Fortunately it has only happened a half dozen times in my life.

    If it is a new place, I won't go back. If its a regular, I'll also give them another one or two tries over a couple months, and then quit if things don't get better.

    Compared to what you've experienced, Mike, I've been EXCEEDINGLY lucky, or just pick better places! lol

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Oh, and to be fair to waiters: A friend of mine will order things by making multiple substitutions and then adding toppings. To everything. So something is ALWAYS wrong with his food.

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    Always speak up when something is wrong, you paid for it and it's doing them a favor to give them an opportunity to make you happy. Just be nice, there is no good outcome possible for someone rude to waitstaff and/or cooks.

    And what is wrong with you that you don't like 5 guys?!? They are awesome! Cheeseburger and Cajun fries ftw!
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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadiar View Post
    Oh, and to be fair to waiters: A friend of mine will order things by making multiple substitutions and then adding toppings. To everything. So something is ALWAYS wrong with his food.
    Very "When Harry Met Sally", huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Salamane View Post
    Always speak up when something is wrong, you paid for it and it's doing them a favor to give them an opportunity to make you happy. Just be nice, there is no good outcome possible for someone rude to waitstaff and/or cooks.
    Most of the time, the instances of problems or mistakes are takeout.

    Though m'Lady hounds me pretty regularly still about not sending back the stone-cold brisket at the Amish bbq place.

    And what is wrong with you that you don't like 5 guys?!? They are awesome! Cheeseburger and Cajun fries ftw!
    They're okay for overly greasy fries and burger, and I'd actually take them before going to McD's, but it's just "eh" and I've had much better at Fudds.

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mileron View Post
    They're okay for overly greasy fries and burger, and I'd actually take them before going to McD's, but it's just "eh" and I've had much better at Fudds.
    I've never gotten the big deal with 5 Guys either...their hamburgers are ok, but we have one by where I work, and I rarely think of them when craving a burger.

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    For me, the question is service. A certain amount of mishaps are expected, whether I come back is based on how they react when I point them out. Its my duty as a customer to point out problems, its their duty as a service-oriented business to fix their problems. If they show no interest in doing so, they lose me and my endorsement.

    I went to a place this past summer that ruined me for all the other hamburgers in the world. Even my own burgers, the ones I make at home just fall short. Sadly, its not near me, its up closer to Daph.
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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunal View Post
    I went to a place this past summer that ruined me for all the other hamburgers in the world. Even my own burgers, the ones I make at home just fall short. Sadly, its not near me, its up closer to Daph.
    Who? Where?

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    I tried 5 Guys twice now. It was a really good burger, but it wasn't 2.5 times better then In-N-Out, which is what it actually costs.

    Plus -- its like 40 minutes by car to the closest one.

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Its a small burger joint in Truckee called Burger Me. I must go there in December when I visit my sister.
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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunal View Post
    Its a small burger joint in Truckee called Burger Me. I must go there in December when I visit my sister.
    Thanks! We'll definitely check them out our next trip. Last trip to Truckee we went to a place that had been on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, AND a place Bobby Flay had a throw down at. Now we have a new goal! lol

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunal View Post
    Its a small burger joint in Truckee called Burger Me. I must go there in December when I visit my sister.
    Hmm, Truckee is only about an hour and a half from here, looks like it's time to take a cruise up the mountain.
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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daph View Post
    Thanks! We'll definitely check them out our next trip. Last trip to Truckee we went to a place that had been on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, AND a place Bobby Flay had a throw down at. Now we have a new goal! lol
    Burger Me has been on DD&D

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eremius View Post
    Burger Me has been on DD&D
    Good to know. Unfortunately I doubt I've seen EVERY episode! lol

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    When it comes down to an eh meal we give a new place one more chance. What I mean by eh is bland, no flavor, over cooked pasta, not very tasty. If the food is wrong or cooked wrong we will mention it to the serve. Also a great server can go a long ways to making a place more enjoyable.

    Rex

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daph View Post
    Thanks! We'll definitely check them out our next trip. Last trip to Truckee we went to a place that had been on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, AND a place Bobby Flay had a throw down at. Now we have a new goal! lol
    Was it Jax at the Tracks? Never been there, myself, but I think they serve pretty good breakfast food.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonlainy View Post
    Hmm, Truckee is only about an hour and a half from here, looks like it's time to take a cruise up the mountain.
    The place left a big impression on me, obviously. Hope you like it. The burger I had was called the Truckee Trainwreck, and I had it with sweet potato fries.
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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunal View Post
    Was it Jax at the Tracks? Never been there, myself, but I think they serve pretty good breakfast food.
    Yep, and the breakfast was awesome! I think I have pics on my FB

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    Re: How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?

    How Much Change/How Many Mistakes do you Tolerate?
    Largely depends on the mistakes and the competition. Certain places can get away with certain mistakes because they have other reasons to go there. Eg a hole-in-the wall not having enough seating when I go at 6:00pm. If it's cheap, fast, and there are no alternatives I'm more likely to forgive mistakes than if it's slow and expensive. In this area, a place like Applebees rarely even enters consideration to begin with. There are superior options all over the place.

    Also, obviously, if it's a place I've been 30 times and they make one mistake I probably won't care much. If the baguette I get with my salad at Panera Bread isn't 100% fresh one day, it probably will be the next.

    I also tend to look at the cost/quality ratio. As soon as I pick up on a restaurant chronically skimping on its dishes I'm not likely to keep going there. A big warning sign is when they sell you a "garden salad" for $7 and it has iceberg lettuce and a couple of slices of cucumber and a piece of tomato, and if you're lucky a few shreds of carrot or an olive. There's nothing inherently wrong with it (that's the only salad my dad likes, actually), but it's not a fucking seven dollar salad. Sometimes an overpriced salad is an anomaly, but usually you'll find it paired with other ingredients that aren't fresh or otherwise poor quality, like a sandwich on almost-stale slices of white bread with slimy wet shit deli turkey and miracle whip. Instead of finding some solid economic angle (eg Burtucci's making most of their recipes with the cheap-but-popular pizza dough) this restaurant is trying to scam you on everything.
    Last edited by Goladus; October 12th, 2011 at 01:53 PM.

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