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Worst Restaurant Experiences?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
The most expensive restaurant thread got me to thinking---always a bad habit.

Me, I don't look at cost so much as value recieved. With that in mind, I'm curious what your worst restaurant experiences were. Or maybe we should just call it worst dining out experiences?

For me, no contest, it was the five days spent as a prisoner on a Holland-America cruise ship. I didn't get a hot meal one night; which, apparently, didn't matter much as the food, overall, was no great shakes based on what other people had to say.

And, of course, nobody on the food service end speaks English, so you can't even find out who to complain to.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #2 of 34
A few years ago on Thanksgiving day I was working my tail off as one of my staff was out, feeling alone as most of my friends were out of town, and just wanting something warm and at least somewhat "holliday-ish" to eat. Every restaurant I checked was closed for the holiday. Finally, I came across a Sizzler restaurant, not known for fine dining to begin with, but I didn't care. They had a Thansgiving platter and the place was convenient and warm.

I ordered the platter, grabbed a seat, and waited for dinner. When it came the plate was piled with veggies, potatoes, corn bread, stuffing .... but no turkey. WTF! I called the waitress over and asked about the omission. Her response: We're out of turkey, sir."

You can use your imagination to figure out the rest of the scenario ...

post #3 of 34
We have a tradition in our family. When we go out to dine, everyone else waits until I choose what I want to eat. THEN they make sure they choose something else. Tradition says that anything that can go wrong with a dish, will go wrong with the dish I choose.... hence their caution.

The stories are too numerous to tell here - but the worst... the very worst was a restaurant in Lille. I chose a beef dish with marrowbones... You could have scooped the fat off the top of the dish with a trowel. It hadn't been 'skimmed' at all during the cooking process. It had been cooked so long that the carrots in the dish were transparent and almost brown in colour....!

BLECH... I shudder when I think of it - and it happened about 10 years ago!
post #4 of 34
There you go. You said you ordered the platter, not the TURKEY platter!
post #5 of 34
I was on a roadtrip with my little sister. We were in the middle
of nowhere in Alabama. We found a Wafflehouse and walked inside
and sat down. It looked as if they missed the end of shift sweep and
hadn't mopped in a week. After a few minutes the waitress came
over. The first thing I noticed was her dirty fingernails. I smiled
and looked up when she asked what we wanted. As I looked up
I notice the whites of her eyes were as yellow as a canary. Oh my
god! Can you say hepatitus. I stammered out y-y-yes, coffee please.
My little sister said not water, ... do you have coke in a
can? The waitress said, "no, we ain't, but we got it at the fountain".
She smiled real wide and walked away. Could it have gotten any worse.
Yep! When she smiled her gums were bleeding. As soon as she turned her
back behind the counter, I said, "lets go". My sister busted out laughing
as soon as we got into the car. Pretty scary as far as near dining experiences go.
post #6 of 34
What part of the turkey is the platter?
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanksgiving is the worst time to be on the road, Shel. There are more places open on Christmas eve/day then there are on Thanksgiving. I used to work at a motel, and making dinner recommendations was always hard on Thanksgiving. In our town the only things open were the Waffle House and a Chinese buffet---neither of which is known for turkey and trimmings. :)

Just realized my first post was ambiguous. It wasn't that one night the meal wasn't hot. It was cold every night, by the time they brought it out. And Holland America has, imo, a total lack of class.

Picture this. It's "formal" night. Women are in gowns and jewels. Men are at least in suits & ties, with tuxes preferred. You order a soft drink....and they slap the can on the table!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #8 of 34
At least now i know of a couple of Chinese buffets in the area. At one of them the foods not at all good, but the other is acceptable, and a couple of the dishes, if you get 'em soon after they come out and are hot, are pretty good. This one place even has one of those setups where you pick your own ingredients and they cook it up for you.

At least you got your soft drink ...

post #9 of 34
lolol......sad, really really sad.......oh i'm having a hard time coming up with one, seems as if I blank them out of my memory.....sorta like child birth. Versed with coffee please.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #10 of 34
My worst restaurant dining experience happened at Steak and Ale, had gone to dinner with my Dad and sister...I always order whatever chicken dish is on the menu because I don't eat our food comes and I begin to cut into the chicken and it is severly undercooked..I call the waiter over and begin to tell him..and he says.."hon..chicken is supposed to be cooked that way"...and I said "what..raw?" I ask him to please take it back and have them recook it but to not put it into the micro-wave..and he begins a long tale of grill cooks and how they do their job, sister is now rolling her eyes...long story short, I wrote the home a $25 gift certificate from them and have never been back.
post #11 of 34
ok, not horrible but was today Easter....I was driving through Mt. Vernon, Ill and decided to stop at Pasta House, it'd been years since I'd been to a PH so figured it'd be OK.....
undercooked roll with prepackaged margarine, italian salad that was really ok but that's about all I can say for the iceberg, red onion, tiny bits of artichoke ( had to discern what exactly they were) lots of small squares of pimento ????, parmesan and then the dressing.....
pasta con broccoli was my entree, I remember it being pasta shells, sauted shrooms, broccoli in a tomato cream sauce...this was a watery mess. Really bad! sent it back to the kitchen, the manager asked what the prob was and then told me they forgot the butter knob to thicken the sauce. I asked if the crew was new, she said nope, been there for a long time......ummmm ok.
just paid the $10 and left. Though it was interesting to see what their pricing and mainstream Italian dishes are......
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #12 of 34
Went to a so-called posh restaurant once, one of us order something called Flaming Squid - which was supposed to be brought out and flambed at the table. Dish arrives - its totally not squid and no sign of flames. We call the waiter back and say - Here, this is supposed to be Flaming Squid - What is it? Waiter says I don't know ifs flaming(as in f***ing) shark it's what you ordered. Aye aye aye!!!! We ate quietly and left - never to return. The dish was actually quite good but the attitude of the waiter stank.

P.S. the place is now out of business a couple of years later
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #13 of 34
well the worst experience for me by far stood out above any other time. me and my girlfriend went out to a restaurant one night, and it was pretty quiet so we expected fast service, though never dining here befor we did not know what to expect. we sat down and waited for the wait staff to greet us, after 30 secons we realised that you had to go to the counter to order. we then orderd a garlic bread to begin with and then i orderd a rump steak (med rare) and my girlfreind orderd chicken carbonara. 20 minuts later we finnaly got our garlic bread, witch cost $5.50 and was just a cob loaf cut into 4 with a bit of garlic butter, witch was still cold. anothe 15 minuts passed and we got our main meals, i got up and got the 2 of us a glass of coke ($4 for a glass of post mix) my steak was way over cooked, tough and un seasond (this wouldnt have been a problem if we had salt and pepper shakers). after eating onlt 1/4 or my steak we decide to go somewere else for desert
post #14 of 34
Two experiences come to mind:

1. A Greek restaurant in Fridley, MN. We ordered the combination plate and a Shrimp coctail. The shrimp came and it was large, rubbery, like trying to bit through a piece of soft gristle. I motioned to the waitress that the shrimp didn't seem edible. So she took it away and brought the combo platters.

But not without telling us that the chef tried the shrimp, and she put her two finger up to her mouth and kissed them while saying the chef said "These are perfect". Ok, let the chef eat them I thought. I'm not paying for them.

Then we looked down at the platters. There was all kinds of mushy stuff floating in a sea of liquid. It was totally unedible. We used a buy 1 get 1 free coupon, paid the 1/2 price left the plates and walked out. Her quizzical look was answered by saying we just weren't as hungry as we thought.

2. One time back in the 1980's while I was a food critic I ate at some single owner small cafe. They had lots of stuff, and I could sample anything I wanted. The first plate full tasted so terrible, that when she wasn't looking, I threw the plate of "food" ("food" used lightly) away, and got a plate of something else.

Same thing. Ended up throwing it away. Tried a third time, and this meant I'd now sampled everything in the cafe. Threw it away too.

And the whole time the place was literally packed with farmer's and blue-collar truck driver types chowing down like they were in food heaven. I couldn't believe it!

It was by far the worst review I ever had to write. It didn't get published!

post #15 of 34
My husband and I were vacationing in Nova Scotia and, as sometimes happens, we were not having a very peaceful day :o . It was our 15th anniversary and after driving thru several lovely areas and past several nice-looking restaurants, we stopped at a hotel and went to a local "recommended" restaurant for dinner. As I said, it was not the best day of our relationship and in a hizzie fit, I ordered spaghetti with meat sauce. Hubby ordered his usual beef fillet. After an unusually long wait with non-existant service, the waitress coming thru the kitchen door dropped her tray with, you guessed it, our dinners. She did apologize and said it would only take a few minutes for the kitchen to prepare fresh meals for us. When she finally brought the dinners, my spaghetti sauce was...are you ready for this...KETCHUP. Seems they ran out of sauce and the cook improvised. It was a fine end to the day because the meal was so bad about all you could do was laugh and head to the bar.
post #16 of 34
My worst experience was at an Applebees in Orangeburg, SC. My husband and I had just gotten married the night before and since we weren't going on a honeymoon, his mother insisted she buy us dinner and we had to go there because it was the best restaurant around. We took her up on the offer. When we got there, the place was pretty busy but not a problem or so we thought. The waitress was prompt in taking our order. Then we waited for about 20 min. for our drinks. After getting our drinks, it was another 20-30 minutes before our food arrived. The food wasn't bad and things were going well. Our waitress came over to ask if we wanted dessert and we declined and she said she'd bring out check. Another 30 minutes went by with no check. The manager was walking around talking to customers and asked us about our meal. In conversation, we mentioned we were waiting for our check. He left our table and came back in about 15 minutes to see why we were still sitting there. We told him we were still waiting for the check. He apologized and told us he would knock 25% off the bill. No problem, we wait some more. Another 30 minutes goes by and he returns to our table to find out why we are still there. We again tell him we're waiting for the check. His final response was to thank us for being so patient and tell us the meal was on the restaurant that night.

I appreciated him taking care of the problem in that way but not enough to ever do that again! By the time we left there, it was too late to do anything else that night!
post #17 of 34
Allie - that's ridiculous! Usually when places are busy they're almost pushing you out the door once you've done eating to free up the table! Good grief Charlie Brown :) You had better things to do with your time that night ;)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #18 of 34
I created a customers worst experience. I sent out a key lime tart with whiped cream.It came back in 5 min. with the complaint that it tasted fishy.I had inadverntly spooned ceasar dresing into the tart shell. I recieved a well deserved butt chewing and lots of ribs for weeks.We of course comped the four top including 2 after that experience. M worse experience was in Las Vegas at a Cheesecake Factory,one of my favorite places.I had my new wife,her sister and husbund and had been bragging abaout C.F. cousine,plus they had pumpkin cheesecade which they only do in season. My and I took the first bite,I felt my tooth crack. I pulled out a large piece of wire from a grill scraper. The restraunt manager appologized and said he would remove the app. from our bill. I did'nt want to make a scene being our wedding day but inside it put a strain on me for hours. I'll still go back for the pumpkin it's just too good...good cookin...cookie
post #19 of 34
Oh my, that made my teeth hurt just reading it! That pumpkin cheesecake does sound awesome!
post #20 of 34

Your admission of guilt reminds me of when my salad with tomato vinegrete arrived with a REALLY funky taste. Turns out the cook had dressed it with Buffalo wing hot sauce.

Funny thing is, I didn't mind the heat. It was the saltiness that I couldn't stand. :lol:
post #21 of 34

My worst restaurant experience was at a local Italian restaurant called From Scratch, in Medicine Hat, Alberta. First of all, it's hard to find, so they didn't take much care in advertisement, and once we arrived, the manager seemed quite agitated that we had arrived, and once we were seated, she revealed why: the other night, they were packed for a band that was performing there, and so she insisted that the next time we come, we should make a reservation. I looked around and saw one other table seated, so I didn't know what the big deal was. Our appetizers were a mess of pickled vegetables and some of the stalest bread I have ever eaten. I went to the washroom at one point, and right next to it was a huge room, bigger than the dining area, full of furniture, dirty laundry, and flies. People were clearly living here, and they didn't make any effort to conceal it, judging from the smell. My lasagna came as the main course, and it was a mess. It was literally swimming in overly-sweet tomato sauce, as well as loaded with way too much cheese, and not a scrap of meat anywhere. My sister ordered a kind of pasta, and from what she said, it was cold. In addition, drink refills weren't even free. The service was slow and awkward, and they didn't have a clue what they were doing. I'd advise anyone in Medicine Hat, Alberta to stay away from this place. It's dirty, the manager is stark raving mad, and the food was way below standard. I'd say that even Gordon Ramsay would have trouble modifying this restaurant. There is no force on Heaven and Earth that will make me visit From Scratch again.

post #22 of 34

About three days before Thanksgiving in 2008 I stopped in to a nice bistro while I was on a road trip, and I ordered a nice Chicken meal. The presentation was done nicely, and the bruseel sprouts and mac n cheese that came with it were absolutely amazing. However; The chicken was smothered with a makeshift bbq sauce and was apparently a bit undercooked. By the time I made it home I felt horrible, and ended up spending the next few days in bed, thinking I was going to die from food poisoning, missed Thanksgiving and everything.

I would have to label this worst / dumbest dining experiences though, because I am partly guilty for not properly checking the chicken before chowing down on it, but damn I was hungry.

post #23 of 34
The worst restaurant experience for me has to be the pie and mash shop in walthamstow, London. UK. The mash potato I could taste was made by the powder rubbish without no butter, no milk, no cream and no salt or pepper. Then I had jellied eels with it which made me vomitt it all up. The white sauce they poured on top tasted like nats piss. Yuk!

I only visited it once and never again. But what I didn't understand was that they always had a queue of people standing outside waiting to be served this vile stuff.

It must be that there are so many people who have never tasted what good food is like? I know what standards of food I am consuming because I have a varied palate and I come from a catering background myself.

In my opinion all pie and mash shops in London UK should be closed down for making people vomitt.
post #24 of 34
That's your view. I bet the locals in E17 enjoy it or the queue would't be so long.
post #25 of 34
How can anyone like eating bland tasteless revolting mush?
post #26 of 34
Obviously, by your own report, many do. And that's surely why we are a species who all like different things, particularly in terms of culinary tastes. For instance, durian fruit is adored in areas of Asia. Most of the natives of other parts of the world (incliding me) find the smell truly offensive and the taste ditto.
post #27 of 34

It was called Harper's On Vine in Downtown Kansas City Missouri. My aunt was given a coupon there for her birthday and she invite my mother, sister and I to eat with her. This happen on the same week as Michael Jackson's death in 2009. The time we arrived there, it wasn't opened yet, so we waited while I begged to go to IHOP for an all you can eat pancakes since I had a gut filling of that place. My sister also had a gut filling and was with me on the pancakes, but my aunt turn that down since she wanted to use her coupon. When Harper's opened, the hostess gave me a cold stare in the entrance way for no reason and it continued when I took a sit. Inside, I was shocked to see that there was only two workers (the hostess and chef plus a saxophonist). On the TV, they had the channel on Michael Jackson's music video marathon. I don't mind this since I love Michael's music and so do my family, but I wish I could'av enjoyed it without that hostess mugging me. When the hostess gave us the menu, it had seven items to choose from. My sister and I picked an appetizer that come with spinach dip, crab cakes, shrimp and fried chicken. I can't remember what my mother and aunt picked, but it also looked like appetizers from what I can remember. All of us picked coke and the food come with a complimentary bread basket appetizer. The drink and bread came at a good time, but instead the bread basket looked empty until my sister lifted the tile. The bread was small cut French bread with dirty looking butter that tasted sweet. The main course finally came with everything looking good, but the crab cakes. The crab cakes was mistaken for hush puppy's since it looked like it. The two best things on both me and my sister's plate was the spinach dip and fried chicken. The crab cakes tasted like a mushy pile of crap while the the shrimp was just painful going down. My mother and aunt also loved the chicken, but hated everything else. At the end, my aunt gave them a nine dollar tip while I left with a stabbing filling in my stomach. I regret not swiping the nine dollars so I could have a real meal. 

post #28 of 34
Luckily till now I didn’t had any such worst restaurant experiences in my life. I only had bad experience of food that I took from a street food corner.
post #29 of 34

My worst one was finding a hair in my salad and sending it back and then a few minutes later having my husband find an opened jelly packet on his toast.  Totally grossed out and never went back.

post #30 of 34

Hey Shroomgirl! Glad to see you back ,how have you been?  /Chefedb

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