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Message Board > Miscellaneous > disappointing dinner out ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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disappointing dinner out
quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/16/12 10:13 AM

I don't go out to eat much. Usually my friend and I will go do dinner and a movie about 4-5 times a year, hubby hates eating out so we don't go. For Xmas at work we got gift cards from a restaurant chain for management and if you got so many $ worth you got a $20 one for every hundred. So I wound up with the card. I have to say it was most disappointing. It was for an Italian well known chain. It's owned by the same people as Outback. I won't mention names. The prices are rather high in mho. The portions no where came near the price of the food for other places we've eaten. They got my order wrong and it was pasta dish that you could get with chicken or shrimp. Well they brought 5 very small shrimp that cost me $1 a shrimp. Also the salads we got were mostly just lettuce not a tomato or cucumber to be found. I'm glad we had the gift card or I would have been really upset knowing we could have gone somewhere else and had a much better meal. But is that the norm these days are restaurants cutting back on portions because of the economy? There is a local Mexican restaurant we like that we could have gotten double the amount of food for the money. We couldn't have had a nicer waitress so the service was good. The food was just bad. This place is really hyped so I thought would be much better.
-- Edited on 1/16/12 10:17 AM --

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threaddy
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Date: 1/16/12 10:24 AM

It does seem that going out is so awful it is just not worth it. For Christmas eve went out to an expensive restaurant. DH ordered lamb....it came totally raw. He sent it back and the second time it was lukewarm and still raw. He couldn't eat it and had to come home and get something out of the fridge to eat...Christmas eve no less!!! $170 total bill for three.!!! (I did call later and they took that meal off the bill and offered for us to come and eat again free...but yuck...no way) Then we took my Mother out for birthday...waiter forgot most of the order...we just said forget it...had to come home and find food in the fridge again. This is really unbelievable that we can't even go out. When we travel we never have issues! Go to Thailand...even the cheapest places put out a fabulous meal.

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Lady_Mame
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Date: 1/16/12 10:28 AM

I'm so sorry to hear that -- my roomate and I love going out, but we rarely have experiences like this. We've had a couple of "Ok" meals, but most things we've tried have been excellent. However, we don't got to chain restaurants, and we are usually HAPPIER when the portions are smaller.

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quiltingwolf
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Date: 1/16/12 10:29 AM

Yeah I've found the chains aren't that good. We don't go to the really expensive places. Now I know why we stick to the same little local places. A Mexican place and when my husband can be talked into going out a Middle eastern place which is my favorite and it's almost within walking distance of my house. The only positive I can say for that restaurant other the service the ingredients were really fresh just not enough of them.

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quiltingwolf
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Date: 1/16/12 10:32 AM

Oh I don't mind smaller portions if I'm paying smaller prices. But we were paying top dollar for this stuff for this area. I would not have eaten there except for the gift card thing. And I would expect a salad made up of something other then romaine lettuce and a bottle tasting dressing.

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marec
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Date: 1/16/12 10:48 AM

How disappointing! Even if it is a chain restaurant, you expect something nice. We normally eat at indy places and have found that makes us happier. The food is usually prepared with more care in an independent restaurant. As for Mexican food--->we are always disappointed having grown up with home made Mexican food!

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Mufffet
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Date: 1/16/12 11:02 AM

HA. I hear you. We had an Outback gift cert so we went for our anniversary - O.K...food fine, service good - BUT the place is really too much. Schtick is really overdone with the Aussie stuff and we know it's a huge chain. I asked why I didn't see more seafood, as they always have seafood on the menu in the Seattle Outback's. Well, I was told it is regional so I ordered the shrimp. As you say - very very few shrimp. Food is good, but overpriced. They don't do reservations, but do something where you call ahead and are on the list?!??! Really? But it's not a reservation. Sigh. So you are made to wait. All part of the deal they do I think to make it seem more "exclusive." So yes, we were glad for the gift card. The best part was our waiter. Nice, polite, funny and a cute kid to top it off, AND he had traveled a lot and actually been to Seattle, and knew how that menu differed. That was the frosting on a cake for sure.

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poorpigling

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In reply to quiltingwolf


Date: 1/16/12 11:18 AM


Seems like chains are the worst.. but as you can tell from threaddy's post.. not always. It also seems that we have bad experiences whenever we eat out. either with the food.. or the service.. So we don't eat out much.. and as you hinted. .we try to stick with neighborhood family owned and operated restaurants.

I for one.. am just tired of seeing nothing much other than ground beef or chicken selections on a menu.. I eat that at home everyday.. would love a change of diet when i eat out.. Pasta too is a staple here at home.. seems like the restaurants could be a bit more inventive. But as you know.. most chains serve ground beef dishes or chicken.. unless they serve pasta.. And as you hinted. forget about scrimp.. they don't bring you enough to even bother.
While we love Tex Mex. and there are plenty of those restaurants down here.. I feel I am sometimes overcharged for what is .. again.. mostly either ground beef, chicken.. and beans and rice. sheshhh.. You can't cook anything much cheaper than beans and rice.

So now I try to keep a few frozen .. but not the grocery store kind .. of pizzas in the freezer. a few other frozen food selections.. and good tasting ones are hard to find btw.. and so on in the freezer so if I am too tired to cook we can just pop something in the oven.

Honestly if I had to.. I could fix meals for a week for what one meal costs eating out. Or for an entire month in the case of threaddy's bill.

Nevertheless... I .. like an idiot.. ordered a burger and fires recently from a well known chain. it came with exactly six french fries.. I sent them back and had them taken off the bill. SHEESHH

quiltingwolf
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In reply to Mufffet


Date: 1/16/12 11:36 AM

thats' what we did I called the day before and got on a wait list. We only waited about 10 minutes. I tend to avoid places like that there are aa lot of places I can go to eat without waiting an hour or more.

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Date: 1/16/12 1:30 PM

Neither my DH's or my anxiety can handle places where we have to wait that long, so we stick to Waffle House...or eat out on Mondays at local places.

I typically get annoyed at the service, but I waited tables for 15 years. Like me, most of the good servers left when the money went away and so, eh. I'm typical of someone that did the job and did it well (and I liked it). The larger chains (of which I have worked the popular Italian place among others), while your bill is a lot, have so many tip outs that they do good to make $20. If you order alcohol, the tip to the tender will eat the lion's share of the tip you leave. And in my neck of the woods, the hourly pay is $2.13, so I try and go to places that I know the server is going to make the money, not the restaurant making them share it. It IS a hard job.

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