Disappointment and Eating Out

Recently it was my boyfriend’s birthday and for his birthday I always take him out to a nice restaurant of his choosing. It’s generally somewhere we wouldn’t normally go due to expense or it being out of the way. We were both really looking forward to the restaurant, and I was in particular as I’d heard really good things about it. The only thing is, it turned out to be a real disappointment and a waste of money.

I’m no real foodie or anything like that, but I have eaten out a lot so I do know good food and good service and this place definitely didn’t have it.

First of all, the service was…how should I put it? An epic fail? Not so much our waiter or anything he was very pleasant. But more so the Maitre D so let’s just say the evening didn’t get off to the most auspicious start.

When we first arrived at the restaurant, we walked in just after another couple. Understandably, the other couple were seated ahead of us. However, the Maitre D assured us that he would return shortly for us (as there was a table available). Whilst we were waiting, a large group walked in. When the Maitre D returned, he completely ignored us even though we’d been waiting about ten minutes by this point and promptly seated the group that arrived after us. I find this extraordinarily rude and words can’t explain how angry I was. I’m perfectly happy to wait my turn but it’s not okay for other people to push up the queue ahead of me when I have been waiting patiently.

When we finally get seated, we order drinks and entrees. Whilst the cocktails were delicious, the entrees were either soggy or far too salty- almost inedible. But I thought to myself ‘no, it’s okay mains will be good’. I was so wrong.

I am allergic to gluten and dairy. So I ordered a particular meal where the menu stated it could be altered to be gluten free just by swapping the noodles from wheat to rice noodles. When our dishes arrived, they had given me a soup that contained gluten but with rice noodles. I alerted our waiter who was very good and apologised. The problem being was that my boyfriend’s soup arrived at the same time as mine and it took them fifteen minutes to replace my meal by which time his was almost cold.

You can imagine how hungry I was and how excited I was to get my meal by the time it arrived. But when I tasted it, it wasn’t good. I ate as much as a could, but the night was falling flatter and flatter.

The wait staff were good about the error, they voluntarily took $40 off the bill (the drinks) so in the end the night cost me $60. However, to be honest we could have gone down the road to one of our favorite cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurants and had a far better night for about $30.

All in all, I definitely wouldn’t go back. I’m relieved they reduced the bill but it definitely was a waste of $60. I suppose it at least makes for a good story however from a frugal perspective these are definitely situations I like to avoid- spend regret.

Have you ever regretted a restaurant spend?