The world we live in is a confusing one for me. Seriously. I mean that. Now, I’m a regular reader of the site Not Always Right so I can understand part of what when on, but we in no way acted like the people depicted in these stories. I mean, the hubs and I are polite and generous when we go out to eat because we know that people in the service industry have it rough and neither of use want to deal with customers all day. So, honestly, I really don’t understand the overreaction on their part.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, we were out running errands and the hubs mentioned that he was hungry. I noticed a restaurant close by that we’d never been to before, so I said, “Let’s eat there.”
“Sure,” said he, “I don’t mind trying new places.” So we set our stuff in the car, locked up, and wandered over to this restaurant.
It billed itself as an “American Grill” type of restaurant, and looked like a nice enough place. The hostess was lovely and polite and sat us quickly. And then we waited… and waited. A family was sat at the table directly behind us a few minutes after we sat down, and the waiter walked right past us and waited on them before coming to our table to ask us if we had any questions. I asked him a question, which he either misheard or ignored because next thing I knew, we had iced tea and were waiting to place our order… and waiting. Now the hubs and I are quiet people, unassuming, middle-aged, and we weren’t really dressed for going out (I was in sweats and a t-shirt). But that’s no reason for the server to ignore us. Dude passed our table several times to wait on the family behind us. Seriously. He all but ignored us. I was just about to say to the hubs, “Well, I guess they don’t want our business.” when the waiter finally came and took our order. And again, we waited. Our drinks weren’t refilled or anything. We just waited… It’s a good thing I like my husband’s company or I would have really gotten ticked.
After a while, I noticed that what looked to be our order was sitting under the heat lamps, and it had been sitting there for a few minutes so I watched to see how long it would take to come to us. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t call the waiter over. I didn’t make a fuss. I just watched. The cook must have noticed my attention because I saw him talking to what turned out to be the manager, who brought our meals over. I have no idea where our server was at this point. What I’m saying is, up until then, we had really crappy service. I even told the hubs not to tip the waiter any more than the 15% minimum because he was doing an awful job. The place wasn’t even full. I could see the dude behind the counter just chatting. Meanwhile, I’m trying to suck moisture from an empty tea glass. Not cool dude, not cool. We didn’t even get refills when the meal came. Anyway, I started eating my meal — fish and chips. The first fillet was pretty good — done well and not too greasy. The fries (chips) were okay… nothing to write home about, but good. The slaw was good too. And everything was fine and dandy. Then I bit into the second filet, and it was basically raw. Blech! I lost my appetite from tasting raw fish. I munched on a few french fries to try to get the taste out of my mouth but after that, I was done. I didn’t raise a fuss. I just put my napkin over my plate and pushed it aside. The waiter came over to fill our tea glasses (which had been sitting empty for a while by that point) and asked how the meal was. I pointed out that the fish was raw. I wasn’t rude about it. I wasn’t yelling. I didn’t even sound angry. I just said, “My fish is undercooked.” and showed him what I was talking about. He asked me if I wanted another and I said, “No, I’m finished with it.” and asked him to take it away.
This is where it gets confusing to me. The manager came over to our table and offered me another meal… which I again refused because why would I want another meal? I’d finished over half of the one I’d ordered before I bit into the second filet. Besides, I still had raw fish taste in my mouth. Blech! He then told me that the meal I didn’t finish was on the house. Um, okay. Whatever. I didn’t ask you do to that, and it’s not necessary, but I’m not gonna argue with you about it. And he came back a little while later with a $20 gift card. So essentially because the fish was undercooked, they were willing to give me three free meals. Then, when the check came, they informed us that our teas had also been comped (big whoop, but okay). I mean… that’s just crazy. I mean, seriously. Three meals? Plus they made a big deal about how they “spoke with the chef” about it so it would “not happen again” (whatever — it happens, it’s not like they can see inside the coating). And after that, the waiter was more attentive to us than he’d been the entire time we’d been there. After we paid for the hubby’s meal, the manager came up again, gave us his card, and said we should ask for him personally if we ever came back and he would serve us. It’s almost as if he were screaming, “Please don’t leave a bad review on Yelp!” even though I didn’t give any indication that I would do such a thing. I was nothing but polite the entire time.
It’s really very sad. I mean, honestly, do people really get that nasty over a bit of undercooked fish? I didn’t raise my voice. I didn’t ask them to comp my meal. You would have thought I was talking about the weather for all of the inflection that was in my voice when I said, “My fish is undercooked.” I just wanted to point out that the fish was underdone, because it was, and that’s kinda dangerous. There’s all kinds of shit that can go wrong with uncooked seafood. Not to mention it tastes nasty. And they should be aware when things like that come out of their kitchen. The next person might not be as nice as I was. Well, I guess I just answered my own question… but seriously… I think they overreacted. The server got so nervous when I pointed it out that he spilled tea all over our table (and, consequently… me) and didn’t even notice it. I had to ask the manager to have someone come clean the tea up because the waiter had already taken my napkin away with my meal and I didn’t have anything to clean the mess up with.
It was an adventurous lunch. If I end up in the hospital with food poisoning, we’ll all know why. But now that the raw fish taste is finally gone from my mouth… I’m hungry.