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Old 09-11-2017, 06:54 PM
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Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

I was thinking that you all must have a restaurant story.

Ian mentioned in another thread "I'm not really one for fancy little decorative dishes that one sees at really expensive restaurants" and so I wondered if you have a restaurant story that relates to the food or the restaurant or both!

I will share mine shortly.
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:36 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

The most exasperating, and (finally) hilarious experience was at Marie Calendars, and is as follows:

My wife and I took my mom, dad, brother , and his wife to Marie Calendars for lunch years ago. We were seated at a rather large, central table, because there were 6 of us, as I recall, and were handed the lunch menus.

Many minutes passed, and no waitress came to our table. Minutes led to an hour, or so, and it became frustrating to the extent of being actually funny. I made a few snide comments, such as, "I wonder if I danced nude on this table if that would inspire someone to wait on us"!! It became so obvious that people at other booths, and tables were all beginning to laugh with us at out plight, as my voice became louder. As I recall, it took someone sitting at ANOTHER table to call their waitress' attention to our not having been waited on.

Finally, my antics became so obvious .....(no, I did NOT dance nude on the table) that one waitress finally decided to ask whether we'd been waited upon, and when we said that we hadn't, she claimed that the waitress assigned to that table had gone home early, or was on an extended break, or some such nonsense.

So, finally some waitress decided to wait on us, and as she began to take our orders, my mom ordered her favorite meal that was specific to the "lunch menu", she told us that we had the "wrong menus" because it was now past lunch, and was DINNER TIME!

THAT is when I blew up, and asked for the manager! We told him we'd been waiting for over an hour to be served [since lunch time, for sure], and when we finally were served, we had been told we couldn't order anything off the lunch menu because it was now "dinner time". I told him that I considered that to be outrageous.

He allowed us to select off the lunch menu, and to make a long story short, we left NO TIP!

What was so funny in later years, was when my wife and I were watching a Tim Conway skit on the Carol Burnett Show in which he went through EXACTLY the same situation as we had. I even predicted the bit regarding the lunch menu being taken away, before he performed it.

We laughed out heads off at the TV show, but at the time it was infuriating!
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:42 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Lucky for me, I can't even afford McDonald's, let alone pretentious restaurants. :-)
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:01 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

The worst pretension I ever ran into at a restaurant was the night we went out to celebrate our first or maybe second wedding anniversary. My parents gave us some money for a dinner out as we were poor as the proverbial church mice, and we decided to go a restaurant around the corner at the end of the block called "Picchi's". It served snobby Italian food.

The waiter was one of those plump pompous types. I guess we were too young, or too unsophisticated, or too casual. We probably ordered the wrong wine or mispronounced "gnocchi" or something. Anyway, service was not good. You know, cool, brusque, unhelpful. I think the food was fine.

The restaurant didn't last very long, so perhaps we weren't the only ones to feel underwhelmed. We still use our dinner at "Picchi's" as the benchmark for "bad".

Now, being older if we get a crummy waiter we just work on him or her. We had one the other night when we went out to a local Spanish tapas bar for our 36th anniversary (where did the years go?). We have been to this place 4 or 5 times and always had a great evening. This guy was hopeless to begin with. Was very snooty when I said "prosecco" instead of "cava". (Give me a break--the one with bubbles!). Forgot cutlery and napkins. Almost let us run out of wine. Ignored us even when passing right by our table. Anyway, we found out he was from Birmingham, England so we began chatting with him about how nice it would be (we have never been.) He replied that Birmingham was a horrible place. Okay. How could we contradict that? We've never been there. Ok so England is beautiful even if you don't like Birmingham. Salisbury is beautiful. York is beautiful. Oxford is beautiful. London is fabulous. So he started to warm up. By the end of the evening he was best mates with us and giving us a great evening even if we don't know our prosecco from our cava.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:12 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Gee, I'm Italian and don't know my prosecco from my cava, either.

But my story is probably the opposite of pretentious (whatever that is) because it happened at Disney World many years ago. Or is Disney the very definition of pretentiousness? Anyway, we ate in one of those themed restaurants - a 1950's-styled diner with chrome and neon and turquoise things and where the wait staff wore white uniforms, little hats and aprons. You get it. We're in pretend land pretending this is all real.

So, I order a milkshake which they brought over in a glass. They also brought over the extra bit in one of those tall silver shaker cups. But because there was a ball of ice cream in the shaker cup, when I poured it into my glass, the ball plopped out and into my glass and overflowed the shake all over the table. One of the waitresses who happened to be walking by saw it, stopped, and yelled at the top of her lungs (in a southern voice), "Dale! We got a spiller!" And of course everyone turned to look. Then "Dale" comes over, hands on hips and in "pretend disgust" says something like, "Oh? You didn't have enough in your glass already? You just had to have more, didn't you?" And then he proceeds to make a big production out of being annoyed as he wiped up my big fat baby mess. I'm sure there was more commentary as he did this.

So after that, I thought the big show was over. But nope. A few minutes later, he walks out of the kitchen, carrying a Little Mermaid bib between his forefingers and loudly singing that theme song. He makes a ceremony of walking behind my chair to tie the bib around my neck. (I think he also left behind a very tall stack of napkins.) Yep, message received. Even now, our photo of the sloppy milkshake makes us laugh. Not sure why though. I mean, what's so funny about being the butt of a joke AND publicly humiliated?!

But...it was.

Oy. The things we do for our kids...
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:08 AM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant



Funny stories..

Here's mine..

I was living in Dubai in the Middle East and it seemed like a new restaurant would spring up overnight, bigger, better and more opulent than the last.

Hubby and I had heard about a new restaurant that had recently opened. The restaurant was within a large luxurious hotel, and so I knew it would not be cheap but we wanted to try it. So, off we went, dressed up and ready to enjoy the evening.

When we arrived we were greeted by this gorgeous, beautifully dressed women. But, instead of being shown into the restaurant, we were ushered into what she referred to as their wine tasting room and so for the next 40 minutes or so we sampled some wonderful wines. I love wine, it was great, totally unexpected, but I was hungry and actually needed to eat rather than drink! I was half-cut by the time she took us back to eat and I remember I tripped over a Persian rug as we entered the restaurant.

The restaurant itself was small, intimate, with wonderful red, gold, and burgundy fabrics, tapestries, and Persian rugs everywhere. Everything is aways lavish in Dubai. I knew almost instantly that I wasn't going to like the place because although it looked amazing I felt at once that it was pretentious, because despite there being half a dozen other couples in the room, no one was talking, in fact, they were whispering, the place was almost silent!!!

As we sat down at our table I placed my handbag on the floor and a waitress immediately rushed over, picked up my handbag and carefully placed a large red velvet cushion in the shape of a HEART on the floor, before placing my bag on top of it. Throughout the meal every time I looked down and saw my bag perched on top of this heart cushion I wanted to laugh out loud, we both did, but we didn't dare as the place was far too serious for laughter.

As I recall the food itself was nothing special, small portions and we were constantly aware of being watched throughout the meal in case we needed anything. I hate that.

We never returned, it was an experience, an expensive one, but we still laugh about it now sometimes.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:46 AM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

I dunno, they forgot my Hamburger at McDonald's, does that count for anything?
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:28 AM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Some places you go for the experience, for the quality of the food, not the quantity. We rarely eat out, too prohibitive here and no culture for it, but I don't mind a very nice, unusual meal once a year or so. Right now, with kids, eating out means pizza by the slice or the burger joint.

I lived in NYC 11 years, and miss the food dearly, the mix of cultures provides ample opportunity to taste whatever cuisine you want, cooked by the people who actually were raised on that cuisine. I have no complaints about the restaurants there.

When I was 18, young and beautiful, and white as a sheet, and my best friend Carolyn, who was as black as the night, also 18 and beautiful, we looked great together... anyway this was in the 80s and because of this we could get into whatever party, club, disco... we wanted. And we lived in dorms above the Union Square Cafe on 13th and University, and so we crashed their opening party. Delicious. As it ought to have been, it became the number one restaurant in the world shortly thereafter. We crashed parties with the cast of Days of our Lives and The Guiding Light, at the Palladium....
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:28 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Black

...I was half-cut by the time she took us back to eat and I remember I tripped over a Persian rug as we entered the restaurant.


Way to make an entrance, Katie.

I tripped and fell on the way out of a restaurant last year. In my defence, the entrance/exit area was dimly lit; there was a step down to get out; it was a tiled floor on a damp night; and the wine recommended by the waiter had been very good.

Because it was dark I don't think anyone noticed my pratfall.

As we were on foot, it was a 15 minute cobblestone "hobble" back to the hotel nursing my dignity. Cobblestones are charming, but not when you have nearly twisted a foot.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:03 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

1st time exploring east indian (l adore curry) was pretty wretched ... horribly cold winter night in a lovely but freezing restaurant because of all the big windows everywhere. Waiter was in a foul mood, pretentious dick in general or not i don't know, but when he hastily, haughtily set our plates like tossed frisbees - i'm amazed none broke - i knew it wasn't going to be a joyous feast.
Everything tasted the same, everything was brown and pasty and when i asked for a plate of something, anything green he stared down at me like i'd asked for a martian and stomped away with his nose in the air, never to return but to bring more flat bread.
I've yet to try another east indian place, but will, there's bound to be culinary delight there, right?

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Old 09-13-2017, 09:32 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Talking of curries...

I had a terrible experience with my daughter and a friend.
I was in Mumbi where my friend was living with her boyfriend and she recommended that we eat out, so of course, we went out for a curry!!!

She took us to this restaurant that was nestled amongst many other restaurants and they all looked the same to me.

When we entered it looked ordinary, nice enough, nothing flash and we all sat down at the table. The waiter came over, took our order and I then got up to use the bathroom.....

On the way to the bathroom in the middle of the floor of the restaurant I spotted what appeared to be a deep hole in the floor, it was about 1 Ft x 1 Ft and it was filled with RUBBISH, paper, ice cream wrappers, coke tins etc. I was appalled, at first I could hardly believe what I was seeing, cos it was inside the restaurant. When I got back to the table I quickly explained what I had seen and suggested we left immediately. Incredibly my friend wanted to stay cos she was hungry and thought I was over reacting.

When the food came I couldn't eat it, and to this day I have never forgotten that place.

God only knows what the kitchen was like.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:22 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Yes, a very pretentious restaurant. It served Italian food. With French bread of course. The toughest things I've ever had.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:08 AM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Black


Funny stories..

Here's mine..

I was living in Dubai in the Middle East and it seemed like a new restaurant would spring up overnight, bigger, better and more opulent than the last.

Hubby and I had heard about a new restaurant that had recently opened. The restaurant was within a large luxurious hotel, and so I knew it would not be cheap but we wanted to try it. So, off we went, dressed up and ready to enjoy the evening.

When we arrived we were greeted by this gorgeous, beautifully dressed women. But, instead of being shown into the restaurant, we were ushered into what she referred to as their wine tasting room and so for the next 40 minutes or so we sampled some wonderful wines. I love wine, it was great, totally unexpected, but I was hungry and actually needed to eat rather than drink! I was half-cut by the time she took us back to eat and I remember I tripped over a Persian rug as we entered the restaurant.

The restaurant itself was small, intimate, with wonderful red, gold, and burgundy fabrics, tapestries, and Persian rugs everywhere. Everything is aways lavish in Dubai. I knew almost instantly that I wasn't going to like the place because although it looked amazing I felt at once that it was pretentious, because despite there being half a dozen other couples in the room, no one was talking, in fact, they were whispering, the place was almost silent!!!

As we sat down at our table I placed my handbag on the floor and a waitress immediately rushed over, picked up my handbag and carefully placed a large red velvet cushion in the shape of a HEART on the floor, before placing my bag on top of it. Throughout the meal every time I looked down and saw my bag perched on top of this heart cushion I wanted to laugh out loud, we both did, but we didn't dare as the place was far too serious for laughter.

As I recall the food itself was nothing special, small portions and we were constantly aware of being watched throughout the meal in case we needed anything. I hate that.

We never returned, it was an experience, an expensive one, but we still laugh about it now sometimes.

I would pay to see your half-wasted butt tripping over a Persian rug. Not at all wishing you ill will, but I'm always in the wrong place at the right time for entertainment.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:57 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

Many. Usually attempts to replicate the Oak Room or Le Cirque in medium sized cities. Of course the originals are outrageously expensive so I gotta be treated to dinner by wealthy friends when in New York, but the food is truly great. The copycats are, if not outrageously expensive, still very expensive and the food is nothing to write home about.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:48 PM
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Re: Have you ever eaten out at a truly awful pretentious restaurant

thevaliante, yeah, it was pretty hectic. I can't drink on an empty stomach, one glass and I feel it.

I had a friend in Dubai, a gorgeous Swedish girl, who couldn't be trusted to drink at all. When she went out drinking things always went pear shaped quickly, for example, she would lose her purse, or her house cars, or crash her car, something always happened, without fail.

It stopped being funny after a while though.
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