My other bad experience was at a Stir Crazy. My boyfriend, myself and two friends took a half-day off work to see a movie on opening afternoon (It was the only chance we’d have to see it together that weekend.) It was a 3:00 movie, I think and we got to the restaurant a little before 2:00. The theater was in the mall, right next door to the restaurant, so we figured we’d be okay. When we got there, it was basically empty- maybe one or two other small tables. We told our waitress we had to get to the theater in less than an hour, and she said that was no problem. She took our appetizer and entree order and put it right in.
We were near the kitchen, and we could see the counter where they put the orders out as they’re ready. A few minutes went by and our appetizer appeared on the counter, but our waitress was nowhere to be seen. We didn’t want to just go up there and get it- what if it belonged to one of the other tables? So we waited a couple minutes and started to get agitated. There was literally no staff around in the restaurant for us to talk to. After about 10 minutes (by now it was about 2:30) we spotted a hostess or another waitress. We called her over and said that we thought that was our order, but we hadn’t seen our waitress anywhere in about 15 minutes. She apologized and went to find someone (at this point the appetizer was cold, so we didn’t want it, and our entrees were starting to show up on the counter) After another 5-10 minutes, our waitress showed up again, she was apologetic, but offered no explanation as to where she was.
I understand that stuff happens- maybe she was feeling ill (in which case I wouldn’t want her touching my food to begin with and wouldn’t want to know about it if she was) and had to go to the bathroom, but you tell a coworker and they cover your tables for you. She didn’t seem sick, so I suspect she went out for a smoke, maybe talking on the cell phone and lost track of time. Still completely inexcusable. They tried to make up for it with free dessert, but we could hardly eat it, considering it was nearly 3:00.
What further ticked me off is that someone in our party (who shall remain nameless) is a sucker when it comes to tipping and tipped her like 25%. His excuse was that she made up for her mistake with the dessert, but to me, she completely lost it by disappearing for 20 minutes and the free dessert just brought her back up to 15%, if that. I was furious about the whole situation and will not go back there. [:(!]
Worst meal in 20 years, Olive Garden in Keene, NH.
$200.00 for the 4 1/2 of us (2 yr old grandson) about a month ago, 4 hours, mediorce luke warm food at best and horrible service. Never did see a single manager anywhere on the floor. Noisy as Fenway, waitress dissappeared never to return. Waitress that jumped in and tried like mad got a good tip for her efforts.
This thread started out as a comment on a bad Roadfood place. As the thread moved on, some bad chains were mentioned. I don’t care much when a chain store closes. They are all run by big boys and girls with degrees and reputations. In a free market economy, the chains will come and go, and competition will make them better.
When a Roadfood place goes belly up, it is usually a family tragedy. Hard working people with a dream go against the odds and often have to cash in the retirement plan and then lose their house. Seldom do they get to learn from their mistakes before it is too late. Business is harder than it looks.
Those of you who have a bad experience at a chain, but who like the concept, should go back. If sales have dropped off, there should be a new manager on your next trip. If it stays bad, and the problem is chain wide, keep your eye on the building, because there will be a new chain there soon.
A Roadfood place is, IMO, not so easily replaced.
I hope yall are happy! This thread has made me scared to ever go out to eat again.
Whoops, they just opened the Tolbert’s Chili Parlor here in north Texas, nevermind what I said earlier.
Originally posted by Catracks
Domenico’s (Southern California)
A chain "Italian" … "restaurant" that had some of the worst food ever.
Monrovia, although I suspect all location have the same basic menu and probably prepare similarly.
For Italian I like Carmine’s (Arcadia) or Petrillo’s (the original) or Angelo’s in Alhambra. Sometime’s these places have founders who are related or are friends.
Yeah, I’m a cat lover, too, and I’m pretty sure it was just crappy chicken, but having never eaten cat (and not planning to) I wouldn’t know.
The problem with fried rice, and I think this probably happens in regular Chinese restaurants, not just buffets, is that they make huge amounts of plain white rice, like enough to last them the week, and they store them in these huge plastic containers (like, think one of those 20 gallon Rubbermaid totes) and put those in the refrigerator. Because they’re so big, it takes hours and hours for the rice to get chilled all the way through and keeping food at high temperatures for that long cause a haven for bacterial growth. My friend they shut down several restaurants for that violation. Also, they’d keep chicken in big containers out on the counter at room temperature. When they busted them for that, the inspector would watch them put it in the trash, then they’d go and pour bleach on it, rendering it unusable because otherwise the restaurant would just pull it out of the trash after the inspector left. Also, there were cockroaches that would go after the syrup refills containers, because they love the sugar, in the tap machine for the pop- they’d get up in the plumbing of the machine (this happened in the soft serve ice cream machine, too) and they’d lay eggs around the nozzle. Yum!
Hi, Abe –
Yep, the mystery chicken is usually deep-fried.
I really hate to think about this because I’m a cat lover, but about 5 or 6 years ago, a Chinese restaurant in Cincinnati was shut down by the health department because, among other offenses, dead cats were found in the freezer. The owner denied they were used for food but said they were used for some sort of religious ritual. Now, I’m no expert on world religions but I’ve never heard of one that uses frozen cats. That meat on the buffet just looks awfully strange.
As children, my sister and I, along with my mom, went to this Chinese buffet in St. Joe, MO because my grandma liked the place and whatever grandma wants… They had sweet and sour chicken similar to what Sandy described above (I don’t know if she was talking deep fried chicken, but this stuff was), and it was in this sauce that was a radioactive shade of red- there was so much red dye (# whatever) you could taste it. The three of us ate it and next day we were so sick and, well, let’s just say you could tell what caused it by the color alone.
I try to avoid Chinese buffets in general- I had a friend who worked for the health department, and Chinese buffets were their most common offenders because of the shortcuts and storage methods they use to produce such huge quantities of food, particularly fried rice.
Most Kyrstal’s that I have patronized are clean; even the restrooms. The service sucks universally, but that is a different story.
BillC and I encountered the worst restaurant food we’ve ever had on a motorcycle trip out west. We had breakfast at a place called the Chalet in Custer, South Dakota. Everything: eggs, bacon, toast, English muffin were lukewarm and soaked through with grease. That meal remains our reference point for bad restaurant food. Ugh!
A couple of years ago, against my better judgment, I was persuaded to go to a Chinese buffet in the Newport (Kentucky) Shopping Plaza. All the dishes appeared to be swimming in grease and a number of the dishes contained the suspicious "chicken" that often appears at these buffets (sinewy, glistening, whitish-grey meat…Ewwwww!). I could only stomach a little rice and some dessert cookies. Speaking of cookies, I almost tossed mine when I went to the bathroom. It was so filthy, I couldn’t use it. Definitely, never again!
Pepe’s Tacos in Chicagoland. The advertised the authentic taste of Mexico. I wonder if they had authentic water from Mexico too. One of only two places that ever gave me The Runs.
The other was the Fried Ice Cream at Great America in Gurney. We had that and the next day my wife realized why I had demanded we get an apartment with TWO bathrooms, as we were suffering explosive results simultaneously.
The Hacienda is a local "Mexican" chain in the South Bend,Indiana area.Bad and inauthentic cannot begin to describe it.Yet the locations seem to do good business.No accounting for taste.
Judge a restaurant’s cleanliness by its bathroom- if they can’t manage to clean the bathroom every day and keep it neat throughout the day, which is relatively easy and is seen by their customers, imagine how their kitchen looks and how often/thoroughly it gets cleaned.
Just a little note to all who have gotten sick from restaurant food. Most bacteria takes about 24-48 hours to incubate in your body. Most of you probably had food poisoning from something you ate the day before your visit to the restaurant in question. [xx(] I agree with all of you in believing that a restaurant should be clean and the staff well groomed. I will not go into a place if I see that the cook or waiter looks dirty or unkempt. Same with the dining room or kitchen. I don’t think I have had food poisoning yet but I sympathize with those of you who have.[:(] see y’all around the playground!
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