Saturday, October 28, 2006

Signs that you're at a bad restaurant. Seriously. Even with a coupon for one free meal, sometimes it's just not worth it.

Yesterday's dining experience:

  1. There's no sign on the restaurant. Well, there's a sign, but it's not the name on the coupon.
  2. There's no number, so you have to narrow down the location by driving up and down the street.
  3. You finally stop at the one building that appears to be a restaurant, although it has a different name, and ask one of the exiting patrons. He's plastered. Doesn't know the restaurant. Thinks for a minute. Slaps his forehead (really -- I thought that only happened in movies or cartoons). Remembers that the restaurant is attached to the bar he's leaving.
  4. When entering the door of the establishment, you're hit with a wave of cigarette smoke that could knock out an elephant.
  5. The sign at the front of the restaurant, which happens to be hidden underneath some garland at the cash register (I have eagle eyes), says the coupons from the publication where our coupon came from are not being honored. We ask the hostess. It's next year's coupons that are being nixed. We can use ours. (We will come to regret this.)
  6. The waitress has bad dental work and a bad bleach job.
  7. Items that are on 'special' are not eligible for the coupon. Half the menu items are on 'special', although this does not mean that they are all reduced in price.
  8. The coffee poured by the waitress, at the table, is barely lukewarm.
  9. When asked for spoons, the waitress points to the little basket containing the sugar and creamer and says there's a spoon there. There is. One spoon. Apparently everyone at the table must share the spoon. Who knows -- maybe they've been playing spoons and things have just gotten out of hand.
  10. The request for new coffee results in the waitress having to make a fresh pot. This takes ten minutes.
  11. Did you know that a 'special skinless baked potato' is really a boiled potato? Come on!
  12. Dinner is served. We have no utensils. The waitress exhibited Olympics-like speed when exiting the table, so we had to find our own. We opted not to attempt to eat our dinner with the single allotted spoon.
  13. The food is actually okay, skinless baked potato aside. Except that the grilled shrimp I ordered is COVERED with pepper. I'm not a big pepper fan, so I only eat half. I got tired of trying to scrape seasonings off.
  14. Waitress returns to table to ask for our coupon so she can adjust the bill. She returns 15 minutes later. Since we didn't see her for the entire time, we can only presume one of two things -- she was having a cigarette (the smoke must have been thinning) or there were numbers to be carried in the math that had to be performed to account for the coupon.
  15. Discover Card is placed in the pocket in the bill portfolio. This is the portfolio with 'Discover' proudly emblazoned on the front.
  16. Waitress returns ten minutes later. Despite the portfolio, the restaurant doesn't accept Discover Cards.
  17. Waitress, when requested, brings us one last cup of coffee. We share the spoon one more time.

In reviewing that list, it's apparent that we should have been alerted enough to just get in the vehicle and drive away back up there in #4 or #5. But noooooooooooo. We had a coupon! And we were starving. Perhaps next time we should eat before we leave home so we're not at the mercy of such an establishment.

Today was nicer. We went to the Outback. No surprises. Good food. Had fun with our friends. No coupon though. Had to pay full price for that one. Sometimes it's worth it.

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