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Old 01-09-2011, 08:10 AM
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 34,973,454 times
Reputation: 42369


I can't recall if I've told this story before, but SXMGirl's post about having biscuits and gravy for breakfast reminded me of a truly terrible restaurant experience.

We were moving from California to Colorado and were driving the U-Haul across I-40 to I-25. We had stopped for the night in Arizona and were on our way the following morning when we decided to stop for breakfast at a roadside diner. I love restaurant breakfasts and the typical choices of thick French toast, Belgian waffles, veggie-stuffed omelets, bacon ... all the goodies we consider special treats and rarely make at home.

My husband and I ordered biscuits and sausage gravy and waited hungrily for it to arrive. The diner was otherwise empty except for one woman at a booth. She got up and passed us to go to the restroom, and the smell coming off that woman would have choked a horse. She smelled like Glade air freshener, like she had sprayed quite a bit of it all over herself. It was sickening--we could taste it as she walked by. I know that wasn't the restaurant's fault, but it added to the utter awfulness of the breakfast set before us.

Instead of biscuits, they used dinner rolls, the kind that come 12 to a package and have to be pulled apart. And the gravy ... it was really bad. Obviously canned, thick, pasty, lumpy white gravy, and the stench of whatever that woman had bathed herself in still hung in the air. The food was inedible. How do you wreck biscuits and gravy??

We paid for the food and went up the street to McDonald's. I don't normally choose to go to McDonald's, but you do know what you're going to get there.

Tell me about some horrendous meals you have gotten in restaurants.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:31 AM
Location: Charlotte county, Florida
4,102 posts, read 4,992,344 times
Reputation: 11837
Two recent meals come to mind at of all places Cracker Barrel

I love (loved) Cracker Barrel it was pretty much the first place I experienced country cooking.
Because of that it was a place I would take guests to eat out when they came from NY to visit.

Last april a life long friend of my Mothers came, we took he out to Cracker Barrel, she has been there in the past with and without us and likes it.
The Three of us ordered our food and service was good until this point except the fact that they never refilled my coffee.. But thats not my Complaint.

I ordered Chicken fried steak with my normal side of Hashbrown Caserole and decided to go with the Mustard Greens it's a pretty basic dinner..

They both ordered the Special, some kind of chicken broccoli thing. They also got two sides..
All the side dishes around the table were almost room temprature.
I dont like eating food out that was not cooked to Temp 165f and served at least hot. Food poisoning is a scary thing.

I asked the server to please take the sides back because they were not even warm and she did.. Only to bring back the same thing again.
We were on our way to the airport and didnt have time to wait again so I just asked to have them put in a togo box, stressing I'd microwave it myself later.

I wrote the company a letter via e-mail, telling them of my experience at which point they sent me a gold card for 3 dinners..

Before I make this any longer, went to a different Cracker Barrel months later.
This time the sides were still room temp and they FORGOT to cook me MY country fried steak.. They just brought my sides first...
This time I did not write a letter or complain.. I just crossed them off my list of places to eat out ever again.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:50 AM
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 32,641,418 times
Reputation: 16781
The most recent was a few years ago at a local pizza place. The pizza tasted fine and I had no complaints whatsoever about that part... but exactly 30 minutes after eating, that food was already pounding on the back door to be let out. I have NEVER had food pass through me that fast, and to this day I have no idea what my body didn't like about it. Needless to say, I never returned for a repeat engagement.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:07 AM
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 19,643,324 times
Reputation: 31734
Since it seems that I got Julia on a roll (LOL), I'll chime in with the worst breakfast. We had a diner on Main Street in Newark, just off of the University of Delaware campus. Generally the restaurants on Main Street are very good. This diner had closed and then reopened under new owners. The breakfast was just inedible. We are only talking bacon, eggs, and hash browns. I tried to explain what was wrong, but they just didn't get it (really young staff). Not surprising, they are closed again and have been for several years.

A friend and I went out for lunch at another local diner. In our jobs, we don't get out for lunch very often, so we look forward to these special occasions. We both ordered tuna melts. First, it was cold. Sent them back. Then, the English muffins were burnt. Sent them back. When they came back the third time, cheese wasn't melted (as in tuna melt?). Came back a 4th time, still not good. The manager, who apologized profusely, told us that they had a new cook. Not sure if he/she is still working there, but probably not. We haven't been back for lunch and that was several years ago. Unlike the Newark diner, we did not pay for lunch.

There are too many good places (I like local diners usually) to eat to waste time and money on the bad ones. However, we never stop to eat if the parking lot is empty.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:16 AM
Location: Inman Park (Atlanta, GA)
21,871 posts, read 12,747,135 times
Reputation: 14211
Since everyone is on a roll - I will chime in too

Last night we went out to a touristy spot. I thought it would be nice to sit and watch people ice skate in the city. The restaurant was packed at 6:20 pm. Lots of folks gathered in large groups celebrating birthday parties. (I thought that would be a good sign)

Appetizer was nice - Bang Bang Shrimp. Fried nicely and not greasy. I decided on nothing special - a hamburger as the restaurant advertised it as the "best burger" in town. The meal just went downhill. Burger was tasteless and over cooked. Onion rings were huge - all batter and some of the batter was still lightly raw.

I saw a table behind me order a huge "bowl" of hot chocolate. It was nice but at $6 - wasn't that great. So the evening was $70 for 2 including parking and tip. Now I know why I haven't been to the restaurant before
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:25 AM
Location: NW Lower MI
23 posts, read 34,887 times
Reputation: 53
Several years ago I went to our local Big Boy and I ordered some stir-fry (forgot what flavor, it's been that long) and ate enough of it to know it wasn't good. Got home, got sick and I NEVER (literally never) get sick. I haven't been back. I'm sure that it was a touch of food poisoning but the prices there are so exorbitant for the kind of restaurant it is, that I don't have any big need to return. Before that I used to take my kids there all the time when they visited. It's convenient, prices were high then and manageable.

I'll just stick to some very good local homestyle restaurants. Yummy, inexpensive food and loads of it! Man, you get your money's worth plus someone else's!
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:59 AM
13,710 posts, read 22,826,319 times
Reputation: 18521
Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
We paid for the food and went up the street to McDonald's. I don't normally choose to go to McDonald's, but you do know what you're going to get there.

Tell me about some horrendous meals you have gotten in restaurants.
McDonald's EXISTS because of some of the terrible road food that you used to encounter on the road in the 50s and 60s. My parents used to take us on LONG road trips and rarely was a trip where we did not encounter at least one meal that would make us sick.

I do a LOT of research before heading on the road. Bad meals are pretty rare for me at this point.

I have to say that the WORST meal of 2010 was at the Algonquin, IL Golden Corral. I normally don't go to those kind of places but I was working 12-14 hour days and did not feel like cooking dinner around 9 pm. All the food had been prepared at least 60-90 minutes prior to my arrival. The staff fills us the pans and when something runs out, they do NOT replenished. They had one piece of fried chicken in the pan when I arrived and the same piece was there an hour later. (I guess if you don't put food out, it lowers your food cost.)

And I have had a lot of similar experiences at independent restaurants.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:00 AM
1,884 posts, read 4,015,646 times
Reputation: 2659
I've given up on restaurants. I expect very little from them anymore. Homemade for me,. If I eat a whole meal at a restaurant then it must have been ____'n good or they gave me the time to eat it.

But, I'm a prick foodie.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:27 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
Reputation: 35864
I stopped at a Bob Evans once (against my better intuition), and ordered an omelet. I believe it was cooked this way:

Put a few eggs and some milk in a blender and set it on Whip for a while. Cut up a little green bell pepper and stir the pieces in. Put the mixture in a frying pan on low heat, and let it cook until rigor mortis is accomplished and it's a dull shade of yellow throughout, stirring occasionally if necessary. A couple of grains of stale black pepper, for the sake of exotic appearance. If there is one single person in the nursing home who can taste this omelet, it has been done wrong. Although they might have used powdered egg, it would have been possible for a sufficiently sadistic cook to convert a real egg into this monstrosity.

Last edited by jtur88; 01-09-2011 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:16 PM
Location: Charlotte, NC
10 posts, read 18,805 times
Reputation: 22
DH and I just found out that the only restaurant we will go too has been taken over by new owners, and the new reviews have not been good. So, it will just be home cooked for us from now on unless we travel. I am very picky too, and unless the restaurant has rave reviews then I will not go.
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