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boagman

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Everything posted by boagman

  1. Now, see, the Coke thing doesn't really bother me, because at least in this area, and in practically every place I've gone in the U.S., free refills are the norm on most non-alcoholic beverages. The minor exception might be milk, but any fountain beverage, hot or cold tea, coffee, etc. have been bottomless for a *long* time now...in excess of 20 years. I'm pretty sure that this whole thing started with Taco Bell on the fountain drink thing, but I appreciate being able to get as much of such a beverage as I'd like. I'll give you that the price of said drink has been raised to a pretty absurd degree over the years, but I still enjoy bottomless. However, on the whole I'm generally with you, and on the dessert and appetizer thing I am 100%, totally, completely, and absolutely in agreement with you. I ate a piece of house-made cake at one of my favorite places this past week, and it was all of $2.95. To me, *that's* the way a dessert should be priced: affordably, and with the intent of ending the meal correctly, on a high note. It worked, in this case, but when the dessert is $6 or $7, unless I'm talking about a true high-end establishment that *really* knows what it's doing, there's just no stinking way. "Death By Chocolate" need not apply. Generic appetizers for the same amounts also fail to impress, or to get me to open my wallet. I really enjoy being able to pick what I want to pay for, and like you, I want to do it at a reasonable price point.
  2. ← I guess I'm okay with this...heck, I guess I'm okay with *all* of it, or at least the general principle of what's behind it. Not trying to single out FLG or anything, but in this guy's opinion, there has been a metric ton of restaurants in the Detroit area that over the last five years or so, have been honestly acting like the cache of going to them somehow validates obscene pricing structures, with very few actually delivering on the promise of what they purport. It's imploding, and while I know that, at least in part, that's a result of the entire area being majorly squeezed for cash and jobs, I find it ultra-ironic that even the highest caliber places are finding room to fill the tables through discounting, 2-for-1s, reducing, etc. It's a shame that they didn't try doing this *beforehand*, whereas now they're just fighting to survive. I don't mean to pile on the pain, but when you're not a special event type of place, and the average price of an appetizer is equal to or more than what a decent entree should be, the reality check you're facing now is long, long overdue.
  3. Happened to me Wednesday night, kind of. Instead of calling, I just assumed that the local dining establishments would be staying open until their posted closing times, and when I went to two separate places that had closed over half an hour early, then and *only* then did I start calling other restaurants to see if they were still open or if their kitchens were still live. You guessed it: I ended up with pretty crappy chain pizza. Why don't I bother using the phone? It's not like it costs me anything to do so...
  4. I'll cop to this. However, I did have help: like it or not, your posts in this thread have embedded in them a sense of entitlement that most have seen, and many have commented on. Have I been a bit harsh in pointing that out? Sure. I guess that's just part of my personality, and one of my hot buttons, so to speak. You could be a great guy, an excellent customer, a friend of restaurants in general...that's a very real possibility. What happened here, though, in this instance (and I'm referring to the action at the restaurant and the act of posting about it here), doesn't reflect that attitude at all. I think it best that we just assume that I'm kind of a jerk sometimes, just like everyone else is. Not that I'm referring to you, here.
  5. Well, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree without being disagreeable, here. In reading the OP's posts, I'm pretty much of the opinion that, had the restaurant boxed up his food for them, he'd have complained about that, too. "How dare they kick me out? We're not second-class citizens! Where are my pitchforks and torches?" Really: even your ice cream analogy if pretty darned flawed. It's not like you brought along an "Ice Cream Dropping Machine" with you "because it was the perfect day for it". I find no small amount of amusement in the fact that you can't remember where it was that did that for you, too. It's true: the OP was, in fact, a victim of extremely bad luck, and they paid a pretty stiff price for their transgression, but this is just as true: it was *their* price to pay, in full. I think that the OP is putting the restaurant in an absolute no-win situation, and chose to drag their name through the mud here on this forum, because the establishment wasn't willing to bend to his whim. He wants to punish someone *else* for *his* transgression, and almost to the person, he's been admonished for that. Honestly, had he not named the restaurant, he'd probably had more in the realm of a discussion that he claims he wanted in the first place, but that isn't what happened here. He dragged their name through the mud to suit his whim, and he's been fairly admonished for trying to shift blame to the establishment.
  6. Fair enough but you asked for our opinions so you had to know there was a risk that not all of them would support your position on the matter. If you'd already decided on the matter and nothing was going to change the way you view it and you had no motive to smear the name of the business then I'm not sure what the whole point of this was in the first place. ← This. I happen to think that you were treated decently. You put the restaurant in the predicament. You. Not "their policies". Not "the Board of Health". Not "the jerk owner". You did. You state at the outset that you were "determined to take my wife out". I take that to mean that you were determined to take her out to eat at a restaurant. You are aware, I'm sure, that animals are not allowed in eating establishments unless they're disability-warranted. Then you go on to say, "The weather seemed so nice we brought our dog as well and walked in the direction of Meme." And there you have it. Forget the weather, and whatever happened with the weather. *You* chose this entire course of action, not them. You know what might happen, and because it actually happened as a result of your actions, you want the restaurant to solve your problem for you. You named the place. You *called them out*. For the most part here, you've been called incorrect for calling the service of the restaurant into question because of a bad decision you yourself made. They lost a customer, but kept a bunch of other good, respectable, relatively unselfish people as customers, and more importantly, they did the right thing. I doubt you can defend what you did/have done here in the same way. BTW: just for fun, I find babies/loud small children to be far more hate-inducing than just about any dog would be, but then again: where's the line? If you bring your pit bull, and it misbehaves, what then? Your original post reeks of trying to smear Meme, and it backfired, no matter how you spin it now.
  7. Boy, I sure do want to go to Meme, wherever the heck it is. If e'er I get to Philly, I'm heading there. I know it sounds like I'm being attitudinal, and to a degree I am, but I have almost *zero* sympathy for the original poster. If I hated dogs (which I don't, I *love* dogs), I would have absolutely zero sympathy for them. Why must the restaurant owner be responsible to correct a problem that's so blatantly brought on by a client who is doing something very risky/irresponsible, and lost out as a result? To me, about the only thing that could have been done, and even *this* is wrong, is offering the food in carry-out form, just to be done with it/rid of the client. Sort of a "Here'syourhatWhat'syourhurry?" shoving out the door-type behavior. Why? Why is it wrong to even do that much? Because the restaurant loses no matter *what*. If they accomodate this instance, I can guaran-stinking-tee you that word will get around that Meme is a "pet-friendly" establishment, and you'll have everybody and their brother with a dog coming in to dine at the patio, leading to dozens more of this *exact* same situation, as well as dogs barking at each other, moving around, disturbing other patrons and staff, begging for scraps, etc. It may not even be the original poster who spreads the word...other patrons will see what happens, and the floodgates have opened, never to be shut again, until the Board of Health comes through. If the restaurant doesn't accomodate the dog-wielding clients, the owner's seen as cruel, or uncompromising, or ill-mannered, or what-have-you...by two clients WHO DARNED WELL KNOW BETTER. The rest of the patrons, while probably at least a bit sympathetic, are certainly relieved that the restaurant isn't becoming what these two particular clients are intending to make it: pet-friendly. Food service and preparation do not mix with pets. Leader dogs or the like are permitted simply because the people who utilize them can't be without them. Again, though, the establishments are following the law by allowing this exception to the law...and thankfully it's a very narrowly-construed exception. I realize that you're not going back, as you feel *something* could have been done, and I agree: something should have been done by the people responsible for the predicament, in this case, the clients. I, for one, am grateful to the establishment for sticking to their guns on this one. You obviously love your pup, and I'm very happy for the three of you...I'd probably want to stop and ask about him/her, and see if it was friendly. However, in this circumstance, you took a bad risk, it backfired, and the restaurant itself should be applauded for not acquiescing to you. I hardly believe that if they'd put your food in carry-out containers, that suddenly you'd think the place was puddle-wonderful, and that you'd tell everyone and their brother about it. I'm sorry that you don't appreciate what they did, because I certainly do. Please, leave Fido at home. He'll...somehow...SURVIVE!
  8. "Cutting edge" ain't always a good thing, in my book. When it works, it's an eye-opener, but when it doesn't, it can be a twitch-inducer. As always, one has to try for themselves in order to make a fair statement, but sometimes new-for-the-sake-of-new is just oneupsmanship in a lousy way...they're just trying too hard, and they fall *off* of the edge. Both of your cited sources seem to be pretty reliable, and I'd say that you're right in that AAA tends to be geared more conservatively than either of the others you mentioned. That being said, the Old Guard didn't *become* the Old Guard by not being able to do things right, and do them consistently, and the shiny new kid on the block isn't necessarily the sharpest knife in the drawer. Where'd the executive chef go to school? Who did they train under? What places were they in before their current position? Are they in a position to use their culinary strong suit to the best of their ability where they are, or are they a square peg being pounded into a hole for a round one? Me, I'm geared more toward places that can let food speak for itself first, rather than gussying it up beyond its original flavorish intention. Your system is fair, considering that you've been around the block long enough to ask the same questions, you know what you prefer and what your standards are. Besides, you're not the type of person who'd buy *anyone* else's opinion lock, stock, and barrel before you've even tried it, are you? Barring hyperbolic tragedy, that is.
  9. A bit off-topic, but thanks for the spelling correction on mulligatawny. The place that serves such a wonderful version of it spelled it the way I did in my first post there, and that's how I figured it was spelled. Glad to know the proper spelling, now.
  10. One local great soup place has four different soups every day, and you never know what they might be on any given day without calling and asking...or at least I don't. If there is a method to their selections, I don't know about it, because believe me: if I knew when they were going to have muligatawney, I'd be there. Another great soup place has three soups every day, but they have a weekly rotation. There's almost always (but *not* always) a tomato basil mascarpone, and two others that seem to just sort of be whatever they decide on. All of their soup choices are vegetarian, which might bother an avowed meatatarian like me, were they not *fantastic* soups with some terrific flavors. I don't miss the meat in this case. I'm afraid that, without becoming "Chicken Noodle Tuesday", there's no good way around the inquiries. The weekly rotation could be a good idea if it appeals, but honestly, the best idea might be to have some kind of recording or prompt when people call such as "Thank you for calling XXXXX Cafe. To hear today's soups and/or specials, press 1." Or, alternately, you could post the day's soup, or the soup schedule, on your website if you have one.
  11. Okay...stating the problem in this way causes me to read it in a different light. I can certainly understand this, and groove with it. That being said, you couldn't be more wrong about my thoughts on crust vs. toppings. The very best part of Loui's is the crust, and it is a little piece of buttery heaven. It's definitely not the same type of crust to which you're referring, but it's absolutely fantastic in its own place. I like simple pizza, for the most part. The bread, sauce, and cheese (both in taste and consistency) are the biggest/most important parts of the pie, and when it comes to toppings, my favorite pie is simply pepperoni with green peppers (preferably sliced rather than chopped). I'm fine with pepperoni alone, or pepperoni with mushrooms, but when you start getting more crazy/involved, I lose interest fast. Oh, and those pepperoni? They're underneath the cheese, and they're fantastic that way. The sauce is just wonderfully sweet and tangy. There just is no substitute for the best, eh?
  12. How one orders a steak isn't the same thing. If I order a 12 oz. ribeye prepared medium, and the place doesn't prepare it correctly, there's nothing in my brain that might even *remotely* consider that they might do better if they could cut the steak down 4 oz. to a smaller size of 8 oz., and serve me that (supposedly done correctly, in this case) at the 12 oz. price. That's lunacy. To me, that's akin to asking a place to cut in half the "normal" amount of cheese and toppings that honestly belong on there in the first place. I shouldn't have to shortsuit my full price purchase because they can't fulfill their obligation. It's just my opinion, understand, but even so: wouldn't said place be better served by the customer stating in no uncertain terms that the place is undercooking their products, on the whole?
  13. Fair enough, but the thrust of my point was that, in any case, one shouldn't allow a place's inadequacies to dictate whether they provide a decent product, much less one which the customer has to compromise on in order to get a decent example of said product. The fact that our pizza preferences differ greatly, well, that just is what it is. If Loui's ever started to decline in their ability to put together and cook a quality product, they'd hear about it from everyone and their mother, I'd think. There actually is a place in NY that I'm quite interested in trying, should I get there sometime in the near future: Una Pizza Napoletana. It certainly looks like a place I might greatly enjoy, especially for its insistence on great ingredients and the simplicity insisted upon. Then again, I might hate it...but probably not.
  14. I believe that the most appreciated, general statement would be "Is everything to your liking?"
  15. Wow...there are just so many different ways that I recoil at this statement that I can hardly bring myself back into "calm, cool, and collectedness". 1. A restaurant, which you go to in order to have food prepared for you, doesn't know how to, um, prepare food? 2. At their peak performance, you *might* get a "reasonably good crust"? 3. Your best bet for getting a decent product is to tell them to *skimp on the product*? Good sweet merciful heavens...why go at all? There has to be a certain threshold that you're not willing to accept anymore. If I ever had to tell a pizza joint, in order to get a properly cooked pizza, that they should go *light* on the toppings, I would absolutely want to shoot myself. If all I want is a decent loaf of bread, then I can get that in myriad places. At my absolute favorite pizza place ever, Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park, MI, I also order my pizza well done, or extra-well done, or whatever. Loui's, however, has a crust that just makes me weep for joy, and it's certainly different (thicker, breadier) than NY-style thin stuff. I'm not really a cheese person, and pizza is actually the only exception, really. But to honestly *reward* a place for lousy cooking by lowering their cost-of-product? My money goes elsewhere.
  16. I'll answer the easiest one first: 3. Turkey, beef, crab/shrimp, with lamb coming up a *very* close fourth place, and could even supplant turkey, if it was done right. Key words there being "if it was done right". 2. No real idea, since I'm an odd duck about tuna: I like the canned variety, and I like it in sushi, but tuna filets and such? Not my bag: too acidic. I'd actually prefer the acidic taste be masked a bit. 1. Gussy up that 7 oz. steak sandwich with a marsala wine reduction! Since it's an open-faced dealie, why not go that extra mile? It can also tack on an extra buck or two to what you might initially think to charge for it, and since it's kind of easy, why not? Don't know if that helps you out or not.
  17. These may be comfort foods, yes, but to me, they're far more in the line of winter comfort foods, not summer comfort foods. These that you've listed are heartier, more stick-to-your-ribs kinds of foods, and I'm not sure that they're what the OP had in mind.
  18. *Just* onion soup? Soup can be so much more than the same type of soup that everyone, everywhere serves and has available to them. Between onion and chicken noodle, so many people just don't have any respect for soup. I'm thinking that it would behoove you to look in this direction. To me, summer comfort foods include stuff like sloppy joes, watermelon, steak on the grill (heck, just about *anything* on the grill), fried chicken, pasta salad, chicken salad, and lots of other stuff which basically would be easy and cool. Picnic foods. And no, picnic foods don't have to be a source of disrespect...good is good, even if it isn't overly complex. After reading my own words here, I have *no idea* whether this helps you or not regarding the comfort foods for summer...but please: consider going a bit out of the ordinary on the soup front. Try a muligatawney, or a pumpkin curry, or a apricot netmeg, or something like that. Flavor counts!
  19. Since you're asking, I would call the manager and basically repeat what the what is. Tell them that you think an additional dinner for six at their expense would be unfair given that you were actually taken care of (reasonably so, with a nod to your inconvenience in the form of the extra wine), but that you appreciate the gesture on their part. I think they'd be ultra-receptive to you and your wife being treated, and you'd go a long way toward not being "one of those people". Just like always, treat them well and they'll treat you well. Plus, they'll remember that you treated them well.
  20. I think that about sums it up... the customer has the money, the server should expect a cut. The amount of work is not relevant. ← But *GASP!*, that's only a 15% tip! OUTRAGE AND ANGER! That's quite the amusing entitlement attitude, there. Socialism at its best!
  21. Here's another thread from a while back that reflects many of the same viewpoints that are expressed in this very thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=116370&hl= The more things change, the more they stay the same, it would appear.
  22. I love my mother. I really, truly, deeply do. She is a wonderful woman, and I would do anything for her. There. I've said the correct caveat. Years ago (*many* years ago), my entire immediate family was out at some restaurant. I honestly can't remember which one, but my dad, mom, two brothers, and myself were all together, probably on a vacation. All three boys are within six years of each other (my oldest brother is six years my senior), and at the time, we were all probably 13-19 years of age, or something like that. Teenage boys have *voracious* appetites, and one of them could probably consume enough food in one sitting to feed several third-world nations for a year. Once the entrees were completed, the server asked us if we'd like dessert, and the three boys, after getting the nod from dad, said "You betcha!", and proceeded to order. Nothing for mom, thanks. Nor for dad. Out come the desserts, and wouldn't you know it: mom wants to "try" my eldest brother's dessert. Sucker. That's what you get for sitting next to mom. Hmph. Fine. There's your bite. Oh, no, that's not good enough...she wants to *choose* her bite. Eldest brother is not amused, but relinquishes, be it ever-so-reluctantly. Oh look! Mom sees middle brother's dessert, and wants to "try" his, too! It's a *miracle*! Once again: she wants to *select* her bite. Middle brother is not amused. Guess what? Mom's got her eye on my dessert. I cannot actually remember whether she was able to abscond with a bite of mine before there was a *major* commotion at the table. "COME ON, MOM! WHAT THE HECK? IT'S MINE! I ORDERED IT FOR ME!!!" "I'm just having one bite!" But we all knew that this could be a *total* lie, even if she genuinely meant it. "Why should *you* get to pick which bite you get?!?!??" "Because I'm only taking one bite!!!" By this time, all three boys are basically incensed. We know mom, we *love* mom, and we know that she has The Sweet Tooth From Hell. It is not to be denied, and never to be trusted. But we're ticked: she can't have it both ways...she either *wants* dessert, and can order some, or she *doesn't want* dessert, and can feel good about herself for demonstrating some self-control. Heck, we may have even been willing to let her get away with a bite from each person's if she hadn't been so absolutely insistent on getting the bite that *she* wanted. It was total BS, and we were calling her on it. We turned to dad and vocally objected, and he'd been relatively quiet on the subject to this point. He knows the score, but is just trying to lay low and see if the issue will resolve itself...and clearly, it ain't. In what can only be described as A Moment Of Teenage Nirvana, my dad, bless his heart, turned to my mom and said, in a somewhat irritated tone: "XXXX, if you *want* dessert, I will *buy you* dessert. Really! The boys asked, and we told them they could have some, and they ordered it for themselves. You tell me what you want, and I'll get it for you. But if you *don't want* dessert, you can't fault the kids for being annoyed with you when you start taking what's theirs, *and* demanding certain pieces. Now, XXXX, do you *want* dessert?" Mom, whom I love dearly, was clearly embarrassed. She'd been called out by both the kids *and* her husband, the man she thought would back her up on it. She quickly said "No..." and didn't have much more to say about the issue. We finished our desserts in a far better mood, and enjoyed them. This experience has *never since* been duplicated by my mother. The tale, however, is part of family lore, and it somehow gets better, and more laughter, every time we tell it. And yes: I will often give mom a bite of my dessert if she asks for it, and yes, I'll usually let her pick her spot/bite, too. But I'm 36 now...take me back to 13, and you're talking a different story. I smile every time I think about this. It's a wonderful, funny, and warm memory.
  23. Wow...some "friend". You aren't kidding about the control freak thing; sounds like she's the kind who *requires* attention from others, too. Yike.
  24. Wow...decided to step it up about 5 notches, did we? I mean, dude: *anchovies*? Please, please, oh please...say it was a Coach purse or something like that. >
  25. I have to say, this drives me crazy Especially when friends leave people sitting there, alone. ← Yeah, I'm not sure it's quite in the "yellow card" realm, but it's certainly deserving of a whistle and a stoppage of play. It's not just that it's sort of socially awkward to do this, but very often said person will re-enter and will just literally *reek* of cigarette smoke, which will usually waft around for several minutes, thus at least in part destroying part of the allure of the evening. I will, however, allow for doing this one time during the evening, and you don't have to apologize, or rush your way through the stick and rush back in...take your time and enjoy it (such as it is), and then mosey on back after you've aired out a bit, even if you're just in the bar area. However, if you're sneaking out for a smoke between every course, yes: you need to consider that your presence at the table is part-and-parcel of what makes the evening great, and I don't like playing second fiddle to a Marlboro.
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