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When do you send food back?

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My husband and I went to a ramen restaurant today.  Great reviews and all that.  Tonkatsu broth was barely warm, the toppings were cold, the egg was fridge temp cold.  The noodles were relatively hot.  I could not eat it and had to watch wait staff throwing it away into garbage can.  The next bowl was the same except the noodles were very hot which really did not help much.  I ate it, could not have it thrown away as well.  I felt very guilty sending food back, probably did it only two or three times in my life previously.  What is other eGulleters’s experience with sending food back?. How do chefs on this forum feel about it?

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I know what might happen to returned food.  So almost never.

 

Maybe if I say "no sour cream" and its covered with it, I'll ask for a new one. But I make such an emphasis on "no SC" when ordering that they can't claim I didn't tell them.  And I'm nice about it.

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Very rarely. Although I from time to time partake in the chopped steak lunch special at Colton's, with a baked sweet potato for a side. I do NOT want brown sugar on my sweet potato; I want nothing but butter. I've occasionally sent a sweet potato back, as the kitchen seems geared to dousing on the brown sugar, and I just can't eat it that sweet.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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Very, very rarely.  Last time was a couple years ago when my prime ribs was tough and overdone.

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Very rarely also.  A couple of times it has involved steaks.  Once my steak had been seared and put in the oven to finish only the oven wasn’t on so my meat was inedible.  And more recently a way over done steak that was supposed to be medium rare.

 

The problem is it screws with the whole dinner experience for everyone at the table.

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1 hour ago, Okanagancook said:

Very rarely also.  A couple of times it has involved steaks.  Once my steak had been seared and put in the oven to finish only the oven wasn’t on so my meat was inedible.  And more recently a way over done steak that was supposed to be medium rare.

 

The problem is it screws with the whole dinner experience for everyone at the table.

Yes, screwing up other people's dinner is a big issue.  Another issue is feeling very guilty about wasted food.  And feeling guilty about complaining about other people's creation.  I think I would feel better for the rest of the day today if I ate cold soup in the first place.  

 

Two other times I sent food back was: bleeding roasted chicken (it was served whole and carved table side), they simply cooked pieces a little longer and brought it back.  There was also an incident of risotto so badly over cooked at Fort Lauderdale Ritz Carlton that it was impossible to eat.  I generally do not like most restaurants risotto preparation (it is usually overcooked) but ate it on all other occasions.  After Ritz Carlton fiasco, DH has implemented "no ordering risotto unless we are in a very good Italian restaurant that specializes in risotto" rule.

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I agree about the guilt and food waste.

 

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On 5/12/2019 at 12:07 PM, lindag said:

Very, very rarely.  Last time was a couple years ago when my prime ribs was tough and overdone.

This. I ordered medium rare prime rib and when it was served to me it was as gray as a San Francisco summer day.  ;) :laugh:

Asked for the manager and he agreed just by looking at it, it was over-cooked. Back it went to the kitchen.

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Very seldom but

 

a) When it wasn't what I ordered.

b) When it contained corn despite me telling the waiter twice that I didn't want corn on my pizza!

c) In a new Indian restaurant in London, when my starter turned up ice cold and burnt

d) In the same restaurant in London (same visit- I never went back) when the chicken curry was lamb (or vice versa - it was a long time ago.)
e) Guess where! When the advertised basmati turned up and was obviously sticky short grain rice!

Finally, the owner of the Indian place apologised and said  I need only pay for what I liked. I paid for the three gin and tonics I'd consumed while waiting over an hour for a total farce! He did not demur.

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I find it curious that there is such aversion to sending food back when it is not up to ones standards.  After all, you are spending your heard earned money and you have some level of expectation established.

 

When I send food back:

 

- It is not as advertised, essentially setting you up for disappointment!

- There are bones in my fish, sinew in my sushi, etc.  Particularly at high end restaurants. 

- Something is overcooked, improperly executed, etc.

 

I am probably on the opposite end of the spectrum as I will not hesitate to communicate my concerns and if necessary, send food back; if I believe the quality is not in line with the cost.

 

 

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It was a couple of years ago on our anniversary. Nice place in downtown Lexington. My wife ordered the special filet and asked if they could make it well done. (Yeah, yeah, I know) She will not eat steak if there is even a hint of pink or moisture left in it. We explained that very clearly to the server and said that if it's a problem, she can order something else. She offered to have it butterflied and said it would be no problem. 

 

It came out a perfect medium rare. Looked pretty good to me. Of course she couldn't eat it.  I would have swapped plates with her except I ordered fish and she won't eat that either. 

 

Server was a bit taken aback by how undercooked the steak was and took it back immediately. Meanwhile I can't eat in front of her and my fish is getting cold. Ten minutes later, same steak is again placed in front of her. This time it's medium, still quite pink in the center. Server is horrified, my wife does not want to try again and just eats the sides. The server said the manager would be right out. He never shows. She gets us a dessert on the house that we don't want and drops the bill. Steak is on it. Still no manager. We pay, and leave a nice tip because none of this is her fault, she was great). We go to get our coats that the manager had checked but he's no where to be found. Neither is the server at this point. I go back into the coat closet to find our coats and we're outta there, never to return

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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