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What's your funniest/worst/most embarrassing restaurant experience?


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I picked a "special" that from the English explanation led me to believe I'd get to pick and chose from whatever the chef was making. Not so. He'd just smack down whatever he was making onto your plate -- if you plate was empty. Every few minutes, he'd finish something and then lean over the counter like a hawk, and smack a few pieces down on whatever plates were empty. If you saw him making something you'd like to try, you'd just have to gobble down whatever you were eating, because if your plate wasn't empty, you wouldn't get none. No picking and choosing, in spite of the menu item's description.

It sound like what you encountered was a mis-translation on the menu of the omikase experience -- which is the chef's choice of sushi!

I never heard of a Japanese restaurant running out of rice, however.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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It sound like what you encountered was a mis-translation on the menu of the omikase experience -- which is the chef's choice of sushi!

I never heard of a Japanese restaurant running out of rice, however.

Well yeah that was kinda in the back of my mind, since I've been to places where I've asked the sushi chef to fix me up with whatever he thought I'd like -- but only in places where I've been a lot of times; where he'd have a fair idea of what I would like. I'm not familiar with omikase as a term, but it seems like an odd thing to offer this, unless the chef is familiar with you, and knows your preferences: your likes and dislikes, and the limits of your willingness to experiment.

I thought that concept was something a returning customer might be offered (or a returning customer might ask for). That's why I accepted the English translation, which seemed to make more sense, as offered on a menu for regular customers to order... Perhaps it really was a bad translation, and the wanna-be sushi chef wanted all his customers to be trustworthy clientelle who'd order omikase. :smile:

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  • 5 months later...

I searched through eight pages of search results under "embarrassing" and couldn't find one about embarrassing experiences in restaurants.

Last night, I went to a galbi restaurant with my girlfriend, Eun Jeong. It was one of the restaurants where we sit on the floor. While we were waiting for our galbi to cook at our table, one of the waitresses approached Eun Jeong with an apron and talked in a halting way.

Turned out that I had been inadvertently mooning the whole restaurant.

I usually catch things like that. I must be getting old, having to wait until the waitstaff bring it to my attention and then drape an apron around my offensive butt crack.

After dinner, we went for a walk. I said to Eun Jeong that I am becoming a forgetful old man...

"You know, I'm one of those old men who goes outside and forgets to zip his pants."

Eun Jeong looked down.

"Joe, your zipper's open."

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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Thats very funny.... to hear about :biggrin:

One embarrassing memory comes to mind for me.. I was on a date at a restaurant in New York.. The place is called Jewel Bakko.. The place is the size of a subway car.. Tables are tightly spaced together.. Anyway, my date was swirling her glass of white wine when she must have gotten a chill..As the wine was swirling around, she flinched.. Causing white wine to spray out of her glass, hitting the couples on either side of us..We apologized profusely and I ended up buying both tables dessert.. :rolleyes:

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This is painful to recount but.....

Long ago I bravely went alone to what was to be my first experience in a Mexican

restaurant here in New York.

The waiter came over and placed a bowl on the table--I had read about gazpacho

and was anxious to try it so I was grateful for the complimentary bowl in front of me.

I proceeded to eat spoonful after spoonful (it was spicy and good).

i suspected something awry when the waiter returned with a quizzical look on his face and asked if I would like some more salsa.

yeeeesh!

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Oh, man...salsa as gazpacho!!! :laugh:

My friend Miles and I used to work within a few blocks of each other on Park Avenue South. Most weeks we had lunch together at least once, usually over on Third. One of our favorite spots for a salad or sandwich was the Sunflower Diner.

One day we were eating there (along with Miles' significant other, Hall), and I ordered a hamburger and fries. It came, and I, of course, wanted some ketchup. I grabbed the bottle and shook it, since it was looking a little separated.

Well, whoever had used it before hadn't so much screwed the top back on as placed it gingerly on the bottle's lip...the top went flying off, and ketchup went EVERYWHERE. Miraculously, I didn't get anyone else's clothes (though I managed to fling a few gobs on some of the surrounding booths), but I did get quite a good bit in my hair. :laugh:

Ew. :cool:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Had a special night out with my girlfriend in a nice french place, last night together for a while. I had an asthmatic reaction to the snails and was caught short without my puffer. Asked the staff, no-one had one. My girlfriend ended up going from table to table asking if anyone had a puffer, and I was almost choked unconcious out in reception by the time she found one. I felt like a shmuck.

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I *love* eating salsa as gazpacho! :wub:

Also, when I am 'done' with any Vietnamese meal I will drink what is left of the dipping sauce.... I guess I'm a spicy-tangy sauce freak.

Hehe.

Andrea in Albuquerque

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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at a chinese restuarant, my father and teenage brother both ordered some crab dish. they were breaking the claws open quite forcefully. (and generlaly horsing around, as usual)

within seconds, i witnessed and ENTIRE crab claw FLY across the booth and land, caught, in a woman's over-permed hair! we all looked around for a second, and then burst out laughing. the woman never noticed!

when we left it was still there.

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Can't remember if I recounted this on a similar type of thread...

Dining at a restaurant in Florence I got really excited when the bowl of pasta came and it looked like it was strozzopretti (strangled priests); a shape I had only seen in cookbooks. I couldn't remember the Italian name and was enthusiastically pointing to my plate and also making strangling motions around my throat to the waiter... :smile: Both he and my friend thought I was going nuts and of course the waiter had no idea what I was getting at b/c my Italian is extremely limited.

I think this was a case of food nerdiness overtaking me in a very public and embarrassing way.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Oh, man...salsa as gazpacho!!! :laugh:

My friend Miles and I used to work within a few blocks of each other on Park Avenue South.  Most weeks we had lunch together at least once, usually over on Third.  One of our favorite spots for a salad or sandwich was the Sunflower Diner.

One day we were eating there (along with Miles' significant other, Hall), and I ordered a hamburger and fries.  It came, and I, of course, wanted some ketchup.  I grabbed the bottle and shook it, since it was looking a little separated.

Well, whoever had used it before hadn't so much screwed the top back on as placed it gingerly on the bottle's lip...the top went flying off, and ketchup went EVERYWHERE.  Miraculously, I didn't get anyone else's clothes (though I managed to fling a few gobs on some of the surrounding booths), but I did get quite a good bit in my hair.  :laugh:

Ew.  :cool:

I did something similar once with shaking hot pepper flakes over my spaghetti and meatballs at an Italian place once in front of a bunch of friends.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Four of us soldiers on a day out from Germany and in a restaurant in Holland.

Two of us ordered a ham omelette (which came as a large one, to share) and a large plate of frites.

This was duly served to us, while the other two waited for their steaks.

It turns out that the generous plate of chips had been to share between the four of us, but we had scoffed the lot. The kindly staff brought another plate of frites with good humour and at no extra charge. :biggrin:

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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A chef friend of mine was travelling through Spain and with inlaws. They were at a smart little restaurant and were giving drink orders... MIL orders a proseco. Waiter says they don't have proseco but a good selection of cava. MIL proceeds to be argumentative with waiter over the lack of proseco and refuses the offer of a cava.

My chef friend was squirming like made trying to figure how she could defuse the situation without making anyone look bad... not sure how that turned out.

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Oh, man...salsa as gazpacho!!! :laugh:

My friend Miles and I used to work within a few blocks of each other on Park Avenue South.  Most weeks we had lunch together at least once, usually over on Third.  One of our favorite spots for a salad or sandwich was the Sunflower Diner.

One day we were eating there (along with Miles' significant other, Hall), and I ordered a hamburger and fries.  It came, and I, of course, wanted some ketchup.  I grabbed the bottle and shook it, since it was looking a little separated.

Well, whoever had used it before hadn't so much screwed the top back on as placed it gingerly on the bottle's lip...the top went flying off, and ketchup went EVERYWHERE.  Miraculously, I didn't get anyone else's clothes (though I managed to fling a few gobs on some of the surrounding booths), but I did get quite a good bit in my hair.  :laugh:

Ew.  :cool:

Did the same thing with a ketchup bottle, but luckily (for me), I always shake the bottle back over my right shoulder. The guy in the booth behind me was none to pleased, but I did buy his meal. I now ALWAYS tighten the cap before shaking. :smile:

Thanks,

Kevin

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

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I was on, like, a second date with an MIT student whom I wanted desperately to impress. We went to a Japanese restaurant. He ordered for me. Raw fish and bits arrived; the restaurant was a sushi place. I was thoroughly confused: I'd fished all my life, and I knew bait when I saw it. I surreptitiously asked the server if I might have my fish cooked. She was shocked, and my date was incredulous. I've never felt like such a rube in my life.

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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My Ex was in the army. We were stationed in Darmstadt Germany for 3 years. We were ever so young, and felt very grown up to be in a foriegn land all by ourselves! We decided to venture out and away from the post, and have ourselves a real meal! We found a lovely little German/Italian place off of the Luiesenplatz. We were charmed! It was cozy, seemed upscale, and so very German. The tables were close, there was a couple with their dog under the table, white table clothes.... the whole shebang. My Ex and I grew up with very different backgrounds. I grew up around fine dining, he did not, but he was pretty eager to learn and try new things. He wanted to be more "sophistocated". Annnnyways... we ordered some wine to go with our meal. He asked for a sweet white wine. "Suss", he repeated, just to make sure the waitress understood. Now, mind you, he and I had quite the penchant for honey mead.... but I really did not see it coming. The waitress brings the wine, he takes a sip, then takes a packet of sugar from the table, opens it, and upends it into his wine. I have never in my entire life been so mortified, as he said indignantly to my whispered "WHAT the hell are you DOING?" Well, I ASKED for a SWEET white wine, and THIS, is not SWEET.

I wanted to crawl under the next table with the dog. That and the Ketchup On the Filet Mignon Incident should have been writing on the wall that the relationship was indeed doomed, but It took me another three years to realize there were ireconcilable differences.

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I took my date to one of the finest restaurants in New York for a special occasion. "Halfway through the main course...another couple was seated directly next to us," even though there were "several empty tables!" Our "intimate dinner was ruined."

Where do these people get off. Couldn't they tell we wanted to be alone? And when I brought the matter to their attention they look at me like I was crazy! I could even see the other party talking about as behind their napkins.

My date was completely devastated, and wouldn't eat again for days. Even my dog, sensing something was amiss, wouldn't touch the left over foie gras I brought home for him.

I was so embarrassed I asked my credit card company to refuse to honor the payment for dinner, but they said even accute embarrassment isn't reason enough for them to take action. (and I almost always make my minimum monthly paymen to them on time!)

What's this world coming to? I wrote a letter to Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post so he can alert his readers to the shockingly insensitive and inept behavior of this establishment's staff.

I figured this was the only place I could find a sophisticated enough audience to commiserate with me.

SB :wink:

Edited by srhcb (log)
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My Mum & her husband ,on their first trip to a Japanese restaurant, were served a bowl of edamame. After about 5 mins the waitress came over looking confused (probably trying not to laugh) and informed them they were not supposed to eat the shells. They had already eaten half the bowl figuring it was something you just got used to. Later, when the sushi came out, they asked first what the wasabi and ginger were and what to do with them.

They said they felt like a couple of Irish paddies from the wilds of Ballymun that never got out.

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Probably TMI but it'll make you all feel better. I peed on the cloth seat at a very expensive restaurant. By mistake, of course! I had just had a baby two weeks before and my friends took me out for lunch as a treat. So, I had a glass of wine, we all started laughing and then I realized, Hey, bladder control is not what it used to be. I cried and left a huge tip but couldn't confess to the waitress because I was so ashamed. I still feel guilty about it and I probably should. I have a feeling that they figured out what the big tip was for (cringe). :sad:

Melissa

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I took my date to one of the finest restaurants in New York for a special occasion.  "Halfway through the main course...another couple was seated directly next to us," even though there were "several empty tables!" Our "intimate dinner was ruined."

Where do these people get off.  Couldn't they tell we wanted to be alone?  And when I brought the matter to their attention they look at me like I was crazy!  I could even see the other party talking about as behind their napkins.

My date was completely devastated, and wouldn't eat again for days.  Even my dog, sensing something was amiss, wouldn't touch the left over foie gras I brought home for him. 

I was so embarrassed I asked my credit card company to refuse to honor the payment for  dinner, but they said even accute embarrassment isn't reason enough for them to take action.  (and I almost always make my minimum monthly paymen to them on time!)

What's this world coming to?  I wrote a letter to Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post so he can alert his readers to the shockingly insensitive and inept behavior of this establishment's staff.

I figured this was the only place I could find a sophisticated enough audience to commiserate with me.

SB  :wink:

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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Heh. Any time I dine on soup or a saucy dish, I stand a great risk of getting at least one splatter on the front of my shirt. This might not be quite so embarrassing if the front of my shirt were not so, erm, prominent. :laugh: This propensity increases at Asian restaurants--I'm fairly decent at chopsticks, but they do seem to up the odds of getting drips on my person. Getting out of, and home from, a restaurant when your blouse has started looking like a map of various Indonesian island chains can definitely be an exercise in humility (or something). :blush:

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While not exactly occuring in a restaurant (and some may argue about the use of the word "restaurant" in this case), but I have many embarrassing stories involving my mother and the drive-through at McDonald's.

On a Sunday night coming home from church, we went through the drive-through at McD's. Way back then, menu items like Filet-o-fish and the McChicken were fried to order, and of course we had to order one of those. The line-up was long, and by the time we got to the window our order was still not ready. My mother was told, "It will be a few minutes for your (whatever it was). Please park ahead and we'll bring it out to you when it's ready." To this my mother replied, in a very combative way, "Why? Why can't I just wait here?" as I slouched down in the front seat, hoping no one I knew was working that night.

That doesn't seem so bad in print, but when I was a teenager, it was pretty much the most embarrassing thing on earth.

But then there was the time, at the McD's drive-through again, that we ordered fries. After receiving our order and driving on, my mother looked in the bag and noticed the pitiful serving of fries. She parked, marched into the restaurant, dumped the half-filled bag of fries on the counter, and said, "Does this look like a large order of fries to you?"

I'm sure I could think of more embarrassing stories--mostly involving my mother. And she wonders why I overtip! (I don't...I usually only tip 15-20%, but for her it's overtipping.)

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nice thread!

when i was in college a friend and i decided to backpack through spain for a couple of weeks, the summer of our sophomore year. We were on a very low budget but decided to dine in a fairly upscale restaurant for dinner one night. we wanted to try paella, since we'd never had it before, and heard that it was a special thing to have in spain. We are not huge seafood fans, but thought we'd be adventurous, thinking we could handle a few chunks of seafood. my friend also happens to be particularly finicky with food, and gets squeamish easily. The paella arrived, with the head on shrimp, along with mussels, and other seafood. we were horrified to look down at the bowls and see the shrimp staring at us. we didn't know what to do, and sat staring at each other. eventually i picked at everything and ended up enjoying it, but my friend picked out all of the seafood, putting it on her bread plate, then covering it with her napkin. she couldn't stand to look at it. she was making a few noises over it as well (particularly when she picked up a shrimp), so we got some very strange looks from the other patrons and the staff.

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Probably TMI but it'll make you all feel better.  I peed on the cloth seat at a very expensive restaurant.  By mistake, of course!  I had just had a baby two weeks before and my friends took me out for lunch as a treat.  So, I had a glass of wine, we all started laughing and then I realized, Hey, bladder control is not what it used to be.  I cried and left a huge tip but couldn't confess to the waitress because I was so ashamed.  I still feel guilty about it and I probably should.  I have a feeling that they figured out what the big tip was for (cringe). :sad:

Oh, you totally win this contest. Hands down. :laugh:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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