Friday, January 29, 2010

A Boycott

*Note: I will not be using any names of the restaurants as I do enjoy eating at these places.  I am simply not happy.*

Today started my restaurant boycott. I am not happy about it because I love eating out just as much as I love cooking.  It is nice to have someone else cook for you, and not have to clean up after it.  However, this is something that just has to happen.  Over the last two months everytime I have eaten out (and I'm not talking fast food) my food has been cold.  Now, I know you are asking yourself why I don't just send the food back.  I will tell you why I do not send food back.  I have seen the movie Waiting.  I am not sending the food back or ever being rude to someone that handles my food. 
This all started with an order of tacos. 
 I will be honest with you I do not normally eat tacos, even though this post will make you think differently. When I say tacos in a present tense I mean soft tacos.  When my sibilngs and I were young, my step mom did not really know how to cook anything other then tacos, shark shaped spaghetti-o's, and ramen.  I always enjoyed her spaghetti-o's and ramen.  Now as an adult, when I look back on it I laugh.  She always tried to make it look like a little meal on our plates. A big helping of Ramen with some sharks as a sidedish.  Bon Appetite!  I cannot speak for the sibs, but I liked it. However, I cannot eat crispy tacos anymore.  I will eat soft tacos, but after you have eaten burnt tacos for a good 7-10 years you just cannot do it anymore.  Did you know you could burn tacos?  I'm not just talking about the shells.  I love my step mom. I love my step mom for trying.  She really really did, but man did she have the art of burning tacos down.  Someday I will tell you about the brownies she made for us, and how my smartelec older sister (who was probably 8 at the time) told her exactly what she did wrong.
So back to my point. The day after Christmas the family and I went to get some food.  My brother and his wifey blessed us with a giftcard that could be used at a variety of places.  We love that by the way.  So we picked somewhere that we do not go to often.  We are seated in a booth, which helps control the little ones. The entire family is seated and comfortable, but as for me the sun is shinning right in my eyes.  Luckily, the sun was setting rather quickly so I only had to be uncomfortable for ten minutes or so.  It took about twenty minutes for a waitress to finally come say hi and take our drink order.  Then another twenty to bring the drinks, and about ten more to come take our order. {Even though we were ready to order when she took our drink order.}  I will say it was sort of busy in the restaurant, but it appeared to me that she only had three tables.  One of which is getting no attention, one that was getting lots of attention, and one that was agressive enough to get the attention that they wanted.  After putting in our order and waiting about 25 minutes, Bowbas and Teeter's food comes out.  The waitress apologizes and says it will be a few more minutes before Tuck's food and my food come out.  Deep breath.  Ok. Right around the time the babies were finishing their food, out comes our food.  Tuck's looks and smells wonderful.  Then I look at mine and it is cold.  Not "Tuck's took to long to cook and mine got cold" kind of cold.  I am talking straight out the fridge cold. The cheese was not even melted.  No joke.  Not even a little melted. I took about two bites and decided I would just eat it at home where I could warm it up. {It was really tasty when I heated it later that evening at home.}
Two or three days later, my mom and I met up for some lunch.  My lucky mom gets Christmas Eve through New Year's day off so we met for lunch one day. I say that like we don't meet for lunch once or twice a week.  We went to one of our favorite places.  We eat there all the time. The service was typical no complaints, but here comes our food.  Our favorite.  It was cold.  Cold, cold, cold.  Cold and undercooked crab cakes, and cold soup. It was like ten degrees outside, we wanted hot soup! My mom did not want the waitress to have to pay for the meal, and we were not going to send it back.  She filled out a comment card saying that we eat here 2-3 times a month but this time all the food was cold. 
Shake it off.
Two weeks later my babies, my mom, and I went to another favorite of the family.  The service was less then average.  I decided to play it safe and order a salad and a cup of soup.  How can I go wrong here?  Easy order.  Well, the waiter forgot my soup.  When I mentioned it, he apologized, brought the soup, and insisted we not pay for the soup.  Thank goodness for that because it was horrible soup!
Then this past Sunday after church we went to the same restaurant, just a different location.  Service was great, appetizer was great.  I am sitting there thinking to myself that my faith has been restored!  We are finally going to have a nice, yummy, warm meal that I did not prepare!  But here come the entrees.  Cold tacos.  Are you kidding me?  I was so excited about trying this! Cold.  I lean over to Tuck and say "at least the appetizer was fairly filling for me."  Then I say "my lips feel funny." Oh no!  What was in that taco? Half a taco later and I have to stop eating because not only is it cold, but I think I am having an allergic reaction. The next step never happend, but I worried that something had been cooked in peanut oil for a few minutes.  My reaction to peanut products starts with tingling lips, then tongue swelling, then shortness of breath, then hives on the face and mouth.  It is no fun.  The reactions get worse each time so we try to be extra careful.  It was not peanuts but I had no voice the next day and the inside of my mouth still felt strange. Luckily, the dessert was good and peanut free!
Then today.  Oh today.  I wanted to get out of the office for lunch.  I had some errands I needed to run and I was really craving Olive Garden. The weather outside is rainy and cold so I decided to stay in the office, run errands tomorrow when it warms up some, and order lunch in from one my favorite restaurants who just happens to deliver.  They have a huge menu and I can always get what I am in the mood for.  I had a really hard time deciding what to get today.  It all looked tasty. This place gets busy during lunch especially on Fridays.  You can go in and sit down or have the food delivered. So naturally for this area, they get busy. Knowing this I called my order in at 11:15, before the rush began.  I was told 35-45 minutes.  Perfect!  45 minutes rolls around and my stomach is telling me it is time for food since I ran out the door this morning with no breakfast. Then an hour has gone by.  Ok, be patient.  It is always worth the wait. Finally an hour and 35 minutes later, my delivery guy arrives.  I feel bad for delivery people in this kind of weather so I was a little more generous then usual.  I was so excited.  Tore open the bag and to my wonder all the food was stone cold.{The mashed potatoes were luke warm.}
I marched back to my bosses office to let off some steam about the situation.  He insisted that I call the restaurant.  "This is why mediocrity is accepted because people feel awkward making complaints."  I sat at my phone for a few minutes and finally sucked it up and made the call.  The lady apologized.  She said that they got backed up with orders and she would be happy to send me a new order.  I insisted that it was not necessary.  I just wanted to let them know that all the food was cold.  She thanked me and apologized. 
Even though I made the call I am still boycotting sit down restaurants until someone with some kind of official title (like the actual chef or owner) can promise me that my food will be hot.  I do not want free food. I just want to eat a hot meal that tastes good.  I love food. I like to try different things.  Face it I am an enthusiast.  I am sad that it has to happen this way, but why am I paying for food I am unhappy with.  Don't judge me for letting this happen so many times without saying something. ; ) I do not want anyone to feel obligated to give me the food for free, I do not want to waitress or waiters to have to pay for it out of their pocket, and I do not want my food to be tampered with if I try to send it back.  Therefore, I am boycotting.

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