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Feb 27, 2009 11:22 AM

Walking Out due to the Menu Options

We went to our little sushi place with SUSHI clearly part of the name of the restaurant. It wasn't very crowded but we had to take a table, no spots at the bar. A group of 8 or so walked in and were seated behind us. I heard the server take their drink orders because she made a joke about 6 sweet teas 5 times fast...
Our food came and a little while later we heard chairs loudly scraping the floor and the server saying "You can't find something you like? Oh I'm so sorry...what a shame, it's all delicious...' As the table got up and left.
Which prompted us to discuss if we could ever remember leaving a place because we couldn't find anything we liked on the menu (if that was really their reason). I couldn't think of a single time.
There's a menu posted outside too!!

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  1. I would have to say the restaurant was probably more expensive than they realized and decided to leave.. I find it hard to believe it was based on menu selections available for the night.

    1. Unfortunately we have walked out before. Not because of me, but because of my DH. There aren't a whole lot of places that have menus posted outside around here, sure wish more did, and he is very picky, so we go to an mexican place where the was absolutely not one thing that he would eat. They did not have Fajitas or tacos al carbon, and that is all he eats at those places, besides tortilla chips. I was very embarrassed. And it smelled so good, too.

      21 Replies
      1. re: danhole

        My husband once made me walk out of three places in a row, in the Hamptons, because none of them made french fries. And some of the chefs were friends of mine, so it was sort of embarrassing. I think we just picked up a pizza on the way home instead, he was in some kind of mood.

        1. re: coll

          Ouch! I'll bet that was really uncomfortable for you. If that happened to me, the snarky side of me would probably tell my husband that we should go to McDonalds.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            You're nicer than I am Miss N. At restaurant #2, I'd have told mine to go sit in the park or the car or something while I have lunch. I try not to reward bad behavior :)

            1. re: Miss Needle

              I wasn't nice about it, I can tell you that. I was actually sort of furious, but he's not easy to deal with at times. Well we're both Taurus in case that explains it! Or is that too 70s?

              1. re: coll

                Yup, too 70s. I've learned on CH to call any and every behavior that you don't like either "passive aggressive" or "OCD".

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    "I've learned on CH to call any and every behavior that you don't like either "passive aggressive" or "OCD".

                    man, sam, you *nailed* it -- as usual. i'd say "passive-aggressive" gets the edge..... ;-).

                    1. re: alkapal


                      jfood did not realize asking for tap water was passive-aggressive. Whoda thunk it? :-))

                      1. re: jfood

                        It's not, of course, and I'm sure Sam would agree.

                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      In the 70's people had "Baggage" or were "Uptight man"!

                      1. re: danhole

                        Obviously, your post brought back this ancient memory!

                    3. re: Miss Needle

                      Ha ha, coliver and coll! Oh, my first instinct would be to be extremely sarcastic. But having endured stubborn people throughout my life, I've learned (painfully might I add) that it's just better to let them cool off and then have a "talk" when they're in a better mood. It's sometimes hard to restrain myself -- but I've had a lot of practice from these boards! ; )

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Oh, I totally agree with you. He could go sit in the car and cool off while I have a nice lunch. Then we can "talk" if we choose to. But why should I not enjoy MYSELF if he wants to be a pain in the rear? No way. And maybe the next time he won't be so stubborn. It's taken me a lot of my 62 years to stop enabling those game players.

                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          At least we got a pizza on the way home, I wasn't too mad to not eat anything.

                          I was just never into french fries all that much, so couldn't understand the fuss. But after 30+ years, you learn to deal with the BS.

                          1. re: coll

                            And he STILL didn't get fries?!?! That's what makes me giggle.

                            Years ago I dated a man-child that only ate beige food, and pizza. I had to brush & gargle if I ate any non-beige/pizza items. I think I wrote about him before. This was before I cooked like I do now, so we ate out often and only ate approved locations. It didn't last... I got tired of carrying my toothbrush to restaurants...

                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                              If only I could turn back the hands of time! At least he eats a lot more than beige food.

                              1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                Now why was it you ever went out with this person a second time??

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  He had a large..........


                                  Ha! Life is about choices, right? I'm grateful for that relationship and it's lessons, blah, blah, blah, but it took me a while to say screw it -I'll have the garlic knots with my french onion soup, etc..

                                  Alka I did have nicknames for him but this isn't the venue! I know that if we ever went to a new place (and we never, ever did) that we probably would have walked out of some due to the menu- but we'd never have gone in to begin with if it was called "House of Sushi" (or similar)

                                2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                  i dated** a "mr. beige." -- i named him that after he said "beige" was his *favorite* color. he may have ventured into non-beige foods -- but not *too* far.

                                  ** very briefly after this point. ;-).

                        2. My Dad has walked us out before once on vacation in Blankenberg, Belgium. The place had the same menu items as every other casual spot in this casual beach town, but was 2-3 times more expensive. My Dad is not easily embarassed so out we went.

                          1. I did this once back in the 90's. Remember when fennel was the "big" thing to hit the American food scene? Maybe not every where but here in NC you would have thought that some new miracle plant sprouted up from the soil.

                            Well, we went to a restaurant that took this to the extreme. Literally every dish on the menu had fennel of some form or another. It was a small restaurant with just a few menu items and fennel was the ingredient of the week....

                            Sorry, but fennel is the one thing that I just can't stand. I also dislike dill, black licorice, black jelly beans, ouzo, absinthe, raki and sambuca. I am not a huge fan of tarragon because it has the licorice undertone or more accurately the anise undertone.

                            I was extremely apologetic and very embarrassed and did tip very very well on the round of cocktails that we ordered. Thank God they hadn't got the grand idea to infuse the vodka with fennel :-)

                            My father, who is NEVER embarrassed, dragged me out of some place in NYC when I was a kid because of price.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chicaraleigh

                              I'm there with you on all things licorice / anise flavored as well as dill. I have recently been able to add very small amounts of fennel (only if it is a dish that i'm dying to have except for the fennel). plus there are some biscotti that have anise flavor that i'll manage to choke down.

                            2. With 8 people instead of a 2 or 4 top I am guessing the place was way more expensive than people thought. Unless one person is a real boor, it's not likely the one person who couldn't find something they liked on the menu wouldn't have just quietly sucked it up and gotten something just to play along. With all 8 people leaving, I see the conversation going something like this: One person complains about a price they see, another chimes in that they've never seen that item so expensive, nor several other items. Someone else says yeah I knew they were really expensive but I thought this was where everyone wanted to go, I'm just going to get a side dish, I can't afford these prices. Etc etc til finally someone says, well then, why are we eating here, lets' just go to (other place nearby) instead! And they all get up and leave.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: rockandroller1

                                I just thought ok, it's a sushi place- no huge surprise what will be available. They may have missed the menu outside, or figured they could get 'fried rice' or something for the non-sushi fans in the crowd.

                                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                  I tend to agree with you. It would be interesting to learn more about the makeup of the group. Was it all guys, all girls? 4 couples? Maybe there were a couple in particular who were indeed thinking "I can get fried rice" or something like that and didn't realize it was ALL sushi, despite the name. I mean, I loathe sushi, but there are always *plenty* of tasty items for me to get at a Japanese restaurant. If I were invited to a Japanese place, I would go and plan on getting those things that I do like that are non-sushi that seem to be offered at most Japanese places (even those with "sushi" in the name). Now, in my case, if I had gotten there and there LITERALLY was not one other thing offered besides sushi, I would just had some california rolls, struggled through the meal with a smile as best I could and left and ate something later on; it's one meal and no reason to spoil everyone else's good time, and I'd know not to go back to that place. I went on 2 dates back in my dating days where I was unexpectedly taken out for sushi, it was a first or 2nd date with each person and they were both really excited to take me to one of their 'favorite' restaurants. I know most people love sushi and my dates were both convinced I would love the place, so I suffered through both meals to be polite, trying hard to lean toward the vegetarian stuff and choking down as quickly as possible the few fish-sushi things I had to, knowing that the dates were never going to be long-term partners for me, but that's because I don't like making a big scene. Some people wouldn't do this though. If you were dating someone high-maintenance who looked over the menu and realized there was NOTHING they could get since they don't eat sushi and that they would basically refuse to eat and could spoil everyone's meal with their attitude, I would be inclined to quietly suggest that we were probably going to just go as X didn't realize that the menu was ALL sushi. And then probably another couple would say oh, well, we didn't realize it either, I wanted to get some tonkatsu pork and they don't have that either and someone else would say well, we could just go somewhere else, there's another place right next door, etc, and pretty quickly everybody would agree to get up and leave and go to another place. Certainly I've rarely been out in a group of 8 where every single person was familiar with the menu before they'd ever arrived unless it was a chain restaurant. Some people just say ok, we'll try this new place and meet you there. I just don't see this is some egregious breach of etiquette. It's not like they had reservations.

                                  1. re: rockandroller1

                                    All woman, dressed up teens to grammy-aged. (I had to look!)
                                    This is a funky little town, with lots of shops and exhibits going on. Could have been they were walking around and decided spur of the moment. It just surprised me and made me think if I'd ever left because I didn't see anything on the menu I would like.

                                  2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                    Most Japanese restaurants tend to have other offerings, even if sushi is the main event. I think it's more typical to have the izakaya style place where you can get a variety of dishes to try than have a place that serves only sushi, including chahan (fried rice), tonkatsu, miso soup, dumplings, etc. If you're talking a truly traditional sushi place, it's not even going to have the California roll or other more Americanized rolls.