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deanie's service...unbelievable?...

About a week ago a friend and I went to Deanie's. We sat across from each other diagonally and we were approached by our waitress. My friend orders a bowl of gumbo, and a po-poy. I get the crab duo. Keep in mind that we are a party of only two people. The waitress comes back 5 minutes later with a plate, doesn't tell us what it is, and sets it in front of me, so I begin eating. I see half a blue crab on the plate and since I ordered a crab duo begin to eat it. Five minutes later his po-boy comes out, and another five minutes later my crab duo comes. When i see my plate I realize that the fried crab dressing balls and crabmeat au gratin are on the plate, which are the only two things I order. It is now when I realized that the dish the waitress set in front of me was the gumbo.

When it came time to pay the bill i was adamant about not paying for the gumbo. These are my two grounds:

1. She didn't tell me what it was.
2. She placed it in front of me when my friend who happened to be the only other person at the table ordered it.

I asked to talk to a manager and refused to pay for it, but she said since someone ate it she couldn't take it off the bill. I told her fine, I just won't tip my waitress.

Was the the correct course of action? Or should I have done something else?

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  1. did the menu say what two things are in the crab duo?

    2 Replies
    1. re: tc101589

      they did, but that was the first time I had eaten cajun food since I was out of the country for 8 months.

      1. re: c1ue1ess88

        To confuse gumbo with the crab duo dish is a bit of a stretch, doncha think? Being out of the country for 8 months would have nothing to do with it. I was away from cajun country for 20 years but the first bite of boudin brought the memories of it right back.

        You ate the gumbo and it wasn't yours, doesn't matter that the waitress put it down in front of you and didn't say what it was. If you didn't know, you should have asked.

    2. Here's how the situation would have played out in the restaurant in my head:

      If I'd only taken a few bites, my friend probably wouldn't have minded and we'd have said nothing but maybe left a smaller tip. If I'd eaten a lot of it, I would politely mention to the server "I've been drinking my friend's gumbo because I thought it was the crab duo; could we order another?"

      A good server would then comp the second bowl, or I would not tip. But I don't see why talking to the manager after a meal would get the first bowl of soup removed from the bill completely, especially if the gumbo was gone.

      1. Crab Duo Our delicious crabmeat au gratin and crab dressing balls. Served with French fries and coleslaw.

        Now I understand the fact that she put the gumbo in front of you and didn't say what it was, her mistake, but confusing gumbo with the description of the crab duo (directly from the menu) I just don't get that.

        6 Replies
        1. re: roro1831

          c1ue1ess88,
          Where are you from?

          I have never heard a New Orleanian refer to crabmeat au gratin as "cajun".....

          You confused gumbo with a fried dish and/or crabmeat au gratin?????????? I don't understand that at all....

          1. re: Suzy Wong

            I'm right there with you Suzy Wong...how could anyone confuse gumbo for Crab balls and crabmeat au gratin? I guess a big lesson was learned by the OP.

            I will say, the waitress should have brought another bowl for your friend. That was a very poor management decision.

            1. re: FoodChic

              It's not a poor management choice if, as the OP implies, nothing was mentioned to the server or the manager until after the bill came. From the manager's point of view, a customer and her friend ate all their food, then made a demand to remove it from the bill because one person thought gumbo was crab duo.

              The problem should have been brought to the server's attention while something could be done.

              1. re: Pei

                Yes, I agree that they OP should have asked the server what was brought, but the manager should have explained that they ate the bowl of gumbo and offered to them another one for the friend that missed out.

                1. re: Pei

                  I brought it to her attention before the bill came, and I'm not from New orleans. I meant deanie's is a cajun seafood restaurant in general, not the dish I ordered.

                  1. re: c1ue1ess88

                    As you know, food is taken rather seriously around here so, before an unfair assault comes in, I feel obligated to suggest that you might be confusing terms. Don;t sweat it..happens all the time. Deanie's is not, in my view, "cajun" and it was in business long before teh cajun fashion swept into New Orleans (which is not to say there was not cajun cooking--just that it was not prominent). I wouldn't call Deanie's creole either but the Huey P. Long Bridge has a waiting list of people wanting to jump after wrangling with that one. Itis your basic coastal seafood joint---au gratin can be found in Pascagoula, Miss. Stuffed shrimp, stuffed crab etc are ubiquitous along the coast. What makes them good is freshness, not overcooking and, in the case of stuffed items, being miserly with the breadcrumbs (Most stuffed artichokes these days may as well have a half-pound of Bunny Bread crammed into them.) The General Rule (and I mean VERY general) is that Creole is New Orleans and Cajun is country..and even that is hopelessly vague..Cajun is more exactly described as within the "triangle" with the apex just below Alexandria but the variety within that area is enormous.

                    Alan Richman ran into this haymaker in his infamous Post Katrina article. Well, it's a minefield out there....

          2. You ate it, you pay for it. It didn't occur to you to ask the waitress what the dish was when she sait it down?

            1. What is this country coming to? Please tell me you didn't eat a bowl of gumbo, thinking it was something else, and then try to get the gumbo taken off your check? People need to grow up. It was your mistake, live with it and tip your waitress. From the waitress' perspective, she could have thought that you and your dining partner decided to switch plates for whatever reason. and its not like this is some avant-garde cuisine. its freaking gumbo, and the crab duo was described as something totally different.

              an honest mistake, but its yours. don't take it out on your server.

              2 Replies
              1. re: nola17

                The more I think about, the more I'm coming around to nola's way of thinking. At most, the server was frazzled/in a bad mood/didn't think she needed to describe gumbo. She set it down at the table, didn't think to explain, and MAYBE that deserves a percent or two knocked off her tip.

                But for the most part, yeah. You can't finish soup, THEN complain and expect a freebie. Any complaining needed to happen before the soup was consumed.

                1. re: Pei

                  Why would there even be a need to complain, simply slide the gumbo across the table to the person who ordered it (the only other diner at the table, I think it would be easy for the OP to figure who ordered it if he didn't).

              2. unbelievable you would receive food and service and expect payment is at your discretion, if it was not to your liking don't go back.

                1. Maybe I missed it in this discussion, but, what did the friend get to eat since you ate the friend's gumbo?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bg1811

                    It's all terribly confusing to me,too

                  2. mods - this thread has come unravelled.

                    1. Yes, unfortunately that is the kind of service you get at a place like Deanies. When I worked in the Quarter, that is the restaurant I sent people to if they were looking for good fried seafood. It's difficult to go wrong with fried foods. But I have to agree w/the others, how could you mistake gumbo for the duo Crab dish?! Another issue I can't understand is if your friend ordered 2 items and it being soup-like (most true New Orleanians would disagree w/this description), with you only ordering 1 item, how could you not realize the first item served would be your friend's...kind of like an appetizer served first?

                      Unfortunately, there are 2 honest mistakes here...1. on the server for not placing it in front of the correct person and 2. for you eating it with out asking your server. I certainly would not have thought it should be taken off the bill, but I certainly would slightly dock the server some of her tip....it was service not worthy of a 20% tip. Again, service at Deanie's is not quality, but I would not have fully stiffed her. I would have also asked to speak to the mgr. to inform them of the mistake. I would have also asked to order another gumbo for my friend. And why did the other person NOT stop you?

                      1. gumbo does not equate to fried seafood to gratin in any remote way. i cant believe one would suggesting stiffing the waitress.

                        your table ate it. your table pays for it.

                        so "No," the correct course of action was not taken. you must certainly should have done something else.