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Oct 10, 2011 05:47 PM

When your favorite restaurant stumbles . . .

How do you react? We all know that even the best restaurants have an "off" night, so how do you respond when it happens when you are there? Do they get a second/third chance? Just curious to know how other hounds react. It just happened to me and I am very disappointed.

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  1. There is a difference between stumble and "going" down hill or "gone" down hill. An off night happens and why would I stop going to my favorite place over a stumble or two-- depending on the place even three. We had a place we used toi love to go but over a course of several visits it disintegrated. We have even gone back since x 2 a few months apart very hopeful but no.

    1. Every restaurant has an off night. It's a question of two things: 1. How often is acceptable, and 2. What caused it (if you're able to ascertain it).

      We have eaten at a wonderful local cafe for over 25 years. In that time, we have been less than thrilled maybe 4 times. That's a really good ratio. We rely upon this restaurant to take well-travelled business acquaintances to and it has served us well.

      Recently we had a family brunch there and all of the dishes were less than stellar. Upon looking around, I realized that none of the employees looked familiar or even comfortable there and the owner had not made an appearance.

      Should I have said something to the owner via email?

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandylc

        I hear ya about the owner sandlc. My friend and I have had many satisfying meals at a beloved local diner. Every once in awhile when the owner is not there watching everything like a hawk you can really tell the difference. I remember a time when my hot cakes were cold. It was three days before Christmas, the place was packed, no owner in sight, and the young staff was obviously excited and distracted by the upcoming holiday. The hotcakes were pretty darned good even cold. I didn't say a word. What happened bropaul? Obviously I have returned many times since the cold hotcakes but sounds like something worse happened with you.

      2. I think wekick captured my concern, the difference between and "off" night and the beginning of the slide down hill. Nothing dramatic happened but the last time I ate my favorite dish at my favorite Thai place it just didn't seem as good as I remembered it. So, is the problem my memory or the food itself? I'll have to go back to verify.

        1. "Best" places having an off night can be just as much about my poor choices than a fault on their part.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters

            Agree 100%. I'm willing to take the blame for that and I know when it happens - usually ordering something of the specials menu that, in the end, just doesn't work.

          2. If it's my favorite place, I know the regular staff and owners, and will say something. I know who runs FOH and who runs BOH, and would definitely mention it to them, or someone who can relay the information. Before the current owners took over, things were really bad, and I wasn't shy about mentioning to whoever was in charge at the time what the problem was.

            OK, last time I was at a different place that "stumbled" I contacted them via e-mail and got a response from the owner.