What is your single worst meal ever in the DC/Baltimore area?
I've always thought this was a difficult question, but no more. I finally had a meal so bad that it stood apart form the rest.
Can anyone else name a meal that you can point to as a monument to awfulness?
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Are you going to share with us that horrible meal?
Probably the worst meal I ever had was 5+ years ago at Notti Bianche. My boyfriend and I went because at the time Tom Sietsema was talking it up non-stop. Most of the dishes were underwhelming but the real crime was the fish dish they served me. There is no doubt in my mind looking back that the fish was way past it's due.
As the waiter brought the plate through the dining room people were turning their heads because the smell of the fish was so strong. Even the people sitting next to us commented as my boyfriend and I were trying to figure out if it was just a fishy smelling fish, or if there was something wrong with it (I believe it was a whole fish, being offered as part of a pre-fixe menu).
The next step was our fault---I picked at it, ate the sides around it but did not send the fish back. I was younger and less experienced in restaurants. Plus we couldn't figure out if it really had just gone bad. The next day we realized we should have sent it back, but we were also pissed that a chef who was getting major accolades in the local papers would send a dish like that out. It had to have gone through at least 4 different workers in the restaurant before arriving at my table and if the fish in fact had gone bad, like many of the people around us thought, then it is horrifying that they would send such a dish out in the first place.
824 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20037
I would say Tres Reyes Taqueria near Hyattsville was the worst. My girlfriend and I were starving and ordered almost a table full of food, and threw away nearly all of it.
Marrakech was fairly bad too.
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My worst was pad thai at Thai Chili at the Verizon Center. It was the worst I've ever had - really sweet, gloppy and full of things like broccoli and cherry tomatoes, which have no business being in pad thai. It was truly inedible (and that is something that I almost never say). It was the straw that broke the camel's back - so vile that I decided then and there to never order pad thai again in this country. I only broke my resolve once - I had high hopes for Thai X-ing, but it turned out to be lousy too.
So, Steve - what was your awful meal?
701 7th St NW Ste F, Washington, DC 20001
Thai food was my worst, too. We went to Ruan Thai in Wheaton, which was fairly well rated in the Post at the time. It wasn't busy, we didn't go in at some weird hour, but the food was horrific -- watery, tasteless, it was hard to even describe it as "Thai-Spiced"!
But the food was just one aspect of the almost surreal experience there. The same song played on the CD/ sound system, over and over, a droning song about death. That one song looped the whole time we were there.
"Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die,
when all the birds are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
Pretty girls are everywhere.
When you see them I'll be there.
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed
were just seasons out of time.
Goodbye, Papa, please pray for me,
I was the black sheep of the family.
You tried to teach me right from wrong.
Too much wine and too much song,
wonder how I get along.
Goodbye, Papa, it's hard to die
when all the birds are singing in the sky..."
Needless to say, rounding out the surreal atmosphere was the deeply depressed, silent server. She looked like an aunt or something, not a regular waitress. Her spirit seemed utterly crushed and solemn.
We could only wonder at what horrific tragedy had stricken the family. It had to be bad enough that their lives were destroyed, but not bad enough that they would not open the doors that day and lose a few $$.
We must have heard it a dozen times. We were making up alternative lyrics to the song after a couple of loops...
"My God this curry's hard to eat
When there's flavor in the sauce or meat!"
Of course we were trying to have a little fun because they looked so sad we weren't going to complain.