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May 20, 2012 03:51 AM

Kika Tapas - decent chow and a chow service question

Ended up here this weekend (every place seemed packed last night, owing to the good weather) -

Sat at the bar and had pintxos of the Brazilian cheese breads (excellent), anchovies (excellent, if you happen to like anchovies), and the octopus (good).

Also ordered patatas bravas (good, would have preferred spicier), marinated artichokes (excellent) and broiled garlic shrimp (Ok).

We would definitely order the "excellents" again.

The bartender was a blur, making all drinks for the entire show. Food for each round arrived together - none of service issues noted in the original post.

Drinks were good - sangria (on tap) and a bourbon-cocktail with sage, cherry syrup? and ginger beer which tasted like a sangria/bourbon mash-up to me - I would order it again.


So here's the question:

We ordered the veggie and cheese-rolled eggplant for the second round - the bartender lauds them as his favorite - that's great.
A minute later he apologizes and says they are out of them, so we sub in the shrimp.
When the food comes, our three ordered items are served, but then out comes an order of the eggplant.
Turns out there was one more order left, says the bartender. Ok, great, more food than we wanted at this point, but it's here.
Check comes and we have been charged for the eggplant.

So, this is a little annoying. I should have been presented the option of ordering the 4th dish, once the substitution was made - not just given to me and charged for it. And it might have been presented as if it was comped, although those words were never uttered.

I have been going back and forth, and I am pretty sure this was done on-purpose, perhaps because my DW did not order a second round. Was this a move to up the tab/tip?

Also, what would you have done, when presented with the now-unwanted dish? Send it back? Ask if it was comped?

It seems pretty short-sighted to pull this for an extra $10 on the tab?

I was hoping more knowledgeable hounds would weigh in.

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  1. Been in the biz for a long time, both front and back of the house. You said it was a very busy night , and that the bartender "was a blur", right? I doubt it was deliberate, he might have just forgotten about the entire incident by the time he dropped your check, or never gotten around to comping the shrimp as he should have. On a busy night , I doubt that he cared how many drinks you ordered.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nachovegas

      I second this interpretation. There are plenty of craven people out there but this sounds like a case where there was a mix-up. Perhaps the bartender had written the eggplant on the ticket and forgot to cross it off, or perhaps he or she noticed that there was an order left and forgot that you had ordered something in its place already, or maybe he or she noticed that there was an order left and assumed (wrongly) that he should just bring them both and that you wouldn't mind. I am very reluctant to ever call for comping, but this definitely sounds like a situation where you shouldn't have paid for the dish. I would have pointed out that they brought an extra dish when it happened and said that unless they were throwing it in for free, you'd rather not have an extra dish.

      1. re: hckybg

        I appreciate the honest feedback from you both.

    2. I recently had a somewhat similar experience. I was at Jerry Remy's Seaport (not my choice) with a few people and the waitress brought out an extra beer by mistake. After confirming that nobody ordered it, she just left it in front of me since it was the type I ordered and said you can drink this one too. I eventually did drink it.

      If it had been free, great, free beer, but instead it was on the bill. Mildly annoying since I should be able to choose when and if I want another round, and not be charged for something we never ordered.