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How many "Bad clams" do you put up with, before you complain to Management? Is the next day "Too late"?

gryphonskeeper Jul 23, 2012 03:45 PM

I bought a large fried whole bellied clam plate at my favorite clam shack last weekend. Out of the approximately 20 clams 7 were spawning, and tasted like… well… crap, I was upset and called the manager in the morning (I was on a date and didn't want to upset a perfect day, it was literally a wonderfully perfect day, except that meal) I would not have even called but seriously when you are paying $20 for a dinner and you cannot eat 40% of it, that is reason to complain. When I told my best friend she said "I would never call the next day, that is just silly, how do they know you are not lying?" I told her "easy, I gave him the name on the credit card receipt, and the bill amount and the time we dined.
She thinks I should have let sleeping dogs lie, but I can't, not when the sleeping dog taste like what comes out of it when it is not sleeping!

He comped me a large fried clam plate for next time, but i might wait a couple weeks for the clams to stop spawning…..

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  1. m
    Maximilien RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 05:55 AM

    Complain on the spot, especially with seafood like shellfish; it might be that not only your dish contains bad clams, but both their cooks and/or prep teams could not find them before, or they had a bad batch from their grocers.

    No need to make a scene, just say : "there were many bad clams in my dish, could warn your kitchen staff about it".

    And go on about your meal and that will impress your date as well. :-)

    Kudos to the restaurant for "comping" you on the day after.


    1. CocoDan RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 06:02 AM

      One is enough. Two is too many!

      1. Motosport RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 08:31 AM

        "Spawning"? Please explain.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Motosport
          zillabreeze RE: Motosport Jul 24, 2012 02:28 PM

          Ditto - please explain! I'm headed northeast soon and would like to seem semi-intelligent!

          1. re: zillabreeze
            gryphonskeeper RE: zillabreeze Jul 24, 2012 03:32 PM

            It is when the clam releases it's seeds and sperm, it makes the clams taste literally like *hit. I have never eaten *hit, but I know when you smell it, that is the taste you get in your mouth. It is gross.

            1. re: gryphonskeeper
              Motosport RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 25, 2012 07:27 AM

              Do they look different? How can the chef tell that they are spawning? I thought I knew all about shellfish. This is a mystery to me.

        2. l
          LeoLioness RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 09:24 AM

          I'm more of the opinion that a food issue should be handled at the time, or not at all. You could have said something, they would have brought you something else, and that would have been the end of it. I would think going hungry or eating bad clams would ruin a day more than asking for a replacement dish?

          1. LindaWhit RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 11:15 AM

            You could have excused yourself from your date and asked to speak to the manager privately vs. doing it at the table. Always best to make your complaint known at the time so, if possible, they can avoid any issues for other patrons.

            1. m
              mangiare24 RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 12:02 PM

              "Is the next day "Too late"?"

              If the clams are exceptionally bad and lethal, then "yes" in answer to your question. In more ways than one. :)

              But seriously, I am of the school that complaining about food after the fact does no one any good. By the next day, you and many other patrons could have been seriously ill. Plus, bringing this kind of situation to the restaurant's attention after the fact takes some of the seriousness off of it. "Well, you waited until the next day. Couldn't have been that bad." Telling the manager right then and there could save a lot of grief for everyone. I understand your not wanting to spoil the day, but all you had to do was politely excuse yourself from the table (as if you were going to the restroom) and discreetly approach the hostess stand and ask for the manager.

              1. s
                Snorkelvik RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 12:48 PM

                Kudos to you for mentioning it in the next day. I don't blame you for not wanting to ruin the vibe of a perfect date, I totally get it. I think it shows you care enough to call the next day and share your opinion, any restaurant manager should be able to understand why a patron might wait until the next day to share their experience and it's a poor manager who would discount it because of the delay.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Snorkelvik
                  mangiare24 RE: Snorkelvik Jul 24, 2012 05:05 PM

                  But by reporting it the next day the op allowed the restaurant to continue serving bad clams. It really is important that a customer report something like this immediately.

                  1. re: mangiare24
                    gryphonskeeper RE: mangiare24 Jul 24, 2012 05:38 PM

                    They are not dangerous, or bad… just spawning so they taste terrible. I would have if not for the perfect date informed them. The man I was with had not been out with a woman in 10 years (He is an artist, while he has spent time with women it was never in public) I didn't want to ruin his perfect day, or mine.

                    1. re: gryphonskeeper
                      mangiare24 RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 25, 2012 04:14 AM

                      Your topic headline calls them bad.

                      1. re: mangiare24
                        Snorkelvik RE: mangiare24 Jul 25, 2012 05:45 AM

                        Well, they taste bad. So they're bad.

                        1. re: Snorkelvik
                          mangiare24 RE: Snorkelvik Jul 25, 2012 08:03 AM

                          I was questioning the OP's use of words. She said: "They are not dangerous, or bad..." but used the term "bad clams" in her topic headline.

                        2. re: mangiare24
                          julesrules RE: mangiare24 Jul 25, 2012 06:03 AM

                          And her actual post clarifies her meaning.

                  2. Bill Hunt RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 24, 2012 09:47 PM



                    1. sunshine842 RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 25, 2012 07:52 AM

                      The last time I had a couple of bad clams, they tasted like *hit, but I grinned and bore it so as to not spoil the mood of the meal.

                      By the next day, I was praying at the white throne (when I wasn't sitting on it), and it continued for two days after that. Yes, with 20/20 hindsight, I should have gone to the doctor so it could have been reported to the health department.

                      So yes. The next day is too late.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sunshine842
                        mangiare24 RE: sunshine842 Jul 25, 2012 08:02 AM

                        I agree sunshine842. That's exactly why it is the customer's responsibility to report something like this immediately. Just because the OP did not get sick does not mean someone else will not.

                      2. tcamp RE: gryphonskeeper Jul 26, 2012 10:27 AM

                        Two. I'll overlook the first one, but not more than that. I probably would have opted for a discreet mention on the spot but I take your point about "the perfect day" and assume you're the best judge of timing.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tcamp
                          PotatoHouse RE: tcamp Jul 27, 2012 09:43 AM

                          I agree.

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