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Why didn't I listen!??

You're at a restaurant you visit on occasion when you're in the mood for a specific dish which has always been well-prepared; however, when you open the menu, you see a special that really draws you in. When the server comes to take your order, you say that you're considering the special instead of your regular dish. You ask the server their opinion and the server says that they really like your regular dish and does not say anything about the special. So, you ask about the special, again, and the reply, this time, is that a couple people have ordered it this evening but most people have been ordering your regular dish and those customers have been very happy with their meals. You decide to disregard the advice, that you requested, and go ahead and order the special.

Your dish is brought to your table and as your server is walking away, you take a bite. As the taste registers and you realize why only a couple of people had ordered the special, a voice in your head loudly screams out "WHY DIDN'T I LISTEN TO MY SERVER!"

When your server comes back to ask how you're enjoying your meal, do you

A: Maintain your pride and say it's delicious and continue forcing several more bites before giving up and requesting a doggie bag for the leftovers, which you promptly throw away upon leaving the restaurant
B: Swallow your pride and admit that the special is awful and ask if can return the special and get your regular dish.
C: ?

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  1. C. I'd thank the server for their advice but say the meal wasnt to your taste. And, no I don't want a doggy bag, thanks. Pay up, tip as usual and leave, telling the server you'll see them next week, or whenever. Make sandwich when you get home.

    A and B just don't work. A becuase why should you force down food you are not enjoying. And B it is not the restaurant's fault that you didnt like your order. Asking for a swap is not OK unless, of course, you are happy to be paying for both plates.

    Seems like most people there also like your regular dish and werent ordering the special. So good for you giving it a try. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. .

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harters

      Me, too -- the waiter was TRYING to tell you, but you weren't listening...so the restaurant shouldn't have to take the loss for your mistake.

      1. If it is awful (badly prepared, over/under cooked, ... ), just say it to the waiter; and order something else (it should be "comped")

        If it is not to your taste (it happens), just byte the bullet and order something else (it should not be comped), say it to the waiter.


        1. I'm not sure where pride comes in at all. It certainly seems like the server was trying to diplomatically steer you away from the special----why choke down food you don't like when your honest opinion can be used as feedback for the kitchen?

          I'm with the others: unless it was prepared incorrectly, either order something else or take care of your hunger somewhere else.

          1. C. Eat as much as you want (probably not going to be much, admittedly), and when it comes time to calculate the tip, add a bit because the server really was trying to help you. The takeaway is that sometimes the "special" isn't always something with which the kitchen does a good job, but rather something that they may have over-ordered or that may go bad.

            1. I'd go for a combination of c) just eat what you can and stop for takeout on the way home if you're still hungry; and b) laughingly tell the server you should have listened but do not attempt to make a swap unless you intend to pay for both dishes. It's not the restaurant's fault you ordered a meal that wasn't to your taste.

              1. B) But I won't return the special -- ok, it depends exactly how bad we are talking about. If it is truly aweful, sure.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  even after the waiter pretty blatantly tried to steer you away from it?

                  Would you pay for the second meal?

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    It really depends how I see the first meal. If I think the first meal is messed up because they executed wrongly, then I will send it back and ask them to do it correctly. I might have only done this once or twice in my entire life. One time there were many charcoal pieces into my burrito. I still remember it because it was back in college and the manager profusely apologized and paid for both my first and second dishes. I didn't think that he has to apologize like this. Things happen.

                    If the first meal was actually executed correctly, and I just happened to hate this dish, then I will likely pay for the first and second meal. I would consider that as my own fault for not knowing the dish.

                    The truth is that I have never ordered a second meal like this. I can pretty much eat anything. If somehow I wasn't in the mood of eating the first meal (and say no fault of their), then I take a few bites on the first meal, and then I will jump to the dessert or something. I don't think I have ever ordered two main courses before.

                2. A server can't outright say a dish is vile. They tried to warn you in the only way they could.

                  If the dish was prepared correctly with safe, fresh food then it is on the diner. The restaurant shouldn't have to comp a meal which simply isn't to your taste.

                  I would eat the sides if I liked them, finish up, skip the doggy bag and tip my server nicely. Once home I'd stand in the glow of the open refrigerator door and decide whats for dinner.

                  1 Reply
                  1. C: I'd tell the Server his recommendation was spot on and leave it at that.

                    1. C: If it is a good restaurant who is in the business of making you happy they will most likely swap it for something else for the difference of the two dishes. I had the same thing happen, except it was the special and I wanted to try something else on the menu. One waiter saw that I was not enjoying my dish and replaced without any fuss. Needless to say I now eat there about twice a month on my own and once a month with a buddy. PS I never expect for my poor choice to be replaced.

                      1. c: call the waiter back, tell him the special wasn't to your liking, and ask him to bring you your regular dish, explaining that you will pay for both.

                        but why didn't you listen?

                        you have a server who knows you and who is being asked by the management to push the special. in spite of obligation to the employer, the server knows you and your taste and just won't push the special on you. yet you ignored the obvious and ordered the special.

                        so why didn't you listen?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          I'd become predictable and wanted to branch out. And the special was wild-caught rockfish (striped bass), my favorite.

                          1. re: Vidute

                            ah, then it's really a shame you didn't like the preparation.

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              I and two others were the only ones to disregard the server's hints. Never again!

                              1. re: Vidute

                                "so till at least tomorrow, ill never....." oh wait...wrong song.