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Really Bad Plates

MGZ Dec 9, 2012 07:29 AM

We have had a string of outings to various restaurants in the relatively recent past that have resulted in some truly lousy offerings. For example, on a recent trip to a local New American restaurant, I ordered their three ham appetizer (From the menu: "Taste of Three Lands - Prosciutto di Parma, Serrano, Speck - Fresh marinated local tomatoes, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Basil Infused Olive Oil) and it came to the table with the meat practically frozen. Why in the world would anyone serve a ham sampler with the meat too cold to taste? I mean they're cured meats that need not be refrigerated in the first place! Needless to say, I decided the cheese plate would be a bad idea.

More recently, I was drinking at a Manasquan bar with my Dad and decided to try the Tuna bites they offer. Dear God, it was so f*cking salty that I almost choked - and I love my salts. I may drink there again, but I think I'll walk across Main Street to 7-11 for nachos or a hot dog if I feel that I need something to eat.

So, my fellow Jersians, I can't help but ask that you share with the rest of us (for sh*ts and giggles, of course), what were some of your most recent "For the love of all things holy, don't ever serve this crap again" moments? What's the lousiest thing a restaurant has served you?

  1. Angelina Dec 10, 2012 01:05 PM

    Many years ago, I went to a holiday party at Alperti's in Clark. I ordered my linguine fra diablo. When it arrived, there were about 15 pices of jalapeno chopped up and on top of the overvcooked pasta. Then, when I said this is NOT fra diablo, they told me it was and if I wanted something else, the kitchen was very backed up, so I should just pick the jalepenos out myself. the WORST meal ever!! I never went back.

    1. c
      chefdaddyo Dec 10, 2012 10:17 AM

      Casual bar / restaurant on the Delaware canal opened up in early summer. Fantastic outdoor deck space (which we love). Great beer selection, and superb wings, priced about 3 bucks cheaper than anywhere else. Perfect sunny day last month, and we strayed from the wings and ordered fried calamari. Server brings the order. Enjoying our beer and conversation, I noticed the few loose rings we'd eaten, and a softball size mass remained. I investigated wirh my fork, and discovered a doughy, raw mass. Server kindly took it back. Returns with the same calamari, the raw ones now golden, and the cooked ones now dark brown. I pictured a person in a chef's coat with fingers crossed hioping I wouldn't send it back. What were they thinking? Zero pride in their work! Not going back, despite the great wings.

      1. JustJake Dec 9, 2012 03:25 PM

        Very close friend of mine had breakfast at a notable & popular 'breakfast' eatery today located in the city affectionately noted as the "Jewel of the Jersey Shore." When I asked how it went (he had invited me as he was making his way down from Oceanport), he commented that his huevos rancheros were warm to cold with his gf's corned beef hash benedict having a cold (not warm) hollandaise. To top off the disaster, the english muffin that it sat on was not toasted.

        How the hell can stuff like this come out of a kitchen? When I asked if he brought it to the attention of his server, he replied Nope and in the next breath...."I'll never go back".

        4 Replies
        1. re: JustJake
          ebchower Dec 9, 2012 06:51 PM

          We are we so afraid to name names lately?

          1. re: ebchower
            equal_Mark Dec 9, 2012 09:43 PM

            Because we are we!

            1. re: equal_Mark
              JustJake Dec 10, 2012 04:06 AM

              Exactly Mark, we are we and we are all together.

          2. re: JustJake
            JustJake Dec 10, 2012 03:35 AM

            EB, I wouldn't hesitate to give the restaurant 'up', had I personally had that experience. For those who can read in between the lines, they will obviously know what place I'm referring to.

            Further, I will reserve judgement until I personally dine there - not that I would proactively seek out the place for breakfast. One never knows as I could be invited (as I was yesterday) etc somewhere down the road by friend or foe - in the meantime, when I want to do breakfast, Frank's will do just nicely, thank you. Fresh orange juice, eggs over easy and rye toast is all that this writer typically requires. ;-)

          3. equal_Mark Dec 9, 2012 11:42 AM

            Seeing a menu item touting "fresh local tomatoes" in December would have given me pause to start...

            Speaking of tomatoes, This was served to me at Charlie Browns in Tinton Falls before they closed. I don't normally put tomato on my burgers. I prefer a slice of fresh onion, a squirt of Lea & Perrins and some Heinz catsup. Bear in mind that this was September, and there was still a load of fresh, vine ripened Jersey tomatoes available at very good prices at any local market.

            Instead, somebody in the kitchen actually felt that THIS was perfectly good to send out on the plate with my otherwise tasty burger. A half ripened hothouse tomato top, cut crooked so that it was like a half inch thick on one side. Bear in mind that these images were not color adjusted. Someone had actually taken a paring knife and cored out the remainder of the stem and assumed that the greenish chewy rind that was left would make a dandy addition to my meal...

            1. e
              ebchower Dec 9, 2012 10:26 AM

              The tuna bites reminded me of the baja rolls appetizer at Yogi's in Cranbury. Didn't care for them.

              1. e
                eleeper Dec 9, 2012 10:15 AM

                The worst was probably a bowl of chicken soup at a restaurant that shall remain nameless because it is usually pretty good. In this case, though, it seems as though the shaker lid came off the shaker when they were salting it, and it was *INCREDIBLY* salty. I figure these things happen.

                1. angelo04 Dec 9, 2012 09:12 AM

                  Recently I went to Cafe Luna in Old Bridge across from the Ford dealership where 9 and 18 intersect. I really knew better and should not have gone. But it is so close to home and convenient and we were pressed for time.

                  Ordered the Calamari Dorati - Baked Calamari with Breadcrumbs. It was awful. It was rubbery and mushy at the same time. Not a dash of seasoning, no salt whatsoever. Bread crumbs dry and flavorless. Disgusting. Never again.

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