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Feb 19, 2013 11:22 AM

How many times are you willing to try a restaurant? (before forsaking it)

We all had the pleasure of eating something amazing from a new restaurant and that we couldn't wait to go back, but what about the not-so-good one? I am sure we all had the experience of trying a new restaurant to only be disappointed. I am not talking about average. I mean below average and poor.

Do you tend to go back? How many times are you willing to try a restaurant before you "give up" on it?

My answer:
In theory, I am always willing to give a restaurant a second chance (but probably not third). In practice, it can be difficult to go back to a restaurant which I had bad experience -- unless it is convenient. Even if I am willing to give them a second chance, there are just so many other newer and nicer restaurants to go to.

Looking back, I think I only go back 25% of the time for restaurants which I had a poor first impression. Let's face it. I don't even get to go back to some of the good ones due to other difficulties.

Taste aside, there was one time I am sure that I got a food poison from a restaurant. I have not gone back since. Food poison is a dead no-no for me.

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  1. Twice at most. Sometimes once is enough.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        Twice -- counting the first one, right? Which mean only go back once? Or do you mean going back twice?

        I am willing to go back once, and usually I will order something very different from the first time just to see if the restaurant manages to mess up two very dishes. If so, I don't go back.

          1. Depends. How bad was the resto to begin with? If truly dreadful, one bad experience is more than enough. But if I saw unrealized potential in the place, I'll probably wait a while and give it another shot. If still bad, screw it.

            Also, is it a unique niche restaurant providing a cuisine I cannot easily get otherwise? If so, I will be more forgiving. May stretch to three trips. But if it's the sort of place for which there are multitudinous options, one subpar experience banishes it from my restaurant list in perpetuity.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Perilagu Khan

              Excellent point. I think I tend to be more forgiving if it screws up something which it is not specialized. For example, I went to a trendy seafood restaurant once and order a BBQ pork sandwich (I left the South and missed BBQ), which wasn't too bad, but wasn't good either. Since BBQ pork isn't exactly what this restaurant is known for, I am more than happy to go back and try the seafood, which it turns out to be pretty good in my second visit.

              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                That is an interesting way to give a second chance.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  The dining scene in my area is pretty incestuous. A tendency to break in new people for prep and lunch, with the first team finishing dinner prep and dinner.

                  Not saying good or bad, but what I have been told.

                  Will give a third chance if the problem is non food related.

              2. If there is no hope, one and done.

                If there are glimmers of hope, they get a second change and then no more.

                A new BBQ place opened up near my office recently and I had high hopes that were shattered after two trips.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                  Hey Janet,

                  By the way, thanks for jeanmarieok's and your suggestion for my Richmond, VA trip. I will definitely try more of your suggestion in my second visit. Thanks.

                  <A new BBQ place opened up near my office recently and I had high hopes that were shattered after two trips.>

                  Which one is it? So I can avoid it during my next visit.

                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                      Oh that one? I actually heard good things about it. I think the only reason I didn't try it is that it was in the "other direction" where I would want to travel. It has a very awesome name for sure. Flying pig :) Put a smile on my face just to hear that name.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I went the first time right after they opened. BBQ was very dry and their sauces aren't very good....bland and sweet and very ketchupy. The slaw was very good as were the black beans I had for a side.

                        Tried it again a couple of weeks ago. Had the stuffed baked potato with chili, sour cream, bacon and cheddar. And a glass of water. The inside of the potato had been scooped out and all that was left was the skin and there was about 2 T of chili and very little of any other toppings. It was dry and flavorless and I left hungry. When I got back to my office and looked at the menu, I realized I was charged for the combo (w/drink and cornbread) rather than just the potato.