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Charlie Brown's... Wins "Nickel & Dime Award"

First off, I admit there is no actual "Nickel & Dime Award", but if there was one, Charlie Brown's would surely win it.

I visited the Millburn restaurant tonight for Prime Rib with my family. The food was ok, and to be honest I enjoyed it for what it was. The cost of the Prime Rib was listed as $24 on the menu, however when I received the bill I noticed another $1.75 fee that said "horseradish crust". I hadn't ordered any sort of special horseradish crust, so I asked the waiter about the charge. He explained that it was a new policy at Charlie Brown's that a serving of horseradish (which is maybe one and half tablespoons) now costs $1.75 extra. It's true, $1.75 is not a lot of money, but frankly I expected that the horseradish, which I did ask for, was a normal condiment for Prime Rib, so I had no reason to think that there would be an extra charge. Certainly I had never been charged for it anywhere else in the past (or at Charlie Brown's for that matter). In addition, it wasn't actual horseradish that was served, but rather it was horseradish sauce. The manager removed the charge, but confirmed it was the new "policy". The entire matter left a poor taste in my mouth (no pun intended).

In retrospect I'm uncertain whether I'm right or wrong. Am I being unreasonable?

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  1. No....

    1. it not a crust...and it wasn't mentioned...so there should be no charge.

    2. I would argue the condiment should be gratis...especially since the charge is not list and it was not mentioned at time of ordering or being requested, stating it was an extra charge, e.g. much like they do for Bleu Cheese dressing.

    3. $1.75 is a lot of money for what they gave you.

    1. That doesn't surprise me after the way the chain was decimated a few years back. You don't expect the remaining ones to thrive.

      1 Reply
      1. My question is; What is listed on the menu as an extra charge? I believe.....and I'm not sure but I do think they added "sauces" on the menu. Either way the manager did the right thing, if it's on the menu in all fairness you can't be to made at the server for not pointing it out. If it's not on the menu you are 100% correct and the manager did the right thing.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jrvedivici

          There is no "added sauces" section on the menu and the waiter never mentioned there would be and extra charge. The only "add-ons" listed on the menu are "Sherried Button Mushrooms, Horseradish Crust or Bleu Cheese Crumbles for only $1.79". I didn't ask for any of those, just for a bit of horseradish on the side, as a condiment. They don't charge extra for a side order of cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, BBQ sauce, Orange Horseradish sauce or lemon butter sauce... they only charge extra for regular horseradish sauce, which has always been free in the past, and is free at every other restaurant I've been ever ordered Prime Rib at.

          1. re: creamfinger

            Well there you go, next time order the Orange Horseradish sauce, sans the orange! (Do they really have an orange horseradish sauce? And if so for what?

            -OR-

            Order it crusted, on the side!

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Yes, they really have orange horseradish sauce; it's for the coconut shrimp I believe.

        2. No, you're not unreasonable. If it's not listed on the menu, and the waiter doesn't tell you, it shouldn't be on the bill. (Although admittedly, they could put it on the menu at the end of all the entrees rather than near the item it would reasonably be ordered with.)

          The winner, though, is still Kicky's in Aberdeen. Mark ordered a spicy dish and reminded them that he wanted it spicy, and they added 50 cents to the bill for "spicy"!

          1 Reply
          1. re: eleeper

            Seriously? I happen to like Kicky's a lot they have some great lunch specials. I always ask for extra of the hot (red) sauce on the side, now I'm going to have to look and see if they charge me for it. (not that it would matter, just out of curiosity)

          2. AS LONG as they have it listed with the price on the menu
            ...it must be paid....you can complain about "horseradish" and "horseradish sauce" however, if it's listed...pay it
            restaurants are ALWAYS trying to "get over" on a customer, it's the customer who has to protect their interests at all times...........

            1 Reply
            1. re: LEOFONT

              I believe I mentioned, the extra charge isn't listed anywhere on the menu (we checked when we got the bill), and the waiter did not tell us about it when we placed our order. We only discovered it's existence when we were handed the bill, where it was listed as "horseradish crust".

            2. Reminds me of a McDonalds I visited about 20 years ago. There were no ketchup despensers and no ketchup packets were given with my meal and when I asked for ketchup they told me that it was 5 cents per packet. When I said "you've got to be kidding," they told me that it was their policy.

              1. Not unreasonable. there's a new place in the Boston/Cambridge area that charges something like $6.00 for a side of mustard. Haven't been, so it might be some phenomenal home-made stuff, but still, I know I wouldn't pay it, especially since it's not listed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eastbroadway

                  We clearly have different definitions of "unreasonable".

                2. http://charliebrowns.com/wp-content/u...

                  There is only a listing for horeseradish crust, not horseradish sauce. They do charge $1.79 for blue cheese crumbles and sherried mushrooms, but yet toppings for cheeseburgers cost .50 and include bacon, mushrooms, sauteed onions, guac or chili.

                  There is no mention of extra charge for condiments.

                  Wow. They are not cheap for a chain. Almost all their starters are $8-10.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jerseygirl111

                    Their prices have gone up substantially since coming under their new ownership.