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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dining Disasters & Deceptions - Part 1

"Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor."

Warmest wishes for a fruitful and pleasant day to you!  May each moment only be outdone by the next.  Yes ~ I am wishing you that good of a day my friend.  Why not?  The only true expense is the effort that you put forward in making it so.  My wishes arrive to you at no cost whatsoever.  Take it, hold onto it, and run with it today.

Today's blog post?  Ugh... It's time for good 'ol Chucky to vent a little bit.  I've noticed a disturbing  denominator when dining out lately.  In a nutshell, whatever happened to common courtesy and ethical restaurateur service?  Have the chain restaurants become more corporative and the up-starts trying their best to follow suit and chase patronage away?

Please allow me to begin with the "Jalapeño Burger".  For my readers who may travel that special little bus out of bed every morning, I am about to exercise some literary license.  It was not a terribly tasteless meal.  Instead, it could best be described as quite mundane.  Introducing the Jalapeño Burger at The Elephant Bar restaurant.

1/2 lb patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and jalapeño relish

Tiffany and I visit The Elephant Bar only when of guest choosing.  There simply are not many vegetarian choices on their menu.  There are many, many items which could easily be offered in vegetarian option but I suppose the corporate office doesn't appreciate my kind.  Maybe my hard-earned dollars don't exchange at the same rate as the carnivorous dollar?  Heck if I know.

But, for this visit, we arrived at my sister-in-law's choosing.  She is head over heels in love with their Santa Barbara burger.  My carnivorous background sensed deliciousness when her meal arrived to the table.  As a carnivore (blasphemy), it appears a most excellent choice of fare.

Tiffany and I?  We were tired of the same old Vegetarian burger.  In the case of The Elephant Bar, the "Gardenburger" menu selection is your standard off-the-shelf Gardenburger patty, lettuce, tomato, and onion slices on a standard commercial hamburger bun.  Quite edible but expensive for an otherwise non-creative vegetarian burger option.  The Elephant Bar asks $9.25 (with fries) and I can make the same thing at home for less than $2.00.  Instead of fries, Tiffany and I substituted their new Wok Fried Rice for an additional cost.

While anxiously awaiting our delicious new "Jalapeño Burger" with substitute Wok Fried Rice, we ordered a side of Rustica Baked Garlic Bread (sans Marinara sauce) for our table.

You'll never guess what we were served!  Go ahead... Take a guess!  Oh well, even in your wildest thought you could not imagine that we were served what could otherwise be described as under-cooked sliced hot dog buns slathered with an acceptable butter-garlic spread.  Take your standard off-the-shelf hot dog bakery bun, separate the top from the bottom half, slice each half into thirds (triangular), spread a little butter-garlic concoction on top each piece, and under cook them before serving.  Walla!  There you have it!  Rustica Baked Garlic Bread is served my friend.

Now that we have enjoyed our "Rustica Baked Garlic Bread" (a table of four did not, er... could not, eat it all), it's time for that dreamy "vegetarian Jalapeño Burger" to be served.  To be totally honest, it looked like your run-of-the-mill standard old Gardenburger served on a standard bakery hamburger bun.  You know... the type that come 8 to a bag at the grocery store.  

Oh well... it's a "Jalapeño Burger".  It has to taste better than it looks.  Right?  After both Tiffany and I took a bite we looked strangely at each other as if to ask, "What the hey?"  We both lifted and inspected our burgers to determine...  Guess what?  Absolutely no "jalapeño relish"!  Notta!  No condiment of any type.  It was that it appeared to be.  A plain old Gardenburger served on a plain old hamburger bun.

We awaited our server's return to table to report the discrepancy.  "No problem."  "I apologize.  Allow me to go get you some relish."  "Again, I apologize."  Maybe it's just me but was this the appropriate response?  Granted that I have never worked in the food services industry but it appears to me the right thing to do would be to take the plates back into the kitchen and right the wrong (as opposed to bringing the missing ingredient to the table).

It actually did not matter because the ambiance of the meal had already been destroyed.  The cost?  Beside losing faith (yet again) in The Elephant Bar restaurant?  The "vegetarian Jalapeño Burger" and side substitute of Wok Fried Rice costs me $10.50 or my hard-earned vegetarian dollars.  Call me an old 4-foot plastic bubble-headed curmudgeon but I think that I should have remained at home and made my own sandwich.  I should have gone to Green Day Cafe or Wrap Planet (establishments which take pride in what they do).

Such is the cost to we vegetarians who attempt to co-mingle with our carnivorous family, friend, and relatives.  Hey!  If everyone would simple give-in and become vegetarian or vegan it would certainly simplify life would it not?

(to be continued)

Hi-dee hi-dee The-Elephant-Bar-restaurant-is-not-recommended-by-Chucky-and-Tiffany-ho my friend.

1 comment:

  1. Not recommended by me either !