I know a couple of people who eat out all the time and hardly feel the pinch. Wish I could say the same about myself.
My reality is that I can’t eat out as often as I’d like to and on the few occasions that I do, I stick to pocket-friendly restaurants. However, everybody craves fine dining, and so once in a while, you make a few sacrifices and treat yourself to a good meal at a classy restaurant.
The sad part is that many times, it’s not worth it, for me at least. First of all, I always feel like I don’t belong. Does anyone else get the same vibe? It must be the way the waiters tend to the other diners. From the smiles and chatter, it’s easy to tell that some people frequent the restaurant and perhaps even leave generous tips.
By the time the waiter finally heads your way, the pressure is on and suddenly, you don’t feel comfortable ordering the less expensive items on the menu after overhearing those at the next table requesting the super pricey dishes. That’s how I ended up ordering Chicken Tandoori, garnished potatoes and Apple Juice.
The amount I ended up paying would have bought me a week’s lunch at my regular eatery so you would think that the food would at least taste good, right? Well, it wasn’t exceptional.
On top of that, the potatoes were unevenly cut and didn’t even fill half the small plate they were served on. I remember thinking, “Well, if I’m going to be charged this much, at least let me have my fill.” Not that day. I left the restaurant nearly as hungry as I’d gone in.
A friend was telling me about a similar experience and how these restaurants get you with fancy names. Sauté onions, beef and vegetable stir fry or some other concocted references that raise your expectations only for the food to be served and there’s nothing exotic about it.
The other thing I find annoying is that usually, the images on the menu look nothing like what you eventually get.
I know that’s how advertising works. The idea is to pique your interest and once you place that order, nothing much really matters but still, to look at this juicy golden brown piece of chicken only to get a scorched, shriveled one is not fair.
I wish I had the courage to call such restaurants out, and probably even pull those tricks we see in the movies where customers eat half the food before throwing strands of hair, flies or some other gross things in there before demanding to see the manager! I doubt it would work here though. If you so much as order the food, you have to pay for it.
Speaking of which, since spending more doesn’t necessarily guarantee a delicious meal, I might as well stick to my regular eatery. At least I get to save some much needed money.