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  • FIRST POST
    • organic wanabe
    • By organic wanabe 2nd Feb 07, 10:50 AM
    • 801Posts
    • 755Thanks
    organic wanabe
    Do You Ever Eat Out and Wish You Hadn't Bothered?
    • #1
    • 2nd Feb 07, 10:50 AM
    Do You Ever Eat Out and Wish You Hadn't Bothered? 2nd Feb 07 at 10:50 AM
    My DH is never very keen to eat out - but then he doesn't have to do the food shopping and cooking (although, to be fair, he does many other things around the house). Anyway we ate out last night and we were all disappointed. The food was uninspiring and, in some cases, overcooked. I know we should have complained - but we didn't.

    Tonight I'm looking forward to HM lentil soup, HM pizza (trying a new recipe for the base - thanks Toxic Lemon) and salad, then HM yoghurt and fruit and, of course, a bottle of wine! I know it will all be delicious (provided I don't drink the wine before I start cooking ), made from good ingredients and costing very little. The joys and benefits of being OS.

    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 20-02-2007 at 12:06 PM.
Page 9
    • FrugalAndFabulous
    • By FrugalAndFabulous 13th May 18, 6:30 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    FrugalAndFabulous
    I love to eat out, more for the whole experience of going out rather than the food. And not having to cook/wash up is a real treat too. But honestly since I had kids I nearly always wish i hadn't bothered Granted my kids are young but I think I need to get a better grasp of expectations vs. reality because it costs a fortune and it's never the relaxing family meal I envisioned
    • beedeedee
    • By beedeedee 13th May 18, 6:52 PM
    • 957 Posts
    • 1,278 Thanks
    beedeedee
    I like to eat out occasionally and generally choose something I wouldn't normally cook at home. I do have certain requests though....steak to be rare, lamb to be pink etc and if anything is then overcooked or inedible, I will tell them and request a fresh portion or have it removed from my bill.
    When they come along to ask if everything is satisfactory (which forms the contract during the meal) I only ever answer "Yes, so far".....just in case!
    I will tip good service, but decline service charge if I get the choice.
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 13th May 18, 7:58 PM
    • 1,393 Posts
    • 7,168 Thanks
    THIRZAH
    We took MIL out to lunch today. We'd been to the pub before just after Christmas and the food was ok. MIL had booked but there seemed to be some confusion about the table. There was also a "Under New Management" notice. After buying drinks and finally finding a table we asked for menus only to be told that there was only a carvery on Sundays. We had to get tickets from the bar and choose between large or small servings. MIL and I went to look at the carvery and after checking chose large as it was only £1.50 more. We got two slices of meat, a rubbery yorkshire, a solid stuffing ball and then a choice of overcooked veg-except for the roasties which were underdone.We had turkey, DH had beef and for some reason got more meat but still got the stuffing ball!

    Never again.I really don't know what to do about food when we visit MIL. She doesn't really want to cook but doesn't want to let me take over her kitchen.
    • Eenymeeny
    • By Eenymeeny 14th May 18, 9:23 AM
    • 1,849 Posts
    • 6,779 Thanks
    Eenymeeny
    So glad that someone resurrected this thread, I must have missed it first time around! When we first retired we thought that it was a treat to have a pub lunch and as OH said it meant that 'I didn't have to cook later' (!)
    We've now realised that quality can be very different within pub chains and can be very disappointing, although we may have enjoyed a meal previously with what are probably the same ingredients.
    We try to search out independents these days as there seems to be more care involved in the whole experience. I try to remember the good ones for when we are in that area again and I do find that TripAdvisor etc. can be helpful, but not infallible!
    I must admit that OH often comments that he's never eaten better than at home so I suppose I should take some pleasure from that...
    The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.
    Thanks to everyone who contributes to this wonderful forum. I'm very grateful for the guidance and friendliness that I always receive from you.
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 14th May 18, 1:33 PM
    • 1,245 Posts
    • 19,981 Thanks
    Siebrie
    DH and I are not excellent cooks, but still better than most restaurant chefs in all the restaurants I've been to in Belgium. If I have to eat non-perfect food, I prefer to NOT pay 20euros for the privilege


    For instance, the mussel restaurant I went to (reknowned for having 20 types of mussel dish on the menu) served mussels with sand and little crabs in.... and expected me to cough up 25 euros (22 GBP). That was only once, and I've been dissuading people from going there ever since.
    Wombling to wealth 2018 € 801,77= £ 691.62
    Still a womble 2017 #25 € 7116,68= £ 6309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 € 3.483,31= £ 2,969.05
    • Hobsons Choice
    • By Hobsons Choice 15th May 18, 11:24 AM
    • 1,056 Posts
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    Hobsons Choice
    DH and I usually go for carveries. We have three 'favourites' around here that charge between £6-£7 and they're good value for money really. I like that fact that you can pile the plate with veg rather than potatoes or chips.
    Normal people worry me.
    • catkins
    • By catkins 15th May 18, 1:07 PM
    • 5,550 Posts
    • 11,839 Thanks
    catkins
    Me and DH rarely eat out now. We just got sick of saying to each other "you can make this better". Also the price now of eating out is ridiculous.

    On the rare occasion we do eat out we almost always choose Indian. We can both cook pretty good curries and I make lovely onion bhajis (not greasy like a lot of restaurants) but just cannot make decent naan bread. I can make parathas, chapatis and puris but never any joy with naan. I definitely think you need a tandoor oven to make a good one
    The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie
    • maman
    • By maman 15th May 18, 4:42 PM
    • 18,717 Posts
    • 111,776 Thanks
    maman
    So glad that someone resurrected this thread, I must have missed it first time around!
    Originally posted by Eenymeeny
    I love to eat out, more for the whole experience of going out rather than the food.
    Originally posted by FrugalAndFabulous

    I have to say that we eat out to enjoy the company of friends but the number of meals I really enjoy is getting less and less.


    I recently ate at a smart restaurant that had taken nouvelle cuisine to such ridiculous lengths that the dishes were no more than tiny snacks. Then they had the cheek to add 12.5% service charge. I find this is increasingly common.


    When I go to pub chains I find it more and more difficult to find food that's remotely healthy. Someone posted about Greene King but the chain seems to have varying menus. There's one I use where I can get steak, salad and new potatoes but that's not true of every branch.


    It's the same with cafes. In some, everything has either bread or pastry and vegetables are a rarity.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th May 18, 6:50 PM
    • 20,979 Posts
    • 56,556 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I have to say that we eat out to enjoy the company of friends but the number of meals I really enjoy is getting less and less.


    I recently ate at a smart restaurant that had taken nouvelle cuisine to such ridiculous lengths that the dishes were no more than tiny snacks. Then they had the cheek to add 12.5% service charge. I find this is increasingly common.


    When I go to pub chains I find it more and more difficult to find food that's remotely healthy. Someone posted about Greene King but the chain seems to have varying menus. There's one I use where I can get steak, salad and new potatoes but that's not true of every branch.


    It's the same with cafes. In some, everything has either bread or pastry and vegetables are a rarity.
    Originally posted by maman
    Service charge = no tip (at least it does to me).
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 15th May 18, 6:59 PM
    • 3,265 Posts
    • 2,132 Thanks
    Robin9
    A colleague and I went out for a pub lunch and ordered from their "new menu". The meals duly arrived - my friend said " this is not what I ordered" and called the waitress who took the meal back to the kitchen. Shen returned with the same plate and carried a cardboard box - "this is what was in the box"
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • JIL
    • By JIL 15th May 18, 10:59 PM
    • 3,237 Posts
    • 20,847 Thanks
    JIL
    I have no choice but to eat out when I'm away with work, I do quite enjoy a carvery, but I do like the bistro Pierre chain and Bills, they do some set menus that are good value.
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 16th May 18, 8:10 AM
    • 12,806 Posts
    • 177,018 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    We're always slightly disappointed with eating out except in one restaurant we go to which is a vegan one and the food there is always wonderful because they only use the freshest of ingredients. They also make the best coffee we've ever tasted.

    I think part of the problem is the glossy pictures in most pub menu's which lead to a feeling of let down when the food that arrives on the plate bears no resemblance to what is shown in the picture. The other part of the problem is strangely the availability of so many ingredients for all the exotics and the plethora of recipes to use them from all the cuisines of the world online which let us all 'dip a toe' and cook good food at home and this leads to adverse comparisons with what is sometimes served when we eat out.

    I still think one of the best meals you can buy in is good old Fish and Chips but it has to be from the 'right' chippy doesn't it?
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 16th May 18, 9:23 AM
    • 11,404 Posts
    • 30,584 Thanks
    suki1964
    I cant mind the last time I had a meal out that I enjoyed enough to make me want to go back again

    Food out around these parts is boring. Its the same menu everywhere and there is no such thing as fine dining

    It says something that the biggest and most popular place to eat can have a two hour queue for a table, where you order at the bar and have to get your own cutlery and condiments and dessert, and you pay handsomely for the privilege

    So we rarely bother and for us we prefer to get a Chinese take out

    Here a good place to eat is judged so purely on portion size, the bigger the portions the more popular the place is
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • maman
    • By maman 16th May 18, 12:18 PM
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    maman
    Service charge = no tip (at least it does to me).
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Yes, of course, but would you normally tip 12.5% of the bill?
    • Serendipitious
    • By Serendipitious 16th May 18, 12:51 PM
    • 5,445 Posts
    • 65,179 Thanks
    Serendipitious
    My aunt had a wonderful word when dining out was disappointing - when asked how everything was, she would say it was 'adequate.'

    I generally avoid eating out because of the price and the inferior quality compared with home cooking. But a few weeks ago, I was in town with a friend and we were starving. We went into a pub, but we weren't attracted by anything on the lunch menu and I commented that I just fancied egg and chips. The barman said they could do that, and within fifteen minutes I had a steaming hot plate of eggs and chips. Perfect! And very very cheap.
    “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”




    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th May 18, 1:15 PM
    • 20,979 Posts
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    Pollycat
    Yes, of course, but would you normally tip 12.5% of the bill?
    Originally posted by maman
    I'd probably tip 10% so they'd end up with slightly more than no service charge and a tip.


    I have once refused to pay a service charge as the service and food was so appalling.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 16th May 18, 4:11 PM
    • 64,933 Posts
    • 381,152 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I rarely eat out, if I do it's either a carvery or a chain pub meal. Usually I find that menus contain expensive dishes containing ingredients I don't fancy or like. I like my food "plain" and so I can "see what I've got".

    A carvery, therefore, suits me best - but I don't like carvery meat, so I'll usually go for an "empty plate" which most offer - which is £1-2 cheaper than the meat version .... I like the idea of being able to pick and choose the food I want and putting it where on the plate I wish, next to what, how much of each item I have .... and where the gravy's poured and ignored. Having said that, some carveries are vile; the last one I had was a Toby and it was appalling, including the sweetcorn that tasted as if they'd washed it in fairy liquid!
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 16th May 18, 4:26 PM
    • 22,727 Posts
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    lisyloo
    I am rarely disspointed, but on the whole I tend to plan and check menus and reviews.

    If we chose somewhere to suit family or because it's convenient then my expectations would be lower so again not often dissapointed.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 16th May 18, 6:31 PM
    • 1,616 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    I think that eating out should be an experience but unless you are lucky it simply isn't. We used to eat out at least twice a week, but now we prefer to cook our own most of the time unless we are eating out with friends, then we are there for the company really. We buy quality food so if we eat out the quality rarely matches what we can produce at home but the price is not reflective of that.

    We really don't mind paying for meals out and are happy to pay top whack if the food reflects the price tag.
    • maman
    • By maman 17th May 18, 4:21 PM
    • 18,717 Posts
    • 111,776 Thanks
    maman
    I'd probably tip 10% so they'd end up with slightly more than no service charge and a tip.


    I have once refused to pay a service charge as the service and food was so appalling.
    Originally posted by Pollycat

    I did the same. It was, to name and shame, at the Hilton in Brighton. We'd gone there for lunch during a conference. The waitress tipped a jug of water over a colleague but to be fair took the cost of his meal off the bill. I wasn't blaming her for that, it was an accident.


    The reason I asked for my service charge to be removed was that the service was so incredibly slow and the menu so limited that there was no way I was paying for service. I told the waitress that it wasn't her fault but that the slow kitchen (or lack of staff chosen by management) was the reason so she could feed my comment back if she chose.


    The service was so slow that some people were asking for doggy bags so that they could eat their meals on the run as our 1.5 hours lunch break was about to run out!
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