Damn those Lying Restaurants

Twice this week, I’ve found my taste buds tantalized by lush, descriptive menus.  Then, my food comes.  I prepare to take that much awaited first bite and WHAM! My cravings are beaten into submission all because the menu description was way off the mark.

CASE 1: Bonfire’s Jerk Pork Sandwich

Last Thursday, the Bonfire Lounge on SE Stark was the source of my affliction.  It started with the following menu description:

Jerk Pork Sandwich. House jerked shredded pork with lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Served on a hoagie with a side of our Caribbean coleslaw and Sweet potato fries.

Mmmm. I craved that bold Carribean flavor profile — a bouquet of Scotch Bonnet peppers, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, onion, nutmeg, and garlic. But what I got was just plain ‘ol pork seasoned with salt, pepper, a little garlic and grilled to perfection.

Yes, it was grilled to perfection.  But, it was NOT Jerk.  Nothing about my pork sandwich even remotely resembled Jerk.

CASE 2: Marriott’s Seared Salmon Sandwich

This evening, it was a restaurant at the Sea-Tac Marriot that led me into culinary disillusionment.  The menu item: Seared Salmon Sandwich.

I expected the color and texture of my salmon to be something like this:

Seared Salmon

Unfortunately, it looked a little more like this:

I am inclined to believe these restaurateurs are liars. However, I am open to other possibilities.

  • Classic Bait-and-Switch strategy.
  • Cooks are food-illiterate and need a refresher course in cooking 101.
  • Menu writer assumes customer is food-illiterate and will write just about anything to lure the unsuspecting diner into buying  the dish.

2 Responses to “Damn those Lying Restaurants”

  1. You Americans are too sweet. I’m amazed how few of you send things back, and lets face it, sending it back is what you have to do. It lets them know there’s a problem, gets them to fix it and gets you a better meal… or at least a discount, which is as it should be.

  2. Donna Arriaga Says:

    Right you are!

    My approach was all wrong. In both occasions, I brought up the misleading menu descriptions to my servers… but I was WAY too nice. I ended up casually “chatting” with my server about the misleading menu description. In the end, however, I inevitably dropped the ball and didn’t send it back.

    Clearly, I’ve gotta change the way I dine, and I’m gonna go at it Fight Club style. (er, food club?) First assignment of Food Club: When faced with a menu item that just doesn’t measure up, I’m sending it back because, as you pointed out, “sending it back is what you have to do”.

    Thanks, Grant!

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