Tag Archives: Applebee’s

Not By The Hair Of My Chinny Chin Salad

8 Feb

February 8, 2012

You may recall that last week my friend Saarah and I had an interesting dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, where the silverware was apparently sold to pay the wait staff and the cherries were going for $45 per pound on the black market. Undaunted, (seriously, we refused to be daunted) we decided that this week we’d give sushi a try.

Since we both live in Brooklyn and there are more Japanese restaurants in Brooklyn than you can shake a stick at, and believe me I tried, we decided to find one in our area. Or more accurately, it was decided that I would find one in the area. I knew of three nearby and one of them was out- Saarah had had a fight with a waiter there. I found reviews online for the other two I knew. One of them had mixed food reviews but the decor was excellent, with a rock garden and waterfall in the lobby and booths where you take off your shoes and sit on the floor. The other one had better food reviews but standard decor. I left the choice up to Saarah and she picked the one with the Japanese booths.

She had a half-day of work so I met her there in the evening and we went in. I was very excited. I even wore clean socks and washed my feet. You never know when the mood to play footsie might strike.

It was close to 6 o’clock on a Friday and the place was empty. Literally. We were the only two customers. Hmmm, that should have been a sign. The waiter brought us to a booth and we took off our shoes and sat down with some difficulty. Rather than sit on the floor, there was a pit for our feet so we could sit normally, albeit at floor level. The difficulty was maneuvering our legs beneath the table which was very low and left only a small space for us in which to sit and tuck in our legs.

The maneuvering accomplished we ordered and before long our food arrived. I was starting with miso soup and Saarah got salad. Not just any salad, but a Japanese Surprise Salad.  I’m sure you know what a Surprise Salad is. It is a salad with a hair in it.

A long one.

And that was it. Saarah shoved the hair with the salad (it was no longer a salad with a hair) at me because it was me who picked the restaurant so of course it was my fault. (And if you read the second paragraph above and thought “Hey, she picked the restaurant!” we’ll just pretend that never happened. She certainly did.) The waiter took his time coming over and when he did he seemed neither concerned nor surprised. He asked, unbelievably, if Saarah was going to finish the salad.

At this point she had her shoes back on and was putting on her coat to leave.

I got up to leave, the waiter walked away, and in the background from the kitchen we heard “where are they going? I’m cooking all their food!”

Not an apology, not a word as we walked out.

The rest of the evening? Grilled chicken salad at a pizzeria, arguing with a Chinese tea salesman, and vegetable shopping.

And now, last night.

Saarah and I found ourselves at Applebee’s and as she was eating her French fries what did she find?

A hair.

Her hair.

For the record, Applebee’s had zero part at all of the hair ending up in her food. Saarah was playing with her hair and it fell in.

Not that it was any less disgusting.

Next time we go out, I am going to insist that she, I, and everyone involved in the making and serving of our food wear one of these:

Monday Night Was Magical 2- Ruby Tuesday

23 Dec

December 23, 2009

So after we left the comic store we still had an hour and half before the game so we decided to go get something to eat. Diagonally across the street was Ruby Tuesday. (BTW- although I think the Rolling Stones are very overrated, that’s a good song. You don’t think the Stones are overrated? Feel free to visit the Mr. Blog Home Office in Damascus to file a complaint.) Anyway, as far as I knew, Ruby Tuesday was another Bennigan’s/Applebee’s/TGI Fridays/Doctor Throat-Tickler’s Foodery or some sort of generic place with WACKY STREETSIGNS WHOOO-HOOOO on the wall and out of state college football on the TV’s.

“They had a lot of complaints awhile ago. I think they redid them all,” my brother remarked.

Complaints? In the name of not doing too much original writing (that’s just work) I went online to www.complaintsboard.com and helpfully (and quickly too) copied and pasted some of the complaints into this blog.

When we went up to the salad bar all of the plates were dirty. We are not going to make a big deal we said. Then our food comes out. My sister’s boyfriend cuts open his chicken sandwich and it was pure pink. The restaurant didn’t compensate us at all for the terrible service and uncooked food. We will never eat at Ruby Tuesday’s again.

Did they compensate them for the hospital bill is what I want to know.

One major complaint and a bill for my lost time is in order. We ordered meal at 8:15 pm Sunday night. There were two adults and one child (3 yr old) in my party. Child’s meal delivered in 10 minutes. No silverware. Had to ask for silverware. Next we discovered that we needed a straw for child’s beverage, and ketchup. It took no less than 3 other servers (other than our waitress) before we finally had the child eating. Here’s the real issue the two adult meals never arrived. We went to complain and were informed by Manager (also cook (?)) at 8:55 PM that our meals were given to other customers. Told that meal would be put on now and we could wait another 20 minutes (ordered New Orleans Seafood and Burgers). We told manager/cook we couldn’t wait. Manager offered to comp meal, offered us cheesecake, offered us a gift certificate, even offered a complaint number. We agreed to accept a gift card – we had waited an hour for our dinner and were still hungry. Manager left to retrieve complaint telephone number and gift certificate. We wait a few more minutes -about 5 minutes- and our waitress shows up with our bill to pay. We walk out. Ruby Tuesday Inc. has lost my business.

Ruby Tuesday Inc? Is that how the NASDAQ lists them? Are these diners selling their stock?

My wife and I visited this store two weeks in a row and ordered a steak and was told they were out of this steak, we would have to order something else.

This is a STEAK PLACE. They RAN OUT OF STEAK in a STEAK PLACE? That’s like Burger King running out of processed meat-type byproduct.

I left out the entry about the worms. Don’t say Mr. Blog doesn’t love his readers.

However, to be fair, I found this on Wikipedia, the lazy blogger’s best friend:

In 2007, the Company began re-branding itself, moving out of the “bar-and-grill” segment of the industry, with changes including higher-quality menu items and handcrafted beverages.

As a part of re-branding, the company began remodeling its restaurants as a part of “a three-year plan to reposition, reinvent and reinvigorate the Ruby Tuesday brand”.Ruby Tuesday CEO and Chairman Sandy Beall explains the re-branding in his letter to shareholders, found in the company’s FY2007 Annual Report:

Elevating Ruby Tuesday above the crowd to a memorable, high-quality dining experience is critical to our growth and success. … We began by bringing our guests fresh, exciting new menu choices, then raised our standards of service, and are now creating an innovative new look and style for each and every restaurant. This revitalization will appeal to our loyal core guests while attracting a new generation of consumers.

HA ha ha, corporate bullshit. See how much space I took up without writing a thing? That’s blogging the lazy way.

OK, now that I was fair, a rare thing, let me now proceed to complain.

We walked into the place and went to the hostess counter. She asked us if we’d like to eat downstairs or upstairs. We looked around. Downstairs was dark brown. Very dark brown. Dark brown seats around black tables, dark brown walls with black accents. Dark brown menus. There were only eight tables and a bar, around which was a group of hipster types with spiked hair and interchangeable clothes.

“We’ll go upstairs.”
“Ohh, nice choice. There’s a salad bar upstairs.”
I wanted to punch her but I was curious about what else she didn’t tell us.
“You can take the stairs or the elevator,” she informed us.
I had enough of stairs at the comic store (see part 1). “We’ll take the elevator.”
“Ohh, nice choice.”
I wanted to punch her again.

Not wanting to dare ask, we turned to find the elevator ourselves. There were three doors nearby, all of which looked nothing at all like elevator doors. They were lined up and partly hidden by potted plants. I assumed that I was looking in the wrong place because there were no buttons on the wall. On my right was a glass wall looking to the street. Behind me was another wall looking out on the street (we were on a corner) and to my left was the hostess, still smiling at me as if her face was botoxed that way. Just before I could ask, one of the can’t-be-the-elevator doors opened with a clank and a groan and the middle door opened to reveal three people crammed into an elevator the size of a typical NYC janitor’s closet.

My brother said “I’m taking the stairs” and went up. I watched the three folks fight their way out and I got on. I never did see the outside buttons but the inside buttons were labeled, helpfully, “basement,” “floor,” and “roof.” I took a leap of faith and pressed “floor.” (“Ohh, nice choice,” I could hear in my head.)

Believe it or not, it was the right choice. And more unbelievably, I beat my brother upstairs as the staircase had more twists and turns than your average small intestine and every landing had people lounging on chairs and simply blocking the way.

We now walked up to the second floor hostess’s podium and she informed us that we’d be seated in a minute (*giggle*) because her server (*giggle*) was seating another customer (*giggle giggle*). Why was she giggling? I DON’T KNOW.

While I waited I looked around. Upstairs was as boring to look at as downstairs was. Dark brown, more dark brown, and black. Nothing on the walls. There was a full length window that should have looked out on a great mid-town vista but instead offered a full view of a dark office building.

The server wandered back and we were brought to our table, which I must admit looked very nice in a very dark brown kind of way. We were given our menus and told that our server (so this server was actually just a seater) is on his way.

I’d like now to point out that every single employee was dressed in total black, not a name tag, not a badge, not a single piece of flair breaking it up. I’m a New Yorker, though, so I’m used to that sort of thing. In fact, I’ve had friends who wore nothing but black and would curl up and fade into a wisp of smoke if they ever wore yellow.

We perused the menus for as long as long as three milliseconds until our server showed up.


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