Tonight, my fiancée and I went down to the National Zoo in Washington DC in order to take in the sights and sounds of Zoo Lights, the annual celebration of lights and animals. It was a great time and it turned out to be pretty good weather considering it rained a little bit today. Anyway, afterwards we went to a restaurant near the Woodley Park Metro Stop and we were put to a decision. There was a French restaurant next to an Italian restaurant and, after reviewing the menus, we picked the Italian restaurant. Big mistake… I’ll explain in a minute, after I give you two quick tips about picking a restaurant when you have a choice between a few that you know nothing about.
1. Zagat rated vs. Not-Zagat rated: Go with Zagat rated because at the very least you know someone with a discerning palate thinks it’s pretty good. The French restaurant was Zagat rated, 2007 and 2008, whereas the Italian restaurant wasn’t.
2. Don’t go to an ethnic restaurant run by someone from another ethnicity: When we walked in, we were met by a few Pakistani/Indian/Southeast Asian (I have no idea, I didn’t ask) guys and that should’ve clued us in that we were in for a surprise.
After reviewing the menu, I chose a Sea Bass and Shrimp dish. What came out… was tilapia. Yep, they pulled a switcheroo and thought I wouldn’t notice except I did (if you’ve had either, you know that tilapia doesn’t taste anything like sea bass, absolutely nothing). So, did I call them out on it? Nope, what we did was just pay out bill, left a thirteen cent tip (it was a freaking $55 bill too), and left. Now, before say we ripped off the waiter, the restaurant was dead (we were the only people in there for most of our meal) and there was basically only one server and he looked like he was the owner. My take is that they had a dead night and were looking to squeeze a little extra profit out of your ticket… (the kitchen doesn’t swap out fish because they independently think they can earn a little extra more) either way I’m okay with the fact that I screwed them because they tried to screw us. (yes yes, very passive aggressive, but I’m okay with that).
That being said, how would you have handled it?
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