Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Screwed for 40.00, Thank You Ground Patti

It started out as such a nice day, the same day that was described earlier. The freedom, the weather and the friends; I was a happy invalid. As evening neared I eyed the refrigerator where the homemade chicken soup was stored. This is the same chicken soup that was so delicious when first served but after eating it for the last six meals, I thought it might be time for a change in menu. Maybe I would go out and drive through a little fast food place for a greasy burger. Maybe I would request they add extra grease as the diet I've been maintaining has been sadly lacking in unhealthy food that is saturated with fat. We all know that's the reason unhealthy food is eaten. It tastes GOOD! Another 1/2 hr passes and I decide that instead of blowing the diet I've been on, I would instead pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave and save 1200 calories. The phone rang. The daughter was calling to ask if I had eaten dinner yet. I'm thinking she has cooked something delicious. The daughter likes to cook. I do not and you can note that if you have ever ate anything I've cooked. There was no wonderful meal to be delivered to the invalid. I suddenly become very "invalid" like if it suits my purposes. She wanted to go "out" and have a steak and that sounded like a better then awesome idea to me.
The daughter arrives and we cram me into the front seat of her Jeep and away we go. She suggests dining at the Ground Patti and assures me they serve steaks. I want to note right now; truck stops serves steaks too but it wouldn't be a place that I would want to order one. I told her that I thought the Ground Patti was a specialty hamburger shop; trusting her decision we made our way to this establishment and unloaded me with crutches across the parking lot and into this eatery. I did take note that we were maybe the second table there with people. Not a busy night maybe?
We were seated, menus passed and ice tea delivered at which time the waitress took our order. I thought we were going to have crisp medium cooked rib eyes. The rib eyes were all frozen but she could served us sirloins and they were oh so much better then the rib eyes and even though they were more expensive she would just charge us the rib eye price. Huh? The daughter and I both looked at each other in doubt on this information. A rib eye better then sirloin? She assured us she was right on track. We ordered our steaks, munched on the salads till the steaks were served and eagerly dove into the steaks. Remember, I have been eating chicken soup for 6 meals straight and a steak was worth blowing my diet.
Before even cutting into the steaks, the daughter leaned down and sniffed her steak and commented "it smells like they put barbecue powder on them". That should have been the first clue. I picked up my steak knife and fork and tried to cut a piece. I'm puzzled and worried. If I can't cut it with a knife, do you think I can chew it enough to swallow it? I took a bite and chewed and chewed and it grew and grew. It felt like that piece of meat got larger the longer I chewed on it. Picking up my napkins I, oh so lady like, spit that chunk of gristle into the napkin and again attacked the steak. Did I really think I was going to find a tender tasty area of this meat?
The waitress came by to ask how the meal was and I politely and kindly told her about the meat. She apologized. I sat and looked at this 40.00 meal and was appalled that any place would served food worse then what I could cook. How can that be? If I wanted lousy food, wouldn't I have stayed home and whipped up some horrific nasty stuff on my own? After eating 1/3 of the baked potato that was evidently cooked sometime during the previous 8 hrs, I packed it in and laid my napkin across the steak. I had cut about 4 pieces from this meat. It was left on the plate to be taken away. The waitress takes the plates away and before I left I told her to tell the cook that the steak was nothing but gristle and tough. I paid the bill and left astonished that the management never showed up to check on dissatisfied customers. He was standing there when the plates were bought back and he knew the steaks weren't consumed. I've seen people eat everything on their plates then complain that it wasn't good. This was inedible and the returned plates testified to this.
I phoned that restaurant when I got home and asked to speak to the manager. Do you know what they asked me when I asked? "Who is calling?" Huh? I've never had someone ask who is calling when placing a call to management.
The manager, and I use this term loosely, came on the line. He told me he was standing in the back and saw the plates and knew we had complaints. I inquired as to why he didn't make an attempt to talk to us. He said "I was busy" and I'm thinking about the four tables with customers and to this I replied in less then kind manner "And you couldn't have told the waitress to have us wait until you could see us?" He stuttered and stammered and finally got hostile. Before the hostility, he did offer a discount the next time we came in. A discount? Do you really think I would order another steak? A 5.00 discount? Oh..he did say he gave us a 2.00 discount on the steaks each because we weren't satisfied although he never presented himself and the discounted price we thought was the difference between the rib eyes and sirloins. To this he says "oh no, the rib eyes are more expensive then the sirloins". Ok. The waitress lied?
I told him, that's great. I feel so much better knowing I only paid 40.00 for salad, tea and 1/2 of a baked potato.
Ground Patti, your management sucks, your food, or at least the steaks are a disgrace and I shall never grace your door again.
I'll call tomorrow to talk to the day manager. Yes, I'll do this. I will make that call and explain to him/her.
The upside is, I'm still on my diet! Yep, going out to eat wasn't a diet breaker and tomorrow evening it will be a Lean Cuisine.

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