For the first time in my life I stiffed a waiter. Not just a waiter, a pretty darn good waiter (up to a point).
For the first time in my life I will not be going back to a restaurant that had some great food that made me want to return.
Why? Read on...
My sisters and I took my daughter-in-law out for her birthday. One of the stops on the weekend treat was dinner on Saturday at Taqueria Los Hermanos on Lawrenceville Hwy in Lilburn.
We all ordered something different. My dish, a shrimp dish, was excellent. My other sister's dish and my daughter-in-laws food were also good to excellent. The Cesina Steak Salad was a colossal fail. The way the staff reacted to problems was worse.
We noticed that my steak-ordering sister was mostly moving her food around. I'd noted when the dish arrived that it was a rather sparse plate, especially when compared to the large, heaped plates the rest of us received. However, I "assumed" that she ordered light.
I heard her say that the dish was swimming in grease. She pushed the lettuce aside and wow, the entire bottom of the curved dish was grease. She tried a bite of the steak and said it was so tough she couldn't chew it.
Not wanting to ruin the fun time we were having she didn't say anything -- not that the waiter came over to ask if everything was OK (something we didn't think about until later when discussing the experience in the vehicle). When we asked why she wasn't eating & she told us we told her to tell the waiter. She said no, she didn't want to put a damper on our day.
Didn't work! My daughter-in-law said something when the waiter came over to bring our bill. He told us "that's just the way the dish was fixed". He said it was the dressing on the bottom. Shrugged it off, ignored the fact that she'd told him the meat was leather.
My daughter-in-law had the same sauce on her chicken salad dish, but she'd asked for it in a bowl on the side. She wouldn't eat it, said it was disgusting. I stuck my finger in it and tried it. Yep, disgusting. The oil was rancid in my opinion. My other sister tried it. She said maybe not rancid that to her it just tasted like oil that had gotten hot and sat around for a long time, was old. Horrible either way.
When we asked to speak to the manager, the waiter said he wasn't there and walked off.
He also told my sister it looked like she'd eaten enough of the dish. She had not.
Now we're all about as honest as the best of the best. We're not ones to complain. I've never stiffed a waiter. His attitude really ticked us off. We'd have been happy with an apology and maybe giving us the cheese dip free ($3.75) or an offer of a free dish the next time we came in.
We didn't tip the waiter. The tip amount worked out to be about the cost of the bad dish. I HATE the idea of not giving a hard-working waiter a tip. I NEVER take out my problems with a dish on the wait staff. It's not their fault when the cook screws up or there's a problem with the food.
In this case, the waiter got a big fail. His attitude means that four separate families and their friends will not be coming back. The three of us that enjoyed our food had all talking about bringing our respective spouses and family back, making Taquiria Los Hermanos a regular haunt.
I seriously doubt our opinions will hurt the restaurant hugely. They've been there for a long time, the place was hopping while we were there. I would guess that little $10.50 dish will probably cost them hundreds and hundreds of dollars from us though.
If you do go there stay away from the steak dishes (Cesina Steak Salad in particular) and definitely do NOT get anything with their "extra virgin olive oil" and lemon juice dressing. If you insist on trying the dressing be sure to get it on the side.