Cheeseburger Gothic

Rosé Revolution

Posted March 23, 2013 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

All the rain really fucked up the wet season, didn't it? Normally those first couple of months of the year, January especially, are like my annual drinking holiday. (Which is why come February I'm always a couple of kilos heavier, and in March I'm paying for it at the gym).

I scored a great gig this summer just past when a box of premium dry Rosé wines dropped on my front steps with instructions to 'enjoy'.

I've always been a fan of rosé as a summer drink. The heavy reds are impossible to get down your gullet after the mecury tops 30 plus and even some of the bigger fuck off whites, the chardys especially, can be too heavy to contemplate when you're faced with the usual groaning holiday buffet.

So yeah, I enjoyed. I've been meaning to blog about my faves all summer but wanted to wait until I moved into my new digs here. Below are six the best.

Some of them I'm very familiar with. The Rogers and Rufus is a fave and I tend to have a couple of bottles lying around any time after September. R&R are a coupla mad surfers and fishermen in their spare time (reminding me of a great sig file I used to see all the time when I haunted alt.surfing: I've surfed most of my life. The rest of my time I just sort of wasted). This wine's a dusty dry motherfucker, almost peppery to the tongue, but not rowdy with it. If you're the sort of reckless fool who likes his spanner crab flash fried in a wok and burning with chili, these are the boys to put out the fire for you.

The complete unknown for me, and a new best friend, was the Great Southern from Plantagenet Omrah. It's the darker looking one on the far left. It's a blend of temprenillo and shiraz grapes from WA and it is ay-fucking-mazeballz. I loved this fucking wine and sort of wished they'd just sent me half a dozen of it alone. I'd have been happy. Dry like all the others, with none of the sickly sweet fruity bullshit that defines a lot of truck stop rosé. The fruit's not missing in action. It's still there in hints of cherry and strawberry and shit, but even if you necked the whole bottle yourself, it'd never be too sweet. Not that I would. Oh no. Heaven forfend.

The others? All fab. Not a dud amongst them. The La Croix is a fave with the ladies because... well, the bottle, just look at that thing. That's a work of fucking art that is. And the wine is one of the quiet imports that've been turning up since the Aussie dollar decided to go into orbit and make drinking the French gear a lot more affordable for everyone. As you'd expect from an old French vinyard (est 1882) it's all fucking silky and sophisticumated. And it makes a great water bottle when you're done.

45 Responses to ‘Rosé Revolution’

Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted March 23, 2013

Nice. Long for the cooler days to get into some nice reds. Have you tried Rockford Alicante Bouchet? That would be my pick but I do like the Omrah. Will now find some Rogers and Rufus to sample.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted March 23, 2013

No. I have not tried the Bouchet. But now I will.

AgingGamer mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

You should also throw the Charles Melton rose on that list too. Right tasty blend of Grenache, Shiraz, cab Sav & Pinot meunière.

Peter Bradley swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 26, 2013

The Alicante Bouchet is an intyeresting grape in that the flesh is red whereas all other grapes get their colour from the skins.

The Charlie Melton Rose of Virginia (his wife's name) is a cracker!

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted March 23, 2013

Meh, pour me a riesling anyday.

Or a Bulleit.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted March 23, 2013

Yeah, Riesling's all right. I guess. But I drank a lot of cheap nasty lighter fuel passing itself off as Riesling when I was at uni. Never again.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted March 23, 2013

Hmm, I had that experience with Tequila in the Army.

And soju.

Oh, and rum.

Umm, hmm, I really haven't had wine ruined for me. Well, except for Boonesfarm, which is really fucking awful. And Mad Dog 20/20. We get a fair number of German and Australian Rieslings here. Yellow Tail is pretty iffy I've found but there are others that aren't too shabby. Respects,MurphOn the Outer Marches

damian mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

Yes, the box monster of maximum vomit from Uni days was usually a riesling. If it wasn't actually a (God forbid) fruity lexia.

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w from brisbame reckons...

Posted March 23, 2013

Dear Murph. Re: The white wine shelves

Back in the day in Australia, the white wine shelves in liquor outlets had a nice range of rieslings and other drier wine styles. Then there came the chardonnay infestation. I remained calm. I don't mind a nice chardy. However, the chardonnay outbreak only proved to be the stalking-horse for a greater apocalypse; the annihilating species replacement that occurred after the introduction of sauvignon blanc. It all started with a couple of bottles of Richmond Grove..... Now, sauvignon blanc and its derivatives stare balefully at you from every shelf. It's scary.

"Excuse me, sir. I just want a nice bottle of dry white wine."

They point you at the pinot grigio. Oh man, has it come to this!

Murph, has the same S.B. totalitarian evil struck in the U.S.A?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

Sav Blanc is the Britney Spears of the wine world. Not even the Taylor Swift of the wine world.

Britney. Fucking. Spears.

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

Sav Blanc. Britney Spears with a kiwi accent, eh bro?Whitebait fritters, Savvy straight from the chilly bin, sweet as.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted March 23, 2013

I wouldn't know. I don't drink it. I don't know anyone who drinks it.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted March 23, 2013

Thanks Murph. That answers my question. In Australia, if you ever drink white wine; the occasional consumption of SB or an SB blend is, if not compulsory, inevitable.

Murphy would have you know...

Posted March 23, 2013

Speaking of adult libations, tonight's pint is Boulevard Brewing Company's 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat.

I have not gotten around to setting up a new wine cellar yet.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2013

You have my condolences, w from brisvegas.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

damian mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

SB, probably not. SSB, maybe. A nice cold-climate kiwi blend can work.

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MickH reckons...

Posted March 23, 2013

test

MickH mumbles...

Posted March 23, 2013

looks like Dan fixed it. Thanks Dan.

I suspected it something to do with logon because I don't do that. I'm not used to it. so when i tried to post this time i got a you're ot logged on messgae and logged me on.

Thats sweet because its going to get me everytime.

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JG mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

I'm not really a rosé girl, but I may have to reconsider that after your feisty recommendations, John.

When I drink red, I have cabernet merlot. I like soft-bodied reds. Sometimes a glass of harsher, dry red--a full-bodied shiraz or pinot noir. I tend to drink red wines more in winter.

I don't drink alcohol much at all these days (I drink gallons of water) apart from the odd Friday night's indulgence but when I do, it's usually white wine--pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc.

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2013

seems lately Mrs H has taken too the Brown Brothers Sparkling Moscato Rosa 200mL as it cpmes handily in a 4 pk for outings etc.

And for me, well its FKN RED or its FKN DEAD!..and beer of course!.

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Drej has opinions thus...

Posted March 23, 2013

Britney > Taylor. Just sayin

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted March 23, 2013

Whaaat! Drej, I will have to disagree.

Taylor Swift is an adept and original lyricist of the girly lovesick blues.

Britney mimes and learns dance routines. Though some of the pop song vehicles created for her were quite good; in a bubbly, ephemeral pop way.

drej is gonna tell you...

Posted March 23, 2013

Yeah, call me a sucker for a good train wreck, so long as they entertain well.

Also, girly lovesick blues and I have issues...

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2013

Boobs

Lobes puts forth...

Posted March 23, 2013

Can't say I'm a fan of, or even know any of her songs. But the smack down Taylor Swift put on Tina Fey was awesome. A few carefully chosen words and she turned Fey into a real life Liz Lemon full of inadequacy and awkwardness.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 24, 2013

Yeah, but then Amy Pohler bitch-pwnd her.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted March 23, 2013

If you want accompaniements, we swung by that new Deli at the Hawthorne garage & discovered that it sells Eggplant tapenade & all manner of other lovely nibbly dippy things. Rather a nice little snack shop & it turned out a very tasty lunch for it.

My girlfriend was wondering how it would do, out in the middle of nowhere away from the other shops & I said 'Not to worry. JB will keep it solvent.'

Have you been through there yet?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted March 23, 2013

I am familiar with their work.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2013

Not sure about wine with "hints of ... shit"

Not really my kind of thing

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Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted March 23, 2013

I'm coming around to Rosé. In fact as a hedge for a hot Xmas day I had a few bottles from a local Murrumbateman winery ready to go. I prefer Pinot Noir, but rosé is typically a third to half the price.

Slightly off topic, but perhaps for a crossover with the fitness Burger (whatever was it called) you could tell us how to get smashed for the least calories. I'm guessing it's hard liquor, but I'd like to know a bit more about 'energy densities' of various types of wine/beer/spirits.

Sounds like the sort of thing Lobes would love to share with us.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted March 23, 2013

I must confess to popping a couple of bottles of lighter pinot into the esky for half an hour before Christmas lunch

Lobes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2013

Abe I believe you're pretty much on the money. Hard liquor is the best but its crucial that you drink it neat, on the rocks or at worst with soda. Mixers like coke, lemonade, fruit juice etc is full o sugar and very bad.

If you're drinking beer, even low carb beer, it's gonna hurt you with calories. And don't succumb to the drunken pig out or lure of a kebab on the way home either.

Abe Frellman puts forth...

Posted March 23, 2013

Cheers. That's what I figured. I'm guessing red wine would be better than beer but no by a long way, right?

Lobes mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

From memory beer and wine are fairly similar when it comes to calories but wine has a higher alc% so you get more bang for your buck.

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DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2013

Rose is desperate rubbish consumed by arrivistes.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 23, 2013

You misstyped, my good doctor. Allow me to assist.

New Zealand rosé is desperate rubbish consumed by arrivistes.

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RobertL ducks in to say...

Posted March 23, 2013
Rose is great, but you have to be careful not to get one of the sickly sweet ones. I recommend the "Rose of Virginia" by Charles Melton.

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Mayhem mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

You people are soooo bad for my AFDs. The LaCroix is probably something I would pick, because as with horse racing, I have zero idea about Roseay. I'd go for the pretty bottle, or the prettiest silks, or the most Irish sounding name...

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Martin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 23, 2013

I did some in-depth participant research on rose a couple of years ago ... well, I went on a one man mission to find a bone dry rose that works on a scorching Adelaide summer's day. After several false starts with 'dry' roses that were closer to raspberry cordial I met Spinifex Rose from the Barossa. This review is pretty spot on: http://www.auswine.com.au/styles/red/rose/spinifex-barossa-and-eden-valleys-rose.html

Peter Bradley ducks in to say...

Posted March 26, 2013

Absolutely spot on Martin! I can endorse your selection.

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warren nelson tipsily has opinions thus...

Posted March 23, 2013

There is one thing I have learnt about wine.

If it has 'Classic' in the title, it isn't.

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damian mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

I'm coming around to Rosé, too. We actually had a quickly chilled bottle (from Fifth Leg) today with the MiL (after sparkling Pinot Noir and Viognier). "Voit eess een deess peenk sheet? Ai-yam tort-tully shlosh-hed." It was a pleasant drop, something of a surprise. I always sort of arced up at the concept of chilled reds, but I guess in time everything can be considered, tried and even enjoyed.

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted March 23, 2013

You don't need to chill the red to ice cold. But remember in Europe they're coming out of a cellar at a much lower temp than we drink them off the shelf here. In our high summer a room temperature wine can be hotter than blood. So yeah, a quick chill is good.

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted March 23, 2013

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mind a nice Sauvignon Blanc. I just think it is beyond bizarre that this niche, novelty wine has so taken over the white wine section.

Like going to the DVD store and finding out that 70% of all movies star Robert Downey Jnr.

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Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted March 24, 2013

White wine - find Willunga Pinot Gris. Delicious. A week today and I will be in the Hunter, stocking up on Brokenwood Indigo Pinot Noir and ForestEdge Chardonnay. Amongst others.....

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Respond to 'Rosé Revolution'

So what do you do when the meal is bad?

Posted March 13, 2013 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

It's an awkward moment, innit? When you've waited way too long for a meal that barely passes muster, and the waiter bimbles up and asks, "So how is everyone enjoying their dinner?"

Normally, if I'm working, ie. reviewing, I murmur some noncommittal pleasantries and change the subject. Most people, I've observed, are loathe to speak their true feelings for fear of giving offense.

Sometimes though, when I'm paying for the meal myself, and I'm particularity aggrieved by the experience I will ask the waitron, "Do you really want to know?"

They don't, but I'll tell them anyway. It's a public service.

We had just such a dinner tonight, not too far from home, in a restaurant I'd previously reviewed a couple of times and which I didn't mind, even though I thought it had ideas above its station. There's nothing wrong with reaching just a little too far in the creative arts, and cooking is sure enough one of those arts. But there's overconfidence and there's arrogance, and once or twice I felt this restaurant shaded into the latter.

Still, many of the dishes were interesting, the wine list was exemplary, and the staff could be very friendly and helpful when the moment took them. It has recently changed hands.

We ate there this evening because Anna had had a tough day, Thomas, who's not always restaurant friendly, was at rugby, it was quiet and we thought to get in and out quickly.

Bzzzzt. Wrong.

Despite there being only two tables occupied for most of the first hour we were there it took, well, an hour, for the meals to arrive. And when they did arrive they were such a train wreck of practical and conceptual failure that I was glad I wasn't reviewing because I couldn't imagine how to write truthfully about the experience without running the risk of a defamation suit. As I may have mentioned before, the food review pages of a newspaper are the most sued section. It's why I can't name the restaurant here. (And no, it's neither Bar Alto nor Enoteca, both of which do awesome ragu).

Yes, my American friends, as much as I curse your IRS, I still envy your First Amendment.

So. What went right? My two glasses of Curlewis pinot noir were beautiful. Smokey and layered with complex notes of chocolate and old leather. But of course all they did was uncork that bad boy and pour it. Jane's wine, a Soave, was nice, but took an age to order and arrive.

My steak was competently cooked. A rib eye, closer to medium than the medium rare as ordered, but still well rested and very well seasoned.

From there it went downhill. The wilted greens were so dense with salt they were inedible, by which I mean the dictionary definition of the word. I could not eat them. They made me gag and made my face go a funny shape. The small, scalding hot bowl of potatoes and cheese, an attempted au gratin, was likewise difficult to get down, but in this case because of the grotesque oiliness. I ate my protein, and nothing else. So it was at least a healthy meal, and appropriate after a morning in the weights gym.

Anna's goat ragu with Pappardelle was a strange, inconsistent mix of weirdly acidic meat sauce and unevenly cooked pasta. It could have been great, but nothing about the disparate elements of the dish came together. It felt like student cooking.

Jane's consomme was a disaster. Consomme is a delicate broth, a rich clear soup clarified with egg whites to remove particulates and fat. Aria does a remarkable duck consomme, as I recall. (It's been a while). This soup was properly clarified but utterly tasteless. And bizarrely it was served with gnocci. Why bizarre? Because there is nothing about potato dumplings which lends themselves to this dish. The soup, being thin, will not adhere to the dumplings, coating them with a thick, tasty sauce. Perhaps if they were cooked in the broth and thus infused with its flavours... but of course this broth had no flavor. So Jane was left with potato balls in brown water. Mmm. Nom nom.

It was bad enough to be amusing. Eating so much for work I have the luxury of being thus amused, where most people would just be pissed off they'd wasted their hard earned money.

I was hoping to finish my steak, sneak way from the accompanying sides, and never return.

But then the waitress asked how we were enjoying the meals. I didn't even ask my usual question, giving her an out. "Do you you really want to know?"

No, for whatever reason, I just launched into a shorthand review, telling her what I've just told you, but in kinder, gentler terms. She looked horrified. Fixing a shit eating grin on her face she asked the others how they 'liked' theirs. Jane was evasive. Anna lied. God bless her. She doesn't like to hurt people's feelings.

We paid and left. I doubt we'll return.

It did make we wonder though, how do people who don't eat for a living handle it when they've been served a plate full of shit. Do you tell the truth? Or do you just mumble something and flee.

45 Responses to ‘So what do you do when the meal is bad?’

essjay reckons...

Posted March 13, 2013
I do hope that "acrid" tasting goat wasn't off. I tell people as nicely as I can. Either they know already and so they'll kind of be expecting it, or they don't and you're doing FOH a service.

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Monster Yuppy asserts...

Posted March 13, 2013
Well, after a particularly shitty experience at a local Italian place, I got snarky on twitter and got a pretty immediate response from the management. The Mrs got sent flowers for her trouble.
It seems the best way to complain these days is to forget about telling a waitress...... Tell the world when you you walk out the front door.

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yankeedog puts forth...

Posted March 13, 2013
I think you ask to talk to the restaurant manager after the meal, and say 'Look, the service was great, the place is clean, but...the food was not good', and list some of your issues. This can be done politely or at least businesslike.

Dumping on the wait staff , who a) didn't cook dinner, b) are doing THEIR jobs as well as they can, and c) probably really don't care, probably won't do a lot of good. If you don't get satisfaction with the manager, well, then you vote with your feet. Pay up and don't go back.

You may not have the freedom to crap all over a place in print like we do here, but I'm betting word-of-mouth works in Oz as well as it does in Septicville.

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MickH mumbles...

Posted March 13, 2013
I coped a surprise some years ago in Melbourne. I was down there for a course so my wife accompanied me. We had dinner one night in a building on the Yarra, near that the casino that was three stories full of restaurants! wow!

It was an Italian restaurant that was packed.The Mrs ordered a risotto of some sort (I can't remember what) Anyway it was horrible apparently bland and mushy.

When the inevitable question was asked my Mrs, usually a shy and retiring individual let her have it. I reckon there are still marks on the table from where my jaw hit it. She did much the same as you, was nice about it but said it was shit.

The waitress went off and told the owner/front of house dude? and he gave us a look

When I went to pay the bill, I was terribly impressed to see that I'd saved $25 bucks! We didn't have to pay for it and he apologised for it.

If we lived in Melbourne we would have gone there again.

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johnbirmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 13, 2013
I remember that meal, Yuppy. What a mess.
And yeah, Dawg, I often feel sorry for the wait staff for that very reason. Although these wait staff could have been a bit livelier

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yankeedog puts forth...

Posted March 13, 2013
And in the end, that's why you hop down to the local KFC and pick up a bucket of chicken. They don't have 'ideas above their station', and, yeah, it's a nutritional time bomb. But you know what you're getting. Most of the time.

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Bunyip asserts...

Posted March 13, 2013
Ah... the joys of living in a small country town. Word gets around if a place changes hands and the food goes downhill. And it helps that my standards are basically better than that which I can cook for myself.

Sounds like the absolute opposite of what the three of you needed. Hope Anna's evening improved.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted March 13, 2013
+1 yankeedog

Not that I've ever done the thing with asking for the manager, but that's intellectually the right thing to do and what I'd like to think I'd try, especially in the states, what with the tip being the main part of the waiting staff's income.

I agree with the word of mouth thing though. If anything, Birmo, slander is usually harder to prove than libel... :/

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yankeedog has opinions thus...

Posted March 13, 2013
Well, slow service AND bad food, if it were just me (or The Better Half and me), I'd ask for the check and walk. With kids, it's a little harder to do sometimes.

I reckon, if I know my capitalism like I think I do, that restaurant won't be around very much longer.

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Kay puts forth...

Posted March 13, 2013
Depends on the establishment and the attitude/vibe of the place - if I say something, in a nice way, what's the reaction likely to be?

If I think they would care, or I'm paying good bucks, then yes I'll put forth a tactful point. If, like our Sunday lunch in Byron, I think my words would be met be a snarky sneer or blasé burps then I'll leave a note on TripAdvisor or UrbanSpoon for future wary diners.

I *really* should have read the reviews for our one-star Sunday experience prior to ambling in the front door...

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ConspiracyCat reckons...

Posted March 13, 2013
I don't expect food to look pretty. My own cooking is renowned for looking like something a cat hocked up on the rug. But at least it tastes good*

So I have no complaints if a restaurant dinner is plated like a Picasso. My only requirement is that they at least try to make the food taste good. If someone serves me a Coogee Sundae, I will cheerfully ask the staff to take the offending crap back to the kitchen and get it right. If they argue, refuse, or fail to get it reasonably right on the second attempt, I simply get up and walk out. If the years I spent forcing down my mother's cooking is anything to go by, life is too short to eat shit.

(*The food, that is, not the cat hock. Also, in the interests of alleged accuracy, the Boss insists that I add the disclaimer 'usually'. Guess who's cooking his own bloody dinner tomorrow?)

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johnbirmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 13, 2013
I suspect this one is doomed, YD.
And yeah, what Bunyip said. This was supposed to be a nice experience at the end of a tough day. I'd completely forgotten about that aspect of it, once I went into reviewer mode. It's a problem with eating professionally. You do often forget the emotional component that accompanies the meals of normal people.

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yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted March 13, 2013
Mick, er, I mean, Twirler-you two got a fair enough deal there, and for their knocking that much off the bill, I too would probably give them another shot. And you had an extra $25 to donate to the casino afterwards. Most charitable!

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted March 13, 2013
'Made my face go a funny shape ' more so? Is that possible?

Fortunately the last bad meal I had was in Bariloche. Besides my venison casserole being tasteless, Marcelas gnocchi like riot control rounds, the MinL's pork chops were average & the SinL & BinLs steaks were like the sort you'd get from your local hotel on a Tuesday night special.

This at what was supposed to be one of best restaurants in town on a quiet night.

I'm being kind and not blaming them for the power cut!

Will never go back there either

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Daniel Young is gonna tell you...

Posted March 13, 2013
Bar Alto huh?

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yankeedog is gonna tell you...

Posted March 13, 2013
"I don’t expect food to look pretty. My own cooking is renowned for looking like something a cat hocked up on the rug. But at least it tastes good"-ConspiracyCat

Yours too?!? I compare mine to something the dog vomited, but the same deal!

Kind of why I frequent any place that advertises 'WARM BEER-LOUSY FOOD-BAD SERVICE'. Hey, they aren't lying...and any surprise you get will only be pleasant!

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Colleen ducks in to say...

Posted March 13, 2013
Tell them, always tell them. I have owned food businesses and it difficult to monitor quality 24/7. If it was bad/average/fabulous I would want to know. Big business spend $$$$ on getting feedback about their product. Do your local restaurant owners a favour and in the nicest possible way give constructive criticism. Unless of course it was complete shite, and you know they don't a a flying feathered. Then you bitch, get a refund and do your worst online. But if they care and are trying to provide value, even if it falls short occasionally, be gentle but true.

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johnbirmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 13, 2013
Nah, Daniel. Not them. I really like bar Alto.

Colleen, I do, but mostly when it's good. Went out of my way to track down the manager at Harvey's the other day to complement our waitress. She was the bomb.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted March 13, 2013
I think you need to say something to the restaurant because you will sure as hell be telling your friends. On the few occasions when I've done it I've noted a 'yeah yeah don't care' attitude from the waitering staff & when that happens I assume that the 'tude is all encompassing thru the restaurant and it's probably filtering down the food chain from higher up - so no point going back.

One place here in West End brought us burned toast for breakfast one day.
Que?
How hard is it to stick another friggin piece of sourdough in the toaster?

But yeah. The bottom line is that happy customers come back, unhappy customers get pissed off, tell their friends, and the place gets a bad name if it has bad or inconsistent service. All of which can destroy a business and have someone scrambling for bankruptcy.

So I think it's better to tell them.
Usually no point telling the waiter, though. You ask for the owner, and if they aren't there, you phone or email them & tell them you had a bad experience so that they have the opportunity to work out that their staff aren't capable of working without close supervision.

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 13, 2013
I would never send my meal back and ask for a superior version. I have been very reliably informed by friends who have worked in the restaurant trade of the bad things that often happen to the food that is returned to you. I eat what I can and leave at the earliest opportunity. I console friends that it will make an interesting story. If asked, I could give some gently expressed feedback, only if I am not waiting on any additional food.

On the other hand, people can have the most ridiculous expectations. People who complain that they suspect that their perfectly pleasant fish fillets may not have been freshly caught when they are eating the $12.50 lunch time special.

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Bunyip ducks in to say...

Posted March 13, 2013
1973. Munich. At dinner with my parents. Mum orders a well done steak. Sends it back because it was undercooked. Comes back. Sends it back again. Comes back a second time. With an Australian flag stuck in it. She ate it.

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Stu mumbles...

Posted March 13, 2013
Bar Alto, one presumes? There's not too many places in sleepy ol' Brisbane that do goat ragu with pappardelle.

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RobinPrice would have you know...

Posted March 13, 2013
My reaction depends. I never take it out on the staff, sometimes ask for the manager, sometimes send it back as inedible, other times I just pay, walk and bitch elsewhere. There's enough options to go elsewhere in Brisbane these days.

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 13, 2013
OH they get the truth! straight up and in text / language they clearly cannot fk up as badly as the meal! After all, I paid for the fkn thing. If its somewhere I have been before, I usually ask " do you have a new chef" and thats the opener!...POW...RIGHT IN THE FKN KISSER!

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted March 13, 2013
HAVOCK. Nice TV quote.
"POW…RIGHT IN THE KISSER!"
Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleeson) - The Honeymooners

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted March 14, 2013
You know full well how I respond to a bad meal, John. I spit out my food, loudly and demonstratively; I make retching noises, engendered by a sincere effort to induce reverse peristalsis; then I consider grabbing what is on my plate with my bare hands and going all chimpanzee on the place. Finally, I tip lavishly to place my outburst in sharp relief.

I prefer, of course, a good meal because anything less is exhausting.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted March 14, 2013
Not Kentucky Fried Chicken, YD. Hell, at least come to KC where you can sample delicately choked chickens at Strouds. Senator Boylan thought well enough of them to refrain from going all chimp in the joint.

Bad meals . . . depends on if I am paying or not. If I am paying and I'm really offended by everything then I will call for a manager and explain what is wrong. Most of the time here in the States when I call for a manager it is something basic like nasty silverware, lipstick on the drinking glasses, hair in the food and the like. It happens ever so often and just as quickly it is usually dealt with.

Sometimes a bad meal depends on whether or not it is something I can eat. With Acid Reflux, lactose intolerance and an allergy to cilantro, sometimes I chalk up a bad experience to my own stomach. So I'm not quite as adventurous when it comes to eating out and I'm particularly fearful of fast food establishments which, in Kansas City at least, have a habit of leaving me in the bathroom for an hour while I retch the gunk back out of my system.

If I didn't pay for the meal and the person who did really had their hearts set on the place, this happen this past weekend when Cindy Marie and I went to Jazz up at the Legends in Kansas City, Kansas, I usually keep my mouth shut. I didn't finish or even put a dent in the meal because it was uniformly awful. The hamburger looked as though someone went to Aldi and picked up a 100 patty pack of horsemeat. It had the texture of a sponge with a sickly grey color that might have been appropriate for Winston Smith's canteen in 1984.

The cole slaw had pepper in it. Who the fuck puts pepper in the cole slaw? Or so much that it can be noticed? The hushpuppies looked good but someone threw a sugar plantation into the batter which meant they were probably keeping insulin needles on standby in the back.

Cindy Marie's meal, on the other hand, was pretty good.

About the only thing that went right about my meal was the beer, but Boulevard Brewing Company did that.

In any case, I passed it off as a matter of, "I've been sick, I'm still sick but my girlfriend enjoyed hers." I didn't even want to say that much because so often I exercise the Gastric Upset Veto over her choices and I wanted to give her the choice this time.

In any case, my two cents.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Murphy reckons...

Posted March 14, 2013
Per fast food, I will say this.

In and Out Burger in Davis, California? Excellent meal. Hat tip to Boylan. If I was sitting there in the seat with a pale expression on my face it was the combination of not wanting to be a bad guest or upsetting Cindy who was dead set on getting an In and Out Burger.

Johnny Rockets in San Francisco? Another excellent meal, basic burgers and fries done right. It shows me that I can eat that type of food if someone who gives a damn prepares it. So often here in Kansas City, Missouri the Give A Fuck is sorely busted in many places.

In fact, while we were in California, I had a number of wonderful dining experiences. Servers were responsive, quick (in America we like quick service) and willing to fix any problems. I did have some bad experiences, one place was called Black Bear Diner I think, which was awful. There were a couple of other places as well.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Monster Yuppy mumbles...

Posted March 14, 2013
On the flip side, I reckon I need to take Prof Boylan & his lovely wife when ever we eat out, as I have never had a bad meal when the good Prof was sitting opposite.

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JB in the library on the iPad. is gonna tell you...

Posted March 14, 2013
Ah, Johnny Rockets. I've been there. That was my introduction to American serving sizes.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted March 14, 2013
Yeah, but they didn't serve a whole plate of bacon, did they, John?

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted March 14, 2013
Then again, there is having an instinct for ordering the right thing. A quick process, but hard to rigidly define.
Having realistic expectations, picking up the vibe, looking at what others are eating, reading the menu, if they say they specialise in something, being guided by that. Sometimes, the geographical location is a factor.
In any group of 5 or 6. There tends to be a one or two that have a talent for selecting meals that are likely to disappoint. They do it with remarkable consistency. Smart people, but something goes wrong. It can be a bit of a laugh sometimes.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted March 14, 2013
So it took me longer than planned to work out how to say someone on blunty without it being necessarily defamatory. Maybe still is. C'est la wee and all that.

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted March 14, 2013
Restaurant staff could probably beat our bad meal stories with their bad customer stories. Speaking of reviewing, I was reading about a successful restaurant that does its best not to be reviewed.

It brings review-trotters. The sort of people who go to a restaurant because somebody told them to. Kenny finds that review-trotters are often “petulant and demanding.”

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JG ducks in to say...

Posted March 14, 2013
Dying to know where it was, JB. Not that you'll tell. Libel and all. I'm sure some conscientious villain here will do the research. Not me. Off to Open Minds. God, give me a job. Bored shitless. Looks like it's back to volunteer work with my MA, BA, Dip Ed, Dip App Arts, and years of experience. I want money so I can afford to eat out. I guess being older (turning 50 in June) and having bipolar disorder hasn't helped. Oh well. At least I have food.
Cheers,
Joanna :)

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that alison mumbles...

Posted March 14, 2013
Only once, I have walked out without paying and given the staff a short sharp summary of why. If I'm in the mood, I'll tell the waiter that they should let the kitchen know what's wrong with it (cos the blame sits with the kitchen, not the waiters, and I don't like to shoot the messenger). If I don't feel like confrontation, I'll give a non-committal shrug and then a scathing review on urban spoon afterwards.

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Brother PorkChop ducks in to say...

Posted March 14, 2013
W, a good point made. Ordering the right thing. My sister bitched and moaned about her steak one night - tough, tasteless, inedible. I was enjoying some sand crab ravioli and the like so I told her to shut the fuck up and order Italian food in an Italian restaurant. I love a good meal out but it has to be something I cannot do acceptably well at home, or it has to have value.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted March 14, 2013
Tell them. They need to know why business is declining so that they can either fix the problem or fuck off out of the game.

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Analog Penetration reckons...

Posted March 14, 2013
My better half and I once went to a nearby cafe for weekend brunch and were very disappointed. I was pretty hungry so went for the old-school big breakfast which I almost never do, as I usually go for something more imaginative, but even something as simple as that was beyond the skills of this kitchen. The only apparent effort visible on my dish was the the sausage considerately placed burnt-side down.

Living in cafe-crowded inner-city Melbourne, it was almost refreshing to have an unabashedly crap feed.

Then the apparent owner asked how everything was.

My BH said "It was OK."

Pressed for more, we gave him the truth, and we were then trapped in verbal handcuffs while this guy explained what he was trying to do, and how hard it was. When I mentioned that the baked beans tasted Heinzy he insisted he made them himself, adding 'char sui sauce' (his mispronunciation making it all the better) to the baked beans. Still no idea why you'd do that. The sausage? My BH and I still joke about his response:

"You know how hard it is to cook a sausage in Australia?"

The unintentional comedy was the tastiest part of the experience. The cafe now has new owners.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 14, 2013
Comedy can save a meal, yes, but how awful when it does.

Iain, Brix in Yountville was fairly good, but it wasn't great, and if a meal isn't great then it isn't any good and was a waste of hard earned money. Murph, in my opinion, an In and Out burger is great, and worth every penny of the incredibly reasonable price to buy one.

When it comes to your Black Bear experience, it is a matter of consistency. I've been to a few that did a fine job of putting breakfast in front of me, but I've been to others that didn't do a decent job at all.

In the words of Mario Batali, explaining what restaurants are supposed to do: "You fix up food and sell it for more than it cost you to buy, and if you can't give it to the customer the same way every time, then you are a dick."

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YB swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 14, 2013
I have never had a truly bad restaurant experience. I only go to places highly recommended by friends who know my tastes. And I'm pretty lucky, and pretty easily pleased :)

The worst I have received only needed "parts 1-5 were good, but part 6 was bad and stayed on the side of the plate"

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Murphy reckons...

Posted March 14, 2013
Boylan, true words, for certain.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Peter in the bleaches swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 15, 2013
Having 'laid bait' through uni, ask them to tell the kitchen staff or ask to get the manager. Don't shoot the messenger unless the service is crap, then just don't leave a tip (oops last week's topic).

Murph
In your general vicinity in a few weeks (Topeka, KA). Is there anywhere to go for a decent meal? Or do I need to travel to KC?

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palahuanca would have you know...

Posted March 20, 2013

i am getting an idea here peeps - and JB - what about a podcast that is not food porn - that is pure unadulterated bad food anecdotes from JB? No names to protect JB from defamation suits - although truth is now a defence in defamation law.

Howzat?

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Rohit ducks in to say...

Posted March 23, 2013

When I don't want to "create a scene" by which I'm on a date or with my parents, I leave a detailed account on Yelp, Foursquare, Zomato, and everything else possible. (I know.) And not a leave a tip if I can (depends on company, again. Polite factor is too harsh sometimes.)

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