How to Lose Customers and Infuriate People – An Entertaining Interesting Restaurant Review

I was drunk. Staggeringly drunk! I checked into the hotel (not important which one) and face planted on the bed. I woke up about two hours later a little disillusioned and foaming at the mouth and decided I needed to get some food in me. I called down to the front table and asked about a pizza place and they gave me the number for Regal Café Pizzeria, 34 State St. Boston MA. I’m giving you the address because I never want you to accidently stumble into this abomination. If I knew what it looked like, I’d send you a picture. But all I have is my story.

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So anyway, I called them up and made an order for a pizza. They didn’t mention a price and I was a little too disorientated to ask. The unreasonably angry woman then told me that I had to order a side so I ordered some chicken wings. Two hours later and I didn’t see nor hear any part of my food. I kept thinking that it was alcohol that was so clearly swimming in my veins that was preventing me from comprehending what was going on but I simply couldn’t wrap my head around why I had been sitting by the phone for two hours and I didn’t have any food yet. I couldn’t remember the number but thankfully redial is a thing. I called them up, the phone rang right up until it was about to cut off and then the inordinately angry woman answered again. I said something along the lines of “where is my pizza?” and Jesus you’d think that I insulted her grandmother’s ashes because the crap-storm of cursing and yelling that I was greeted with was truly amazing. She then hung up the phone and left me to sit there, just as confused. Another hour went by and it finally arrived. The level of excitement I felt was like nothing else you’ve ever seen. If I recall correctly I was literally jumping up and down and clapping my hands.

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However, my celebration was in vain. See the pizza came in a gigantic box, but the pizza itself was only slightly bigger than my palm. The minute I opened the box, the whole room was filled with this horrendous smell of feet and stale food. But by this point, I was now so hungry and so drunk, I fought back my gag-reflex and took a bite. Oh, what a mistake! It tasted awful, like shoe covered in mold. I spat it out right there on the floor (sorry room service people) and then retreated to the bathroom to empty my stomach of the cocktail it had so graciously been holding. I would love to comment on the wings but, they never came. I didn’t complain that night because I was too busy being violently sick, but in the morning, it was a different story. I checked the bank app on my phone to check the damage I’d racked up at the bar, only to find it had been outdone by the $65 charge from the house of horrors pizza joint. It was my turn to swear over the phone, but I never got my money back.

Puking In America – The Worst Restaurant, Potentially Ever

I try not to exaggerate. It’s been something that has gotten on my nerves ever since I was little. “I literally exploded.” No you didn’t. You’re here telling me this weak ass story so clearly and unfortunately, you did not explode. So please know that when I tell you that Colony Café in Miami Beach Florida is the worst restaurant I have ever been to. It’s not just me either, apparently, this place has some of the worst reviews on Yelp. But forget other people’s experiences, let’s just take a quick gander at what happened yours truly.

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I went in because it looked sort of fancy from the outside. I went in, was seated at my table and waited 30 minutes before anyone came to take my drink order. As you can imagine, by this time I’m ravenously hungry in addition to dying of thirst so I go ahead and order from the menu I have had more than adequate time to look over. The waitress, however, seemed somehow put out by the fact that I was making her job so much harder by ordering my food and my drink at once because she smacked her gum and rolled her eyes at my every word. She then disappeared off into the distance for another 35 minutes and left me to die of hunger and starvation while listening to music blasting too loudly in speakers from a Spotify playlist (it was not a premium membership and you could hear the ads).

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When my rum and coke did finally arrive it was brought to me by a completely different but equally asinine waitress with matching gum. She placed the drink on the table with too much force and a little spilled over the top but she was already turned on her heels to leave. I stopped her to ask her where my first waitress was and she said she didn’t know. I asked her when my food would be ready and she said she didn’t know. I was just about to ask her if there was anything she did know when I noticed from the corner of my eye that there was something that looked like a ball of hair floating in my drink. I just about to throw up when I noticed the hint of steel in the ball and realised that it was not hair, but a Brillo pad that was floating in my drink! I was just about to get up and leave when my waitress suddenly appeared with my plate of food. I told her that I wasn’t paying for or eating that! She rolled her eyes and screwed up her face. I showed her the Brillo pad in my drink and she dunked her fingers into the drink and took it out before looking up at me like ‘are you happy now?’ But the topper of the evening was when I asked to see the manager and was told, no.

Don’t go. Just don’t go. You might end up accidently going because the place goes by a number of pseudonyms; Colony Café, Chef Vincent at Colony Hotel, Colony Bistro and Colony Restaurant. Get all of these names tattooed on your face if it means you’ll remember not to go.

Food Poisoning and Other Extreme Sports

Everyone is familiar with the Chinese craving I think. At least, everyone in the first world. It’s like 6 in the afternoon and nothing in the fridge particularly peaks your interest. You’re not in the mood to dress up and eat fancy but at the same time, a vegetarian friend of yours showed you ‘Supersize me’ the other day and you can’t really look a big-mac in the eye right now. Then it dawns on you like a choir from the angels; you should get some Chinese food. This is exactly the situation that myself and a friend of mine, we’ll call him Matt, found ourselves in. I was staying at his place in Boston for the week and we were crashing hard on a Sunday night. We decided to bundle up a little and make our way down Nan Ling, 179 Massachusetts Ave. don’t go looking for it now, it’s closed down because apparently, there is a god.

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The visit was like an LSD trip. Matt and I got to the place and we were standing outside talking about what to get. While we were discussing, three hooded Chinese men with that gangster limp thing going on, walked into the restaurant with drinks in their hand. They brushed past us and into the restaurant. Matt and I went back to talking, only to be stopped when we heard the waitress and the gang member people yelling at waitress in Chinese at an unbelievable volume. She started yelling back at them over the counter, but the head gangster lost his patience and emptied his drink on her head! She then reached down under the counter and pulled out the biggest fucking knife I’ve ever seen and the gangsters once again brushed past us as they ran the hell away!

I turned to Matt, who was apparently unfazed, and told him we should just go home and have noodles but he was having none of it. He went in and got our orders, despite the fact that Crocodile Dundee’s knife sat on the counter the entire time! When we got back to his apartment, we opened the up the various bowls and were greeted by a weird mess of giant portions of off coloured food. We were a little sceptical but dug in anyway. The rice was okay. The chicken was okay. But the sweat and sour sauce was the grossest thing I’ve ever eaten. It tasted like maple syrup and tears and I stopped eating immediately. Matt however, refused to waste the food and ate the rest of both of our portions.

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Later that night, Matt and I were laughing, talking and riffing on the American electoral system. Suddenly, Matt’s eyes widened to the size of satellites and his stomach made a sound like a whale on fire. He then proceeded to spend the rest of the night locked in the toilet violently puking and shitting, but for some reason insisting that “everything is okay! I don’t need an ambulance—BLERUGH.”

Review: Mango Max Smoothies and Greens

This has been a season of new and unusual offerings in the area, and one of the freshest and most innovative is Mango Max Smoothies and Greens.

Taking aim at some of the fastest growing niches in the emerging foodie market, Mango Max has created a venue where vegan and carnivore can coexist and, if you would permit, thrive.

Strictly open for the breakfast, lunch and early dinner crowd, this eatery, or drinkery, depending on your order, has a wide variety of options for a wide variety of tastes.

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Smoothies, of Course:

Few things are hotter in the food world today than a nice, cold smoothie, the health nut’s answer to fast food. Where the burger, fries and coke of the mega chains are said to be fairly devoid of nutrition, Mango Max’s smoothies are just as fast (or faster) and are overflowing with nutritional goodness. Whether it’s a fruit and yogurt powerup smoothie for breakfast on the way to work, or a kale and lemon grass cleanser after spinning, Max’s smoothies pack a punch and travel well. Available in a variety of sizes, custom smoothies are made up for you at no extra charge. If Max has it in the kitchen, you can have it in your cup.

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As the second half of the company’s name would suggest, vegetarian dishes, especially those based around greens and other salad veggies, are a big thing. Using specially constructed storage units, Max is able to keep an amazing array of perishables at the peak of freshness for your consumption. The smoothie and salad special is guaranteed to top off your nutritional charts in a single sitting, and delivers farm fresh flavors in the deal.

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Nuts and Berries

No tree hugger diet would be complete without the grains; seeds and other munch able goodies that can contribute to a healthy diet. Various rice recipes are available, both as standalone dishes and as the base for a custom veggie platter, giving those who are less carbohydrate sensitive a chance to bulk up. Flax, chea and sunflower seeds are among the hip foods this year, and they are all available in any smoothie or dish.

Nuts are another important dietary component, and a variety is available as well. In deference to those with allergies, peanuts are served in sealed packs so as not to contaminate any other dishes.

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Soups:

Light vegetable based soups are also on the menu. Lentil soup with mushroom and kale is a popular option, as is potato corn chowder which is just the ticket on cold days. Tomato and Veggie Juice soups are also very well received.

Service and dining is casual. You can order and pick up at the counter, or be seated and served by an efficient and knowledgeable wait staff. Breakfast, as you might expect, is mostly drive through, but for lunch, a salad bar is set up for those who want to build their own.

So if you are tired of ham and eggs, and want to break the burger and fries habit, give Mango Max a try.

Review: Carlotta & Phil’s Fish & Chips

While most would not consider a fish and chips joint to be worthy of a restaurant review, Carlotta & Phil’s Fish & Chips is a bit different, in many different ways.

First of all, despite the American passion for sea foods, the ubiquitous British Fish & Chips stand never quite caught on here. But Carlotta Jones and her husband Phil want to change that fact. After returning from a protracted trip to England after selling their successful Deli chain, the Anglophile couple decided to try and bring their favorite food from their trip home with them. But in real British style.

When you enter Carlotta and Phil’s, you see at the rear a blue frame structure, something like a large newsstand you might see in a New York or Chicago street. Modeled after a genuine Fish & Chips stand, instead of papers and magazines, you have fish and chips.

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The friers line three sides of the structure, allowing up to 35 orders to be cooked at once, and at peak evening hours, all the fryers are going full out.

Orders can be placed at the stand and carried to your table inside or out on the terrace, or you can order sit down style. A fully stocked salad bar with soups, chowders and other foods is also available to help round out your meal. A standard restaurant kitchen is also attached which can provide pastas, burgers, steaks and chops. And for those who are trying to cut down on fried foods, all of the fish on the menu can be steamed or poached.

Although, according to Phil, who runs the kitchen, the fryers are so hot that very little oil gets into the fish or the chips while cooking. As he explains it, the bubbling that you see when you put food in a fryer is the water from the food boiling out into the tank. If you take the food out before the boiling stops, there is very little chance for oil to get in.

Either way, people are lined up to get their favorite kind of deep fried fish, which is one of the other differences here at Carlottoa & Phil’s. Like their inspirations in England, they feature over 30 seasonal fishes that you can choose from.

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The chips are always fresh and never frozen, shipped daily from various farms across the American Midwest.

Several house wines and a selection of beers are also available to enjoy with the food, but there is no bar service. Specialty soft drinks, like ginger beer and ‘Real English Tea’ are also on the menu.

The atmosphere is relaxed and extremely casual. The idea is to try and recapture the feel of real English street food, but in the comfort of a well lit and heated building.

Prices are quite reasonable, for the most part, especially if you go with the more common fish choices like haddock or cod. Specialty fish be a bit pricier, but a family of 4 can get in and out for under 35 dollars.

Service is good, especially if you elect to carry your dinner to your table. Carlotta is often making the rounds of the dining room, making sure that her guests are immersed in her Americanized version of English dining.

Review: Bottle Top Wine Bar and Restaurant

If you are looking for an easy going, low key place to relax with a nice Merlot or curl up with a Chablis and some cheese, the Bottle Top Wine Bar and Restaurant is just the place.

Catering to a younger crowd, the Bottle Top is a far cry from the high pressure pick up spots that litter the city night scope. The key at the Bottle Top is friends sharing a bottle, some food, and some good times. And if romance emerges, so much the better.

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While the wine list is not what you would call exhaustive, it is broad and represents many of the best offerings of regional vineyards in the US and abroad. Vintages from Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Central America are always on the shelf, and each month, a different country is featured and additional labels are added on. Currently, wines from Alsace Lorraine, including their award winning Rieslings and Pinot Noirs, are offered for your consideration.

For those in your party who are not wine enthusiasts, a wide variety of domestic and imported beers and ales are available, as well as the makings for most popular party cocktails including Cosmos, Margaritas and Dirty Martinis.

The food at the Bottle Top is well prepared and presented, but clearly meant to take second seat to the wines. Cheese and Cracker plates are popular among the purists, and a variety of finger foods can be ordered to help fill you up while you sip your wine. These include ‘Simple Sushi’ – Sushi inspired snacks, ‘Party Rolls’ – Egg and Pizza rolls served hot, and ‘Something Like Tapas’ – small snacks inspired by the Tapas bars of Spain.

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Soup and salad and seasonal fruit plates are also available to round out the meals.

Lunch at the Bottle Top features discount prices on soft drinks and a full salad bar.

The atmosphere at the Bottle Top is very casual with several seating areas for small and large groups. A modest bar is available near the entrance, but most choose to enjoy their food and drinks at a table or in one of 3 conversation pits scattered around the edge of the room.

The decor is simple, reminiscent of the Art Deco movement, with clean lines, comfortable and substantial chairs and sturdy tables with plenty of room for your glass and plate. Lighting is adequate and the wall art is well chosen.social-wine-tapas

 

In good weather, patio tables are available in the rear in a simple but private garden.

Service at the Bottle Top is quiet, unobtrusive, and fast. Since most items ordered require little prep time, delivery of food and wine is quick and easy.

Prices are across the scale, particularly for the wines. The policy at the Bottle Top is to feature wines in groups, with a high end label topping each list. But there are always very respectable vintages available at the other end of the price spectrum.

For a relaxing night or a light lunch, you can’t go wrong at the Bottle Top.

“Authentic” & “Organic” Italian Garbage

Notice the speech marks. For the love of god, notice the speech marks!

Pasta Italiana
2623 Connecticut Ave
Washington, DC 20008
Woodley Park

Got that address? Don’t lose it now. Pass it down from generation to generation of your family and warn them of this place. Don’t let them visit it, don’t let them look at it, don’t let them google pictures of the damn place! They literally didn’t get water right. I’m not even joking their water was gross but I’m getting ahead of myself.

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I was only in Connecticut because an aunt had died. Kind of a sad start to the story, I know. Anyway, I was staying at a hotel and after the wake, I was driving back and I pulled up the restaurant because I was finally feeling the appetite that had escaped me at the wake. I walked in, I was seated and I picked up my menu and started reading. But from the wall across from me, something caught my eye so I looked up and found cockroaches, crawling up the wall! I don’t know why I didn’t just get up and leave, I guess they’re right when they say grief does strange things to you because I just watched the cockroaches on the wall for a while and then returned to my menu. I settled on a tuna salad once I realised that they didn’t have pizza and sat patiently and waited. I had quite a long time to wait, something like 25 minutes and I’m not entirely sure why that was because other than myself and the cockroaches, the restaurant was completely empty.

My waitress came and took my order while wearing headphones in one ear. Again, another alarm bell but, I was in a strange place and I let it slide. I was surprised at how promptly my food was delivered to my table but then realised exactly why that was. Their interpretation of a tuna salad was two pieces of iceberg lettuce, one slice of tomato and a can of tuna!!!

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I’m not being snobby here. I wasn’t expecting them to go out and harpoon a tuna just for me but this was ridiculous! It was directly out of a can and I knew that because it was still in the shape of the can and it wasn’t cooked! They hadn’t bothered to drain the can so my salad – and I use that term loosely—was 50% soup because it was swimming in the weird, gross, tuna juice from the can. The situation was made worse when I took a sip of water in an effort to fight the rising nausea in my throat and found that the water was stale and tasted like dirt! As a result, I spat the water out, making my salad, 75% soup.

I got up to leave the restaurant that had made my aunt’s death not the worst thing that had happened to me that day, and the previously invisible waiting staff appeared out of the blue! They told me that I could not leave until I paid my $35 bill (hahahahahah). I brushed past the scrawny white woman, got in my car and drove back to the hotel. Thank god for room service!