How to Get Free Food Through Bad Service

I had a busy day in Lincoln yesterday and I will post about it, but lunch deserves its own post.
Nothing sounds better on a cool rainy day than Ale and Cheddar soup at Granite City. When Ginger suggested it I was all over that idea. I need to figure our how to make that soup at home - that stuff is money. I was a little light headed from all the sugar from the gestational diabetes test so I decided to order a cheeseburger too for some protein. Not sure if our server was now in his manic phase or something, but let's just say he seemed a little...distracted. Soup came out and it was just as awesome as I'd hoped. Next came the burger and fries. Now, the other awesome thing at Granite City is their dipping sauce for fries (costs extra like everything else there, but it's worth it). I had ordered sauce, but none came out. Also, there were no condiments for my burger. Knowing that I was paying for that delicious sauce and not wanting a dry burger I asked the server to bring me some. Right after he left I looked down again and realized that there was NO CHEESE on my "cheese"burger.
***I would like to take a moment to relay a pet peeve of mine. The person that takes your order should be the one to bring it to you! This just makes sense. The poor dude that brought my food had no clue that it wasn't exactly how I had wanted it and had to do some running around. Luckily I never take it out on the bringer outer, but I'm pretty sure others would. Ok, I feel better. Thank you.***
Anyway, they took away the burger to put cheese on it and left my fries so I could eat them while I waited. I wondered how they were not going to char my already well-done burger when they put it back on the grill, but I didn't say anything. This all was a little annoying but then as I moved a couple of fries around I gagged. There was a hair in my fries. Sick. Generally I would have assumed it was mine except for three things: 1. My hair was in a pony tail. 2. You don't lose much hair when you're pregnant, especially me. 3. It didn't look like my hair. My individual strands of hair are quite thick themselves, and this one wasn't.
At this point I wasn't really sure how much I wanted to keep eating. I just kept saying, "I'm not trying to be difficult." Ginger consoled me as best she could. Our server showed back up with the cheeseburger and took away the fries. At least he looked properly horrified about the hair, but the bun was cold and the burger wasn't real warm either. At this point the manager showed up. He asked what was going on and as I explained everything I actually felt bad for him. It wasn't his fault and he was really nice about the whole thing. He said that he would get me a whole new burger (with cheese) and fries and that everything was on the house, even Ginger's meal. I got a fresh, hot, and tasty burger. I ate half and brought home the other half for Glenn. When our server brought our to-go boxes he even brought extra of the sauce. He asked if we wanted dessert, but we were stuffed. Too bad since it was going to be free!
In any case, I walked away without harboring any bad feelings about Granite City. I will definately go back. I told Ginger it only makes sense. They had to eat the cost of $20 worth of meals (so probably $8 in actual cost to them tops including paying the help) and we left happy and willing to return. The manager was so great and apologetic. I've been at places where I have had just as bad of service and they didn't even offer us a discount (I'm talking about you, Old Chicago)! So thanks for the free food, Granite City, but I'd be happy to pay next time to get a hairless meal of what I actually ordered and in good time.
Maybe someday I'll have to tell you the story of how once at Chili's the cook cut and arranged mostly raw chicken over my salad and then the server brought it out and placed it in front of me and nobody getting paid to work there even noticed. Ginger didn't get her meal free that time, but I did.


Claudia said…
Eeeeeeewwwww. I'm so glad this story had a happy ending. But still...eeeewwwww.

And thank you for giving me a reason to comment in your newly "commentable" blog!
Unknown said…
While I'm really sorry that your meal didn't come out right (and sanitary) the first time, I'm also glad to have gotten a nice free meal at Granite City. Truly, it made me lose my appetite a bit when I saw the hair in your food....I thought, "what if there was one in mine, too?" ICK! They really did the most awesome job I've ever seen at correcting their mistake. BTW, is it only with me that you always have problems with your food orders, Emily? :/ Hope not....I feel like I'm bad luck for you at restaurants or something.
Emily said…
I've definitely had other problems with food orders without you, but I can't think of any time where it was as bad as when I've been with you.
Considering all the times we've eaten out together though our average is pretty good.

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