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Would You Rather Have Great Ambiance or Great Food?
Jun 14 2009 • By
Service is a part of the ambiance, and to me, mediocre food is forgivable, but mediocre service is not. A great server can turn a so-so restaurant into a enjoyable outing, and the best food in the world can't be saved when it took you 10 minutes to get the host's attention, another 15 to find your waiter, and another 10 for your drinks to come. That was my experience at a lovely restaurant last night, and I can guarantee it will be a long time until I give them a second chance.
I'd rather have great food. I've been to lots of places with great ambiance but horrible--or almost worse, just mediocre--food. I prefer being pleasantly surprised by places with bland or even horrible decor having nice food than extremely disappointed by places with great setting but unsatisfactory food.
i think that it has to be a bit of both. if the ambiance is awful then no matter how great the food is - it's not going to save the experience. and if you have a GREAT environment and awful food - then well you're at a loss and will never go back.
i choose food because i realise i can feel awfully disappointed if they dont serve good food.
FOOD, unless you're at an event -- for example, I would rather have a wedding kick butt with so-so food than have haute cuisine with a lame band, etc.
They're both so important to get right, down to details, but if forced to pick I'll take food every time. I went out with my husband last night on a date night and we hadn't been on one in a while and the ambiance of the restaurant was nice, the atmosphere comfortable. In the end, the restaurant experience was awful because the food was bad. They even tried to say that a medium rare steak has to be cold to the touch (on the outside) so that it's not overdone, and this is at a steakhouse. We were giving them a second chance because we'd gone for our anniversary the year before and the live lobster I ordered smelled horribly like ammonia and the waitress told me "They probably just used that to clean the lobster before cooking it and it kept some of the smell." After those two experiences, I won't be listening to friends anymore who claim that it's the best steak place around. However, we did get to talking about how when competing restaurants have difficulty with food quality, if we have to choose one over the other we'll take the one with the nicer ambiance. It kind of pains me to have to make those choices, but in a small city with limited restaurant selection, sometimes you have to accept the problems and go with the best you can.
Good food. I could care less about ambiance.
I've eaten at some seriously amazing places that are hole-in-the-wall dumps before. And I've eaten at some really nice places where the food was just kind of OK. Some places like to focus on the food and don't really put quite as much effort into the exterior appearance. So yeah, food is WAY more important than ambience.
A no-brainer for me. Great food! Preferably with bacon!
I am, or bring, my own ambiance.
Both really, but the food is definitely priority.
Ambiance doesn't matter nearly as much as who you're with. The right company can make any meal great, and it makes great food miraculously amazing.
When you are eating bacon wrapped dogs at 2 a.m., it is all about the people you are with.....right?
With the economy the way it is, most restaurants should be overjoyed if you show up.The best meals I've had are are at Truck stops ( Sunday brunch buffets): The food is filling, "comfort" food, and the atmosphere is fun, especially when a few truckers are present!
Ambiance. Some of my favorite restaurants serve simple pizza or pub food, but have a wonderful laid-back, breezy atmosphere with happy, sincere wait staff.
Depends on the situation. Of course, both together would be great. For me, most of the time, I'd prefer good food. However, there are just sometimes when you want an experience.
Ambiance. It makes the food taste better!
Ambiance. I'm not a big foodie, so the atmosphere is important to me.
I love food, so usually I concentrate on that more than the ambiance. In a restaurant the only thing I usually notice is if the waitstaff is bad. I've had such great experiences at so many dives, just because the food and the waitstaff were so great. Now I prefer going to these hole in the wall restaurants/bars than the really popular ones. I also like the feeling I get in some of these dark, smoky bars - just a quiet, mysterious, content feeling. Now I'm rambling.
My first instinct was to say food. But then I remembered going to a certain restaurant that has amazing food. They put us at this really odd table that just did not flow with the rest of the room. It just kind of threw the whole experience off. The food was soooo good but my first thought is always the table. So unfortunate. There is this other restaurant that opened recently that spent millions on the decor. The place looks amazing but the food is so-so. Every time I go all I can think is that if they only spent half the money on decor and concentrated on finding an amazing chef it would be so much better! So I am going to have to agree with Ozy on this one.
I have been in beautiful restaurants with bad food, and been horribly disappointed. The atmosphere had me expecting great things that the chef couldn't deliver, and the let down was pretty strong. A week ago, we went into a favourite restaurant that had had a complete renovation that left it cold and impersonal feeling. The food was the same and was delicious, but the atmosphere was so uncomfortable I doubt we'd go back. So ultimately I'd rather have a reasonable ambience with decent food rather than have to choose having one or the other being outstanding and the other disappointing.
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