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Party Foul: Saying One Thing, Serving Another

Recently I attended the opening reception for a new bar in San Francisco. Like most bars these days, the establishment had a list of tantalizing specialty cocktails. According to the menu, the cocktail I ordered, a Bloodhound, was a mixture of Hanger One vodka, Campari, and grapefruit juice. However, when I watched the bartender mix the drink, he made it with Smirnoff! Listing out specific ingredients and making a dish with different components is not okay. Can you imagine the repercussions if a restaurant did this and served an item that caused an allergic reaction? When hosting a party of any sort, be sure to give guests exactly what is described on the menu.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Where you asked for one thing and got something totally different? Please share your stories below!


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snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
a good friend of mine is diabetic. she ordered a captain and diet. they were out of diet and gave her regular coke without telling her. luckily, that's an obvious taste difference so she knew after the first sip. when she went in to complain the manager he told her that they don't tell people when they're out of diet because "usually it's just annoying girls who don't want the extra calories". needless to say, she's never been back. although now she wishes she would have drunken more of the drink so she could have sued them and put them out of business.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Sarah, I HATE mushrooms, too! I tell places I am allergic to them. It's not true, but I got tired of having them show up in my meals. Or, I could tell that they had been cooked with mushrooms and then picked out. I used to feel bad, but when you don't tell them you're allergic, you wind up with mushrooms!
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
That is just evil (unless it was a free-drink thing like an open bar then you really shouldn't assume thye are giving top shelf for free). But still, very vile. I hate when something is advertised and you don't get it (esp. if you paid for the good stuff). The most common one that happens to me is when I order a breakfast dish at a dinner (eggs, toast and homefries or hasbrowns) and the plate comes back with french fries instead of homefries or hashbrowns and when I said "I ordered the homefries/hasbrowns" I ALWAYS get "Oh, we ran out" and my server walks away. I DON'T want french fries with my eggs. If you don't have something, come back and just say so. I would have ordered something else then, no fuss no muss. But don't act like people can't tell the difference between homefries and french fries. And I agree with the poster that said no to the use of drink mixes. If I paid for fresh juices and such, don't throw in a bottled mix and think I can't tell the difference. It's just insulting.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I hate mushrooms. Despise them. When I was younger and my dad would make something with Cream of Mushroom soup, I'd pick out every single tiny little piece of mushroom I could find. It's happened to me twice, at two different restaurants, mushrooms are not listed on the dish description, but somehow they end up in my food. So now I just ask if it has mushrooms. Cause I'm tired of picking them out of my food! Blytheann...that's the exact reason I order my vodka straight up when I'm at a bar. People are shady.
blytheann blytheann 8 years
I'm blowing the lid on the world of bartending. As a bartender at a high-end Martini bar in D.C., my shady and cheap boss told us specifically we were not allowed to use the more expensive, high end liquors for the martinis, even though they were all listed as having such ingredients. He really expected and watched us to make sure we were using the rail liquor (rail = the booze that hangs below the bar that guests rarely see)...therefore advertising falsely and taking money from people. He was a total scam artist anyway, but I have to say that this is quite common in almost every major city. And unfortunately it's not up to the bartenders to make the call--if you complain, the only place it goes is directly to the manager or owner, because they're the ones telling the people behind the bar that they have to do this so the money goes directly into the owner's pockets. Unfortunately you all are only guaranteed top shelf liquor if you are asking for something specifically on the rocks (straight up with ice) or mixed with a soda or juice, where you can see the bartender pouring the liquor from the bottle. Oh, and another burst bubble--there are definitely bar owners out there who refill the clear liquors with clear cheaper drinks...but most of the time you should be able to tell what's going on because the bottles should be unopened in front of you. So this is just a sad little secret into the world of bartending...hence the reason why I couldn't stand the moral standards for more than the time I was there.
AbbyHintz AbbyHintz 8 years
It's really a case of the difference in quality. *I* wouldn't notice a difference in taste, and the restaurant is counting on that fact. But some people can really taste differences in vodka (particularly the next day as lisabarn points out). I would expect this in Columbus, OH, but not CA where you guys are! Totally unacceptable! Not a good way for a new bar to start.
kmckay kmckay 8 years
i can't stand it when you order a drink (like a margarita or a cosmo) and they make it with a mix. ugh that sachrine taste is AWFUL! and i'm not into paying $8+ for a drink made with artificial mixers
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 8 years
I don't think most bars would have the audacity to switch ingredients, but I know a lot that serve cheap liquors from name brand bottles.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i can't recall, but i was in italy with my boss and she specifically asked for her noodles to be spaghetti instead of the listed fettucini and the waitress agreed, but when her food arrived, it was fettucini anyway, and the waitress said "yes, it was too hard to change it in the kitchen. sorry"....if she had just told my boss at the time or come back and told her no, she would have chosen a different dish. she really didn't like that style of noodle and it ruined her whole meal. the waitress just basically told her to eat what she was given.
emalove emalove 8 years
Yes, this has happened to me, and I ALWAYS know! I have no problem sending it back if it was misrepresented or not what I ordered.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
norabora- I love both avocado and guacamole, but you want what you think you're getting!!! that would annoy me!
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
That's unacceptable. I hope you said something.
norabora norabora 8 years
omg that is one of my biggest pet peeves. in particular, when a menu lists avocado and my food shows up with guacamole spewed all over it. if you list avocado, my assumption is that i will be recieving slices of avocado. oy!
gooniette gooniette 8 years
I hope you said something and the bartender re-made it correctly. Unless it was free, then you just know not to order drinks there in the future.
syako syako 8 years
lisa I love your comment! :D
lisabarn lisabarn 8 years
wow, Smirnoff vs Hanger one? That is a total party foul - with the prices we pay for drinks now a days I would (and yes I have...) ask the bartender to fix it. Smirnoff vs. Hanger one is like ordering filet mignon and getting a hamburger and still having to pay for the filet + you get the added bonus of a hangover because Smirnoff isn't as pure. If the bartender refused to fix I would bring it to the attention of the manager, and I would seriously question returning to that bar again.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
That bartender should be ejected from the game.
fiestamama fiestamama 8 years
That is an intentional foul! you get two free throws and the ball back.
helloimkaren helloimkaren 8 years
This is true, it's not really a big deal to me either but I do have a friend who is allergic to a specific type of Vodka. Weird huh? Haha...
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Never has happened to me. I guess I don't see the problem with subbing one vodka in for another, unless it was a sponsored party or something. In a mixed drink I wouldn't even taste the difference.
helloimkaren helloimkaren 8 years
I was at the Cheesecake Factory and I ordered Pasta with Shrimp but they gave it to me with Scallops instead. I don't think it's the same thing...
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I ordered wine that was supposed to be Pinot Noir and it ended up as malbec... ummm... no... they said they ran out of pinot noir (and they were just going to assume I wouldn't know? :) )
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Not that I can recall...
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