by Chrysa Smith

We’ve all had those unfortunate memories of bad meals, bad behavior, bad times at restaurants. Some were the result of the kitchen, some the wait staff, some our fellow diners and maybe even ourselves. Some were bad enough to make us stay clear of the place altogether.
Well after some recent poor service and mediocre food, I got to thinking: As far as restaurants go, I’ve had some incredible experiences and some real klunkers. And I got to remembering and chuckling over some of my worst restaurant experiences:
At a restaurant in Montana, when my husband asked for the bleeding steak to be cooked just a bit more, the waiter came over with a giant fork, stabbed the steak and ran off to the kitchen with it (left the plate on the table)
At a restaurant near home, when we stopped in with no reservations (as we often did), the matre’ d asked how long it would take us to eat? Maybe he was going to seat us at the ‘express’ table!
At a famous NYC restaurant, one of the customers ‘called’ his waiter by banging loudly on his plate with the utensils
At another restaurant, with a reservation, we were asked to wait for 45 minutes while they prepared the table. Three 6 feet guys and smaller women were seated in a booth—-the men squeezed in so tight, well, they couldn’t pull out their wallets without standing up
At a diner in NYC, when a child was misbehaving, disturbed diners got into an argument with the socially inept parents–which kept up until one of the groups left the building
At a hotel cafe in Florida, I ordered my usual cup of hot tea. The waitress told me they couldn’t do it because they didn’t have any hot water. Hmmm, maybe a pot and a stove?
When my brother’s friend made reservations under the name ‘Doctor Brown’, he insisted that we’d have prime seating. We were seated near the swinging kitchen door, which hit the back of one chair each time a waiter would enter or leave the kitchen
When I sometimes tire of cooking, I think of these. Unless I am going to a tried and true selection, or can read multiple good ratings on Zagat, Open Table or, I’ll take a sip of wine and pick up the spoon and my apron one more time.
What are your worst restaurant experiences?