It is always nice to visit a local, non-corporate-run restaurant. You get treated to original dishes, a unique setting, and, on top of that, it is always a rewarding experience to support a local business. That is, unless the restaurant fails to earn your support.
Diners who found themselves disappointed and disgusted by their experience at a "Mom and Pop" restaurant recounted the tale on Reddit. Perhaps these stories may inspire you to stick with the corporate-run chains.
"I ordered a salad. I was about to take my first bite and saw a spider. I looked down and there were baby spiders ALL OVER my salad. There was no way they had even washed the lettuce if baby spiders were all over it! They then asked if I wanted a replacement salad.
"When I was in high school, I went to a restaurant with some friends, ordered drinks, and the specialty the restaurant was known for all at the same time. Drinks arrived in a timely fashion, but the food never did. We were busy in conversation about a topic that must have been very important because we didn't even notice until the party next to us left paid and left even though they came in five minutes after us.
We stopped the waiter to ask where our food was. He insisted we never ordered, even though we clearly did. We figured we would just cut our losses there. We asked him for the check.
Lo and behold, somehow, the food we apparently never ordered showed up on the check. We ended up arguing with the manager before tossing €10 at him for the drinks and walking out as he threatened to call the police."
"It was my little sister's 18th birthday. We all went out for a nice meal - myself, my parents, my little sister, and her girlfriend. Everything started off nice. We were greeted by the Maitre D', who treated us like A-list guests. She seemed like the nicest lady I had ever met. She seated us at a table and the waiter came to take drink orders and give us menus. I was beside my sister's girlfriend, with my sister on the other side.
The waiter returned with the drinks. He appeared to be about 21-23, if I had to guess. He was quite chubby, nothing special by anyone's standards. He started getting a bit friendly with my sister's girlfriend, a bit too friendly. She did not appreciate it, being a lesbian and all, and told him she was not interested.
At that point, my sister was openly glaring at the waiter. She got up, stalked over to the Maitre D' and asked for a new waiter. The Maitre D' apologized and said there was no other free wait staff. She returned to the table and ordered another drink. Soon, she was already on her third or fourth drink.
The rest of dinner went OK. My sister and her girlfriend got a bit too tipsy and started flirting with each other. Then, the waiter came to ask if we wanted coffee, and then hit on my sister that time. My sister's girlfriend had had enough.
'HEY, IMBECILE!' she exclaimed
'What did you say to me?!!' the waiter replied.
'Back the heck off my girlfriend you sleazy, FAT JERK! She is clearly not interested in you, yet all of tonight, you've been trying to get in her or my pants and trying to cop a feel. IN FRONT OF HER OWN FREAKING FAMILY!'
'Wha.... wait. You're lesbians?'
'Well done, Einstein!'
'Well, why don't you both come back to my place after my shift's over. I'll be done here in 10. Then, I can fix you both.'
'WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?'
Half the restaurant was looking at us. My sister's girlfriend got up out of her seat and got right up in the face of the waiter.
'Try one more thing,' she calmly whispered. 'Go on. One more.'
We knew this was bad. This meant she was REALLY ticked off. I tensed up and slid my chair out slightly, ready to get involved if crap started going down. The waiter starts saying something as moved in close and laid his hand on her chest. Not surprisingly, she hit him in the face. It was not a slap, not even a punch. It was a proper, full-force headbutt. There was an almighty CRACK and blood began pouring down his face from an obviously broken nose. He grabbed her with one hand and started hitting her back. I was having none of this.
I jumped up, grabbed him by the back of his shirt, and yanked him back. He spun to face me, only to receive a fist to his stomach. He fell down, winded. I was pretty hammered, so I decided to give him a few good kicks in the groin while he was down to teach him a lesson. Then, I started laying into his face with my fists.
By then, the police had turned up. The Maitre D' called as soon as the screaming match started and we were only about a minute from the station. They dragged him and myself apart and started taking statements from the staff. Myself and my sister's girlfriend were put in cuffs for assault and into the police station overnight.
About an hour later we were let out. The police apologize for it, asking us to please not file a complaint for wrongful arrest. It turned out that, on the scene, they only took the Maitre D's statement first, which said that I, unprovoked, attacked him for no reason and 'my butch girlfriend' jumped in. We found that hilarious and had to explain to the officer why we could stop laughing). We also found out the Maitre D' was intimate with the waiter, which is why she stuck up for him.
They had asked other patrons what happened and the told them the whole story of how much of a pig the waiter was and how he inappropriately touched her. THEN, she hit him and, when he started attacking her back, I jumped in to help her. We decided never to go there again.
About a week later we got a letter. It was an apology to us from the manager/chef. He said the involved employees had been fired. Also included was a special card allowing half price off of our next meals there for a whole year."
"We have two local Chinese buffet places in town. One of them is pretty good for being a $7 all-you-can-force-into-your-gut craphole. The other, not so much.
I stopped there after work on Christmas. The place had five or ten other patrons, so it was not really that busy. I got my glass of pop and up to the buffet I went. I got my usual chicken wings, crab rangoon, and the mystery meat on a stick. I made it back to my booth, took a bite of a chicken wing, and then answered a text. When I returned my attention to my chicken wing, I saw that there were, in fact, maggots crawling around on it.
That was all she wrote. I puked on the table. I puked on the floor. I was still puking when the waiter came over and then spent another ten minutes puking in the parking lot while the manager kept ordering me to pay. Somehow, I did not puke on him, but I did have to pause several times between telling him to back off to vomit more.
I made it home, where I ended up spending the night sweating and shaking profusely on the toilet while voiding everything I had ever eaten from which ever end it was closest to. I ended up writing a review of the place and called the Health Department. In the review, I explained what had happened and the manager (at least I assume that it was him) commented that I shouldn't say such hurtful things about the place."
"My friends and I were out one night at this restaurant, I forget the name of it. We decided to stop at this place after a Friday night just for fun. It was kind of like a burger joint or some crap. During the first part, I knew the service was going to be awful. It took about 10 minutes for a waitress to come by, which I could understand because it looked as though it was kinda busy, but not too busy. We ordered our drinks, which took another 10 minutes. Usually when I go to a restaurant, it takes about three to five minutes to get our beverages.
When the drinks came, they had a very awful taste to them. My friend saw lots of bubbles in his drink when he got his, leading to suspicion that the glasses still had soap in them. We told our waitress about it and she said she would get the manager to come by. The manager never came by.
We asked her, again, to get the manager, but she said that he was currently busy. Then, we asked for our drinks to go back and for her to give us new glasses. She took the drinks back onto the board with a foul look on her face. She came back with new beverages and took our order. We ended up waiting about 45 or 50 minutes for our food which outraged us because we saw some people who were there a shorter time than we were, and they got their food quickly.
When our food was served to us, it wasn't so bad, until I got a little deeper into my burger. I found that the center of the sandwich meat was raw. Outraged by this, I called our waitress back in order for her to send back the sandwich. She checked the burger and said it was fine and safe. I put my finger in to feel it - it was very soft, mushy, and pink. My friend also stated that his fries were cold.
The waitress started to lose her patience and interrupted my friend, saying she would get the manager as soon as possible, which I found pretty rude, considering I actually work in a restaurant. She came back and, once again, said that the manager was busy. We told her we were ready to pay our check. We did not tip her. We wrote on the back of the check that the service we received was 'unbelievable.'
We began to head for the door when, suddenly, the manager came out and was visibly upset. He lost his temper and began to nearly shout at us in front of a nearly packed dining room with everyone watching. He said his waiters and waitresses work too hard for minimum wage, which was complete crap. We told him what happened with our drinks, our wait time, our food, and our waiter's attitude, which was totally inexcusable. He proclaimed that we were making things up and demanded that we tip our waitress.
This began to spark up. Some other people came up to the manager and reprimanded him, saying what he was doing was illegal. He completely ignores them. Outraged, they paid their bill and left immediately. As we headed for the door, the manager threatened to call the police, which he did. We decided to stay in the restaurant to avoid them trying to find and arrest us.
An officer arrived and heard the manager's side of the story. Then, he heard our side. The manager continued to accuse us, saying we were still lying and that we would not pay our full bill. We gave a receipt to the officer. After he looked it over, he asked the manager to bring him a recent record of sales from the previous hour.
He found our payment and told the manager that it is the customer's decision to leave a tip or not. Before the officer left, he told the manager that if a scenario like this which leads to police involvement at this place happened again, he would be arrested.
The manager, being the suck-up he was, apologized and offered us any dessert for half-price. One of our friends told him that he should offer it for free for the poor service that we received. He declined, saying it would affect profits for the restaurant.
'Wow,' said one of my friends. 'You really are pathetic. We are never stepping foot in this place again.'
A few days later, I saw a health inspection truck outside the restaurant. I drove up to the parking lot and went up to the door to see a sign saying that the establishment had been henceforth closed due to health reasons."
"I went to a cheap little sushi place and ordered two rolls to go. I would do this weekly. The waitress was pleasant but, after about 30 minutes of waiting (which usually only took 15), I asked her if my sushi was almost ready.
'I'll get it when I get it,' she told me, huffily.
Then, I started noticing people who came in after me were receiving their sushi, so I asked her again. After about 50 minutes, I told her my meter was running out and that I would like a refund. She told me she had no clue how to do that, but gave me four quarters to pay the meter.
I told her that I wanted to speak to a manager. She told me that he would not be in for over a week. After sitting and waiting for an hour and a half, she told me she had completely forgotten to put my order in.
I had already paid $15. Being a poor college student, I couldn't leave without the food."
"I was having dinner with my now-wife. She had just recently moved back to Massachusetts from California, so she didn't have a new MA ID yet. We went to order drinks and the waitress took my wife's Cali ID, immediately proclaimed it was 'fake,' snapped it in half and hands it back to her. In the blink of an eye, she just destroyed my wife's only current ID for no reason.
The manager ended up getting involved and agreed that the waitress was out of line. I think he offered free drinks or something, but my wife was furious. We ended up just leaving. It wound up being a hassle getting an MA ID later on because of this, but that's another story."
"We were having a pretty big birthday party at a restaurant called Orca in Melkbos, Western Cape, South Africa. About 20 or so of us booked a room with them. Everything went well. We had drinks, our food, and all was good.
When we asked for the bill, we all chipped in and something happened that usually never happens. We had a way too much money left. About $100, which was worth even more back then, was left over even after a generous tip. Nobody wanted the money back, so we decided to drink it out. I called the waiter to order a few rounds of drinks. We were told that he could not serve us anymore. The manager told him to cut us off and to tell us to leave. We were all a bit shocked and went to find out what his deal was.
"Back off before he called the cops," he told, extremely aggressively.
When asked what we did, he said one of us rubbed against a signboard (one of those they write out the specials on with chalk) when he squeezed past somebody, so it was ruined. He was so arrogant, we decided to take the cash and go somewhere else. I have never been back and this happened more than 10 years ago. I was later told he was fired because of his attitude.
Another fun fact: I am a vindictive pest, so while we were leaving, I took the sleeve of my shirt and wiped all the boards they had on the way out. It was childish, sure, but I had a good chuckle."
"I went on a lunch break to a little cafe in downtown Orem, Utah, with two co-workers. I had a 45-minute window to eat as I had a call with a client that day. I showed up to the place just as the lunch rush was dying down. The owner of the place, who made a point to let me know he was the owner, had pictures of himself all over the walls with his arms around various customers.
I knew that I wanted a Pastrami sandwich, so I was pretty gung ho to order. There were still people eating, but there was no line to order aside from my two co-workers in front of me. He was the one who took orders, so when its my turn I said, 'Can I get a pastrami sandwich without onion on it please?'
'Sure thing, man,' the owner replied. 'Can you give me a second? I wanted to take a picture with this table before they leave.'
I waited while he took a few pictures with some people. I was not upset at this, as it was refreshing to see his enthusiasm and desire to interact with his customers. I watched as he went to table after table to get pictures of himself taken with all of these very young college girls, while disregarding the boys they were there for lunch with. After a while, I started to get a little impatient. Then, he handed me the camera, since I was obviously not doing anything, and had me snap a few shots for him with his customers.
'OK, my man,' he said to me after finishing up his pictures, 'what can I get for you?'
'A Pastrami sandwich, no onion,' I replied.
Just then, a group of young ladies came waltzing in through the door.
'Oh, hey!' the owner said to the ladies. 'Dang, girl, it's been a while!"
He blew me off, again, to visit with this girl and her friends and started up again with asking me to take some photos. He had no extra help in this little cafe aside from a cook who had not moved an inch from his post in the kitchen. By that point, I was starting to get mad. I could sit and watch my co-workers eat, or I could wait it out and see if, maybe, I just needed to be patient since I had heard nothing but good reviews of this place.
He handed me the camera again. It had been 15 minutes since I got there. The cook dropped the food off at my friends' table. Then, he stood there and started visiting with those girls, as well. The camera was handed to me again and I took a few photos, letting my good nature be further taken advantage of. Then, as he finished up his conversation with those 'fine young ladies,' he said, 'Well, HEY girls, what can I get for you?' and he took their orders... in front of me.
Then, I was livid. I was starving and I really just wanted to get my pastrami sandwich or burger or whatever it was that I ordered. The dude finally took my order and shouted it back to his cook. I chimed in to remind him, 'No onion please.' He muttered my request back to his cook. I sat down to wait.
Ten minutes went by. I watched as the ladies in front of me were given their orders. I remember thinking how much I really wished I was just eating. I am not the type who likes to make people feel bad and will usually just fume about something silently rather than making a scene. My food finally arrived and I was surely going to be late for this phone call by this point. I texted into work to let them know I was going to be about 20 minutes longer and to postpone my call. As I was sending the text, I took my first bite of food.
Onions. Freaking onions were all up in my food. I HATE onions. Admittedly, the taste does not bother me too much, but I can't stand the texture of them. My co-workers were restraining grins and cringes as they could clearly see I was having a pretty crappy lunch break.
I popped the bun off of my sandwich and scraped the onions off with my fingers. As I ate the remainder of my sandwich, I stared in anger at the onions. The sandwich was pretty good aside from the fact that, as a customer, I was treated like crap. I pushed the chips and garnish off to the side and, with my already onion-slicked hands, proceeded to write a little message with the offending vegetable. When I finished, I was quite pleased with my work. My buddies even commended me on my neat onion handwriting. I snapped a picture with my crappy little Samsung phone, left without leaving a tip, and never went back."
"I went to an Asian 'fusion' restaurant with my family at which they offered such yummy, delectable dishes as beef teriyaki with freaking mozzarella sticks and other culinary abortions such as tonkatsu with french fries. They really 'fusioned' that crap up.
After we finished eating, I headed to the bathroom. One of the chefs is in there was already peeing, wearing his apron and hat. While I was peeing, he zipped up and walks straight out.
What the heck?
My mom saw that I was upset and I told her why. She waved the manager over and I told him that I saw a chef pee and not wash his hands. Then he just stared at me, grinning with his goofy teeth, not saying anything. It was weird. We got up and left. We never went back."
"I went to a Mexican restaurant that was completely empty on a Saturday night. Among the highlights of the night was a clump of hair and dust in the salsa. The music was cranked up so loud that the water on the table rippled. The dance floor was empty. The DJ that came out just stared at us and counted to three in Spanish over and over again in a satanic voice.
When attempting to pay with a credit card, I was told to make sure to get a signature because, 'the freaking cops have been around.' There was a toothless man wandering around near the cash register with a guitar, just laughing and spouting nonsense. My friend reported that there was a man most likely having relations in the bathroom. Finally, I had a pretty OK enchilada.
We found out why that place was so mental two weeks later when I went to read some bad reviews. The restaurant was a front for an illicit substances ring. It was raided by SWAT two days after."
"We were in a restaurant in Paris last fall. We ordered our food which NEVER came out. We were finally able to tell the manager, who went and got the waitress. She claimed we had already been served, ate it all, and that this was a scam to get second dinner. The manager believed us, but it felt like we were defendants in a criminal trial."
"I went out out to eat with my friends at a mid range place. My total was $22 or something. I didn't have a debit card at the time because I was only 15 or 16. I only had a $20 and a $10. I paid $30 in cash. The waitress came back after doing the bills for everyone and asked if anyone else needed anything.
I was pulling 2 $1's out of my purse to tip $10 in cash, along with my $8 in change, but I did not have it. I asked for my change.
'Are you really going to gripe over $8?' the waitress asked me.
I was stunned. I really did not know what to say and every one of my friends was staring at me, quiet.
'Uh, yeah,' I said. 'You don't get to just keep it.'
I had money out to tip and, at this time in my life, I was a WAITRESS MYSELF. I have never, ever, ever refused to give someone their rightful change, even if it ws 10 cents.
'Oh, OK,' the waitress said. 'That's just how I make my freaking living."
Then, this banshee reached into her apron and threw a handful of money at the table with such force that coins splattered everywhere, hitting some of us at the table in the face. She then stormed off.
We were stunned. We gathered our things, and left. Two other tables (one a very elderly couple and the other younger with a toddler, neither of which had food yet) slowly got up and also left. The mother of the toddler assured me outside that she had never seen anything like that and it was unacceptable.
Bonus: instead of throwing down $8, like my actual change which I was going to leave on the table, she threw down about $15 worth. She ended up in the negative on my tab for her freak out."
"I worked at a small local seafood restaurant. There were, at most, four people running the whole restaurant. We were told to lie about most foods and what they were. The owner would serve bad meat saying, 'If you cut it off, it will be OK.' It was an all around crap hole. The only reason I put up with it was because I was making decent money.
The peak of it all, and the moment I quit, was the day the health inspector came. The first day she was there, she said the outside walk-in fridge was too hot. It was. She also said that we needed to get it cooled to standard by the next day. I started by dumping all of its contents into the dumpster. She watched me the whole time.
When she left, I called the owner, who was out of town. He told me to PULL IT OUT OF THE DUMPSTER. I got off the phone and told my waitress, the only other person in the whole restaurant with me, that I refused to do it. I even went as far as to move two big packages of meat to a DIFFERENT dumpster down an alleyway. I went home later without thinking about it.
The next day, I came in and walked into the kitchen. The wrappings from the meat were sitting, dripping with blood, ON THE DISHWASHING SINK. The owner then went as far as telling me that I was wrong for throwing it away because it was still safe to eat.
Long story short, if you ever hear of a restaurant called The Moorings and an owner named Al, run as far and as fast as you can."