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About mhberk

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  • Birthday 01/29/1970

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    Ho Co, MD

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  1. I would say a "learning experience" is having your server suggest wine-by-the-glass without checking the price and finding out that you were drinking $30 a glass wine when you thought it would be around $12. Or ordering a special without asking the price and finding out it was $50 a plate. Again, I stated that it was my father's fault, but I don't think there's anyone out there who would think a reasonable person would tip roughly 40% on a table of 6 adults, a two year old, a seven year old, and an 11 year old where the service was sub par (and it was). He absolutely should've noticed the policy, but for a local restaurant without a corporate backing in a down economy that gets a ton of press in this area, you would think that they would overlook their "policy" for a regular customer. And there's no way that that server honestly thought that she was getting $100+ tip for a table like ours.
  2. Well, I asked for opinions because I'm sure that this is a common occurrence and I wanted to know what other restaurant's policies are. I didn't name the restaurant, because I didn't describe the complete situation. What I said was true and that they wouldn't refund the tip. But after talking to two managers (both refusing the refund) and then to the owner herself, and telling her that he and his family are regular diners of the restaurant and that we all live in the community, she finally caved and gave him a $50 GC (which was $10 less than the "extra" tip). He said that he's not sure that he wants to come back because of this (and service has really gone downhill over the last few times we've been there) and asked if they're willing to lose a customer and his family over $10. They repeated that it was their policy to not refund tips. He was NOT happy - and neither am I! It's a local Ho Co restaurant (not a chain, but pretty big in this area) so I'm not sure it would matter to too many of you if I named the restaurant. After this additional information, if you still want to know the name, I'll let you know.
  3. First of all, if this topic has already been addressed, please move this to that thread. Similarly, if I've posted in the wrong forum, please move this to the correct forum. I'd like to get the opinions of waitstaff and restaurant owners on this one: Here's the situation: My father (who is almost 80) recently went to a restaurant where he was part of a party of eight and he was the one who paid the bill. Even though it was printed in the menu that parties of eight would be subject to a mandatory 18% gratuity AND the 18% was added into the check, he went ahead and tipped 20% on top of all of that - COMPLETELY his fault. He realized his mistake the next day and went back to the restaurant to explain the situation. Both the owner and her managers explained that the policy is clearly stated in the menu and on the check and said that it's their policy to not refund mistakes like that. I'm sure that this oversight isn't that uncommon. How do you handle this situation?
  4. I don't have the issue in front of me, but my biggest complaint was Zaytinya ahead of Palena
  5. Just picked up the new issue. I'll wait for others to get it before I make comments. Was surprised to see a new restaurant debuting at #4
  6. Diary of a Foodie is quickly becoming one of my favorite "cooking" shows. There isn't a lot of cooking, but I like how they focus on a city (or country) and showcase the local cuisine or they'll take a certain food (like chili peppers) and show how it's prepared in different regions.
  7. One of my new favorites is Anne Burrell's "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef"
  8. I'm pretty sure Casey came in 2nd that year and Dale got 3rd. I remember Casey making such a big deal about Hung winning and how she was robbed.
  9. I find it odd (though not for Carole Greenwood) for someone to open a restaurant in DC and chose who to serve based on their political affiliation.
  10. There is nothing that can survive in that location! Over the decades, I have seen several restaurants try, but they never seem to make it. Only Clyde's, Tomato Palace (anchored by Clyde's) and Sushi Sono have made it. I did enjoy the Brazilian joint that was there before Jesse Wong moved in.
  11. Did anyone catch that Fabio Trabocchi will be competing on Iron Chef this Sunday?
  12. I go to Palena EXPECTING to get poor service (it makes the evening much easier to deal with when things actually DO go wrong). If I had chosen to stop going after my first experience there (easily in the top 10 for worst experiences I've had in my life!), I would've never come to appreciate the genius of Chef Ruta's culinary mastery! Over the years, I've experienced great service. During those visits, I write down the server's name and request them every time I go. When they are not available, I know my evening will be unpredictable. But that doesn't stop me from coming down from Howard County to enjoy one of the best meals in DC.
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