Food Blog: Bad Restaurant Experiences

Charlie Benton

Entertainment Editor

Some food experiences are really good; some are not. Everyone has had a few less-than-stellar meals and probably some that were just truly bad. Here are some of my worst restaurant experiences.

The first was in 2001 in a small town in south Alabama. I was travelling with my Cub Scout pack and the families attached to it, heading back from a camping trip in Pensacola, Fla. Somehow the decision was made to stop for lunch at that place famous for throwing its rolls. We stopped to eat, and after some deliberation, I ordered the pot roast.

As I waited for it to arrive, I drank soda from a giant plastic tankard and caught a roll. That was the first of many failures. Between the soda and the roll, which was slightly undercooked and not memorable at all, I spoiled my dinner.

Then my pot roast came, and I remember staring into a sea of gravy. There was pot roast and mashed potatoes too, but mostly gravy. The portion size was unreasonably large. I took a bite. It may have been because I was already full, but I wasn’t impressed. I kept trying to like it, but with each bite it became more like eating the type of playground padding made from shredded tires, saturated in institutional gravy.

The potatoes weren’t good either, maybe a single step up from what I ate almost every day in my school cafeteria. I managed to make it through about a quarter of the plate, and the rest went home with my family, only to die in the refrigerator.

The next bad experience took place in 2007 at a casino in Biloxi, Miss. My grandparents had invited my parents and me to eat Thanksgiving dinner with them at this casino’s buffet. We met my grandparents there on Thanksgiving Day and walked inside.

The first thing I noticed was a line of intimidating-looking gray haired people snaking its way through the rows of slot machines. We joined it, and waited. The line moved slowly, and I felt awkward. I was easily the youngest person there, and some of the ancient ones looked like they were at death’s door. We inched closer, and no one spoke.

Finally we reached the entrance to the buffet, and got in another line to get our food. Adding to the ambiance that the ancient ones provided, the food was the type and quality served in most nursing homes. It wasn’t too great, the turkey was dry, the dressing was gooey, the green bean casserole tasted like nothing and salt, and my grandmother said that her lemon pie was too sour. Clearly, I was glad to get out of there.

Finally, whenever I have eaten at that country style buffet with the word “barn” in the name, I have immediately regretted it. The restaurants always smell like mildew and sweat, and nothing on the buffet is ever very appetizing. A lot of them seem to be shutting down, so maybe the masses have finally caught on.

These are just a few of the more memorable bad restaurant experiences I have had. I will probably never return to any of the places I mentioned, and advise that my readers do so as well. I would not wish any of these upon my worst enemy.