More expensive don’t mean more tasty.

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 | 18 comments

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A couple weekends ago, the BF was feeling fancy coupled with an apparent hole burning away in his pocket so he offered to take me to ANY restaurant I wanted.  Usually when I’m trying to pick a restaurant price is one of my top considerations (whether or not I’m paying).  I admit to being a major cheapo, but besides that charming trait I just don’t think it’s necessary to pay an arm and a leg for a good meal!   Plus, the more I’m paying, the higher my expectations and I DO NOT like to be disappointed when it comes to my food.

Since Jarrod was adamant that he wanted something over the top, we decided to go to Firebirds in South Park.  Firebirds seemed like a safe bet because it’s one of the most frequent restaurant recommendations I get when I ask people their top picks in Charlotte.  Even with all the positive reviews, I hadn’t ventured over to Firebirds due to their prices which average about $20 a plate for dinner.

It was a beautiful night, so we decided to take advantage of their patio seating.  Walking through the restaurant and onto the patio, I started to fall in love with the place.  I loved the wood-fired smell that poured out from the open kitchen, and I loved the posh yet modern decor.

Outside they had about 10 tables on the patio and a cute little sitting area complete with a large fireplace.

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After perusing the menu, the BF decided on the Cilantro Grilled Chicken Breast (i.e., the only pasta-less chicken dish on the menu):

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I went with the Chile Rubbed Delmonico steak:

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It was nearly 10pm by the time we got our food, and I always get a little bummed when it’s too dark for good pics :(

Sensing my frustration, Jarrod realized our table was in a prime location right next to a spotlight.  In an act of pure chivalry, he shielded me from view while I snagged a few shots:

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See now?  Chicken!

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Steak and potatoes!

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Talk about teamwork :)

The BF really liked his chicken dish, but my steak was bleghhhhhhhh.  So fatty, and unflavorful.  It was like they nixed the “chile” and swapped in gristly bits of meat.  I ate about a third of it.  A THIRD.

Unheard of.

Luckily, the southwest au gratin potatoes were quite yummy.  So cheesy with a slight bite to them.  But were they worth the $20 price tag of the dish?

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I think not.

Whenever I have a subpar meal at a restaurant, there’s a little part of me that wants to complain to the waiter or manager.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually followed through on this desire… well except for those few times a hair has made its way into my food.  THAT is just not ok.  Instant appetite squelcher… yuck just the thought of it makes me queasy!

What about you?  Do you let your waiter know if your meal is crappy?

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill on Urbanspoon

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18 Comments

  1. Ah I love Firebirds!! I usually get the blue cheese bacon wrapped filet though and the loaded mashed potatoes, nom nom nom.

    • Should I ever give them a second chance, I’ll go with that instead!! Or dessert.. because seriously, how can you mess that up?

  2. Lovely place. And no, I don’t tell the waiter when the meal’s not up to par. I just wallow in quiet depression for a bit. I need to blog more. :-)

  3. Tell ‘em.

  4. My hubby and I were just talking about this…we like to go out to fancy places but are ten times more disappointed if the food doesn’t measure up. And frankly, it rarely does!

    At least your food *looked* good ;)

  5. And that’s why I read some reviews ahead of time. I know it ends up messing with my expectations, but then I know what the thing is to order. :p

  6. If the food is average, I won’t say anything, even if it’s at a culinary hot-spot. If it’s below average, I will say something. While dining at a certain establishment that rhymes with “buying triscuit,” I had the worst pancakes. The server told me quite honestly that they had been sitting for about an hour in the warmer. And then she offered fresh hot pancakes, which I gratefully accepted.

    Next time, try Bricktops. They have a free jukebox!!

    • Why didn’t they just give you the fresh pancakes in the first place?!?

      Bricktops is on my to-try list!

  7. Haha, I love that you found the optimal lighting and got some better pics :) And that Jarrod was your partner in crime! But um, let’s talk about those potatoes. I don’t care that it’s 8 a.m., I want those for breakfast, PLEASE.

    • I could eat potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… and dessert.

  8. I hate when you spend a lot of money and the food doesn’t live up to your expectations. Most of the time I will say something. If you are paying a lot of money for your food, it should be perfect. I think the cooks would rather you be happy with your meal. I’m sorry it wasn’t good. It still looked good though :)

  9. I’m always totally honest if my food isn’t up to par, but always in a constructive way. If they choose not to take your feedback, well that’s on them!

    • Good idea! Next time the waiter asks “how was everything” I’m going to be constructively honest. Not mean or over-exaggerative (that’s a word, no?) but honest. We’ll see how that goes…

  10. i never tell the waiter!

    • Ughhh me either! I had one HORRIBLE breakfast a couple of weekends ago, and I’m still kicking myself for not piping up about it.

  11. If I don’t get rare steak as requested, I send it back. Got some French Fries recently that were so salty, the salt stuck to my fingers. They brought another one to replace it – no improvement.

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