I’m honestly surprised at how many people have never ever heard of a Shamrock Shake! You can read more about them at Wikipedia here, see the frightening nutrition facts here (for a small!), or make my delicious minty-vanilla green monster version.
Have you ever had such terrrible service at a restaurant that you wouldn’t go back even if they have amazingly delicious food?
I’m sad to say that last Friday night was that kind of experience. My family and I have been juggling a lot recently, so we made a point of picking a nice restaurant to all dine out together last Friday – my parents, my brother, my husband and I went to Lidia’s in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.
Lidia’s Pittsburgh opened in 2001 after their success in two spots in New York City and one restaurant in Kansas City. Lidia herself was a famous TV chef and the restaurant is famous for their homemade pasta.
We started with a bottle of wine (which we ordered from the manager since our server was gone for 10+ minutes after handing us our menus).
I’m always excited when the soup of the day is vegetarian – and this tuscan bean and fennel was right up my alley. There was at least 2 cups of soup in this portion!
I also sampled my mother’s arugla, beet, and walnut salad. Simple and delicious.
For my entree, I opted for the Primi Butternut Squash ravioli with almonds. The server suggested increasing it to a dinner portion, but I knew it would be at least 6 ravioli – which is a serving in my book (and plenty after the filling soup).
One of their coolest menu features is their pasta trio – three homemade pastas that change daily, which they serve tableside in unlimited amounts. Here’s my husband’s first plate: penne with sweet sausage and broccoli rabe, goat cheese ravioli (OMG!), and tagliolini with fresh tomato basil sauce.
In theory, this is an awesome choice for any pasta lover – he snuck me some extra raviolis and only ordered more of his favorites (the ravioli and tagliolini). However, the tableside servers refilled plates at every table but ours – my mother and husband were still waiting while the rest of us had finished our meals. :(
All of the pastas were delicious, but our server never offered us freshly grated cheese, either – something happening all over the dining room, but not at our table.
My brother ordered the lamb shank – disturbing to any vegetarian.
Even more disturbing was that he ate the whole thing – practically licked the bone clean!
After speaking with the manager we were given a gift card (which barely covered the wine), but the whole experience was just miserable – it was almost as if we were intentionally ignored all night long, and not as “important” as the tables around us.
My mother’s dinner came with dessert, which we opted to have wrapped to go since we had had enough. When we got home, we opened it to see a 2 inch sliver of what looked like a tasty cake brownie – not at all what the menu described. You’d like the disappointment would have ended at the restaurant!
Sorry, Lidia, your food is delicious, but your staff is sub-par. I’ll stick to making my own pasta at home.
Have you ever had a bad enough experience to not give a restaurant a second chance? Typically the food is most important factor, but our service was so bad that it wasn’t worth it!