In December 2006, my aunt had flown in from Belfast
Northern Ireland for the funeral of her daughter. Emotions were
stable but sombre. We had decided to go out for a meal as some
form of "entertainment" for our bereaved house guest. I suggested Jack Astors in Whitby, as I have had nothing but fantastic experiences with their Scarborough location.
After being seated, our server disappeared. I had to get up and speak to another server about getting some drinks and possibly some food. In short order, our drinks were brought to us and our food orders taken.
Approximately 15 minutes after our orders were taken by our captive server, our original server appears and blanks us as we inquire about our appetizers. Only after my aunt physically got out of her seat and blocked his passage did he acknowledge us, and promised he would check on our appetizers.
Just over an hour later, our main courses had arrived. There was some confusion when our original server and another server brought my mother's hamburger. The assistant server laid the plate on the table and explained the burger was rare. Our original server promptly corrected him and exclaimed it was well done. The two scurried off to check on our appetizer which would now follow our main courses. My mother, being suspicious, cut the hamburger in two. Our eyes bulged as blood flowed from it, flooding the plate and soaking the bun.
When our original server returned with drinks, but no news of our appetizer, we informed him the dish was wrong. He offered to "throw it back on the grill." When my mother asked for another hamburger, he gave the excuse that it would be another hour before it would reach the table. My mother was given a menu to choose another main course, however, everything she selected would have produced another hour long
wait, according to the staff.
Out of desperation and starvation my mother settled for a bowl of McDonald's-style French fries. Most of which were cold. Shortly after the arrival of my mother's second "main course," our appetizer arrived. The manager explained that the hamburger, and the late appetizer would be discounted from our bill. As we pulled apart the bread, we found that it was still FROZEN IN THE MIDDLE!
Upon tracking the manager down again, he explained the whole "meal" would be discounted from the bill. With all the running around and staff hovering over our table trying to rectify the situation, my pasta had gone cold. At this point, the manager offered us dessert or drinks on the house. Before we could order anything, the manager produced our bill which was voided and wished us a good night. This was our hint to leave. So much for our dessert and drinks.
It is absolutely disgraceful that the appetizer would follow the main course, but grotesquely comical that the manager's "good will" gesture, of providing our appetizer free of charge, resulted in food that was not only substandard, but uneatable.