The Fancy Meal Conundrum(s)

Over the weekend I had the awesome opportunity to have lunch with my parents. I see them on and off here and there, but rarely do we get a chance to catch up over a nice (and in this case – fancy!) meal without a bunch of kids running everywhere – bless their miniature souls…

And knowing my ‘rents are approximately 87x more frugal than I am, I knew there had to be a catch to this fine establishment. I threw out a snarky remark congratulating my father on winning the lottery and asking him how much he had won, haha, and he quipped back that they were having a 3-course meal special for only $10.00, and to pipe down. Which, at this place, could barely get you a napkin! So needless to say I was pretty impressed with his find here, and appropriately shut my trap.

This is where conundrum #1 of 2 comes in.

We show up at the restaurant, not at all dressed like we were supposed to be since we were coming from an earlier event, and they seat us all the way in the back (probably because of our attire!) to start looking over the menu. It was one of those “pick 1 item in each of the course categories” types, and my mouth begins salivating within seconds. Sausage platter! Fancy named salads I’ve never heard of! Steak!! And we’re all happy little geese trying to figure out which of the awesomeness to select.

Then my father leans over to me and asks if “anything looks fishy?” “No, I don’t believe they serve any fish here, dad” I humorously reply ;) “You know that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m saying, look at this menu? Doesn’t it seem a bit *too* fancy for a $10.00 lunch? Steak?” “Hmm…. I dunno. Maybe just ask our waitress when she comes back?” *grumble *grumble*

The waitress comes back, and my father asks if this is the “right menu” for the $10.00 special – a little too loud for my taste. “Oh, no sir, I’m sorry. That’s for the lunch deal. We’re only serving dinner today.”

Now, to my father’s credit it was only 11:45 am. And it’s not like we were at some old folks home or anything like that. But I guess on the day we went (Saturday) they only serve dinner the entire day. Maybe because of this whole “special” thing going on, who knows. Regardless, the meal wasn’t $10.00, but luckily it wasn’t $100.00 either. The “dinner special” was $20.00 a person. Again for the same 3-course meal deal, only with more robust foods it seemed.

As soon as the waitress left to go get us some water, we all crouched in and asked each other if we should still eat there. Now that the price effectively doubled right before our eyes. It was a still pretty damn good deal, but knowing my parents we would have most definitely gone down the street to the deli instead had we known earlier. But now here we are at a fancy restaurant, seated, mind you, making the decision to either stay or go. And one you have to make quick before the drinks and scrumptious bread sticks start arriving!

What would YOU do? Suck it up and just enjoy the company and tasty food? Or kindly excuse yourself and mosey down the street caring less about “making a scene” and a fancy pants dinner?

Well, we all decided to happily stay. Probably because I was the first to chime in and say that it was still cool with me, because I had always wanted to eat at that restaurant anyways, and so this was the perfect opportunity to finally do so. To which my dad agreed, and then so did my mother. Though she wasn’t as okay with it as we were – which I love her for :)

So with that behind us, we go about our business enjoying each others’ company, and feeling like we’re on the set of Downton Abbey. Which, btw, gets crazier and crazier by the season. Why can’t they just let us be HAPPY for a few episodes?? Ugh…

And then came the decision for dessert.

Enter conundrum #2 – mainly, for just me

If you recall, I’ve been having quite the health concerns lately over raised levels of blood pressure, liver enzymes, my teeth, and unfortunately my sugar levels on top. Which I’ve sworn off as best I can lately, even in my COFFEE! Which you KNOW shows I mean business ;)

With that said, I’m left with problem of either a) eating some and calling it “an exception.” You know, for being so good about it lately (remind you of anything else we tend to do? Like with our money all the time?? :)), or b) staying strong and declining it, even though I’ve effectively already paid for it.

Again, I ask you good sirs and madams, what would you do in this case? Down the rich chocolate ice cream, or opt out and feel good about sticking to your guns?

Well, for better or for worse I chose the chocolate and tried to enjoy every last morsel knowing I was going to be pissed with myself later ;) It had been WEEKS since I’ve ingested any type of dessert lately, and man did that feel good… I don’t know if I could have sat there watching everyone else dip into it while I twiddled my thumbs?

But the entire time I was gorging myself, I also had the words of my good friend Nate rattling around my head as well. This is what Nate believes:

Once you’ve shelled out the money for something, it doesn’t matter whether you use, eat, or enjoy any of it or not. The money’s been spent, so your decision to take part in it shouldn’t have anything to do with the finances anymore.

He likes to use the example of pre-paying for an event, but then later not wanting to go to it for whatever reason (you’re sick, tired, “not in the mood”). The money’s already been spent, so why then go out and have a $hitty time and make it worse? It would be like you paid to have a $hit time! Instead, lay in bed and read or go on a walk or do whatever else you truly want to do in that moment.

I’ll admit he has a valid point there, but I’ll also admit he cares less about money than anyone I’ve ever met in my entire life! Haha… so for normal people like us, that can be REALLY hard to do. If we pay for something, dammit, we want to use it! Our hard-earned money isn’t getting wasted anywhere! ;)

But it’s an interesting thing to keep in mind for sure. Especially when you’re looking for ways to feel better about a situation that’s about to involve you losing money. When he had bought a plane ticket to come visit over the Summer that got cancelled, you could barely tell he was upset. Sure he wanted to see me and have a good time, but financially-wise it was all taken care of months ahead and wasn’t affecting his present, nor future, at all. So that was a nice effect! (Am I using all that affect/effect stuff right? So confusing sometimes!)

Anyways, there you have it. I chose to indulge myself in both these conundrums during our lunch/ dinner, and fortunately it won’t have much affect on our budget at all. It’s much easier to make quick calls like this when you know where all your money is!

Now I’m off to go Google what the actors of Downton actually look like in “real life”… I hear you can barely recognize them?

PS: In case you were wondering, or it changes your answers to the above, I paid for my meal myself. The Bank of Mom and Dad has been closed for quite some time now, but I will gladly accept their (free) home-cooked meals without ever putting up a fight ;)

[Awesome photo of Highclere Castle byΒ garybembridge]

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  1. a terrible husband... February 3, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    Hmmm… I would like to say I would stay and not eat the cake. But I’m pretty sure I would have stayed and eaten.

    But I have recently been shifting to Nate’s way of thinking. Money’s gone. It’s OK not to go. On top of having a crappy time if you’re sick or not in the mood, you might actually end up spending even more money going to some event and buying crap.

    Kudos for convincing the ‘rents to let you pay. It’s a battle I don’t do very well at. So I end up pumping up the gifts around Christmas to get them things just before they’d need to spend money on replacing them (like couches, pots and pans, etc.).

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      You buy them couches?? Haha… haven’t heard that one before.

  2. Snarkfinance February 3, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    I would have stayed, but probably held some resentment for the restaurant over not being clear regarding when their specials switch over, etc. That said, my parents are usually so unfrugal often times I find myself in your parents viewpoint. Its uncomfortable both ways.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Yeah, and it could have been my dad’s fault really for *not paying attention* to the deal too. Though I didn’t want to bring that up ;)

  3. Alicia February 3, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    I know that I would stay, but I’d be kind of annoyed… Feels sort of bait-and-switch-y. Plus, I mean $20 is effectively double what you expected to pay, BUT it’s one meal, and it’s still a good price for a three course meal.

    I would like to say I wouldn’t eat the cake, but I have a major problem with wasting food, or the money that has bought the food. I probably would have shoved the cake in my mouth and grumbled the entire way home “I”m sooooo full!!”… Actually, I’d probably roll home.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      Haha…. you know, I probably could have just taken it home and gave it to someone else too I suppose? But would still be left just watching the others eat and salivating ;)

  4. Anne @ Unique Gifter February 3, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    Um, so all this article had me do was start salivating at the thought of fancy food. Did you say something else? I must have missed it ;-)

  5. Holly@ClubThrifty February 3, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    We took our kids out for Thai food on a Saturday once. Same thing! They were only serving dinner. We got up and left once we realized that but it was before we had ordered drinks or anything. Ugh! It happens sometimes!

  6. Dee @ Color Me Frugal February 3, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Wow, who would have thought that they “only be serving dinner” at 11:45am? I think I probably would have stayed too, but I would probably have been a little resentful about it. And I totally would have eaten dessert- not much willpower here to stay away from sweets!

  7. Brian@ Debt Discipline February 3, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    I probably would have stayed. As far as the ice cream. It depends on how well I’ve been eating up until that point. If I’ve been really good I may go for it.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      [that was my reasoning – I avoided sweets for sooooo long I felt I was due a nice pat on the back ;)]

  8. Liz February 3, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Who serves dinner all day? Isn’t a hot meal served around lunch always called a lunch? Strange. Anyways- There are times where it’s go big, or go home. When your’re at a nice restaurant you might as well enjoy yourself and get the dessert and the glass of wine with “dinner”. I probably would have done the same thing!

  9. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life February 3, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    I have walked out of restaurants before when they aren’t serving the special I was anticipating (even if I’ve already sat down). In NYC, it’s just so simple to find another option. In this case, however, I may have stayed too. $20 for 3 quality courses is a good value. I always have trouble with those prix fixe menus because they’re generally not very creative when it comes to the vegetarian dishes.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      Yeah, they definitely tweak the menu items for specials like these, that’s for sure… I guess you have to when it’s that cheap though? More streamlined for chef and what not also?

  10. Carlton February 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I would have stayed for the food, still sounds like a pretty decent meal (you didn’t tell us how it actually was!)

    As for the desert, I would say two things: first, did you ask if you could change or substitute something? Maybe they had a sugar-free version of something that they would have been willing to replace for you (after all a lot of people have to worry about diabetes these days so I am sure they have something on the menu for that.) Second, if you couldn’t work something out there why not just ask for it in a to go box. I know this is a fancy pants restaurant, and it might be a bit of a faux pas, but I doubt that they wouldn’t have something for it. Take it home for the wife to have later or give some to the kid.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      I wish I had thought of the box idea – I totally would have one that!! My pregnant wife would have loved it! I just didn’t think :(

      As for the main courses – meh. But I had a blast w/ the parents so wouldn’t have changed it anyways :)

  11. Dave @ The New York Budget February 3, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    I likely would have stayed and paid the $20, had the dessert as well, put in an effort to have a good time (I usually succeed at this) and then, at home, swear off restaurants for the next couple of weeks because I don’t want to be forced into those types of situations on a regular basis.

  12. Wunderwriter February 3, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    I would have stayed, the time with family is precious and it wasn’t technically a misrepresentation since they don’t serve lunch that day (although clearly anything you eat at 11:45 a.m. is not dinner, at least not anywhere I’ve ever been). I wouldn’t have wanted to make a scene and/or upset my folks over the difference in price, which still sounds like a great deal, and you wanted to eat at that restaurant anyway. No harm, no foul.

    As far as the ice cream, I’ve been sugar free since October of 2010, and I’ve long since become accustomed to watching others eat foods I can no longer consume, so that’s a no brainer, I would have passed.

    With regard to the concept of “you’ve already paid for it, don’t make it worse by torturing yourself,” I 100% agree. I bought airline tickets to Washington state last year, to see my beloved, long lost cousin. After a few unexpected medical issues that caused me to miss time at work, I felt I owed it to my employer to cancel the trip. I wasn’t able to obtain a refund, but for a $75 charge I have a credit of $225 toward a future flight. The $75 is gone anyway, but at least it’s not the entire $300, and who knows? Maybe I’ll fly somewhere before the credit expires in August. If not, the money is already spent, it’s time to move on. If that’s the worst financial mistake I ever make, I’m golden! I’d rather not waste my valuable time doing something I don’t want and/or can’t afford to do just because I’ve invested some money into it. Better to cut my losses.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      You and Nate would get along famously :)

  13. Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 3, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    I think it is an awful bait and switch tactic to advertise this amazing special and then say that they are only serving dinner at 11:45 on a Saturday. I probably would have left for that trickery alone. But you also bring up an excellent point on prix fixe meals. I always weigh the merits of them beforehand because I never eat dessert, and sometimes it is actually cheaper for me to just have the entree or perhaps entree and appetizer alone.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      Well, I actually didn’t see the deal myself so it could have totally been on my dad for that, but regardless yeah – who serves dinner all day?? Haha…

  14. Samantha February 3, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Just wanted to help you out on the affect/effect thing as I’m one of those annoying grammar Nazis. Here is the typical usage — something affects you (verb). But then what happens, those are the effects (noun). Make sense? So it should be “wasn’t affecting his future”, “that was a nice effect”.

    Hope that helps. Now to comment on the actual article – I totally hate when I feel like I’ve been “baited and switched” at a restaurant. But we usually do stay and have a good time anyway. It happened a lot with our diners club card (which we don’t buy anymore!).

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Thanks! I feel like it’s one of those things most of us know, but then when applied still screw it up? I’m sure it won’t be my last, so don’t hate me too much when you see it again ;)

  15. Done by Forty February 3, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Cool story! Both issues are basically the sunk cost fallacy at work. Once you’ve spent the time getting to the restaurant and sitting down, we feel like we have invested something in the dinner and, hey, it’s only $20 more. Logically though, if you hadn’t done all those things and would otherwise have just gone to the deli, had you known it was $20 per, then that “should” have been the choice. Hard to say though: maybe you would have still chosen the fancy place at $20 per person.

    Same with the chocolate. That $20 is lost and gone forever once you order (presuming you can’t complain and get a refund). But that’s why they call it the sunk cost fallacy: it’s really hard for us to get past the idea of wasted money or time. So we let the past influence our present.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      “Suck cost fallacy!” Making a note to email Nate about how there’s a term for that – smart!

  16. Erin @ economag February 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    I definitely would’ve stayed, and I think I would’ve split the dessert with someone else. Or, in the case of chocolate ice cream, completely went without (I’m a vanilla girl!).

    It’s “effect” :) And I wouldn’t have said anything, but you asked.

  17. Crystal February 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    I’ve been in similar situations before at least 4 times that I can clearly remember (the restaurant ends up being more expensive than expected). Twice I let the other people decide what we’d do (we stayed both of those times and I just ordered the specials which were pretty good deals like your experience). Twice I asked my group of friends if they’d mind finding a cheaper place with me. I feel like a complete cheapskate when I suggest it, but if I don’t feel like I’ll be getting a good value for my money, I won’t enjoy the meal. And my friends and I know to be open with each other.

    As for the dessert, I would have eaten part of it and offered the rest to the table. That’s generally how I handle the dessert part of a 3 course meal anyway since I get stuffed. But it is hard for me to skip stuff that I already paid for…

    It sounds like you had a great time and didn’t overthink it much during the time out, which is super important. Glad you had a good time!

  18. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich February 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    I totally had the experience where I already brought a Groupon and then got the flu and really felt like I was throwing away money by not going – fortunately the fever that left me unable to even get out of bed sort of made the decisions for me, but in the end I decided it wasn’t worth worrying about. I was already thinking of that money as gone as soon as I bought the Groupon, so it wasn’t a huge deal. And passing out at the Spy Museum probably would’ve sucked worse than throwing away $16 dollars.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      HAH! Good call. Reminds me that we never used a Groupon last year too. Yet another reason I don’t think they save people that much money in the end. Unless you ONLY get stuff you need and/or were already going to get anyways!

    2. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen February 5, 2014 at 3:26 AM

      If it wasn’t too long ago you should definitely contact Groupon and explain the situation and ask if you can get a refund. Never hurts to try and if you happen to be a frequent customer you’ve got some advantage!

  19. Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 3, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    I always love a good conundrum or two! I would probably stay and enjoy my food. Though, only serving the dinner menu before noon is a little strange. I would probably skip the dessert. I have done it before and it doesn’t bother me.

  20. Nate St. Pierre February 3, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    I agree with Nate – he sounds like a really smart guy. And attractive.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      Did I say Nate? I meant Steve.

  21. eemusings February 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    We’ve definitely snuck out of restaurants shamefacedly after being presented with the menu (one memorable moment, I think in Vietnam, also the place smelled like dog pee and we just couldn’t stomach the thought of eating in there).

    1. Karen @ Money Saving Enthusiast February 3, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      Yikes. I would have left too.

  22. Karen @ Money Saving Enthusiast February 3, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Number 1 is tough. You don’t want to seem straight up tacky, right? At the same time, you could say your dad is an on call doctor and unfortunately, you had a change of plans. You wish you consulted me first, I know. ; )

    Number 2
    “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”. -Gandhi You have a wife and one little pookie bear and another on the way. My vote is for be as healthy as you can. Maybe one spoonful of ice cream if the doctor says it’s ok. That’s it. LOL

    1. J. Money February 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      I do want to be healthy for my pookie bear – you’re right! ;)

  23. jane savers @ solving the money puzzle February 3, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Lady Mary seems to look the same in the show and outside. The actress feels she must maintain her pasty white complexion at all times because Lady Mary would never be tanned.

    The current Downton Abbey episodes that I am watching on PBS have already aired in the UK. Every week the UK Telegraph would have a review of that week’s episode and I would read every week because I don’t like surprises and I like to know how things are going to end before they start.

    1. J. Money February 4, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      Oh jeez, haha… you’re like my wife – the second things get riled up she has to jump on her phone and try and find the ending to appease her too! Though this goes for all shows we watch. I remember her having to leave the room on one specific 24 episode cuz she couldn’t take it :)

  24. Lance @ Money Manifesto February 3, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    I’m admittedly cheap so we probably would have left unless we REALLY wanted to try the restaurant. I’d have eaten the dessert too, but I have a sweet tooth :)

  25. Kyle @ February 3, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    The dessert conundrum made me laugh as I always will eat off my kids plate at a nice restaurant if they don’t eat much of it. Totally stupid as I sure as hell don’t need the extra calories and your right, I ain’t getting the money back for their meals…so why do I feel like I need to eat it? Cuz I’m a cheap bastard, that’s why.

    1. J. Money February 4, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      At least you’re honest with yourself!

  26. Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility February 3, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    laugh, Your dad sounds like my grandfather. You should have seen my grandfather at my wedding (it was a smaller affair with about sixty people and not extravagant), he fussed like no one’s business.
    Anyway, I’m glad you stayed and had a good time with your folks – it sounded like it still worked out to be a good deal. I’m sorry to hear about your health problems though – stuff like that can make every day events like going for lunch pretty complicated.

    1. J. Money February 4, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Thanks Lindsey. I like your blog name :)

  27. Travis @debtchronicles February 3, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    I would have stayed…I’m not a huge fan of eating at restaurants, but $20 for a fancy pants dinner isn’t bad at all. Your description of the bank of mom and dad made me think of my own mother-in-law…who is the exact opposite. She’s notorious for picking up the check for whomever she goes out to eat with. Every now and then I pick up the little bill carrier thing, all she has to do is give me the look, hold out her hand, and the thing practically flies through the air at her. Once I really tried hard to pay the check, and I swear the lady was gonna fight me for it. I finally just gave up. :)

    1. J. Money February 4, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      You gotta let ’em win every now and then :)

  28. Marie @ 4HWD February 4, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    There was an instance that we went on a vacation with my family, we had a dinner with one restaurant there, when we asked the waiter for the menu I was kinda shocked for the prices! I didn’t expect with that location they offered a pretty high price.

  29. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence February 4, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    You paid just for your meals? Sorry but I’m trying to figure out the whole being an adult thing haha. My mum makes less than I do but she is so frugal I hesitate between taking her out, paying for everything myself and having her feel bad I am spending so much, and just accepting her taking me to a cheap place and having a not so good meal. We go out once or twice a year so it’s not like we would break the bank every week. Last time I went for the cheap place and both service and food were terrible so I was annoyed the whole meal and didn’t enjoy the company so much.
    Glad you had a great time and a great dessert.

    1. J. Money February 4, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      That does not sound fun, you’re right :)

  30. Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life February 4, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    For me, I would have stayed, had the meal but not dessert. Meals are usually filling enough for me. At least you guys enjoyed your time with one another, that’s what really counts.

  31. Broke Millennial February 4, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I get that it’s a 50% increase from what you were expecting, but $20 is such a great deal I wouldn’t have left. Now, had it been from $10 to $50 then you can bet your sweet caboose I would’ve left not caring at all about whether or not that caused a scene. As for the chocolate ice cream, I’m not sure. If I felt it would cause me to backslide into eating loads of sugar again (because I’m bad like that with sweets) then I would’ve opted out and offered it to my parents.

    1. J. Money February 4, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      If it were $50 there’d be holding back my dad anyways – he woulda jumped outta that seat like it was on fire! (And I woulda joined him! :))

  32. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen February 5, 2014 at 3:22 AM

    Hmm interesting story. I think I would’ve left if the price doubled. Plus $20 for lunch is more than I like to spend too! Hehe and I would’ve eaten the dessert…I don’t have much resistance towards sweets at all.

    I actually found myself in a similar situation once at Olive Garden on a weekend. I always enjoyed their $6.99 soup, salad and bread lunch and ordered that on a Saturday. They informed me that since on Saturdays it’s dinner price only it would be $13.99. This was a change they had made recently. So I let him know my dissatisfaction, he talked to his manager, and told me that they would give me the $6.99 price. Otherwise I would’ve walked out. Not paying $13.99 for soup, salad, and breadsticks!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      Smart woman!

  33. Diane February 5, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Funny that your story comes right after an interesting experience I recently went through. As a travel writer, I try to find local and unique restaurants and experiences where ever I go. I did some research on “where the locals eat” in Buckhead Atlanta and found what looked like a divine, small, upscale place for dinner. I made reservations and there I was at 6pm for dinner. I was swept in and lead to my table and I looked around-yes, it was cozy, small, modern decor. “Perfect” I thought. A new person brought water and a menu. So okay, I don’t really eat a “fine dining” establishments-too fancy-too fussy-too expensive. The menu had a 5-8 course vegetarian menu and a 5-8 course protein menu-with no prices. Oh no, I knew what that mean’t, I couldn’t afford to eat here! I looked at the wine list and felt panicked-trying to decide should I embarrass myself and get up and leave or suck it up and have a “fine dining experience” at one of Buckhead’s best restaurants. My pride got the better of me and I decided stay the course. My 5 course vegetarian meal was $85 and my glass of wine was $14. I nursed it the entire time, determined not to order another glass.

    Each course was brought out by a different person and each was beautiful, artfully designed, made of ingredients I had mostly never heard of and oh so small. I believe I might have insulted the chef as he sent me out a “special” treat- a raw egg yoke in the shell with creme and spices. Uh, no thanks. I tried to use the tiny spoon to eat the creme and move the yolk around but the waiter knew I didn’t eat it. I said, “please thank the chef.” I felt so uncomfortable the entire meal that I didn’t really enjoy the experience at all. You can imagine the final bill with tip was pretty hefty. I decided that next time I would embarrass myself, if necessary, and leave.

    I think at $20 instead of $10, I would have stayed and enjoyed :)

    1. J. Money February 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      I bet so many people have gone through that!! I get scared too when there’s no prices, haha… a sure sign to bolt, you’re right :) Thanks for sharing your story though!

  34. Will Murphey February 5, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    This happened to us once at Disneyland at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. We were exhausted and hot and this place was close. I don’t remember the prices, but they seemed to be $30 a plate, we sipped on our waters for a minute than bolted. Looking back we should have told the waiter our dilemma. I’m sure we were not the first folks to do this!

    1. J. Money February 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM


  35. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance February 5, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    I would definitely have stayed to enjoy it. If it was still a great deal, and you had always wanted to eat there, you’re getting the experience for a good price. As for the food, I know what you’re talking about in terms of having to avoid things for your health. I probably would have snuck a couple of bites, like a partial cheater.

    1. J. Money February 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      I guess that’s true, huh? I always think of things as “all or nothing” but the smart thing would have just had a nibble and then pushed away, haha… next time :)

  36. Tushar @ Everything Finance February 6, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    I would have stayed I think. It would have been a bit of a pride thing for me. As far as eating the delicious but likely not healthy food, I would have done it regardless because I would have paid for it. I don’t share your friend’s point of view though I do see his point.