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  #1  
Old March 31st, 2012, 11:47 PM
Total Noob Total Noob is offline
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Dilemma

Way, way off topic.

We were invited to a birthday party at what is ostensibly a nice Indian restaurant, with the understanding each guest was paying an equal share including the (vegetarian) birthday girl's dinner.

We had not had Indian food before, and were in a private room, so I didn't really know what I was ordering.

I tried the salad, but it was so wilted and soggy that it was beyond horrible and was basically inedible.

Then the entree. What I got was so disgusting in appearance I was nauseated. The texture was such that it seemed to have been cooked for six months and it was the color of feces. It smelled so bad I would not feed it to rats. I ditched it as untouched as fast I would have if served raw sewage.

I took a few bites of bread, which seemed innocuous enough in taste, and water. The Indian tea was putrid.

Then the bill. Had it been the best food I ever tasted, it still would have been overpriced.

I felt I was roped into paying for sewage for the table and was prepared not to pay and to risk arrest for non-payment except doing so would have created a giant scene.

What was the proper course of action? Should I have not paid? Should I have put it on a credit card and then reversed the charges? Should I have paid under protest and sued afterwards and lost a day at work while in court over it? Should I have called the health department?

As an aside, the birthday girl and her husband liked the food. They also eat crap at home that I wouldn't feed the dog and have no sense of discrimination. Everyone else seemed to hold their noses. Ten years later, the restaurant is still there, with virtually no cars in its lot.

I suppose you really don't legally have to pay if you actually get sick at the table, but why should I have to risk getting arrested if I act on my survival instinct first?

Of course, we never go out with those people anymore, and every time someone suggests Indian food, I vomit in my mouth a little.

Thanks for the panel's replies.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 12:26 AM
Jintan Jintan is offline
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C'mon TN, prejudice/prejudgment is one equals all, and I'm sure you know that. I do not eat out much, because I enjoy the frugality of a simple life, but have surely enjoyed real nice food at Indian restaurants in the past. Some of the spices can bring on a brief experience of living death, but the folks and the chow was really good.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 12:47 AM
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And the billion or so people who live in India seem to be able to eat it OK.

Of course it may not have been very genuine Indian cuisine. Most foreign indian restaurants put some degree of localisation into the food to try to attract more locals to eat. American Indian (you know what I meant) restaurants will be different to British Indian which are different to Chinese Indian which are different to Australian.

I went to a very good genuine Indian place in North Sydney on Thursday night. The group consisted of an Indian, a couple of NZers, a couple of Aussies, a South African, and Englishman and 4 Israelis. Only the Israelis struggled to eat the food.
Being genuine Indian, it was different to the NZ Indian restaurants that I am used to. Despite the heat going in, it was surprisingly mild on it's way out .

You are right in the point that by appearances it doesn't look that appetising if you are not used to it (often it looks the same going in as it does when creating the "ring of fire" on the can later) but in terms of taste, it's very much like any other tropical spicy food - Mexican, Thai etc, you should be able to get mild dishes that don't burn on the way in or out.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 02:24 AM
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renegade600 renegade600 is offline
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If I had food from another culture for the first time, I would not say anything since it could their normal way of serving it. But if I knew better then I would say something to management.

If the others there were enjoying their meals, then you should have asked someone about it.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 03:45 AM
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Much is joked about Delhi belly and Bombay bum however my Indian friends share their food with me (as is their custom when eating in public) and I do not consider it to be sewage....
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  #6  
Old April 1st, 2012, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
And the billion or so people who live in India seem to be able to eat it OK.

Of course it may not have been very genuine Indian cuisine.
I'm sure whatever I was served isn't what Indian people eat. India remains a poor country and I think huge numbers are on subsistence level diets.


Quote:
The group consisted of an Indian, a couple of NZers, a couple of Aussies, a South African, and Englishman and 4 Israelis. Only the Israelis struggled to eat the food.
Interesting. Jews are notorious for bland diets.

Quote:
You are right in the point that by appearances it doesn't look that appetising if you are not used to it (often it looks the same going in as it does when creating the "ring of fire" on the can later) but in terms of taste, it's very much like any other tropical spicy food - Mexican, Thai etc, you should be able to get mild dishes that don't burn on the way in or out.
Disagree, Indian food is nothing like Mexican. Tex-Mex and customary Mexican in Southwestern restaurants is filled with fresh cold ingredients, like crisp lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream, and the spice, like Tabasco or jalapeno, is added to the top of the food and comes from peppers which sting the tastebuds and gullet with tang and sharpness but don't stink and don't reach every morsel, so there's a lot of different textures and temperatures and colors and a lot of crunchy spots. Plus most of that stuff is added later either by the diner or the chef, so it is possible to control or avoid over seasoning it.

South Asian spices like curry and, in particular, coriander, go into food that apparently is allowed to stew endlessly. When I subsequently had occasion to eat that food (against my wishes and in groups) I found it permeated the whole meal such that every bite tasted and felt identical to every previous bite no matter what food group it was in. Of course, the meat no longer had any juice or chewiness and the veggies had no crispness, everything was just limp, textureless and coated in bitter goo, and for the most part it could be consumed with a straw. Imagine, if you will, Italian food like lasagna to which a chef added 1000 times too much garlic and 1000 times too much horseradish, and then put the thing into a blender before cooking it and you start to get my drift about how much the Indian spice overpowered the food and overcooking killed the texture.

I still detest Indian food, but whatever I was given at that party had to be the worst of the worst.

The only American ingredients I ever had that permeated the food such that you couldn't really tell what you were biting into are fennel, which makes everything tasting like peppermint, and basil, which makes food taste like it rotted because of a bitter aftertaste.

The story here is that I ordered a meal in a restaurant that did not disclose the food was thickly coated in fennel, and I tried, as custom holds, to return it for something else that didn't taste like garbage. The restaurant refused, and I didn't want to get arrested in a distant city, but I didn't leave a tip because the waiter's job is to protect me as his customer and I couldn't get arrested for not leaving a tip. I ended up with a burger next door.

Fortunately, that restaurant did not last long.

I consider myself open minded and I enjoy various ethnic food including raw sushi and Cajun and Vietnamese and Thai, but I don't do Indian. and I don't do Burmese, where the food is an afterthought to the coriander main ingredient.

Has anyone else had a meal they really didn't want to pay for? How did you handle it?
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  #7  
Old April 1st, 2012, 06:21 PM
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Well, please stop 'belly aching' -

You agreed to the terms and attended the dinner, and should pay your share and chalk up the experience as a bad meal at least according to your tastes?

My wife & I like many different kinds of foods and eat out often and on frequent trips (just returned from the west coast of FL and one of our favorite meals was a lunch at a Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs - the highlight was the sauteed squid & octopus!).

However, we do tend to avoid Indian & Mexican restaurants, although I've had some superb Mexican food in Mexico and in Texas/Southwest/West Coast, and also some excellent Indian food at friends' houses who happen to be Indian; as a simple example, freshly made Indian breads, such as Puri & Nan, are just delicious.

Sorry that your experience was obviously a poor one but Indian food can be quite good -
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  #8  
Old April 1st, 2012, 08:24 PM
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Okay, I have to ask. You said in your second post, "...basil, which makes food taste like it rotted...." You're using hyperbole, right?

Otherwise I'd like to know whether you've actually eaten rotted food to know what it tastes like? I expect rotted beef tastes different than, say, rotted potatoes but not having eaten either, I don't know for sure.

You also said in regard to the taste of fennel, "...return it for something else that didn't taste like garbage." Again, I assume you're using hyperbole because surely not all garbage tastes the same.

As far as the meal of your original post, I would have asked questions about it. What it is, how it's cooked, what are the spices, etc. if not knowing those things makes it difficult to eat the dish.

On the other hand, I've always approached new food with the belief that if it's on a menu, somebody thinks it's edible so I'll certainly try it. Keep in mind, though, I'm a person who likes beef tongue and chopped chicken liver and and even caviar in mashed potatoes.
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  #9  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Traditionally the whole point behimd curry was to cook with meat that was gone off. The spices masked the rank scent and taste. The modern day curry ,however, is far from this. I've eaten curry until it's coming out of my ears. Never ever experienced a bad one.
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  #10  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Ned Seagoon Ned Seagoon is offline
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I've eaten curry until it's coming out of my ears.
Having a problem with your alimentary canal there Beanie, must be awful!
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  #11  
Old April 3rd, 2012, 03:05 AM
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Having a problem with your alimentary canal there Beanie, must be awful!
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  #12  
Old April 7th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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It may take you a few times to eat that stuff,but after a bit;you may enjoy it?
When I was in Asia,I took a liken to monkey-shanks,can't find any around here.
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