In this space was supposed to be a lovely write-up of a San Diego Restaurant Week preview menu. I had anticipated writing it in that post-full-belly glow after returning from a much-anticipated meal. Instead, I found out dinner plans would be cancelled as we were already en route.
My love for Restaurant Week has waxed and waned over the years, mainly over the increased menu prices, but we’ve always had friendly service and delicious meals. I still think Restaurant Week is a good excuse to finally try a new restaurant or get fancied up for a spendy one.
I’ve had the pleasure to be sent to a few preview meals over the years, and I was looking forward to trying a new restaurant this year. Reservations were made, cancelled and rescheduled, cancelled and rescheduled with a day’s notice, and then cancelled again an hour before we were supposed to dine. Each cancellation was due to the fact that the restaurant claimed they didn’t have the ingredients to prepare their SDRW menu, but I find it hard to believe on the last occasion they only discovered this fact with an hour’s notice. Also, all communication was going through the SDRW PR people, so you had this added step in the communication process.
I’m disappointed that we kept getting rescheduled when my weeknights are already pretty busy. In hindsight, I should have declined to reschedule after it happened the second time, but I really wanted to try this restaurant. I’m frustrated that the restaurant didn’t know when they would be getting their ingredients to create these certain dishes that aren’t on the regular menu (I mean, really?? No control over food delivery?) I’m a little insulted that, instead of cancelling our dinner reservations for the third time, we weren’t invited to dine with them anyway to experience the quality of their regular menu. If you are a good restaurant, that should be reflected in your dishes whether they are made daily or for special occasions. I might not have been able to promote the specific SDRW menu items, but I could have had good things to say about the food and experience anyway. And maybe they don’t care because I’m just one blogger in a sea of diners and I haven’t even named them outright in this post (but, oh boy, will I tell you if you ask me!) and if that’s the case then I am even more turned off from visiting them in the future.
I don’t like writing negative reviews (complaining is a completely different story, I love to complain) but I do get to vent when I am frustrated. And I am frustrated. I also don’t mean to turn you off from SDRW as a whole and I know plenty of bloggers who successfully made it to their preview meal, one way or another. But I don’t like feeling like my time is unimportant or that I can be brushed off just because someone thinks I’m just after a free meal. Considering the time it takes to visit a restaurant, write up a review, and process some photos, for the cost of two meals (because I don’t dine alone) I think you’re getting a pretty fine hourly rate out of me along with what could be great publicity.