Willow (muppetfromhell) wrote in bad_service,

The Ballad of PF Changs

OK, so I've yet to figure out if bad kitchen service counts if it is negated by excellent waitstaff/manager service... but this story is too much a farce to not share.

tl;dr summary: Anything you want to order does not exist. Until the manager shows up.

I'm home for the holiday visiting my parents and decided I wanted Asian food - so my parents took me to PF Changs. We called ahead, got there, sat, all is well. My mom has been raving about the wok seared lamb the whole way over, I get moo shu chicken and my dad gets pepper steak. We also ordered the first of their two kinds of spare ribs (the one without sauce - my mom can't eat the sauce), a bowl of white rice and a bowl of brown rice. And my dad got a bowl of soup.

When she delivers the soup, our waitress comes back to tell my mom they're out of lamb. My mom is bummed, understandably, but rolls with it, and orders spring roles. Fine.

Service was exceptionally slow, and I heard tables around us complaining about how long their food was taking, but since we weren't in a rush, we just continued chatting. Finally, the food comes and the waitress apologizes for the kitchen taking so long. Also, she sets down my mom's spring rolls and apologizes that they ran out of sweet & sour sauce.

No, really. Asian restaurant runs out of sweet & sour. Again, not a big deal, but it's the second time my mom's food is messed up (and you'd think that's something they'd tell her *before* the food comes out).

My mom is one of those people who takes it personally when things go wrong and starts to find insane reasons to blame herself. So she trying not to get upset at this point, and is eating the spring rolls anyway. We're kind of making jokes and the good news was that the food actually was very good.

When the spare ribs came, I noticed they looked different from what I expected, but I didn't say anything because I'd never had them before. My dad meanwhile starts eating one and says "these taste different."

Which is when we realized we got the wrong spare ribs (note: which meant my mom couldn't eat them). And also, we didn't get our brown rice. We waived the waitress over and she apologized and asked if we wanted a manager.

So we're waiting for the manager and this guy comes over, who we assumed was the manager, and he's carrying a plate of salmon and asks if we want it. I think he was just a case of wrong place, wrong time (like, joking around because there's an extra plate of salmon from the kitchen, and in any other situation it would come across like he was trying to be nice), but at that point we were not amused. My mom was like: "Is this a joke?" and you could tell she was really trying not to get upset. "You can get any food except the food you order!"

Poor guy - we ended up telling him the whole saga. At this point the whole thing is just becoming ridiculous and we're in the half-laughing/half-mad category.

After he left, my mom went to go to the bathroom, and while she was gone, a woman came over (actual manager!) carrying what looked like a soupbowl's worth of sweet & sour and goes: "Ok, I'm hearing a really crazy story and why don't you just tell me what happened?"

And we told her the story, with full orchestration and five part harmony and at this point it was just becoming funnier. And the manager is like: "We're a chinese restaurant, how can we be out of sweet & sour?" (WE KNOW) and she offered to remake my mom's spring rolls, but my mom said no, and she asked, "so were you really out of lamb?"

Apparently, they weren't out of lamb!

The manager offers to bring us an order of it to go, and we said it wasn't necessary, but she insisted, and also comps our meal and tells us to order dessert. (Like I said, the service from the waitstaff/manager was great, it's basically the kitchen that farked everything up).

At this point they're trying so hard to make it up to us, but we're honestly not upset anymore - Honestly, after the salmon incident we just were laughing over the whole situation... When we were trying to box up the leftovers the waitress kept insisting on helping so we let her, and we actually TOLD her the red lobster story and about the time we had a waitress go off shift and not tell anyone to try and make her feel better... and my mom said we were trying to figure out whether the kitchen was playing a trick on the waitress or if the waitress hated my mom. (Note: My best friend's sister knows a lot of the people that work there and says A is a definite possibility).

She insisted we ordered dessert, so I got a carrot cake shooter and my dad got an apple pie shooter. The waitress puts them down, and I start eating mine... my dad looks at his and goes: "This is a funny looking apple pie..." to which I responded, "yeah, and it has a lemon on top." Which really was the piece de resistance of the evening.

He finally got the apple pie, which was yummy, and then I think we probably ended up leaving with more food than we had started with.

Like I said, the end result of the evening was good service, but they're really lucky that we had a sense of humor about the whole thing.

ETA: And I just went to reheat the rest of the moo shu chicken for lunch and they had given me a "new" pack of pancakes - which had mold on them. Seriously.
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