Today we had a server I didn't recognize. He might have been new, because he didn't have much confidence and talked really fast. I had trouble understanding him and had to make him repeat things a couple of times, which was a bit annoying but not a big deal because we knew what we wanted to order before we walked in. :)
The server suggested some appetizers, but he was talking too fast, and I only caught the last one - crab cakes, a new item not on the menu. He left to get our drinks, and I confessed to my SO that some crab cakes might be good, and he agreed. I ordered the crab cakes, requesting that they come at the same time as the rest of our food... I spoil my dinner too easily. >_>
When he brought us our food 20 minutes or so later, the crab was kinda weird. It was a pile of bits of crab meat on top of lettuce, with some sauce for dipping. I was confused, and thought maybe they had a weird definition of "crab cakes." After all, it wasn't on the menu so we couldn't read their description. Okay, so I have no common sense whatsoever. >_< Mostly, we were excited about the yummy steak and potato and didn't care about the crab cakes that much. It was only after we finished our steak when we were nibbling on the crab that we both realized it definitely wasn't crab cakes. We got the bill - it was "crab cocktail." After talking it over, we decided to tell our server about the error, including confessing our stupidity that prevented us from informing him immediately.
When he came back, I told him that I had ordered the crab cakes, not the cocktail, and apologized for not telling him sooner. (I read a lot of customers_suck, and was doing my best to avoid being one of those customers who complains about food after the meal is over.) I also mentioned that we didn't like it (it wasn't bad, but we had been in the mood for crab cakes, not cocktail, and had barely touched it - most of it was uneaten). The server's reply was "Oh, I thought you said crab cocktail." I replied that I definitely ordered the crab cakes (remember I mentioned earlier that he was talking too fast - I didn't even hear him say crab cocktail, so I definitely wouldn't have ordered it mistakenly) and that we didn't like crab cocktail. His reply was: "Oh, well in that case you saved a lot of money!" (Referring, I suppose, to the fact that the cocktail is cheaper than the crab cakes.) So I had to pay for the appetizer we didn't order and didn't enjoy (it cost $9.99, which is not a huge deal but I feel I shouldn't have had to pay it).
Sorry this was so long! I didn't want to leave anything out. The reason I'm posting this is I wanted to ask what you guys think. We didn't complain about the mistake sooner, because we stupidly weren't paying attention, so do you think we deserve to pay for it? Or should the server have comped it, or taken it back and brought out crab cakes? I get the feeling the server thought I was lying to get free food because of his attitude - like I said, I look young. Sometimes people think I'm only 15 or 16. T_T
Is it worth writing a letter? Or should I just drop it? I've never complained before, so I'm not sure. This was my favorite restaurant, and I've always gotten great service, so it was a bit upsetting to be treated this way and I'm not sure I want to go back.