improvising gone wrong

I have two restaurant reviews in the hopper (meaning that I’ve been to the restaurant, taken pictures, have what I want to say in my head (sort of) but haven’t written it yet), but this post is neither one of those.  Those are both going to be positive reviews – this review isn’t postive.  Tonight I went to a restaurant (but didn’t take pictures), and had such a funny bad experience I thought I’d post about it.

I went out tonight to Belcourt Taps & Tapas with a few friends and some friends of a friend.  The company was great, so I don’t regret going– I’m really happy my friend organized the little get-together.  We went to see a friend of hers play, and he was really good.  So company: good, music: good.

The restaurant was pretty crowded and it seemed the air conditioning had broken several days ago.  We ordered some appetizers, which were okay, not great, then a few of us ordered dinner.

I ordered the Mediterranean salad, which has the following description on the menu: Prosciutto wrapped goat cheese, mesclun greens, herb aioli, feta cheese, candied pecans, and a lemon pepper vinaigrette.  I  think it might have listed something else, but I forget (and the menu on their website is different, because it has olives listed and it didn’t have olives listed).   I’m not sure what makes that a Mediterranean salad — I guess the prosciutto and the feta cheese– but that’s besides the point.  It sounded good to me.

When the salad finally arrived (everything was taking a really long time, but we realized it was crowded and tried to give them the benefit of the doubt), it was a completely different salad.  The mesclun greens were there, as was the feta cheese, and two small pieces of prosciutto next to what seemed like it might be fried cheese.   Then there were big rings of red onion, tomatoes, and a heap of pickled okra.


Pickled okra?  That screams Mediterranean to me.

When the waiter returned, I suggested that I had received the wrong salad.  Are you sure?  he asked.  I said yes– there was no herb aioli, there was okra, there was no candied pecans…

So he took it back to the kitchen, only to return with it, saying that they had run out of things and had to improvise.  Oh, and when he returned it, it had some regular pecans sprinkled on the top.  (Anyone who knows me knows that pecans aren’t my favorite.  I can do candied pecans.  But regular pecans?  I’ll pass.  So this whole situation was getting funnier and funnier.)

Improvised.  Thanks. What about this pickled okra that was now leaking its pickled juices all over my plate?

Call me crazy, but it would seem that if a restaurant was going to substitute okra for herb aioli, they might ask you first?  Maybe say, “Hm, we don’t seem to have half of the things for your salad.  Would you like something else?”

When one of the girls at the table suggested to the waiter that I be charged $5 for the house salad rather than the $9 for the Mediterranean, he agreed.  I was happy, because the salad was really small to be so expensive anyway.

Well, it didn’t happen, but I didn’t complain.  It was hot, I was tired, and I was ready to go.  So I paid my bill and went on my way (eventually —  it took a good ten to fifteen minutes to get our bills back after giving him our cards).

My advice?  Don’t go to Belcourt Taps and Tapas.  (Not that any of you probably will ever have the opportunity. Except my cousin who lives around the corner from it, and I’m not sure he even reads my blog, haha!)  Some of the other girls had a bad experience a few months earlier, and they had said at the beginning of the night that they were giving it a second chance.  Looks like they failed their second chance, too.

So there’s my restaurant review.  Belcourt Taps and Tapas: Where fried okra is a substitute for herb aioli and you pay $9 for a sub-par little salad!

Good thing the music and company were great!


3 thoughts on “improvising gone wrong

  1. They most definitely should have asked if they were going to change it, and it’s too bad that they didn’t charge you less because they might have been able to salvage your experience and keep your business.

  2. Ugh, thanks for being the guinea pig. We’ve thought of trying it before a Belcourt show but not now. I would’ve eaten it anyway (was it feta or goat cheese?) but they really should do better with the improvisation. Pickled okra is awesome, but I don’t see anything Mediterranean about it, and what if you’d had an allergy? “Improvisation” just doesn’t cut it when someone goes into anaphylactic shock! 😉

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