Tell Us Your Dining Horror Story and Win a $50 China Grill Gift Card

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We at Short Order take a lot from the community. Now we want to give you something in return. But, not so fast. You are going to have to do something for us if you want to win a $50 gift card to China Grill.

We want to hear about your worst dining experience ever. You don't have to mention restaurant names, but make a compelling case for why we should feel so bad for you that we need to hand over this gift card to you.

Submit your horror dining stories in the comments below. Please make sure you enter a valid email address when posting (even as a guest), so we are able to reach you. You have until Monday, January, 24 at 5 p.m. to submit your entry. The winner will be announced the following Tuesday.

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China Grill - CLOSED

404 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music

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Bella-Carolina Zinca
Bella-Carolina Zinca

When I was in high school I went to a Model United Nations conference in Chicago, where there is a large eastern European population. My family is from Romania, so after the conferences I looked up a Romanian restaurant and trekked out to it with my friend and my boyfriend. The place looked shady from the moment we got in. It was empty except for one table and some horrible man was singing on a stage with another horrible man playing terrible keyboard behind him. I shrugged it off as standard Euro-trash entertainment and we prepared ourselves for an interesting evening. I was vegetarian at the time, but being very familiar with Romanian cuisine, knew more or less what to order and made suggestions to my friends. Our waitress was a nightmare. She was Hungarian and spoke neither English nor Romanian so communication was a disaster. She made an effort to answer our questions about the menu, and although she looked very confused when I asked her if the gravy on the stuffed mushrooms was made with chicken stock, she answered 'no' with surprising confidence. She would also finish every phrase she said with the word 'please.' You'd think this is polite, but at one point she even said "Thank you, please," demonstrating her feeble grasp on the English language. My mushrooms finally arrived and were obviously made with chicken stock. Fed up, I walked myself to the kitchen and asked the Romanian cook about it, and she confirmed my suspicion. The manager of the restaurant found out he had Romanian-speaking patrons and quickly came to our table to greet us, which seemed friendly, until it got creepy. He briefly left and then returned to our table with a long, clear tube of liquid. He said it was 'holy water.' I knew by this he meant it was tuica, a tremendously potent plum liquor. All of us were underage high school students. I explained this to him. He still insisted we drink. We had to politely refuse numerous times. He continued conversing throughout the meal, mostly with me as I was the only Romanian at the table. At the end of the meal, he offered us a ride back to the subway station in his car. If a relative offers you a ride, you take it. When a creepy middle aged guy tries to force alcohol on minors in public and then get them in his car, you run for your life. The worst part was, since he said all of this in a language only I understand, my friends were oblivious to the manager's frightening behaviour until I quietly rushed them out of the restaurant after paying the bill. I never thought I would be able to say that I left a restaurant sincerely afraid for my life. Now I never ever go to a restaurant without reading a review.

Lucky8906
Lucky8906

My girlfriend made a reservation at Berries in the Grove for my birthday. She called the day before to confirm it. She brought a Carvel Ice Cream cake, my favorite, to the restaurant at 2 o'clock and they were really nice and said they would take care of it. She even got those numbered candles for my birthday.

We show up on time for the reservation, all 12 of us in attendance, and they look at us like we are nuts, they lost the reservation! When we finally get seated the meal goes without incident until its time for the cake. They bring out the ice cream cake and its totally melted and is spilling all over me. They also lost the special candles my girlfriend brought and the candle that was in there was falling over into the ice cream. I cursed out the wait staff and then the chef comes over and says, "If I had seen that I would never had brought it out to you." It was bad.

Nanci Schanerman
Nanci Schanerman

It was my birthday and we went to Jaguar in Grove. My boyfriend went their earlier to give them a cake and they refused to take it. They were rude to him and wanted to charge him $50 to have our own cake! I had no idea about this until later when I asked why they wouldn't give us plates or silverware to cut and eat the cake. It was ridiculous, but that's not all.

During the meal the waiter was rude and never around. He gave us attitude when we ordered are dishes and plopped them down unceremoniously in front of us so much so that they food splattered. Then I was sitting there trying to salvage my birthday, which was going slightly better because the manager gave me a certificate for my birthday, when I feel something on my foot. A roach crawled across my foot! Needless to say we haven't been back and if I had known the same people owned Talavera that would have explained the bad service I had there when no waiter would approach us for 25 minutes!

Scott91185
Scott91185

It was at Slanted Door in San Francisco. Amazing restaurant but AWFUL AWFUL service. Rated a top restaurant and must go in San Fran but if you ever have this waiter, just leave. We walked in, waited for our reservation to be called. They called and us said, "Follow me," but then the lady said, "I'm sorry why are you following me? I said follow the other girl." We then proceeded to sit down for almost 20 minutes without a server or anyone coming to our table with even water. Our waiter finally showed up and goes, "I'm sorry I saw an old friend and was catching up." It gets worse. He was an awful waiter and constantly was not present or around if we needed anything. Finally, our food arrived which was great. Our waiter again disappears for a while. We look outside and no joke he's taking shots with his friends. The waiter walks back in and comes to ask if we want dessert, and he REAKED of booze. LIke it was awful how gross his breath smelled. Finally, about 10 minutes later another waiter comes over and goes you need something? I go well, we did ask for dessert menus which we never got. The waiter comes back over and gives us the menus. He goes, " Sorry, your waiter is a little sick and just got back this morning from El Salvador." My whole table goes, " Yea, that's the problem, not him outside hanging out and drinking with his friends. The other waiter tells us they are so sorry and please order a dessert on the house. I order a dessert, and when the desserts arrive there are 4 desserts they bring out to the table. All of them were good. Finally the bill arrives. No joke, the waiter charged us for the desserts even though I only ordered 1 dessert and they brought 4 and we were told it was on the house. He double charged us for an appetizer and he also double charged all of our drinks. Finally the bill was adjusted, but as one could see this was inexcusable and absurd service I will never forget.

IndecentBlondie
IndecentBlondie

I went out to eat to an Italian restaurant in Hollywood named Concodora, with a guy i was fooling around with at the time. I ordered the Chicken Francese, I LOVE chicken Francese! The server did not properly speak English, but in Miami, that's expected and I can speak enough Spanish to get by. It took forever to bring our drinks. I drank the water most of the night because the delievery of our liquor was so delayed which made me not a happy camper. The meal was finally served, about 2hrs later and my chicken tasted like rubber. The coloring of the francese sauce made it not even look like francese & definately didn't taste like Francese. I kindly told the server that I did not like the entree' & I would like to roder something else. This is when it got ugly. The server told me he would have to get the manager...really? to send back an entree? OK! The manager comes out aggressively & says to me "What's wrong with the chicken?" I told him that it tasted like it had been sitting out for hours and I would like to order something else. He then told me "Maybe you shouldn't order a meal that you dont like" I told him I LOVE chicken francese but this plate was not up to par. He then informed me that I could order another entree but I would still have to pay for the Chicken Francese ---I don't think so buddy. An altercation occured between my date & the manager. We ended up paying in hurry & storming out. It was TERRIBLE. The manager began insulting me & overall it was a nightmare. I've never been back & I tell everyone NEVER to go there.

Claudia Sanchez
Claudia Sanchez

I was at this Mexican restuarant, (I am Mexican & I am embarassed to say it was a Mexican restaurant) the ceiling had pillars running across. It resembled a Mexican Hacienda. I looked up while eating my meal and there was a rat running along the ceiling boards. I watched this rat run right into the kitchen from the dining area. Let's just say I will never return to that restaurant.

pao segura
pao segura

Once like 2 years ago me and my boyfriend went to a Spanish restaurant at Little Habana. We saw a like 3 spanish clients eating a Paella, an we though, well go inside, why not have a Paella for lunch.The place was nice outside. Once inside we saw a big old restaurant with 35 tables approximately, only 2 tables with people to the moment that we entered. It was not sufficiently illuminated, the only waitress, took a lot of time in taking us the order and bring the dishes.They offer like 5 types of salads, I chose one that supposed to have olives. My surprise there was no olives on the plate, and the cucumber was really bad and lettuce was yellow not green as supposed to be a fresh one. Then, the most important the Paella, we ordered one mixed with chicken and seafood, the dish was too much wet than others that we tried in other restaurants, but the flavor was Ok.I remember that I told to the waitress that my salad has no olives and she answered me that their groceries provider hasn’t come.

I have a clear image in my mind, we seated on a table next to a white wall. Suddenly when I saw a small and fast roach that almost jump to our meal. And obviously I wanted to go out running.The last disappointment was that we asked if they can give us a container for the half paella we couldn’t eat. They say: we have the container but we don’t have plastics bags, because our groceries provider still hasn't come.Finally we paid like $80, for our worst dinner ever, in a place that we never go back and we didn’t feel comfortable. And we walked along the Calle 8 with a box that was stinking to seafood.

Blondie
Blondie

We made reservations at this restaurant weeks in advance knowing that we would be arriving with a large party to celebrate a birthday. Over the phone, we were guaranteed that they would be able to accommodate us without a problem. Our group showed up in waves, as is typical in Miami. When the first few members of our party arrived, we were informed that we would have to wait until the ENTIRE party arrived; always a hassle, but it happens. Since we knew that people would be running late, we had a couple drinks at the bar and waited outside. After 1/3 of our party arrived, I asked the hostess if we would be able to be seated, she said that we had to wait until we had 18 out of the 20 people present.

Two hours later, after continually asking if we could be seated with just over half of our party, we finally had 18 people. We were seated at what was supposedly the table they had reserved for us - a table set for 14. This was clearly not big enough for all of us to sit for dinner. They added the extra chairs and we all squeezed in and started looking at the menu. 20 minutes or so later, the rest of our party arrived and we had nowhere for them to sit and we still had not seen a waiter.

After another 15 minutes of waiting, people from our group started leaving; we were hungry, wanted to order drinks, and had already been there - albeit outside - for hours. A manager finally comes over and apologizes and we inform him that we are going to leave and celebrate elsewhere. The manager offered to discount a portion of the bill for our inconvenience. He sent over waiters and we were FINALLY able to order our meals. After that, we never saw the wait staff again, never got to order drinks at the table, and never got refills on our sodas/waters.

The remainder of us that stayed ordered meals, danced with the belly dancer that the manager sent to our table - which is customary. When the bill arrives, to our surprise, the percentage covered was NOT what we were told when speaking with the manager. When I confronted him about the bill, he claimed that he never told us a percentage and would never tell anyone the percentage that multiple people in our party clearly heard. We paid the bill nonetheless, but were very disappointed with the quality of service and treatment we received. For the amount of money we spend, the food was just mediocre. We never had enough plates to serve everyone, nor did we have enough utensils. We ordered the family style meals and were able to try quite a bit of the menu.

Needless to say, I've never been back to this restaurant nor do I have any intention of returning.

Guest
Guest

On the other hand, you might need more polite friends who don't show up two whole hours late for a seated restaurant reservation. :( Not entirely the restaurant's fault in this case!

gzy
gzy

Visited Kung Fu Kitchen and Sushi almost a year ago and had the worst dining experience; I should have known better visiting a restaurant offering 1000 OpenTable points!

We were seated right smack in the sun (there were soooo many empty tables and this is the one they had to pick!). We moved ourselves and the hostess/waiter seemed to be annoyed/confused by that. After about 5 minutes they took our drink order – then about 15 minutes later we got them (water). We were ready to order and made our waiter aware. He asked us (very rudely) to “hold on” and disappeared returning about 10 minutes later. I asked him about which sushi roll he recommends (after all it’s a sushi place), he answers, “the burger” and seems very annoyed by the question. OK? Then I order dumplings, he takes the order down and disappears. He comes back ½ and hour later to tell me they don’t offer dumplings during lunch. Umm? Did he not know that? At this point we were ready to go, they brought out my roll (which I had asked for without cucumber) and there is cucumber on it – the waiter sees my reaction and seriously said, “you are going to have to work with me, it’s my 2nd week” – there wasn’t anything sincere about it.. he said it with an attitude. I sent it back and asked for the bill…. He brought that out quick …. With an 18% gratuity added to it. After asking for the manager (that NEVER came to the table) – we left… NEVER TO RETURN AGAIN! (We continued our dinner at World Resources!).

FishHeads
FishHeads

First date a few years back:

Went to the restaurant on the pier behind the hotel that houses Kitchen 305. Thought it'd be a nice view. Very unclear menus, including a guy setup with a whiteboard with fish prices as you walked in. However, this guy somehow was working independently of the waitress/restaurant bill. We get seated at a plastic table with a variety of tourists around us. A few minutes in the overweight lady next to us has the plastic leg of her chair snap and she completely lays out on the floor (dock). Finally order, my date (who was a little kooky) orders a veggie pizza and I order fried fish. Long story short the pizza had a hair in it and the fish was burnt on the outside and frozen in the middle. The rum drinks were ok though. I paid and never saw that place (if it still exists) or that girl again! Complete waste of a great space on the ocean.

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