I thought this might be a good topic and we might get some surprising anecdotes.
The question is, what mistakes have restaurants made that you just can't forgive and thus will never go back? Name names or not- it's up to you. I am choosing to be kind this evening and not name my offenders.
One deal breaker has happened to me in 2 different places- one being Thai and one Mexican: Rancid meat. You know, that good old dead dog in the road for two days smell. Detectable all the way from the plate, I didn't even have to bring it near my face with a fork first. The Thai place wanted to argue about it, saying it must be the marinade I'm smelling. Yeah, right, like we all don't know the smell of rotting meat. Must be the marinade. The Mexican place was at least very responsive to the complaint. But still, I figure it's a deal breaker. Why? Because either the cook smelled it and decided to serve it anyway, or, just as bad, DIDN'T notice the odor, and that makes for one scary cook. Who can't smell that?? Either way- deal breaker.
Deal breaker two: Raw rice. Mixed with the cooked rice. A well-regarded "organic" "healthy" place that I did have a good meal at once before. How does one even accomplish a mix of cooked and raw rice? You cook some and then throw raw grains in at the end? The mind boggles. Thankfully I didn't bite into the rice hard. Because if I had, it would have cost me at least $2K in dental work. I am lucky and they are lucky. Fortunately for them, i'm just not going back, because that was a deal breaker.