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Why can't I eat out on a Saturday afternoon?

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Why can't I eat out on a Saturday afternoon?

Andy Huse | May 29, 2001 01:25 PM

This may not be all food related, but i need to share my difficulties with some people who might relate.

I'm presently writing a book on restaurants and keep a list of places i need to try. Unfortunately, I am a working man and only have weekends to try them. My girlfriend and I try these new places on Saturdays as a matter of necessity. We have had the worst experiences imaginable simply because of this day and the time we go out to eat.

Since we sleep in as late as possible and often skip breakfast/lunch, we are famished by 1 or 2pm and head out to get some food. It is rare not to be disappointed.

First of all, nothing seems to be open on Saturday afternoons. This seems ridiculous. we'll visit or call literally a dozen restaurants and none serve during the afternoon. many don't post hours on their websites or even on their buildings. some don't bother to answer the phone.

once, the place answered their phone. when i asked if they were open all day that day, they guy answered me as if i were an idiot, "uhh, yeah." I got there 10 minutes later and they were closed. Stopped serving at 2. Saturday is the only day of the week that stiffs like me have all day to eat.

a fine steakhouse posted hours 11am-11pm on their website. They neglected to report that they close for several hours in the afternoon. It was my girlfriend's birthday, and we were too hungry to wait for them to open back up. It frustrates us so that we always call every restaurant before leaving the house and have a backup just in case.

we hit another restaurant with high hopes. i read a favorable review and had a list of interesting-sounding entrees to try. we got there and the place was empty, the menu had about 10 items on it (from spaghetti to steak sandwiches--- not what i had in mind) and the food was the worst we'd ever eaten (see Midulla's on the Fla message board). Apparently, the article was a sham or they have no kitchen help on saturday afternoons.

most of the time, we'd rather do lunch than dinner. The places are less crowded. Portions are realisticlly smaller. It costs half of what dinner would.

instead of finding our city's restaurants eager to please, we find closed restaurants that are "open," awful food, and a labrynth of changing hours, folded eateries, and half-hearted management.

I understand restaurants often like to "re-tool" their kitchens and clean their dining rooms in between rushes, but exactly who is doing who the favor here? I take out my girlfriend for a $100 steak meal and they don't have the decency to post their actual hours on the web (and no hours on the building--- too fancy for that?)? Are we to let restaurants dictate our appetites or the other way around? If they won't serve on Sundays or Mondays, can they at least serve all day Saturday? It seems the policy is more suited to weekdays. another restaurant isn'y open at all on the weekends, because they don't like to work then.

what's the deal, fellow hounds? Is there a good reason for this lapse in service? do they really need to close for 3 hours to prepare for dinner? does this policy make sense? if it does, who to? how can such a nice dinner menu be preceded by such lousy lunch menus?

once upon a time, the customer was always right, and one could get a good steak in Tampa into the wee hours. now, THEY don't even know when THEY are open! The customer is nothing more than a cash cow for most places these days, and we're not right about anything--- not even when we're hungry!

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