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Restaurants & Bars 4

Pine Cone Diner---Pt. Reyes Station---never again

Absonot | Feb 1, 200504:55 PM

Drove up to the Pt. Reyes area last Saturday with 3 friends to enjoy the lovely day. After hearing good things about the Pine Cone Diner, I suggested it for lunch.

We snagged the last booth and poured over a very promising menu full of classic sandwiches and great-sounding salads…a bit on the pricey side for what they were, so we figured they were going to be high quality and delicious. What fools we were!

Two of us ordered hamburgers ($7.75), while the other two ordered the Idaho trout salad. The salad was described as “organic greens tossed with green onions, cherry tomatoes, 'Point Reyes Preserves' Asparagus and topped with Gruyere Cheese” and cost $10.75—again, a bit steep for a salad, but I figured it must be good. It sounded good. It wasn’t.

Once the food arrived, we all dug in. The first bad sign came when one of the hamburger eaters said the bun was stale. Then the other hamburger eater agreed, saying the burger was not too tasty overall. But the fries were good.

After a few forkfuls of my salad, I came to the realization that it had NO flavor. The dressing was very very light and the trout was dry and bland. The only flavor came from the corn kernels scattered throughout the greens. Then the other salad eater said “Do you have asparagus on yours?” and I poked around my salad and told him no…”Hey- aren’t there supposed to be cherry tomatoes on this too?” I asked. We looked through our salad and found nothing but greens, some corn kernels and gruyere cheese. No cherry tomatoes. No green onions. No asparagus. Does that sound A) delicious? Or B) worth $10.75? Um, I think that would be a no on both counts.

So our waitress comes over and the other salad person asked “Wasn’t there supposed to be asparagus in the salad?” “And cherry tomatoes too?” I pipe in. The waitress sort of sighed and began explaining to us how expensive cherry tomatoes were and so they couldn’t afford to put them on the salad anymore. Then she went on about how they didn’t have the asparagus so they substituted the corn. She told us she tries to remember to tell people that when they order it, but she sometimes forgets. No contrition, no “oh gosh, I forgot to tell you that you were ordering a salad that doesn’t really exist”…

I’m sorry, but it’s pretty crappy service to not tell someone that an item they’ve just ordered doesn’t have two of its main ingredients. Plus, if they’re saving so much money by omitting the expensive tomatoes, why are they still charging $10.75 for lettuce and corn with a sprinkle of cheese?

We had devoured half our salads before even noticing the problem, so I didn’t want to request a different dish or ask for reimbursement, but I should have. Plus, I was dumbstruck by her cavalier attitude. I’m still kicking myself I spent that much on my salad. I feel like a total sucker, and I’ll never be back.

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