Bennigan’s: NEVER AGAIN!

bennigansWe paid our final visit to Bennigan’s on Friday night.  We’ve said never again before, but this time we mean it:  NEVER AGAIN!

We were pressed for time, because the older hooligan had swim practice, and we weren’t prepared to cook anything for dinner.  None of us wanted pizza (yet again), so our quick-but-cheap options were limited.

The frustrating thing about Bennigan’s used to be their inconsistency.  Sometimes it was pretty good, but often wasn’t.  And in a moment of weakness it was easy to roll the dice.  They’re nearby, not very expensive, and there was a reasonable chance we’d be served something halfway decent.

Unfortunately, it’s been tilting shitty of late.  They have some improving to do, if they want to get back to where they were.  Because wildly inconsistent was the good old days…  Now it’s consistently bad.

We knew better, and were groaning in anticipation as we passed through the doors.  As we were being seated by a girl with a single BB attached to the side of her nose, I thought, “We should’ve just gone to Wendy’s…”

I considered having a burger, but my body was screaming for something fresh and at least semi-healthy.  So, I ordered one of those gigantic salads with chicken on top.  It had probably been a few days since I’d had a real vegetable.

Toney ordered soup and half a sandwich, and the boys went with chicken fingers (or whatever) and fries.

And what’s the story with food taking longer when a restaurant is less-busy?  If it’s packed, you can count on your meal appearing quickly, but if it’s dead it takes forever.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

So we waited and waited, while classic rock (Shakedown Cruise!) ricocheted around the almost empty building.  It was about six o’clock on a Friday evening, and the joint was nearly abandoned.  Apparently most people arrived at their NEVER AGAIN! moment before we did.

Finally, our food came, and both boys had drained their Cokes, but the waitress didn’t offer to bring them refills.  I had to make a special request, and our server rolled her eyes in aggravation.  Yep, that was one dollar off the tip, right there.

Toney used her spoon to push aside the cheese seal on top of her French onion soup, and no steam escaped.  What the?  She put the tip of a finger into it, and it was roughly room temperature.   What the crap, man?

I went in search of our waitress, because I had a feeling she wasn’t the type to check back often.  I found her talking with BB nose, and told her I needed to have a word.  And the exasperated sigh she unleashed was one more dollar down.

She snatched away the bowl of soup, without even a hint of an apology, and disappeared with it.  This place was pissing me off.

Finally I administered the dressing to my huge salad, and took a bite.  And something was rancid…  At first I thought it was the Thousand Island, and asked Toney for her opinion.  She smelled the little cup they’d brought it in, and said, “It’s vinegary, probably old.”

So, there was that, but I also believe there was something wrong with the lettuce.  Like it should’ve been in the dumpster behind the restaurant, not being served to me as a dinner entree.

It didn’t taste right, but wasn’t completely nasty, so I choked it down.  The chicken on top was so hard and sharp, it sliced-up my gums, and got shoved to the side.  The shit was covered in a concrete-like breading.

When Toney’s soup returned, it was obvious the bowl had just been shoved into a microwave.  The cheese seal had collapsed and was now fully submerged.  But it was hot…  Sweet Jesus, there was no denying its hotness.  A pillar of steam connected our table and the ceiling.

The boys had no real complaints about their meals, but it’s pretty hard to screw up fried chicken that gets delivered in a sack through the back door.

Toney and I, on the other hand, were irritated and sick about the whole thing.  This garbage was going to cost us thirty dollars, and wasn’t worth ten.  “We should’ve just gone to Wendy’s…” Toney said, echoing my earlier sentiments.

Needless to say, the waitress took forever bringing us our check, and that was another dollar off.  She was a surly girl, who didn’t give a shit — straight-up.  In the end we gave her two bucks.  It had started at five, and the rest was up to her.  Two dollars, I felt, was generous.

The youngest Secret wanted to turn, as we were leaving, and scream, “This place sucks!”  And for a second or two I considered endorsing his plan, but finally decided it might not be responsible parenting.

But he was right on the money.  It most certainly did suck, and with much vigor.  Which is why we won’t be returning:  NEVER AGAIN!

Have you had any recent bad restaurant experiences?  Tell us about it, won’t you?  Heck, it doesn’t even have to be recent…  Just whatever ya got.  Use the comments section below.

And I hope you guys are having yourselves great day.

See you again tomorrow!

Now playing in the bunker.

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Thanks for stopping by! My name is Jeff Kay, I was born while JFK was president, and it's all very embarrassing and corny. Today I'm a suburban husband and father, who is sometimes accused of being a bit tightly-wound. The West Virginia Surf Report! is my creative outlet, and insurance policy against completely losing my shit. I hope you'll stick around and participate in the lively community of geniuses and curmudgeons who hang out here every day. I love a full 87% of them! And while you're at it, please follow me at Twitter and Facebook.

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