Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adventures in Dining pt.1

As a treat to ourselves, while my sis is out of town, Mom and I decided to try this restaurant we've been passing by for the last several months, called Pico Bello. Attractive looking enough from the outside, it had its look upgraded by the addition of a giant banner proclaiming it to be the #1 Italian restaurant in our 'burb, thanks to a reader poll of the the local paper. What could go wrong?

Well, we go inside, it's about 5:30-ish, and there is no one in the joint except one dating couple and a waitress who looks bored and apathetic. She tries to seat us in a small table, but eventually lets us take a booth, where she hands us two menus, the kind that are printed on heavy card stock and folded in three. Clearly not the world's most expensive effort at selling food. While the waitress lingers for a moment, I quickly flip open to the centre, where I notice half of one column has been entirely scored out with a Sharpie -the pizza section. When I queried the waitress, she confirmed that there were no more pizzas available, then skedaddled.

We lingered for a few moments over the menu trying to decide, when I noticed another disturbing trend -- all the entrees had had their prices increased by at least 2.00. But not with a Sharpie --no, this time, the offending digit was re-traced over with a blue ballpoint pen. Which gets me to thinking. I understand that restaurants have to raise their prices, hey, everyone's got to make a living. But what kind of cheesy place changes it over 1/3 of the food choices with various implements, and doesn't reprint the menu? What would it cost them? $50.00 max if they go all out. There was only 5 booths, 10 tables, so maybe you need 25 copies. How much would that cost to print up on a new sheet of paper? Even if they laminated it, you're still looking at less than $100!

Add to that, pizza is one of the cheapest Italian dishes you can make. Why nix the entire pizza department? I understand that there is a Panago within a block of there, but they don't offer dine in options, and you do. Heck, you could arrange a deal where you take the order, get it from Panago and produce it in your restaurant, none the wiser! If you are going to go out of it entirely, definitely reprint the fool menu!

As it went, the menu issue was just too much for our overly suspicious, Kitchen Nightmares-watching natures, and we made our excuses and booted it out of there for Vera's Burgers.

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