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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

September 19, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Love it — or leave it? When restaurant service goes south

“The way I see it,” I wrote in a Taste of the Town column in 2004, “when service isn’t what it should be, I’m inclined to give a place the benefit of the doubt” — as well as a second chance. The way my husband sees it, I explained, he’d “rather throw the money in the street” than return to a restaurant where he’s encountered bad service.

“And therein lies the difference between a paid critic (me), and a restaurant-critical patron (him),” I continued [read the full story here, recounting the dirty details of a restaurant visit gone awry]. “My job description requires that I give the place another chance, visiting three, sometimes four times before making a final assessment. His — and presumably yours — does not.”

So tell me: What are your thoughts on the subject? When service stinks, do you go back for another go-round, as restaurant critics are obliged to do? Or, like my husband, do you immediately write the place off?

[Seattle Times illustration/Julie Notarianni]

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