Bad Italian coffee and your I-can't-believe-its

Hi–I’m back home in the States for business and pleasure.

We ate at The Italian Village in Chicago yesterday, and I really can’t recommend it. The prices were standard downtown high: $18+ for an entree, etc.

The salad was great, the skate wing entree was pretty darn good. But the food was overall on the salty side, and my wife’s angel hair pasta was a little overdone. C’mon people, al dente ‘n’ all that.

What scandalized me, however, was this: I ordered capuccino “a little on the dry side,” and what we were given was two weak coffees with a little foam on top! WHAT?! Not espresso, WEAK COFFEE. And we refused to drink them, set them in the center of the table, and although the waiter made feigned a constant scanning of the table for whatever, these abominations were not stricken from the bill. I know, I should have said something. But it was the way the waiter was and how the mood was, I just couldn’t do it.

This was not the only abomination, however. This was a large group. The guy in front of us ordered a “chocolate sundae.” While all the others were digging into what appeared to be fairly decent tiramisu, etc., this guy was handed two small scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup on top! HUH?!

This is what I call an I-Can’t-Believe-It. It’s not enough for an ICBI to be an example of suckage. It has to involve a violation of common sense; it must exemplify extra ignorance. I can’t belive an Italian restaurant that has been in business in Chicago for 75 years or so would NOT know how to make a cappuchino, and I can’t believe that ANY restaurant would charge $5 for an abominable sundae like the one this poor fellow was served.

These sins mean I will not be going back to this restaurant… ever!

One more quick one. There is a tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) restaurant near my workplace in Tokyo. The food there is generally good, but they regularly serve really bad RICE: yeah, bad rice in JAPAN. The rice is over-watered, sticky, and yuck-o. But it is not always like this. You’d think they’d get a clue and realize that they make a bad batch now and again, and take measures.

So what are your ICBIs? It doesn’t necessarily have to be about food…

I think you hit Italian Village on a bad night. Last time I was there I had linguini con frutti di mare, and it was so good I thought I was about to do an imitation of Meg Ryan’s famous orgasm scene. I’ve never had a bad meal there. (But then again, I never order coffee there, and I’ve always been too full for dessert.)

Mine would be the time I ordered an iced coffee at an East Village café, and was presented with a glass of ice and a packet of Sanka. And charged something like $4 for it. In 1989.

You have my sympathy! Where did you eat? Upstairs or downstairs? The Italian Village is my husband’s and my favorite restaurant of all time. A bad meal there?

You really should call or write a letter.

:confused: What is “dry” coffee?

And why would the waiter take the coffee off the bill if he didn’t know you didn’t like it?

We once got an antipasto at an Italian restaurant in Salt Lake City that was so bad we took a picture of it. It wasn’t inedible, just a completely White Wonder Bread non-ethnic version of an antipasto.

IIRC it included slices of what looked like Oscar Meyer baloney.

It’s not dry cooffee, it’s a dry cappucino. Cappucino is espresso with steamed milk, and a large head of foam. The more foam(and less steamed milk) you desire, the drier your drink will be.

I would sue if I were you. That’s not just wicked evil. That’s not just profound ignorance. That’s a violation of your god-given rights. And there must be some kind of FDA issue going on here, too. And totally false advertising. It’s an abomination in the face of every self-respecting coffee-loving man, woman and child. I’m shocked! I’m really…wow…oh no…I think I’m going to throw up!

Seriously, that sucks, dude. I would have been throwing a hissy fit. Of course, I’m a fascist, holier-than-thou Starbuckaroo. That waiter would have been lucky not be mopping up that…that glorified piss water.

Yes, I believe you should have said something. Perhaps a bit friendlier than me, though. No doubt they would have stricken the drinks from the bill. :wink:


Sorry, but I gotta peeve a bit:

Folks, it’s cappuccino. C-A-P-P-U-C-C-I-N-O. That’s 2 Ps, 2 Cs, one N. The U is long and the 2 cees sound like ‘ch’.

Thank you. That is all.


Thank you Cinnamon Girl! That’s one of my pet peeves too. Along with “linguini” and “fettucini” and “expresso.”

I’ll add that I’m Italian, grew up in an Italian-cultured house, have been to Italy many times, worked in an Italian restaurant for several years, and have made and consumed probably several thousand cappuccinos and have never until now heard the term “dry” cappuccino. I would have no idea what someone wanted if they asked me for one.

If the waiter didn’t know you thought the caps were unsatisfactory, he can’t be expected to remove them from the bill. You should have made your displeasure known. I order stuff all the time and don’t finish it just because I don’t feel like it. I don’t expect it to be automatically removed from the bill.

But still, it sucks to get a bad dinner. I’d give them another chance in this case. Maybe a new waiter and kitchen staff were on.

1985ish — New to the NYC area, I went into a diner in Queens and ordered a root beer float.

I was brought a glass of root beer over ice with one silly little single scoop of vanilla, not in the glass but forcibly jammed onto the rim.