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S2 E8: "A fancy restaurant mislead me! Was I right to refuse to pay the bill?"

Season 2, Episode 8: “A Fancy Restaurant Misled Me! Was I Right to Refuse to Pay the Bill?”

We Bitches are many things—king makers, trendsetters, practitioners of all the best grandma hobbies. We’re also unapologetically obsessed with r/AmItheAsshole, Reddit’s glorious channel dedicated to the important and if-you-had-to-ask-you-already-know question “Am I the Asshole?”

This week we just could not fucking resist pulling a money-related question straight from r/AITA. Trust me: it was worth it. Dedicated readers and listeners will recall just how strongly we feel about the etiquette of tipping servers in these United States. So naturally, this one got our hackles up. Hopefully it will get your *cackles* up!

Read on for a phonetic spelling of gnocchi from an irritatingly oblivious guy who “likes to eat,” but only if the food is stolen and/or McDonalds. And ladies (just making an educated guess here), he’s recently single!

This week’s question

Today’s letter comes to us from Reddit because we couldn’t fucking resist the bait:

Am I the asshole for refusing to pay at a restaurant that was false advertising?

So my girlfriend (her 27, me 28) wants to go to this fancy new restaurant in the city that she’s heard good things about. We get there and it seems like one of those hipster places but whatever, I’m hungry. I look at the menu and this place is crazy expensive—like every dish is more than $15-$20 and half the ingredients I’ve never heard of. I order the bison steak ($26) and my girlfriend orders some weird pasta, noki I think ($18). Very important, these were listed as ENTREES on the menu. Mind you, with drinks plus tip this is going to come out to over $60, which is already ridiculous for dinner for two people.

So anyway we order as we are starving. My steak arrives and I am shocked, it’s like 6 small pieces of sliced steak with some weird sauce on the side and a small handful of salad. I joke to the waiter ‘where’s the rest of my steak?’ and he explains they serve smaller portions at this restaurant because they focus on getting the highest quality ingredients. I don’t care if this bison was blessed by the Pope himself! It’s absurd to charge that much for such a small bit of steak, it’s highway robbery. When I go to restaurants I expect an entree to fill me up and be enough for leftovers.

I’m complaining to my girlfriend and she’s getting annoyed with me. Similar situation with her pasta, it was like maybe 12 pieces of noki dressed up with some frou frou bullshit.

Granted, the food was pretty good but I cannot get over how tiny these portions are. I’m a big guy and I like to eat, what can I say?

When the waiter comes back I inform him we will not be paying for our meal, and that they are falsely advertising entrees that barely qualify as a light snack. My girlfriend is begging me to stop but that’s where we’re different, I don’t let businesses push me around and rip me off.

A manager comes and apologizes but asks us to leave. I don’t end up paying as they realized I called them out on their bullshit. My girlfriend is silent the entire time on the way back. I’m still hungry so I drive through McDonald’s and get a burger, and when I did that she asked to be dropped off at her place.

It’s now the next day and I’m starting to think I didn’t handle the situation as well as I could have (I could have probably just asked for a discount). My girlfriend hasn’t responded to my texts so now I’m starting to think I’m an asshole. Am I the asshole?

– Some fool on r/AmItheAsshole


True fact: the cutting room floor of this episode is a mess of sighs, groans, the whisper of our fingertips rubbing our temples, and one primal indignant scream. We’re big guys, and we like to scream, what can we say!

For more on the topics of tipping and how to not be a garbage person:

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17 thoughts to “Season 2, Episode 8: “A Fancy Restaurant Misled Me! Was I Right to Refuse to Pay the Bill?””

  1. Based on girlfriend’s reaction, she has hopefully realized (former?) boyfriend is not something she wants on the menu.

    1. Listen. Sometimes ya gotta pull an all-nighter to keep yer blog/podcast/day job plates spinning! I’m here from the future to tell you that decision has circadian AND grammatical consequences.

  2. If you eat the food you have to pay, period. If you are concerned about the amount of food in an entrée then you ask before you order it. That guy is a cretin.

  3. That happened to us once. Some restaurants are designed for you to buy multiple courses. They tend to be expensive. My husband and I have an agreement that he doesn’t have to take me to a restaurant with countable food (6 string beans in our case). With online menus and restaurant pictures and reviews, there is no excuse going to a restaurant you can’t afford. Our solution that evening was to thank the server, pay the bill with tip and head to Burger King so my husband did not go home hungry. I will go out for countable food with my friends.

    1. I made a similar agreement with my boyfriend. Countable food and small plates are for either 1) my girlfriends and I, or 2) special occasions. The only time we have intentionally went for tiny plates and countable food was when I won the Hamilton ticket lottery, and since the tickets were $10 a piece, we splurged on food.

  4. I’m constantly confused by American food portions. Is it normal to expect to be full after an entree? To me (in Australia), the entree is the starter and thus a smaller portion of food. If you want to be full you would order a main meal.

    1. Interesting! In the US a small portion that you eat first is an appetizer, and the main dish of the night is called an entree. I’m filing this away for the days when we can all travel again.

    2. Oh, interesting! Here we would call the first small course an appetizer, or a starter. An entree would be the main course! Unless it’s a small plates/tapas situation, you should be pretty full after it, though there’s always dessert! Thank you for saving me from inevitable confusion and hanger whenever I finally get to Australia.

      1. In French an entrée means an appetizer. I was confused for a long time when I heard Americans mention an entree as a main meal (I am French).
        Regarding the post : my opinion is if you eat you pay. If you want to complain, do it before you eat.

  5. OH LORD this question really grinds my gears. In the age of Yelp & Google reviews, to not research ahead of time is just silly. Agree, YTA!

    Something my husband and I do when eating at a restaurant (what is that even like now?), is order a bunch of stuff and then ask the server, “is this a good amount of food for 2 hungry people?” They obviously know their food & portion sizes and can suggest more/less food.

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