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Wahini's Surf Bar and Grill Informative - Never Again - Guest Courtesy

Review by SteveB1029 on 2007-09-05
BUXTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- While recently visiting Cape Hatteras in NC, my girlfriend and I decided to go out for a nice, relaxing dinner on our last night in the Outer Banks. We experienced everything but. We decided to go to Wahini's Surf Grill, located in Buxton not far from where we stayed. From the outside it looked like a great idea, but we soon found out we were wrong. We sat patiently for almost 10 minutes before our server came over and without introducing herself or welcoming us, asked "What are you drinking?" We both ordered alcoholic beverages, myself a glass of wine and my girlfriend a spritzer drink. Being 24 and myself 26 and being in the restaurant industry for over 10 years, I know it is illegal to not card anybody who looks under 30, which we both do. All that aside, we finally after 20 minutes are able to order our food, with no help from the server. She was not knowledgeable about the menu and when asked about different selections, responded often with "I don't know."

We finally decided on our meals and placed our order. My girlfriend ordered a seafood pesto pasta, described in the menu as fettuccine pasta in a pesto sauce with crab meat and shrimp.When the food arrived, my girlfriend was not fond of the dish at all, which was actually prepared with linguine noodles-not a big deal. She tried one bite of pasta and one shrimp and was not impressed. Like I said earlier, us both being in the restaurant business for many years, we were not upset or mad by any means. When our server finally returned 10 minutes later to check on our food, my girlfriend politely asked if she could exchange her dish for exactly what I was having, stating that she was not a big fan of hers, it was not what she expected, and that she would wait patiently for her new dish. Our server said no problem and offered to her to keep eating her original entree while the new one was prepared, in which my girlfriend declined.

5 minutes later an older lady with short dark hair came to our table, introduced herself as the cook, and asked what the problem was with the dish. We explained and told her exactly what we wanted instead. She left, then returned 10 minutes later, this time saying she was the owner, and rudely accused my girlfriend of eating all the scallops out of the dish before returning it. I explained how we are both servers/bartenders and I'm going into management with a multi-billion dollar corporate restaurant so the last thing I'm looking for is a free meal, just an enjoyable one.

I explained to the cook/owner in amazement that there were no scallops in the dish as described on the menu nor were there any in the actual dish in which one bite was taken. She responded by saying that she throws scallops in the dish at her discretion (which will really be harmful to somebody who orders the dish and is allergic to scallops). I have never heard of anyone who claims to be an owner, manager, or even a server in any establishment to treat their guests with such disrespect and lack of courtesy.The cook/owner then went on to kick us out of her restaurant, threatening to call "911" as she put it, if we declined. Trust me, by that point we were more than ready to leave this poor impersonation of a restaurant.

After all this, the owner still wanted us to pay for the dish we sent back. After paying for the food we actually ate and leaving the server a 20% tip because she was unfortunately a byproduct of horrible management, we left Wahini's with a feeling of disrespect and anger at the events that occurred that night. So what it all comes down to I suppose is coming from someone who is big on guest courtesy, there should be more focus on loyalty if you are interested in running a successful business with return clientèle.
Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-10-01
Posted by heaven17 on 2007-09-05:
"I'm going into management with a multi-billion dollar corporate restaurant..."

So, how are things down at McDonald's?
Posted by mangomaiden on 2007-09-05:
You were certainly treated rudely by the chef/owner/whatever, but I never understand why people send a dish back simply because they don't like it. Entrees are almost always described on the menu, so there should be no surprises. I can understand if an order is cold, burnt, spoiled, etc., but if you're a fussy eater, then either: A) don't order it again or B) cook at home. Chalk it up to experience.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-05:
Wahini's surf bar sounds like its right up my alley.Just not the seafood..yuckie!!!
Posted by spiderman2 on 2007-09-05:
I'm sorry, but carding people under 30 isn't a "law." Laws are made by governments. this would be what we call a "Policy" of different establishments. No one is going to get arrested for not carding someone who doesn't look 30, but serving someone under 21 will get you busted. Just because your girlfriend didn't like the dish she ordered doesn't mean it is free either. Give me a break!
Posted by killerklown on 2007-09-07:
I only know of one place that gives you the oppertunity to exchange a dish at no charge just because you don't like it. Also, it's not illegal not to card someone. It's illegal to SERVE someone who's underage. The SERVER assumes all responsibility for serving anyone. In this state, (not sure if it's state or fed law) the person who serves the underage person gets a $500 fine. Not me as their manager, not the store, not the corporation. The server.
Posted by George J on 2007-10-01:
I went there... I have to agree. The Service was aweful!
Especially this one waitress... just plain rude!
She sent her dish back because it was linguine not fettuccine....the menu says fettuccine!
but the food was not up to par... it seemed to me like it was pre-prepared, maybe even frozen.
I was very dissatisfied. After my experience there, I think SteveB was right on target. I will never go there again.
I suggest that you take the ferry and go to Howards Pub on Ocracoke... worth the ferry ride!
Posted by George J on 2007-10-01:
One more thing, the owner threatened to call 911, because some patrons did not like their food?
thats just crazy.... who wants to go some place where the owner throws threats around. Makes you wonder...
would she tamper with the food? hmmmm.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-01:
I would like to hear what the owners version of this was. I bet light years away from the OP's. To get kicked out and 911 called on them a person must be a real jerk.

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