Every year my co-workers and I are treated to a fancy lunch paid by my boss. It’s something I look forward to every year. We either do it for Thanksgiving or the winter holidays, and today was out annual paid for lunch for the holidays. The small group of the five of us headed over to Gordon Biersch in Chinatown to imbibe in the fancy food and beer that they serve up.
I walk by the restaurant/brewery almost daily and was just talking about the joint with a friend a few weeks ago, so I was pretty pumped. On G.B.’s website, I had noticed a vegetarian menu, which was pretty cool that they were so accommodating. (I’ve decided that for the month of December, and maybe longer, I’m going what I’ve called, Buffalo Wing-aterian; i.e: the only meat I will allow myself to eat are buffalo wings!) But when we got to our seats, I didn’t see the vegetarian menu out, and I was too shy to ask for one, so I figured I could just find something off the normal menu.
It came down to two dishes I was deciding over: lobster or salmon? The idea of a ginger rice seemed delectable, but the lobster would probably be more “lunch-like” and promising. So I went with the “Lobster Burger.” I must not have read the description correctly, because when my food came, I was thoroughly surprised. So surprised even, that when the waiter brought it out, I initially turned it away, since it didn’t look like what I had pictured it being. I should have just turned it back, because what I got ended up being a jumbo beef burger with a few measly pieces of lobster on top. For some reason, I thought I was ordering a lobster sandwich, and it was just called a “burger” for reasons unknown. (Yes, I thought it was odd, when they asked me how I’d like it cooked, but again, I assumed they were referring to the lobster, sort of like how you can get tuna cooked differently. Obviously, I don’t eat out enough. Maybe I’m not as much a foodie as I had hoped I was.)
I was tempted to send it back, but it was my mistake that I misunderstood the menu/didn’t actually read the description, so I delved into the rest of the food on the plate. I eagerly gulped up the few small tidbits of lobster, and then created an odd sandwich of garlic fries, ketchup, lettuce, and tomato on the burger buns. Not the most delicious substitute, but thankfully our appetizer and the delicious beer I had (Hefeweizen) had proved substantial.
When the waiter came to clear our plates, I had to somehow explain that the reason a perfectly good slab of meat was left alone on my plate was because I mistakenly ordered wrong. It was pretty embarrassing but our waiter apologized profusely and offered to get me a crab cake instead. I had already missed the opportunity to send my dish back and had eaten everything else, so I turned down the generous offer. I was also surprisingly full- though maybe I was just overwhelmed with embarrassment. Thankfully, a co-worker offered to take my burger home to her daughter or dog, so the food wasn’t wasted.
I just felt so incredibly silly. I had been looking forward to this paid lunch for months, and when the time came, I basically ended up having a beer, french fries, and two burger buns. That’s not really what I call a meal worth the wait and the money, but at least the beer was especially delicious! I joked that I should have just had beer for lunch and that that would have been cheaper and more promising. Oh well, I guess that means I should just go back and better read the menu next time!