A Regretful Experience
Posted on 10 / 27 / 2010
Being a vegetarian in Bruges is difficult.Expect to get mediocre pasta,pizza or cheese croquettes for extortionate prices.I did do my research,tried to stay away from the more touristy eating areas,and go with the best reviewed eating options.However, 'De Bron' was closed for the weekend,and most other places with great reviews and good veggie options such as 'De Bottelier' were fully booked, even a day in advance.
Like most places in Bruges,we knew this place was expensive when we entered, but as a tourist sometimes you are willing to overlook the price, in an effort to just try and enjoy yourself on holiday and hope that the food and service will match up to the price.My boyfriend's non-vegetarian food was mediocre and my vegetarian food was less than average; A lentil soup for starter(the cheapest at approx €7).Other options included a veg samosa or veg pakora at an astonishing €13. For the main,a curry of mostly brussel sprouts(€16) & plain basmati rice at an extra cost.
However our experience worsened when we received the bill. Having been overcharged for my order, I queried the owner. (Our €100 bill should have come to €8 less).It became apparent that although I ordered from the 'al la carte' menu and my boyfriend from the €33 'set menu',we were both charged the set menu price.The owner was immediately confrontational and condescending.I explained that the main problem was the fact that he did not make the restaurant's unusual billing process clear to us(which was only explained in a footnote in Dutch).He then calculated our bill again according to the 'al a carte' prices rather than the set menu prices,returned and smugly pointed out that if everything was charged at the 'al a carte' prices that it would amount to a difference of €1.50 less than his original bill.He asked if it really mattered or if we had known the policy, would we have ordered any differently.We said yes.He then demanded to know what we would have ordered! By this time the argument became a matter of principle rather than money and his attitude had made thing infinitely worse,souring our entire evening. Lastly he jeered, "What should I do? Give you a discount of €8?".I answered simply "Yes".He laughed arrogantly and said in a patronizing tone as he turned his back on us and walked away, "Pay what you want".We paid the bill minus the €8 and left.This was a horrible experience.The website is also a complete deception.The food and presentation looks nothing like they advertise.
Getting out of here
Expensive, Mediocre indian, Rude