Barcelona restaurant nightmare

Jul 31st, 1998, 02:17 PM
Otto Yu
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Barcelona restaurant nightmare

My sister and I were in Barcelona last July 22 and after checking in a hotel near the Rambla, the reception recommended the next door restaurant for a decent Paella. The restaurant is annex to Hotel Ingles along Carrer dela Boqueria. After ordering our meal from the head waiter, a waitress in her 20's came with our salad and a rack of oil and vinegar. She did not acknoweldged my "gracias" after serving us the appetizer and I sensed that she was not a delightful person. After a few bites, I set aside half of the salad for later to have room for the main course -Paella Marinara. The waitress came to collect the half finished plate. I told her to leave my plate for now and she was not happy about it. I ended up eating the whole salad to avoid any complications. When she came back to collect the salad bowl, she let out a disgruntling annoyed sound and was upset to see the bottles of oil and vinegar not place back to the rack. She banged the bottles loudly on the table and made us feel like we have done a serious mistake. Her resentment towards us was evident and I am not sure if it's because We're Asian and she's a racist Spaniard who can not deal with her insecurity. I was completely shocked and felt belittled by her disgusting attitude. I almost wanted to leave the place and forget about the food, but somehow managed to control my temper. I gave her a dirty look telling her not to push it. My sister freaked out completely and uttered the words "mal educada"(no education). She obviously understood it and was not happy leaving our table. I saw her approach the head waiter to relay the incident and probably did not tell the whole story. The waiter was somewhat persuading her to let it go. When the main course-Paella arrives, Me and my sister lost our appetite and can not enjoy the meal at all. We decided to tell the waiter to wrap it up for take home and ask for the bill. It was a very uncomfortable and tense moment. I gave my AMEX credit card to the waitress as soon as she presented our check. I saw her from our table swiped the card several times in the machine and went to the front end of the restaurant where I can not see her. She must have dissapeared for about 10 to 15 minutes and I am beginning to feel nervous of what she may have done to my credit card. The waiter finally came back and told me that my card was rejected. The magnetic strip of the card was erased and the machine is not responding. I could not believed it. I have been using the same card for the last 2 weeks everywhere in Europe and have no problem with it whatsoever. And why did it took the waitress that long to figure that out or why not punch in the number instead if the magnetic strip was broken? To make things easier, I handed him my other Mastercard and observed the waitress swiping the second card. I heard the machine responded and spit out the paper. She came back with a long face and I signed the check immediately to get out of the nightmarish experience. I have called the American Express card company to watch out for a possible fraudulent charge from the Hotel Ingles Restaurant. It was the very first meal of our first day visit in Spain and the bad incident set the tone for my sister's impression of Spain. I felt so bad that I could not change her mind about the Spain I knew before. This waitress should not be allowed to work and deal with tourist if she has so much hatred towards foreigner. I wish this will never happen to any of you and taint the impression of Spain as a country.
Aug 3rd, 1998, 07:12 PM
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Count yourself as lucky that you didn't get knocked to the pavement, kicked and robbed like I was in 1996 in Barcelona (and this was in broad daylight too). I will never return to that city. Police are of no help and just shugged.
I'm not Asian so it wasn't descrimination just a dangerous place.
Aug 26th, 1998, 01:44 PM
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There are rude people everywhere, including my and your home towm. Don't let this ignorant girl ruin your impression of Spain and the wonderful Spanish people. I met a few rude spaniards in my last trip, but the vast majority were very polite and respectful.
Aug 27th, 1998, 05:43 AM
John T.
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My mom was rude to me last week. I will never go to her house again.
Aug 27th, 1998, 06:26 AM
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I just got back from Spain and really liked the country. However, I was not impressed by the food and even less impressed by the service. Most of the food seemed to be "bar food." I will not be eating french fries again for a while since they serve them with every meal. I definitely thought I can get much better Spanish food here at home in NYC! As for the shoddy service, I can only conlude that since they do not "work for their tip" and service in included, there is no incentive to give good service.
Aug 28th, 1998, 03:35 AM
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I cannot comment on your experience but only convey mine. My family and I lived in Barcelona for six months last year with a minimal amount of Spanish and no Catalan. The people were incredibly warm, friendly, and patient whether at our apartment or down in the Barrio Gotic. Admittedly, we had two adorable young girls and the Catalans and Castillians love children (even in their finest restaurants). The only place we found rudeness was on the metro where a grown man would not give up his seat for a woman with two small children. Other than that, my wife and I could live there the rest of our lives. As far as someone's comment about the food, you simply went to the wrong restaurants. We never once had french fries with a meal. We only ate seafood and it was the best (and we do live on a coast). The Catalans lightly season and do not use heavy sauces which is wonderful if the seafood is excellent and it was.

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