Dinners From Hell offers true stories about restaurant dining disasters written by diners, servers and chefs.

We've all had those dining experiences when things went dreadfully wrong. Perhaps it was a social blunder, an obnoxious customer, a waiter or waitress with an attitude, a temperamental chef, an embarrassing faux pas, or a food or beverage incident. Find out what others have had to endure by reading stories about dinners gone bad.

Salad Green Leaps From Plate

November 16, 2007 Insect & Animal Stories

As a bartender in a summer resort town at a nice restaurant on the water, I sometimes assist the waitrons at tables near the bar if the bar itself is slow, or if I want to get in good with a waitress (bigger tip-outs). So I went to a table to help, delivering four standard […]

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Beware Of The Double Dipping Granny

November 16, 2007 Sanitation Stories

I was having lunch at a well known restaurant. You know the one which is known for their “famous bread bakers.” I was sitting at a table by the sample display – unprotected food sitting out for all to spread their germs on. Being in the health field, I was surprised that having unwrapped foods […]

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Fugu About It

November 15, 2007 Non-Stories

Fugu is a blowfish that has been consumed in Japan for centuries. It also happens to contain a neurotoxin with no known antidote that can result in a very unpleasant death – paralysis and suffucation while being fully conscious – if it’s not prepared correctly. Consequently, Japanese chefs who prepare it must go through years […]

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Restaurant Dishes Out Rudeness

October 25, 2007 Server Stories

This story is short and not really that sweet… Three friends and I went to a steakhouse one Saturday night, and the waiter took our drink order first, like usual. We all ordered flavored soft drinks that the bar would have to mix for us. The drinks did not come until an hour later… after […]

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Calamari Confusion

October 25, 2007 Server Stories

Not long ago I went to a restaurant to celebrate Oktoberfest with my boyfriend and a friend. We ordered few beers and some appetizers. Fifteen long minutes later we received our drinks, and it took an additional half hour for the food. Apparently there are two calamari dishes, the appetizer and a sandwich. We thought […]

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Would You Like Toast With That?

October 25, 2007 Server Stories

My father wanted to have lunch for the purpose of making an important announcement, he had decided to remarry, and so we went to a restaurant near my sister’s home. It was a nice enough looking place, I’d describe it as a step up from the “flare” type of eatery, and since it was lunch […]

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There’s Always A Way To Get Around the Regs

October 20, 2007 Non-Stories

German restaurateur’s solution to a smoking ban. Read about the “butt holes.” © Free Republic [Note: One or more links in the story were updated since the original publicaton date.]

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Server Bites Her Tongue

October 17, 2007 Diner Stories

This story is actually coming from a waitress, and my dinner from hell, as a server. It started at 3 pm on a Wednesday. The restaurant I worked at had happy hour from 4-7 pm and it was only IN THE BAR… not at the restaurant tables. So this 30ish couple come in and the […]

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Almost Brained By A Crashing Chandelier

October 16, 2007 Accident & Mishap Stories

This is a combo: dinner AND holiday from hell story. When I was 11 years old we went to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. This was in New Jersey and we went to a famous inn with roots back to the revolutionary war. My parents, grandmother, and three siblings were seated in the “ballroom” at […]

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Everything Is “Extra” At This Restaurant

October 16, 2007 Illness/Medical Stories

My husband and I went to a local Italian restaurant with a printed out coupon, intending to use it since there was no expiry date on it. We were told we couldn’t use it (even though it was theirs), and that was the beginning of our troubles. I can’t eat tomatoes, so I ordered a […]

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Sick For The Holidays

October 16, 2007 Illness/Medical Stories

It was my 36th birthday which lands right before Xmas. My family and I decided to have dinner in San Francisco, which would be all decked out and gorgeous for the holidays. I love old fashioned 50s diners and there was a very popular one by the water that I had been dying to try […]

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Poor Tipper

October 12, 2007 Non-Stories

Hey Dev, My boyfriend is a tightwad. He insists on paying 12% for a tip, regardless of the quality of service. What amount do you think is sufficient? – Jen Dear Jen, Servers have a tough job. They have to keep up with constant demands from multiple tables, deal with the kitchen, bite their tongues […]

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