I'm sitting in Juan's Flying Burrito staring at my plate: a chicken quesadilla served on large plate...with nothing else. Half the plate is empty: the spot where maybe some salsa would be is empty. I ask the waiter if there's a possibility that something is supposed to go in this empty spot. He's bewildered, stammers, offers a bottle of hot sauce. Nevermind I say, repeating the words I've used throughout town this past week. Service in New Orleans suddenly sucks--which is unfortunate since it used to be one of the things the city was known for.
A few days ago I got a bowl of soup and a soda at a local place at the Food Court at Canal Place. The soda tasted like sewer water, and when I brought it to their attention they said, "That's because you aren't from here." "But I am," I said. And at that, they refused to take the drink back from me. I left it on their counter, where they worked around it for at least fifteen minutes.
But the prize must go to House of Blues, where I went to see Aaron Neville's Christmas show, and left after about twenty minutes because people were talking so loudly that it was difficult to hear the show. Much of this conversation was the staff talking to their friends in the crowd. We mentioned this to the woman working the ticket area, and she began to make a scene, accusing us of trying to get our money back, even though at that point we hadn't even decided to leave the show. So then we did leave, and turned to see that we were being followed by a constant stream of other people who had, like us, paid for tickets to a show that was being ruined by the staff of the venue.
And I'm sure I'll add a few more examples as the season progresses. Anyone else?