Should a pizzeria/restaurant disclose uncommon ingredients like roasted red peppers, cinnamon, or other potentially strong, potentially unpleasant flavors to their customers somewhere on the menu, like in a brief description of the flavor profile of the sauce? Am I unreasonable to think that it is almost mandated? [size=2](yes, I have already considered the allergy implications in this matter)[/size]
Please indulge my narrative so I can get it off my chest and stop annoying my wife with random outbursts
My wife and I just recently ate at a pizza place that is the one and only we one we have tried since we opened 7 years ago that served a pizza we simply could not eat. Many have been so-so, so kinda bad, some poorly executed, some fine, but not our personal style, and many were good. This one was actually inedible . . . three bites into a half pepperoni/half cheese pie and we were done. We got ‘pretzels’ and were alerted to the sauce when we tried it . . . had an off flavor at room temp that the waitress said several people mentioned and it was cinnamon, “most people aren’t used to it.” I eat Greek food that uses cinnamon and tomato a lot . . . that wasn’t it. It tasted for all the world like capsicum/bell pepper. I dismissed it as transfer flavor and went on. We agreed that the pizza would taste different with the cheese and pepperoni. We were right; the now heated sauce was even STRONGER (as I should have predicted), and most definitely bell pepper-flavored. Asked server if she would ask if there was bell pepper in the sauce. He reply, god bless her, was, “They said there weren’t any bell peppers, but there were roasted red peppers in the sauce.” We said we were done and would like a box in case we could find someone who might eat the pizza. We could not eat any more it tasted so bad. She brought a box and the check :o :?: Wife and I never, ever, not ever will willingly eat a bell pepper of any color, shape, preparation or flavor . . . and I am very sensitive to the taste, so don’t just pull the peppers off the sandwich/pizza and send it back out.
Puzzled, we took the check to the cashier who asked us how everything was, as she was instructed. When we told her we found the food inedible, and we hoped our dogs would eat it when we got home, she started to suggest we try something different next time without the red sauce since it has cinnamon and she has heard several customers complain about it (even she disliked it). I clearly and plainly told her that I was not going to spend another dollar with their place if they were willing to take my money when we clearly disliked the food we were served. Further, no one seemed to show any concern that we were walking out unhappy and hungry. She said she was sorry and asked for our check, then . . . wait for it . . . said "your total is $21.56". :shock: :!: At that point I would not have been able to have a civil conversation with a manager, even if I had requested one. We paid and will take it up with management this week. There was no misunderstanding that we were unhappy, and disliked the food, and neither employee contacted a manager. Since both were pleasant, and showed some concern on their faces, we definitely blame management for poor training and empowerment. Open less than 2 months is no excuse for taking my money.
[rant]My random outbursts have been, “WHO PUTS ROASTED RED PEPPER IN PIZZA SAUCE?!?!?! CAN THEY NOT AFFORD TOMATOES?!?!? TOMATOES, OIL AND HERBS IS ALL YOU NEED!” Then I will sometimes mumble that you should never, ever put a surprise ingredient like that into a sauce and not fully disclose it. Bell pepper/capsicum is such a strong flavor that is potentially polarizing in terms of like/dislike that you put some sort of comment on the menu somewhere, anywhere. People are not responding to the cinnamon, I postulate, but the red peppers that no one expects in a pizza sauce. NO ONE PUTS RED PEPPERS IN A PIZZA SAUCE!! (I know some obviously do, but that is my irrational, traditionalist rant). [/rant]
The service was cataclysmically poor an the food a real shocking epic fail for us. I have heard a couple people have similar food taste dislikes, and now we know why.