Our latest installment in this series was a 45 dollar groupon for a three course meal for two at Acitron restaurant in Arlington MA.
Neither of us had been there, and both of us really like Mexican food. 45 bucks for three courses and two people seemed like a good deal me
*spoiler alert, it probably wasn’t because I’m a chump.*
Our meal started with chips and salsa, and me telling Maverick to “look natural.” I thought the salsa was pretty exceptional, Mav didn’t have anything specific to say about it one way or another. Cost: Free.
Our first course was an appetizer. We were aiming to be adventurous when we ordered the Sopes Surtidos. These little tortilla cake type deals had three different toppings: potato and chorizo, Mexican style shredded chicken, and cactus salad with cotija cheese. All but one were pretty weird tasting. Not necessarily a win. Cost: 6.95
For his entree Maverick had Chiles En Nogada: Fire roasted poblano peppers stuffed with seasoned ground beef and topped with a sweet white creamy sauce made of nuts, spices and cream cheese. Again he was going for adventurous. This was the other dish I was considering. Maverick is probably gonna try and tell you he got this one because I pressured him to so I could try it. That is false I swear. Cost: 16.95.
For my entree I had Chiles Ancho De Camaron, Ancho pepper, jumbo shrimp and goat cheese topped with a creamy chipotle sauce. I am realizing now with great indignation that I don’t think there was any goat cheese at all on that plate. Ugh. I thought this tasted very good. I know Maverick and I both agreed on liking the corn very much. I also will say this was just the right amount of food for me, I felt full, but pleasantly so. Cost: 17.95
The waitress came back and informed us that the groupon entitled us to two desserts. I was confused because this had not been indicated on the groupon but I am not a woman who argues with extra desserts.
Maverick was aghast at the prospect of eating his own dessert, he had anticipated sharing with me. Mav isn’t much of a dessert guy and hardly ever has room. Meanwhile I always have room, tragic. Anyway, for this reason Maverick ordered a simple scoop of salted caramel ice cream which he deemed delicious as I remember. Cost: 2.50
I ordered Chocolate mousse cake because the “Flan of the day” was actually just regular old flan and who the heck is excited about the traditional option under the guise of a “du jour” option? *shakes head.* I will say this mousse cake was HEAVENLY. Yum yum yum. Cost: 7.50
When the waitress brought our check she put it down glumly and said “There’s nothing to do with this, its taken care of.” (in reference to the groupon.) I opened the check expecting to see tax or someplace I could add tip on my card but there was none. It merely said “$70.00, amount due: 0.00”
Sadly, when you total up what we ordered we only made it to $51.85. *slams head on desk in fit of frustration.* Once again we basically pre-paid for dinner.
I was confused and adamant we pay 20% tip on the alleged 70 dollars (I couldn’t do the math on what our food cost because the receipt was devoid of that information, I went back to their website to get the prices for this post.) Because I didn’t have enough cash to make it to 20% I ordered a Sprite so I could have something to tip on. Whole thing was stupid which Maverick tried to tell me but I was having none of it, so distracted by the idea that I could not stiff the waitress on her tip. I am noting a very sneaky trend in groupons wherein they must say 3 course meal and put a price number that reflects what would be a deal if you buy consistently the most expensive items on the menu. If you don’t pay attention and just order whatever looks good to you, then you basically rip yourself off.
I’m sad to say that I might have had dinner at Acitron again, but now I don’t think I’ll ever return on principle. If you’re going to offer a deal, actually offer a deal in an honest fashion.
All in All: perfectly nice food and atmosphere. We paid full price for a three course meal and got a free dessert we wouldn’t have ordered anyway. Sneaky, crappy, business practice.
What does this mean for Groupon Summer? I dunno man. I’m feeling discouraged from buying any more groupons, or at the very least restaurant related ones. We still have two left to use that we’ve pre-purchased so I guess we’ll see.