Food is a deeply personal experience.
We all have different tastes and preferences when it comes to the food we eat and it can sometimes be difficult for us to adjust to a new spin on a favorite food.
Reading the menu and asking questions are a good way to avoid this sort of shock, but what happens when the change to a dish is handled poorly?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) LostRoof8277 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for refusing to host my friend and her sister after they threw a fit over lack of tomatoes and eggs in their salad?”
“That sounds really bizarre, however my friend and her sister are now both pissed off at me and calling me an a**hole for ‘leaving them stranded”‘.
She introduced the characters.
“I (30f) have a friend I have known for 10 years Natalie (28f).”
“Natalie has an older sister Mica (37f) who works at a ‘high end’ restaurant in our home country.”
“Both Natalie and Mica wanted to go on a holiday and decided to come and visit my country (I have moved about 8 years ago to the UK).”
“I have agreed to be their tour guide and show them around, but have told them they will have to stay in the hotel as I don’t have space in my flat to have 2 guests around for 2 weeks and I didn’t know Mica that well either.”
“Natalie had no issues with it and a few days before their arrival (Saturday) has asked me to book a restaurant as both of them wanted to have something nice and the internet connection wasn’t great as they were traveling.”
“I have booked a restaurant where a good friend of mine is a chef and it is a family-run business where the food is absolutely delicious, it also has many 5 star reviews and a local favourite.”
“When Natalie and Mica have arrived, I gave them time to get ready and took them to the restaurant.”
“Both of them order Caesar Salad as ‘Mica tries it everywhere and since she works in a restaurant herself she judges the place by how they make the salad and how correct the recipe is'”.
Everything is fine, until…
“My friend personally brings our order and Mica starts throwing a fit and arguing with my friend that the Caesar she has been served is not correct as it doesn’t have tomatoes, olives and boiled egg.”
“My friend tries to be polite and asks her if she wants these ingredients as extra toppings, but neither Mica or Natalie are having it and started creating even bigger argument to the point of Mica insulting my friend by calling him a bad chef since he can’t make a simple salad correctly.”
“So my friend has asked them to leave his restaurant and never come back.”
OP tried to make amends.
“I have apologied to my friend and left a big tip, I have also explained that I had no idea they will behave this way.”
“After I left, both Natalie and Mica started slagging off my friend and telling me I have chosen the worst place to eat and I should be grateful that Mica has quickly recognized how bad this place is because they didn’t serve the salad right, and that I should warn others not to eat there.”
She decided to cut her losses.
“At this point I have had enough and have told them they can visit the places by themselves as I will not be putting up with their entitlement any longer.”
“Especially since they keep insulting my friend for serving a classical version of a salad to them and causing a scene.”
“I have also mentioned how embarrassing their behaviour was and that I expect them to apologize to my friend.”
“As they have refused to do so, I have called them a taxi and left them there, returning to my place.”
“However I keep getting angry messages over social media from them and seeing passive aggressive posts calling me an a**hole as they now have to spend extra money on guides and transport.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some were confused by what OP’s friends actually wanted.
“I tried to Google those ingredients in a salad and could only find a random salad mix with no name attached.”
“Only salad I found with olives is the Greek Salad – however the rest of the ingredients the friend wanted didn’t even go with that one.”
“I have absolutely no idea what you would name the salad her friend actually wants.” ~ Rainbow62993
“Especially when they were absolutely wrong about it! In a Caesar, the egg (yolk) goes in the dressing, raw. Not a tomato in sight.” ~ chaenorrhinum
“I thought maybe she was confusing caesar with Cobb, which has egg and tomato, but a Cobb also typically has chicken, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, etc.” ~
“There’s also a chef salad, which also has egg and tomato, but that would also have cucumber, cheese, and various sliced meats.”
“And none of these ‘has’ to have any of these ingredients- they’re just a starting point that many restaurants customize.” ~ nkh86
“Alton Brown has a great segment on the history of the Ceasar Salad in the first season of Good Eats, and (IIRC) the original recipe is the lettuce, salad oil,”
“Salt (and maybe a few grinds of pepper), borderline raw egg (not hard boiled, so it can be mixed with the oil to make a creamy dressing), grated parm and (I think) garlic croutons.”
“They can like their Ceasar however they want, but their drama makes them both wrong AND rude. OP is NTA.”
“Edit: whoops, forgot the worcestershire sauce! Just a few drops, which is where most folks get the anchovy idea. My bad!” ~ GuyverIV
Others called out entitlement.
“I have NEVER in my life had a Cesar salad with olives,tomatoes and egg. Other than that NTA. They can take their entitlement elsewhere” ~ Skye-blue-2434
“I can’t imagine travelling to another country and ordering what you also order at home, which isn’t even a local recipe to either country…”
“Like, why bother to travel anywhere then?” ~ Stormtomcat
“I am going to leave Caesargate to the side because it’s already the main topic of the comments.”
“I am particularly worried that these people are harassing you on social media and by message? That is so wrong.”
“They seem to treat it as if you owed them a free service with tailor made restaurant selection.”
“It’s a lot of time and effort to have a long-term visit, people have such high expectations of a host.”
“You are not a touristic guide, you are a friend.”
“Even if she trademarked the Caesar salad it should not be made your job or your friend to cater for that.”
“If she is a Caesar salad freak she can ask in advance and pick a restaurant based on that, not make peoples life hell.”
“I mean if in a UK restaurant you get kicked out is already a sign something is really off.”
“Now Caesar salad.”
“Wait until she hears what most non-Americans think of a Caesar salad!”
“I mean she wants to get into a fight about food she can come to Spain and she will damn right see what food bonkers is.”
“Try to fight a cook here over Caesar salad.”
“We had a national uproar over paella ingredients.”
“That broke families.”
“And still I have seen no one confronting a chef on the spot to the point to be kicked out of a restaurant.” ~ Occasional-AH
Others were just shocked at the behavior.
“NTA – does Mica actually work in a restaurant?”
“Wouldn’t she know to be a better guest than to treat the chef that way?”
“Ordering something to ‘test’ the chef going to a restaurant is bizarre and immature.”
“Either way they both are behaving atrociously and I think it’s right to not want to spend time with them if this is just how the visit started.” ~ whateverworks1470
“Mica might think she’s Gordon Ramsay at this point (Kitchen Nightmares style having to test the food).”
“OP is definitely not TA, I’d be extremely embarrassed if my friends reacted like that – even if I didn’t know the chef.” ~ Lumisateessa
And of course, personal stories.
“My husband does the same with Indian restaurants, he orders a chicken korma and if he likes it he’ll go back and have something else next time.”
“It’s not the wisest test, it’s a bloody korma FFS, they sell jars of the stuff in Tesco, but it’s what he does.”
“He has never called a member of staff over and given off about it being wrong though. If he doesn’t like it we just don’t go back.” ~ MadWifeUK
“I once stayed with my friend in Leeds, and we ordered takeout from their favourite Indian restaurant from nearby, in Bradford.”
“If you’re British, you might be aware that Bradford has a very high Indian population and so tend to enjoy/make food on the spicier side.”
“Me and another friend both ordered a tikka masala because we don’t like spicy food, and just wanted something tasty and safe.”
“Well, it arrived and was literally so hot that neither of us could finish it.”
“My friend who’s house we were at was like ‘wow, you guys can’t finish a tikka masala??’ And we were both just like ‘this is not what a masala should taste like, so no'”
“But even then, I wouldn’t have complained about it, we’ve just deliberately not gotten Indian from there again when we’ve been back to my friend’s.” ~ Talinia
Food is a deeply personal experience.
I like ketchup on my scrambled eggs (I’m an abomination, I know) but not everyone is open to that sort of culinary experience.
Recipes vary by nation, by the establishment, and sometimes even by city.
Patience and curiosity will serve you far better than a temper tantrum.