Post on http://unmitigated.typepad.com/unmitigated/ A List of Two Different Lengths reminded me of the worst experience we ever had at a restaurant.
Worst experience ever was on Cape Cod. Nice meal, lousy waitress. Brought DH refills, I was invisible. Asked if we (he) wanted dessert. I said yes, we'd both like coffee and we'd like to split a dessert. She brought him coffee and a cup. No cup for me, no coffee. I made him wave down another server and she made excuses. Original waitress brought a fork and dessert. For him of course.
DH left a 15% tip (this was back in 2000?) which I thought was extremely excessive for the service and I grabbed half the tip off the table. We had a HUGE fight about it. I told him, she never once made eye contact with me, but waited on him. And then ignored me. So now we play the "how did the server do game" and it works out well.
Having said all that - the place we liked the best was a brew pub in Wyandotte, MI which up until a few years ago was the best. The wait staff, bar staff, manager and owner would all come and chat with us. They knew we made the 50 mile round trip weekly for the beer and the ambience of the place. Owner - referred to as Senior - retired. His son - Junior - has stayed on as brewmaster for the subsequent owners. Best. Beer. We. Ever. Had. Period. There were three people left on staff that we knew when we moved to TN. That staff routinely got tips of 20 - 25%.
The last time we were there was before we sold our home in Michigan. DH thinks we should stop there on the way up for niece's wedding next month. Might be an idea!