There’s an old joke, made famous in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, about customers complaining at a restaurant. One woman says that the food is terrible. The other replies, I know, and such small portions! It probably won’t surprise you to learn that this joke is often played out in earnest in Yelp reviews.
In 1977 the joke was used as a set-up for complaints about how difficult life is, and yet we feel like it’s too short. But here in the early 21st century, “bad food, and such small portions,” can be taken pretty literally. One of the most important factors for perception of value at American restaurants is the portion size. Which obviously explains why everything is getting bigger. Serving bad food is one thing, but you better serve a lot if you don’t want customers to really start complaining.
Below, a few Yelp reviews where people thought the food was terrible, and yet that the restaurant didn’t serve enough of it. Some of these restaurants actually have decent reviews overall, so don’t necessarily hold it against them. Their biggest sin might have been that they didn’t serve enough of a dish some random person hated.
The Great Wall Restaurant — Leander, Texas
“Husband and I both agree pretty bad food. Small portions for Chinese food and taste was really off. Floors very dirty and inappropriate show on TV.” - Amanda B.
Crab’s Claw Inn — Lavallette, New Jersey
“Over priced. Bad food. Small portions. Horrible service.” - Helpful Piglet A.
Breakers Restaurant and Bar — Haleiwa, Hawaii
“Too bad 0 stars is not an option. Terrible food and small portions. That about sums it up.” - Jenny R.
Acqua Nell Mare — Miami, Florida
“Slow and unpolite service, bad food, tiny portions... AND TIP IS INCLUDED! I do not recommend this place. What happened to Catch Of Day?” - Mario N.
Inchiban Japanese Steakhouse - San Angelo, Texas
“This place truly sucks! Not a real hibachi place. No white sauce, no tricks, no entertainment, shitty food, small portions. Screw this shithole!” - Rob K.
Applebee’s — Westbury, New York
“This absolutely represents my experience at every Applebees I have ever dined in. Bad food, small portions, high prices, bad service, and wrong orders or orders not arrived at all. Not sure why anybody is a fan of Applebees. This particular one was better than the others, earning it 2 stars instead of 1.... which by Applebees standards is like a 5 star rating lol” - Christopher C.
Del Taco — Rio Rancho, New Mexico
“Horrible food, tiny portions for the money, and staff that is completely inept. Avoid at all costs.” - Josh L.
WET Waterfront Dining — Freeport, New York
“If I could have rated less stars, I would have. The experience was horrendous. The chef/owner was rude, not to mention inexperienced. Gordon Ramsey would have had a field day with this one. Food was horrible, the vodka sauce tasted like watered down marinara sauce. Having a mustard allergy, the chef insisted that I continue to eat his wasabi sauce. I ended up having to eat it and having to regurgitate it all due to nausea. From receiving middle fingers from the waitress to being completely disrespected from the owner. I have never had such an incredibly displeasing experience. Patrons beware!!! To sum it up, horrible food, tiny portions, expensive dishes, and a complete insult to fine dining! $600 waste of time!” - Frank L.
Taqueria Ay Jalisco — West Sacramento, California
“I must of caught them on a bad day.....Terrible food and small portions. I had carnitas which were bland, tasteless, and chewy. Chips and salsa were ok, but the only thing I ate. Might give them a second chance because of all the good reviews.” - Ryan L.
Image: File photo of Yelp sign via AP