I’ve heard some pretty lame excuses for bad service at all sorts of restaurants in my lifetime, but the line of complete horse shit that I was served at American Ice Company one night last week easily takes top honors for most pathetic pretense of 2011. All my dining companion and I wanted was a simple $4 pickle sampler from the bar menu while sipping our drinks at Ian and Eric Hilton‘s hipper-than-thou hangout on V Street NW. But, apparently, the mere act of retrieving some measly preserves from a twist-top container was too much to ask on this night. To be fair, the service was pretty sub-par to begin with. It took seemingly forever to even get the attention of either bartender—-both were diddle-daddling on their cell phones—-despite plenty of empty bar stools all around us.

After finally finagling some semblance of service, our erstwhile attendant eventually returned bearing sad news and an even sadder face. “The pickles have been put away,” she sighed before promptly retreating to the far end of the lengthy counter. The clock had yet to strike 11 p.m. and a bunch of other snacks, including the cheesy house “swachos,” were otherwise available.

My friend and I were stupefied. What, is the pickle jar locked inside some fortified vault out back or something?

It took some pointed glares and complaining but we were ultimately able to persuade another bartender to actually open the frickin’ pickle jar.

What makes the whole incident more obnoxious is the entirely opposite treatment we received at our next stop: Ben’s Next Door, where some courteous staffers immediately searched out a vacant two-top hidden amid an otherwise packed restaurant and catered to our every request with both promptness and respect—-and did so, I might add, even later into the night.

Y&H wants to know: what’s the biggest load of B.S. you’ve been served at a D.C. eatery lately?

Photo by Dvortygirl/GNU Free Documentation License