Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 294: LivingSocial Experiment at Bistro Michel

Mr. E and I have never used LivingSocial or Groupon or any of the other group discount platforms. We have had pretty good luck with a couple of Goldstar discounts, including our recent trip to San Francisco that included a local musical "Foodies" (perhaps fodder for a future post). However, I get emails from various list-serves for Sacramento-area events and activities, and one of the messages this week included a LivingSocial deal for archery lessons in Rocklin.

Ever since we watched "The Hunger Games" last year and completed our basic firearms course, Mr. E and I have been talking about how fun it might be to try some archery (more than I did informally at the YWCA day camp back in my hometown). So I decided it was worth purchasing the LivingSocial voucher for a 1-hour lesson and equipment for 2 adults, especially since we have until May 16th to use the discount.

Once I got onto the LivingSocial site, I found a few other discounts for the Sac area, including a deal of $50 for $30 at Bistro Michel, a restaurant located at 14th & O Streets that was on our list of places to try this year. We decided to go out tonight, especially since Mr. E had been working so hard all day on reconfiguring the metal plates on the living room wall that will be the basis of our new home entertainment system.

Note to self... before purchasing another LivingSocial deal, be sure to check out the recent Yelp reviews.

Although we very much enjoyed the food -- Mr. E's steak and my fish were perfectly cooked and delicious -- we did not appreciate the unexpected requirement of the restaurant that each person had to order four items in order to use any discount or promotion. We also didn't appreciate the prices of the dinner menu, which aren't displayed online, oddly enough, even though the brunch and lunch menus are comprehensive and show all costs.

So Mr. E and I would definitely agree with the Yelp reviewers who criticized the restaurant for limited options and restrictive policies, especially as related to discounts and promotions that should be a benefit to diners and help to drum up repeat business. Umm... yeah, not so much in our case.

We definitely won't be making a repeat visit. We'd much rather spend that same amount of money at someplace we really love, like The Press.


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