Price is everything. A problematic $25 lunch is reason for fist-shaking and [burning things down](http://www.mamster.net/ratcm/). A troublesome $7 lunch is comedy.
Yesterday I went to the local community college for lunch. Their culinary school runs two restaurants. I chose the international cuisine restaurant, which was serving a Oaxacan menu. For about $7, you get an entree and soup or salad. I had already decided on the pork mole when the waiter (who is also a culinary student) came over and said, “We have a special today of spicy halibut soup.”
“Great,” I said. “I’ll have the pork mole and the spicy halibut soup.”
“Man, I knew this was going to be a problem,” said the waiter. “The soup is actually available only as an entree.” So I ordered pork mole and tortilla soup.
The tortilla soup was very nice, aside from a few chunks of dried chile that should have been strained out. The mole was foul. The sauce tasted like fish. I called the waiter over and explained the problem. “Let me take it back to the kitchen and see what’s going on,” he said.
He returned and explained that the pot of fish stock for the halibut soup was right next to the chicken stock for the mole, and the cook had mixed my mole paste with a ladle of fish stock. In other words, I got screwed by the same soup twice. But I had a new and tasty mole in five minutes.
I figure the culinary school is kind of like NASCAR. You’re not getting your money’s worth without a few crashes.