Friday, October 10, 2014

What I did on my birthday

In the past years, I spent my birthday like any ordinary day or maybe have dinner with some friends. There weren't really any celebration and I really didn't care much.

This year, I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of possibly just have a dinner, I wanted to make it an adventurous mission. I list out 10 restaurants.  I am going to walk into the restaurant, tell them it is my birthday and hopefully get some free food. Let's see how it turns out..

7 AM - Denny's Restaurant

It was a working day for me. Woke up a little early and headed out to my first destination. I was kind of nervous without knowing how it is going to turn out. From the research online, I knew Denny's give out free breakfast for birthday without any string attach. So, I told the hostess / waitress of my birthday and she said yeah, I could get a free breakfast. Awesome! After she sat me down, she told me that I will be getting the free 'Grand Slam' breakfast, however with a necessary purchase of a drink. What.. that wasn't what I expected. I tried to get that waived but she insisted that is the requirement. What a bummer. I ordered a orange juice ($2) and enjoyed the breakfast.

The same waitress asked for my I.D. when I checked out.



8 AM - Office

Revisited Denny's website and confirmed that no purchase is required. Called the restaurant and spoke to the manager. He clarified that no purchase is needed and apologized, and performed a refund. It is no big deal, but at least the mission is off to a good start.

8.30 AM - 12.30 AM Office

Back to back meetings for 4 hours. I almost fainted.

12.30 PM - Jersey Mike's Subs

I have never been to this restaurant. Waited in the line nervous cause I was not sure if I needed to sign up their member club to get a free sandwich. Told the guy who makes sandwich of my intent. He asked me if I have any email coupon or print out. My heart started to sink. He went to verify with his supervisor, came back and said, pick a sandwich. Man, what a turnaround! I ordered the chipotle cheese steak sub and a Dr. Pepper for my drink.

The supervisor came to me and wished me happy birthday!


1.10 PM - Jack in the Box

Feeling satisfied, headed out to the Jack in the Box a few blocks down hoping for a dessert. Again, I was completed unsure if I needed to be in the member club. Walked in and told the cashier about my birthday and asked if I could have a free dessert. She gave me a blank face for a moment. She turned to her manager and have the manager talked to me. The manager asked if I have any email and print out as she needs a code for the system. Feeling embarrassed and my legs started to step back in the direction to the closest exit door. She asked me to hold on as she wants to confirm with her general manager. Wow. She is really trying to make it right for me.

After a few minutes of wait, she came back and started taking out two cakes while she explained that usually they need the code from the email or print out. However, she's going to give me a free dessert (either a chocolate cake or cheese cake). I picked the chocolate cake and thanked her profusely with a praise that she is a an awesome manager.



1.30 PM - 4.00 AM Office

Meeting, replied a bunch of important emails, troubleshooting issues.

4.30 PM - Jamba Juice

On the way back home, I stopped by at Jamba Juice and went in hoping to get a free fruit smoothie. Told the lady of my birthday and immediately she said that I have to be member of their club. However, she will still get me a free small smoothie. Man, I am feeling lucky! Got myself a Caribbean Passion Smoothie.



5 PM - Home

Served with this healthy home made siphon cake! Enjoyed a few birthday songs with the family. At least this year I got to blow a candle LOL. Got everyone ready to head out for more free food (hopefully).


5.30 PM - Buffalo Wild Wings Grill Bar

I read that BWW give out free snack size (~ 6 wings) for birthday. Went in and tried to get the free food to go. The cashier told me I could get a free ice cream and a cake. I got greedy and asked about the wings. She came back after talking to her manager, and told me that actually I have to be on their member to get any freebies. Did I just screwed myself up? After a few desperate attempts to redeem myself, and her second trip to her manager, she said I could have the ice cream and cake. Not complaining!


5.45 PM - Red Robbin Gourmet Burgers

I have not been to this restaurant and I was hoping that I could try some free nice burger. Told the hostess of my birthday and a free burger. She looked puzzle and got me a menu for order. I asked if I could order anything and she looked confuse again. She got hold of a bartender and the bartender pretty much told me I can't have anything free unless I am member of the royalty club. Have I not learned my lesson? First turned down!


6 PM - La Madeleine Country French Cafe

Went over to La Madeleine next block hoping to get a free pastry. I like some of their dishes and my past experience has been pretty pleasant. I went in and told the guy of my birthday. He chuckle, wished me happy birthday and asked me to pick a cake. I picked my favorite fruit tart. Waved good bye and left happily.



6.15 PM - Hooters

We decided to dine in at Hooter. My research indicates that they gave out 10 free boneless wings! From past experience, the waitress at Hooters often ask the birthday person to do silly things when they sing him/her the birthday song. It is usually pretty embarrassing but somehow that is what I wanted to do this time :)

After being seated, I told the waitress of my birthday and asked if I would get some free wings. She verified with her manager and said they don't give out anything free (not even a birthday dessert). No mention signing up to any club as well. That's weird and disappointing. Towards the end of our meals, they put me on a chair in front of everyone while singing a birthday song. Okay, I just sat there. No silly dance, nothing. I have never been to this particular location. I guess different location do thing differently. I kind of have high expectation on Hooters, so a bit of let down here.



7.30 PM - 9.30 PM - House keeping

Did chores and made sure everyone is situated.

10 PM - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

Feeling refresh after shower. Headed to BJ's alone. Told the hostess of my birthday. She responded back with a happy birthday and have a waiter brought me a Pizookie! This is one of my most pleasant experience of the day. It was so pleasant that I requested to replay the conversation again so I could recorded it LOL. I am so used to puzzled face by now.

Blowed my second birthday candle and enjoyed the dessert there.




10.45 PM - Red Mango

This was the last destination. The drive to this place is like 15 minutes on highway. A little far but I wanted to complete my 10 restaurants goal. This place is one of the very few places that closes at 11 PM. I was really hoping I could end the night with a high note. But again, I wasn't sure if I could get anything free since I didn't sign up with them.

It took me another 10 minutes of searching. Google map gave the wrong direction, and it wasn't easy to ask for direction at that late of the night. The restaurant is located at a pretty cool city center. There were still some people around the area hanging out at this time.

I went into the Red Mango and asked for free frozen yogurt with butterfly in my stomach. The guy asked to see print out or coupon. I tried to talked him into it and told him that this was my last destination for my birthday. After he spoke to his manager in the office, came out and told me go get one. I gonna say I was really happy.

Enjoyed my free yogurt and I spent a little time walking around the city center. I have been living here almost a decade but surprisingly I have not explored this part of the area especially at this time.


After my short 'Midnight in Paris' moment, back to home.

11.30 PM - Home

Everyone still asleep. Mission accomplished. What a birthday.

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