I moved to Jamaica Plain in April 2011, and at the time, just yards from my apartment was some generic burger/chicken/fries place with which I never bothered. At some point it transitioned to a new place called Fill Belly's, which apparently is the brick and mortar of a former food truck. I'd past the place by a number of times but was never sure if it was open (for a long time there were no hours on the door or walls, nor a "Come in, we're open" sign). Even when I thought it seemed to be, no one was in there. Still, I meant to be a pioneer on this front, but I didn't get around to it until prompted to by a Google coupon offer of $5 for $10 worth of food.
The menu is small enough that I planned how to get everything on it, mostly by way of a sample platter option, for what should've amounted to $12, meaning I'd only have to pay another $2.
As I entered, a large man, whom I'd soon realize was Chef Bos, called from the back, "Can I help you?"
You might think he might think I might need a minute, but in reality I had already read the menu and planned my moves, "Uh, yeah, I'd like the sampler."
"Which kinds of bosolitos?"
"Well, so actually I want to get the sampler with two of them, and then I'd like to do the 'add a bosolito' option for the other two. Basically I want to try the whole menu, you know?"
Bos went to the back and began preparing my food. I glanced around, enjoying the local art on the walls and noted the good restroom. I considered whether I'd like to bring people here to dine in. There were several two person tables, so one might bring a date, but instead of music, the game was playing on some sports radio station. Thus, the three bar stools at the counter might be more inviting, except that their low height would require one to be, by my estimation, about 6'8" in order to eat or drink anything comfortably there. The whole place smelled so thickly of fry oil, the air warm with it, that it actually felt like it was seeping into my pours with every minute I stayed there. And I was there for a while. It took about twenty minutes for my order.
When Chef finally did walk out, he let me know that since he had run out of pineapple curry, he went ahead and made me a turkey bosolito instead, since that's what he had. I suppose that since I was literally ordering the entire menu, he figured it'd be fine with me, but the pineapple curry was the one I most most excited for, and this struck me as a less than considerate way to handle the situation.
I showed him my coupon, which he said he didn't authorize Living Social to offer, but he would honor it anyway. Then he just kind of decided what to charge me in his head, "Hmm, you had a sampler, plus the bosolitos, mm $6." Again, since the menu clearly states that the bosolitos are $2 each with any order, and the sampler was $8, I should have only been charged $2 more than my $10 coupon was worth. Even at the regular price of $3 each, that would come to a total of $14, which would've meant I owed him $4.
Partly because I felt sorry for him, that if he charged me what the menu indicated he probably wouldn't be making any money on this transaction (though that shouldn't have been my issue, and I really doubt Living Social issued coupons that weren't authorized), partly out of a quiet exasperation to get out of there and to my friend in Brighton waiting for me, and partly out of mild racial discomfort, I just internally rolled my eyes and paid it, skipping the tip I'd otherwise planned to give him.
When I handed him a ten dollar bill, he tried to ask me for another one because there was a small hole in the one I'd handed him. I looked in my wallet for another one, but all I had were $5s, so he relented. To be clear, legally, you must accept legal tender. As long as a bill is at least half there, it is legal tender. You can always turn it in to a bank if you don't want to hand it to a customer.
|Turkey and Collard Green Bosolitos, for which I was charged $8.|
|The $8 Sampler: BBQ Pulled Pork and Coconut Teriyaki Beef Bosolitos, Mac & Soul Casserole, Mac and Cheese, and Chicken and Waffles|
|Another picture: a little of everything|
I fear for his ability to succeed with his current manner of operating, but in the end, I actually want to go back, maybe with the balls to point out the overcharge, but more likely just to try the pineapple curry bosolito and some fresh chicken and waffles.