Dining Deals

The Unexpected Freebie

Recently, I stopped by Sugarbaby's Cupcake Boutique on a Saturday in the hopes of trying a Caramel Delight cupcake. Unsurprisingly, one hour before closing they were out of Caramel Delight and almost all other flavors, so I revised my plan and selected a St. Arnold's Stout cupcake for my better half and a chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting for me. While I was paying at the register, the clerk brought over my box. Inside were my selections, plus an additional chocolate-frosted vanilla cupcake and a vanilla-frosted chocolate cupcake. "I added two extra on the house because our selection wasn't very good," she explained. Sweet!

It reminded me of the time I was enjoying a glass of wine at my favorite neighborhood bar, The Stag's Head, when my waitress approached me with the bottle. "Why don't you just take the rest for free?" she said. "We're not going to carry this brand anymore, and we need to make room for new inventory." Didn't take me long to say yes to that offer.

In neither situation did I identify myself as a food blogger as a writer. And in the case of Stag's Head, the offer of free wine came on one of my initial visits, months before I became a "regular" and fell in love with their fabulous cosmopolitan.

It's always a pleasant to receive an impromptu restaurant freebie (i.e., NOT the free dessert the sheepish assistant manager gives you to make up for entrees that arrived 30 minutes late). I'm curious as to which Houston establishments often award random patrons free food and drink. 'Cause I just might make a point of going to those places more often...

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Joanna O'Leary