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Food Prep

Gumbo-loving customer leaves a $2,000 tip on a $93 bill

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Good gumbo can be gratifying.  But a customer at a Washington D.C. restaurant loved his bowl of gumbo so much that he left a $2,000 on a $93 lunch bill.

According to the Washington Post, a regular customer and his friend dined at Blue 44 restaurant Monday on fried chicken, gumbo and Old Chub Scotch Ale.  After getting the bill, the anonymous customer scribbled in the 2,145 percent tip, noting how it should be broken out: $1,000 for the chef and $500 each for the server and owner of the restaurant, as well as “Thank you for the Gumbo!”

The bartender, while cleaning up, noticed the receipt.

“I was in utter shock,” she said. “I was completely speechless. I had to do a double take,” she told the Post.

The man, who lives nearby, had emailed with Chef James Turner recently about food pairings.  Turner told the customer that the next time he was in, he’d make the gumbo the customer liked, and a date was set.   

But Blue 44 owner Christofer Nardelli said he never expected the extraordinarily generous tip.

“I looked and adjusted my glasses; that’s a lot of zeroes,” Nardelli told CNN.

Not surprisingly, the story of the tip has already created a spike in demand for Turner’s gumbo, which isn’t on the menu. “Our chef is going crazy to make sure we have large batches, things like this will obviously bring in a wave of people who want to try it,” Nardelli said.