gift certificate pays off 80% offI’ve posted links on Twitter and Facebook for’s famous $25 gift certificates that only cost $2 (when using a special promo code, see end of this blog post). Whenever I do this, I get two types of responses.

The first is people thanking me for pointing out such a good deal. The second is people saying they are a rip off, have too many restrictions or that there aren’t any good restaurants in their area.

So I decided to put my money (all $2 of it) where my mouth is.

I purchased a $25 gift certificate to the Stone Creek Dining Company and set up a date night with my wife to enjoy a nice, quiet dinner out.

Yes, there are restrictions

Now for those that talk about the restrictions, yes, there were a few. The gift certificate could only be used Sunday through Thursday, two full dinners had to be included, alcohol did not count and a 20% tip would be automatically added to the final bill.

Fortunately for my wife and me, our Sunday night dinner for two gave us no concern with any of these restrictions.

So out we went. I had the parmesan chicken. My wife had a sirloin steak. Add in a soda for me and our bill was nearly $41.

When the server delivered the bill, she immediately recognized the gift certificate and told us she’d be right back with the new bill.

You do save $25 as long as you didn’t major in math

When she returned, our $41 bill was now around $18. I won’t profess to know how the math works here but I think the reason it wasn’t exactly $25 lower has something to do with sales tax.

I say $18 but the actual total was right around $25. Remember that 20% tip they automatically add in? Just FYI – that tip is added in before they take of the $25. And again, I believe the math is slightly off because the tip is calculated pre-sales tax.

In the end, my wife and I both had a delicious meal at a moderately-priced restaurant for around $25 ($27 if you count the $2 we paid for the gift certificate). Oh and I almost forgot the endless supply of bread that was included before the meal arrived.

In our humble opinion, the gift certificate was definitely worth it. And yes, we’d do it again.

To get your own $25 gift certificate for just $2 use this link and enter promo code CHOW at checkout. Offer expires April 6, 2010.