Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Review. — The Worst Restaurant Experience Ever. With the Best Intentions.

on January 26, 2013

I have passed by this little place a million times, but this morning, decided to venture in for some breakfast.

As I turned the corner into the main entrance, I knew right away that this could be a sketchy dining experience at best. The greeters were friendly enough, perhaps a little pushy in their approach and exuberance in welcoming their first customer of the day. A young girl in a little-too-short for my preferences, teal-colored dress met me at the doorway holding a small notebook. She asked for my name and told me that there would be a 10-minute wait for a table to be ready. I looked around and saw no other customers waiting and plenty of available seating, however, I am not usually one to argue, so I agreed to wait. I thought it was a little strange that the greeter set a timer for 10 minutes as if to make sure that I did, indeed, wait 10 minutes for my table to be ready.

I did request a cup of coffee while I waited, and I even offered to make it myself if need be. Oddly enough, I was granted permission to go into their kitchen to make get my cup of coffee. And because I thought coffee make might make this experience a little better, I helped myself.

There was also a young server there, who appeared to be in training, since the greeter seemed to be telling him what to do. I am not sure that this working relationship is going to work out really, because even in the 10 minutes that I was waiting, there were several arguments between the young girl and this young server. It seems that they did not see eye-to-eye on the order of things this morning.

I was directed to sit in one of two chairs while I waited out the rest of my seemingly obligatory 10 minutes. It must be the new ‘in’ thing.

Finally, a table opened up, ironically just as the timer went off, so I will give them credit that the estimated 10 minute wait…was exactly 10 minutes and not a second longer. I was led to my table which was decorated with a tablecloth. The seating was comfortable and the young server welcomed me with a lovely smile.

Again, there was an awkward tuft between the greeter/manager and the young server over the menu and whether or not I should have two copies. I intervened and requested to see both pieces of paper just in case I had any questions. Thankfully, they agreed and obliged my simple request. I did have to ask that they refrain from the yelling as it was making me lose my appetite. Really, I think they could both benefit from some ‘front of the house’ customer service training … soon.

The menu was light as far as options go, but I wasn’t expecting much more from such a small little place after all. I did appreciate the variety as there was the choice of french toast, omelette, eggs, toast and my choice of lemon or peppermint tea and/or coffee.

The young server was very excited about taking my order and I had to ask him to lower his voice just a little bit, as I was beginning to get a little overwhelmed so early in the morning. I called the manager (I had decided by this point that she might be the greeter/owner/manager and most likely the chef as well) and requested a 2nd cup of coffee. She made me a little nervous as she carried the coffee pot to me, but with very little assistance, the cup was full again.

I will say I was somewhat disappointed that I had to ask three different times for a little more stevia and coconut milk creamer before it was actually brought to me. I’m curious if they had to make a run out to a store or something for those items.

Anyway, I selected the toast and scrambled egg option. The young server yelled my order across the dining room, to the kitchen, which in my view, lost a few ‘classy dining’ points. Really…he could have written it down and taken it to the kitchen without the yelling.

I texted my friend who was supposed to join me for this meal. Finally, he arrived and was seated right away. No 10 minute wait for him, nevertheless, I was happy to have some company. He thought it was a little chilly and requested that the fireplace be turned on. The young server took care of that and we enjoyed a very romantic atmosphere that was created, which was nice.

My friend was a little concerned about the quality of the food at this place and raised some concerns about hygiene. The next time I saw the young server, I did inquire about their sanitation practices and was assured that they had indeed washed their hands before starting. At this point, I boldly asked the young server why he did not have any pants on and was certain that the health inspectors would not approve. He gave me a cute little dimpled grin and skipped away and amazingly I completely forgot what we had been discussing.

Even though I had requested peanut butter on my toast, the young server brought it with butter on one half, after arguing with me that I would like if I just tried it. I was hungry at this point and went ahead and tasted it. Not too bad. Unfortunately, the scrambled eggs arrived a good 5 minutes after the toast, and though they may have been just a little undercooked for my taste, they were still good. Again, I did have to ask twice for the salt and pepper to be brought out.

My friend’s omelette arrived about 10 minutes later, wrapped in a fajita. This was not quite what he had ordered and offered it to me, however, I was so full at the moment that I couldn’t help him as I had promised. I will say that the greeter/manager/owner/chef was quite insistent that he try the meal while she stood over him, watching his reaction. She seemed pleased after he paid a compliment to the chef and off she went back to the kitchen.

I inquired about the safety of the restaurant, and even asked about their cooking precautions like turning off burners and keeping things off of hot places. She seemed a bit insulted but let me know that she was, in fact, very careful in the kitchen. Lovely.

Sadly, I did have to clear my own dishes after the meal as the young server was no where in sight and no one offered to come and clean up our table. Fortunately though, no bill was sent to our table so we apparently got the meal for free. Or so I thought.

It would seem we paid for the meal by doing the dishes and cleaning up their kitchen afterwards. I would have gladly paid for our meals and had no idea that was part of the arrangement. I will say that they were not the neatest cooks I have ever met and it was quite the scene.

All in all, for a free meal (well, with labor in the kitchen), it was a lovely dining experience. The restaurant could have been picked up a little more, I prefer less clutter while I eat. The food was pretty good, nothing fancy, but homemade which is nice. I would suggest that the staff honor requests from the customers with a little more promptness and less arguing. I would also make recommendations about the noise levels and would suggest that the staff receive just a little more training in collaborative service. Overall, I found the staff to be kind and friendly and certainly full of very good intentions.

I will visit this restaurant again in the future and would recommend it to my friends. But please be prepared to stay after and clean up the kitchen afterwards. It seems to be the latest fad in restaurants these days.


8 responses to “Review. — The Worst Restaurant Experience Ever. With the Best Intentions.

  1. Jan says:

    ….can’t wait to have my own experience at this lovely place. BTW, What is the name. (OMG laughing hysterically )

  2. mlissabeth says:

    It took me a while, but when we got to the pants situation, I figured it out. 😉

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Yeah. 😉 If anyone is paying attention….that might give it away. 😉 Other than that, I think I gave a fair review of the dining experience from this morning. Giggle. Giggle. Lets just say there is room for improvement. Ha! Thanks for reading and commenting. I have smiled all day.

  3. The pants gave it away!!! What was the occasion?

  4. Stephanie says:

    I really think that I am a blonde, the pants didn’t give it away to me at all…I was waiting for the name of this restuarant! LOL I totally understand why it turned out to be a great experience. Sharon you made my morning, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • MommyVerbs says:

      You crack me up. I think as Mommas we just don’t pay attention anymore to who is dressed or what they have on until we are ready to head out the door. Then we take a second look. ;-). Thanks for the note. You know I adore you!

Comment Challenge: Start your comment with one action word. Then Proceed. Go:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: