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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why Some Restaurants Should Just Go away

     Every time I go and eat somewhere, I take some notes on my phone just in case I feel like reviewing it later.  It’s all very secretive, black hat kind of stuff.  Sneaky, sneaky.  For a moment in my little world, I am judge and jury, and nobody knows it, which is cool because I enjoy judging people when they don’t know they’re being judged.  This isn’t like American Idol, where you know you have to perform in front of millions– hell, it’s not even a 3rd grade talent show – but it’s the only way to get an honest look at a place.

     Reading back through the reviews I’ve written, I noticed they’re all pretty positive.  This is partly an axiom of the fact that I don’t go to crappy restaurants on purpose, but also that I’m just kinda nice.  So this time we took a chance. 

     I started looking through my notes this morning for something to write about, and came across this:

Our  server (Saskia)
Nancy smiley
Urinal, 3 kitchen staff in line
Chair almost broke
Side menu items not obvious
Liquor license broke
I could do better by pissing in a pot and throwing corn in there.

     What does it all mean?  By itself, not a whole lot, but fortunately that’s why I take notes – to trigger the experience.  So let’s go through this – I’m not even going to tell you the name of the restaurant until this is through, but let me know if you guess it along the way.

     Our Server/Nancy Smiley:  Ok, so I’ve stated before that I am big on customer service.  It’s such a simple thing to produce.  What a great feeling to walk into a place a get a smile, see that things are well organized and so forth.  Not this place.  The Hostess was freaking out with a ¾ full restaurant, running around like a chicken with its head cut off (for those of you who haven’t  actually seen a chicken run around with its head cut off, well, use your imagination because it’s a site to behold).  The faces of the staff around the place were better suited for a morgue or a prison camp.
      Two bright spots – Our server (Saskia) was really good.  She seemed to be fearing for her life, but she was extremely cordial and attentive.  Besides her, we noticed only one other person was smiling in the building (including customers by the way).  We think her name was Nancy, but can’t be sure…

     Urinal thing/Chair Almost Broke/Menu:  These are all signs that no one there really gave a shit.  My brother had to switch chairs because it almost collapsed, and mine was shaky under my whopping 170lb frame.  These are not good things.  On a trip to the restroom, had to wait for the available urinals with 3 kitchen staff ahead – more great planning on the part of the restaurant.  And the menu?  Pretty much a disorganized wreck that we had a hard time finding the side dishes on.

     Liquor License Broke:  Suck it, you bastards.  If this isn’t the Almighty giving you a sign that you suck I don’t know what is.  Maybe if you served more than two quality beers this wouldn’t have happened – but it did.  Fell right off the wall and crashed behind the bar.  Beautiful.

     I Could Do Better by Pissing in a Pot and Throwing Corn In There:  Yikes.  Not so much in reference to the entrees – which in their defense were really pretty good – but in reference to the side dishes.  Sorry for more prison allusions, but I suspect Folsom State could have done a superior job on their worst day.  Enough said.

     Ted’s Montana Grill at its finest.  Maybe I caught them on a bad night, or maybe I was in a crap mood.  Or maybe they just suck.  Either way, it was clearly poorly managed and staffed with people that didn’t want to be there.  That’s a reflection of company culture.  Even as far as chain restaurants are concerned, this was a crappy experience, as I’ve been to many chains that have happy staff.  You know, the kind that smile and stuff.  And for Christ’s sake, get some Craft Beer in this joint.  How disconnected are you?  I can’t even do a beer review because there was nothing worth reviewing.

Well, it’s good to know that there are plenty of better places out there.  Really makes a person appreciate bars and restaurants that carry good product and produce a tolerable atmosphere.  I am kind of lucky I guess to have lived in the Denver/Boulder area – tons of great places to eat, and holy crap is the beer great.  So to kudos to those of you across the country doing it right!

I Am Not Shocked To Have Found This On The Google Machine



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