When I go to a restaurant I expect two things: good food, and good service.
I may be having someone else do the cooking so that I can enjoy something wonderful that they prepared, or I may be out because I'm celebrating something or just want some time away from the kitchen. You never know.
But last night, well, last night...
My dad died not quite 4 months ago, and yesterday would have been my parents 45th wedding anniversary. Mom has been handling things remarkably well, and it didn't seem like we should let the occasion pass without recognition. So I invited mom down to take her out for a meal she would enjoy.
Mom loves seafood, so I choose a popular seafood restaurant in town that seemed right up her alley. With a reputation for good fish and good service, I planned what I hoped would be an enjoyable evening for all of us.
I planned ahead (not something I usually do) and made a reservation very easily. We even bumped up the reservation a tiny bit earlier in the day with no issues at all. So far, so good.
After arriving on time, we were shown to our table and had a seat. I had heard the the prices were steep (and they were), but my husband and I have always been willing to pay for good food and a good night out, and I was hoping that it would be great for mom. That's all I wanted: Mom to have a great time.
Our server was irritated right off the bat, when we decided to skip the alcohol (8 bucks for a glass of Ecco Domani? No thanks, and mom doesn't drink). Without going into painful, irritatingly long detail (the food glued to the side of my glass, the server snatching it out of my hand without a word and all but stomping from the table, forgotten food, and so on) I'll just say that the service? Not what I'd hoped.
When I go to Black Hog, I know what I'm getting. Good food, friendly service, and a tasty meal. When I go to Nola, I also know what I'm getting: delicious coffee et al, and friendly service that's a tiny bit slow, but I'm prepared for that. Acacia or The Tasting Room? Usually primo service and food, which I love.
When I go to an expensive seafood restaurant, I want the server to be nice to us, and especially nice to my mom, and anything less, well, is unacceptable. I don't mind spending almost $300 for a meal on a special occasion, but I do expect that we'll be treated well. Because service can make or break the experience. And last night, it broke it. A special occasion, ruined, because someone had a bad day. I can forgive a dirty glass and forgotten food (hey, I've waitressed), but I can't forgive a brusque attitude and being made to feel like our table just didn't matter.
I sound a bit whiny - I know. A little petulant and maybe just irritating. Sorry 'bout that. But fancyish seafood restaurant? Never again. Great downtown Frederick restaurants? Yes please!
Even if your food is good, if you don't have good service, you don't really have anything.
Amen. Too many great restaurants out there, no need to put up with that ever again.
So, so many great restaurants out there - you're right! I'm sticking with downtown. I'm sure that I can find food mom likes there. :)
I hope your gratuity (or lack thereof) reflected the service you received. 18% of $300 is way too much for what it sounds like you put up with.
It was too much of a tip, but he bartended right out of college and I waitressed in college, so we remember those days. Ah well...
Oh, and I must disclose that the entire meal came to that, including the tip. Don't want to give the impression that we spent more than we did.
I think the downtown Frederick restaurant scene is awesome. Most weekends,we can't find any reason to go anywhere else for dining.
I know! It was a mom date, and I was trying to think of the type of place she would like the most. Add to that her trouble walking and I thought a pull-right-up-and-drop-off place would be best. I've learned my lesson. I have never had bad service at The Tasting Room. Shoulda gone there. *sigh*
I find it harder and harder to find good service. I truly don't enjoy going out anymore. Instead...I cook at home and take classes at your school to change things up a bit :)
I have a similar story... except a positive ending. We had 15 people, including 10 cousins from out of town. It was Saturday evening following my father-in-law's funeral that morning. We just wanted to spend some down-time together after a stressful week, before they all went home the next day. Knowing it would be hard to find a restaurant, and after being promised a table after 9 pm from several places, my husband called Mick's, we know Mick from real estate. We explained our situation and they made room for us, even though they weren't staffed for a large group. They were fantastic, and even though we expected the service to be slow, it wasn't. The waitress was great, she knew just when and who to joke with, just when and who needed a refill. It was so important that we have a great evening, and they seemed to know it. I love Mick's! I love when people get the "People part of business."
Note to self, next time, go to Mick's. Glad to hear it was such a positive experience for you. I'll have to head over there this week...
I get terrible service all the time. I don't get it. no one doing me a favor feeding me. I can cook better then the whole lot. I just want to relax and try someone else's food concepts. But when I get bad service people will know http://frederickfood.blogspot.com/?psinvite=ALRopfX5RMTQ5p7qm7vL__BxfS2cOpGExjmZZNngVYVsH58ghtckoAjNnEimzVoxVGA-shNO2pSvDxVOX_ZInlUtsomh5DyNRA
Great site chef, Andy
I get terrible service all the time. People are clueless. I can out cook the best of them, so when I do go out and try to enjoy someone else's flavors and hard work, there not doing me a favor? I mean I'm paying for it right.
From now on when I get bad or good service people will know http://frederickfood.blogspot.com/?psinvite=ALRopfX5RMTQ5p7qm7vL__BxfS2cOpGExjmZZNngVYVsH58ghtckoAjNnEimzVoxVGA-shNO2pSvDxVOX_ZInlUtsomh5DyNRA
P.s. Sarah one of the wait staff at Danielle's is a great asset. Ask for her when you go and you have to try the truffle fries with parm. There to die for. And she is top notch, chef Andy
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