New topic coming on the podcast, which I’ll call Off The Eaten Path.
I’m a foodie, my Yelp profile is as follows – Road-warrior, eating between 7-10 meals a week on the road. I enjoy a dive as well as a high-end steak place. Serve me food in a plastic basket or with a formal place setting….I’m at home either way. I love wings and good beer, a brewhouse is automatic if someone asks “Where do you want to go for dinner?” I know how to separate service from food and each deserves their own critique.
So the “Off The Eaten Path” series will be simple. Up to six of my favorite restaurants from each state that I have traveled through. Some will be local while others will be a chain that everyone insists “You have to stop here” and a few just might be in an airport during a layover.
What I find interesting about Roadfood is that often people associate the price paid for the meal with the rating they give it. For example, I give the Taqueria Mexico in Mobile Alabama 5-stars. Where dinner including the hack drink Corona-Rita will run you less than $25.00.
By contrast, Charley’s Steakhouse in Tampa gets rave reviews and isn’t one of my favorites.
My last visit, in 2014 received this 2-star Yelp review….
Dinner for four, two pork chops, two steaks an order of mushrooms as well as an order of lobster mac-n-cheese, that was me.
This restaurant has been the launching grounds of many a deal for us, but this evening it fell way short. It appeared that our waiter was more interested in selling high-end steaks to other tables than taking care of our table.
When one in the party wanted garlic and oil on his pork chop he said: “no we don’t serve it that way.”
When the bread was served one member asked for a side of butter to which our waiter replied “There’s already butter on top of the bread already” after which he did serve us a plate with butter.
I ordered Lobster Mac-N-Cheese on his recommendation, several minutes later someone other than our waiter returned to tell us that they had run out Lobster Mac-N-Cheese. Our waiter didn’t let us know he sent someone else.
One member of our party ordered a refresh on their wine. Eventually, he had to flag down another waiter to fill his request because our waiter dropped the ball.
Had we been entertaining clients we would’ve been embarrassed by the service.
The one upside is that the food tasted fresh and flavorful, one of the best pork chops that I’ve ever eaten.
I’ll be staying in the Double Tree, in a few weeks and I doubt that I’ll be dining there again.
Including wine and tip this meal was in excess of $500.00, 4 years later I still haven’t returned, based solely on the service. As we walked back to the hotel all of us shook our heads as to indicate, “What the hell just happened”.
Since I’m currently living in Florida this will be a great location for the first installment of – Off The Eaten Path.
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