Monday, November 26, 2007
Last night we were headed up to our local shopping center to pick up some needed housewares so while there we decided to see if there were any worthwhile chainy-type restaurants. We weren't spoiled for choice there, the main choices we could see were a Mexican restaurant called Don Pablo's and a microbrewery, Hops. Both options were new to us West-coasters and since we have tendency to have a bit overly-high expectations since living in Southern California, we went for Hops.
Table for two was a small wait so we had a seat at the bar to try out a couple of the Microbrews. Personally I always expect at least a short list if not a description of the beers they make, but this place had neither which is annoying as I hate having to ask a busy bartender who is hurrying around if he could stop and list the beers for me then wait while I decide.
I went for the darker ale while Kym had the lager. Neither was very flavorful, though I did appreciate the frosted mugs which are always nice. Another instance of not particularly great customer service was not being able to take the tab with you to the table from the bar so I had to sit there waiting to get his attention and the check while Kym went to the table.
The vegetarian menu options for Kym were nonexistant and when we asked the waitress if there was any sort of veggie burger or anything they could do she said a flat and abrupt "No." which came across as rather rude, but Kym found a salad that worked and I went for the chicken and shrimp alfredo linguini.
Kym also ordered some 'Pub Chips' to start which she was very much looking forward to given the lack of any entree for her. Now, maybe this is an East Coast or Southern cultural thing I'm missing but when I hear the term 'pub chips' without descriptions, I picture the kind of fat fries that come with fish and chips. Retrospectively, a quick Google Image search seems to agree with me. Alas, we discovered that 'pub chips' here means something along the lines of soggy Ruffles potato chips.
The food arrived pretty quickly, my linguine was okay, but Kym's salad was completely drenched in dressing. I'm not one to be as sensitive to this as some salad-eaters I know, but this was ridiculous, everything was downright soggy. I suggested she send it back, but she didn't want to make the fuss.
When we go the check the waitress put it on our table and mumbled something to us that all we could really make out was the word 'cashier'. Given the service so far, we assumed this was Denny's style paying since we did see something that looked like a register on the way, but ran into the waitress on the way out and found she had said "I'll be your cashier" which I find an odd thing to say, particularly when done rather inaudibly, when that is the default method of paying at a restaurant and I've never viewed it before as a waitress simultaneously filling the dual roles of server and cashier.
Atmosphere was fine and seating was comfortable, but that didn't make up for the poor service and food.