Friday, September 2, 2011

El Dorado in Garner: Don't go if you like eating or sitting.

My husband, son and I went out with my parents, sisters and their kids (my son's three cousins) for dinner last night.  Everyone had agreed on Mexican, and one of the closer places that we've visited a few times over the years is El Dorado in Garner.  We piled the six adults and four kids into three cars, and caravan-ed over.

My parents beat everyone there, so they went ahead and got a table.  The first sign that we might have problems was when we got to the table and they didn't have enough chairs for all of us.  The waiter asked how many more chairs we needed (hint:  enough for all the people still standing).  Then they didn't have enough high chairs, because I guess they've never had four whole kids in the restaurant at once.  Fine, we just switched the two older toddlers to booster seats.

Eventually, everyone had somewhere to sit, and we let the kids dig in to the chips and salsa.  Our waiter, who was tragically born without a personality, eventually came and took our drink orders.  Our drinks arrived, and we were ready to order.

Unfortunately, our waiter was apparently not ready to take our order.  As our drinks ran low and we ran out of chips and salsa, he continued to walk by us to the kitchen or other places, not glancing our way.  Look, I've waited tables and I know no one is thrilled about getting the table with all the kids, but he was treating us like we had leprosy.

Also, this was a Thursday night in a small part of town.  They were not busy.

His bad behavior was not going unnoticed by the other waitstaff, who stopped by to get us refills, or to figure out where the picture of margaritas we'd ordered 20 minutes ago was.  Finally, our waiter (who actually looked a bit like Blue from "Sucker Punch") stopped to take our order when my Dad shouted to him as he was trying to skirt by us.  (We were seriously sitting right next to the kitchen.  It was blatant that he was ignoring us on purpose.)  So, while my son turned the long-empty chip bowl into a ramp for his toy motorcycle, we finally got to order.

Of course, it was stupid of us to think that ordering meant we would get to eat.  The manager eventually stepped in to bring us more chips, because the kids were bored and hungry, which is a bad combination in a restaurant.

At long last, they brought some of our food.  We had a big table, and a big order, so we figured the person carrying the second half of our order must be right behind our pissy little waiter.  Nope.  He brought some of the dishes, and returned to ignoring us.

Half of my Dad's order was missing.  My husband had gotten none of his food at all, and would not until about 20 minutes after everyone else's entrees had arrived, when, once again, someone besides our waiter stopped to check on us, and we informed him of the error.

Then, of course, once we were done eating, we sat with dirty, empty dishes in front of us, waiting for the check.  The kids, who had been ridiculously well-behaved up until this point (no screaming, making a mess, etc.) were starting to get restless.

Eventually, after what felt like a small eternity, we could get away from the table and go to the front to pay.  My Dad asked to talk with the manager who, judging from the three or four times he had stopped by our table to fix problems, was aware of the crappy service we'd received.  We were thinking maybe he would comp our drinks, or at least the meal my husband had to eat by himself, since it came so long after everyone else's food.

The manager refused to do anything.  No comped drinks.  No comped late entree.  Not even a freaking coupon for a free appetizer next time.  His recommendation?  "Just don't tip the waiter."

Needless to say, they lost all of our business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to Facebook 8PP! We missed you!

Post a Comment