Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Restaurant Critic's Critique

continued from yesterday...

I ate my scrap of roll naked. The roll was naked, not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Gotcha! That's because those throwed rolls are OH SO DELICIOUS that they need no condiment. And also because the honey bear was laying on his side when we sat down, and The Pony, a stickler for order and law-obeyance, righted him. That meant that the tiny bit of honey that was left sank to the feet of Honey Bear, and could not be squeezed out before I had devoured my scrap of roll. The dude with the sorghum bucket did not come by once. Not that I would add it to a throwed roll, but the ketchup bottle was also empty. That led to a lull in our feasting once the food had finally arrived.

Part of my dissatisfaction with this little visit to Lambert's Cafe was the wait. They announced that everyone in your party must be present to be seated. Yet there were two parties of 15 who walked in past us, and both of them had only 7-8 people. Don't go telling me it was all one party. Nope. They were called in about 10 minutes apart. Why announce the rules if you're not going to follow them? So saith The Pony. And me.

Normally, there are workers strolling around in overalls with buckets of fried okra, blackeyed peas, macaroni and tomatoes, and fried potatoes and onions. The thing is, you have to have a plate, or they won't stop. Except the fried okra dude. He must have come by our table 10 times while we waited. Driver H tore off the last scrap of paper towel to use as a plate, and we had three servings of the fried okra. Not because we like fried okra, but because we were starving. Even #1 and Roomie ate fried okra. The Pony refused, because there was no ketchup.

After about 30 minutes, during which two moms and two players from our earlier convoy also arrived, and were seated (having four in their party, so shortening their time in line), and were served their meals, and had a soda knocked over by the Roll Thrower like a metal milk bottle hit by a baseball at the county fair, we finally had our meals delivered to our table. Of course, by that time we needed soda refills, and there was that annoying matter of waiting for more honey and ketchup and paper towels. Did I mention that Driver H almost created a hillbilly incident when he snatched a roll off the roll cart before Roll Thrower could throw one? That led to him bypassing our table for two rounds. Driver H: originator of the Throwed Roll Faux Pas.

Here is what we ordered, in order of Driver H, Roomie, #1, The Pony, Mrs. HM: chicken-fried steak with green beans and mixed vegetables, hamburger with fries, chicken wings with fries and cooked apples, catfish fillets with baked potato and mashed potatoes, chicken livers with cole slaw and fries. I also had a serving of the blackeyed peas, which finally made their way to our table after Driver H complained to the soda dude. In return, he also got a serving of fried potatoes. So much for the slop buckets of sides coming past our table. I must say, the chicken livers were excellent, once I got some ketchup.

That little repast set us back $81, including tip. I think that's a bit high for Hillmomba, but depending on your part of the country, you may not think so. We knew it would be costly, but we had that vacation cash just burning a hole in my purse. Because at Lambert's, they don't take Mastercard, and they don't take American Express. Or Visa, or any other plastic. They announce that regularly, too, but add that they DO have an ATM.

So...I was not pleased with the service this time. Lambert's has become too big for its britches, and has lost that down-homey feeling it had several years ago. I would not make a special trip to eat there, but if I'm passing through, it's tasty enough to stop.


Kathy's Klothesline said...

Wow, you tipped poor service? I know that the wait staff doesn't make all that much money, but I am a stickler for service. I suppose being in the role of serving and having to put up with loads of crap with a freaking smile on my face..... I guess your waiter can't be held responsible for the roll pitcher's actions, but I would have complained to somebody.

Perhaps a nice letter, written as only you can do.......

But, what do I know I am still puzzled by the anonymous commenter on my blog saying I might not like who they are...... Can't be local, it was too well worded. A mystery to ponder as I go out to mow some grass........

Hillbilly Mom said...

'Twas Driver H who did the tipping, but I probably would have done the same. The waitress could not control the Roll Thrower, the Blackeyed Pea Ladler, the Fried Potato Slopper, the Macaroni & Tomato Pusher, the Not All Here Party Seater, or the Heart-Stopping Meals Preparer. She showed up thrice, and brought us leftover containers.

I was not a good tipper until I worked at the unemployment office for five years. The waitstaff some places only made $2 an hour, the employer figuring the tips would make up minimum wage. HOWEVER, I will absolutely NOT tip an insolent or incompetent server.

As for your anonymous issue...must be someone you know, just playing The Devil's Advocate. Heh, heh. I crack myself up! The Devil's Advocate advocating for The Devil's Playgound!

People I know who work for The Devil can not just pick up stakes and put down roots at Target or another large chain. There are none of them in Hillmomba. But we have TWO Devil's Playgrounds. At least the one I am forced to patronize is clean. Their products have gotten crappier, and their prices have gotten higher. For a student, or a wife whose husband has a job with benefits, I guess it's OK. My next door neighbor used to work in the pharmacy, and said that their employee discount could not be used on food. How fair is THAT? The one thing you HAVE to HAVE, and your discount is no good. I hope she went to Save A Lot!

I've had anonymous comments, telling me things like they can't wait until I get fired because I'm so mean to my students. I figure they're just hitting that Next Blog button, and want to leave their two cents worth on the one post that they've read. I set my blog so that I have approval of comments, which cuts down on spam, double-commenting, and best of all, lets me SEE when I have a comment. Otherwise, I would not look back at older posts, and I would miss them.