Category "Restaurants"

IHOP – International House of Pancakes

Ah, a bit of deja-vu… Last St. Patty’s day I found a special for IHOP, free short stack of pancakes if you wear green. Of course, I only scanned it quickly and did not see the part that said to call to find out if they were participating…nice way to get people in there, everyone knows nobody reads the whole ad!

So, as we are walking up the sidewalk to the front door, we can see a few families sitting on the benches in the atrium, which I thought was weird for a Monday, then I noticed many empty tables inside, so it became really strange! I should have turned around right then and gone elsewhere… Anyway, we arrived at the entrance to find a note apologizing for the inconvenience, but they were not participating in the giveaway. Strike One! (this is a new IHOP btw…has not been open 6 months yet)

So, we sit and wait for a table, even though there are empty ones everywhere, for about 10-15 minutes. We get escorted to a nice booth, close to the exit, and the floor decorated with some lovely bacon. The server comes right away with menus, asks us what we would like to drink, and we place our orders. She goes away, presumably to get the drinks. A few minutes later, our water and oj arrive. Then we sit and wait.

About another 15 minutes later, she passes by and says that our food will be up soon. Then we don’t see her for almost another half hour. Finally the food arrives, and the “well done” steaks are still pink inside, but nice and hot. However, the broccoli is lukewarm.

I began to eat, fuming that we had to wait 45 minutes for cold broccoli and undone steak. After a few minutes, I asked the busboy clearing a nearby table if I could speak to the manager. He comes over shortly to find out what is up, and I explained all the lack of service and notification, and he started making excuses about short staff, blah blah blah…

I asked him “This is my problem why exactly?” He apologized profusely, and said he would take care of the check and speak to the server, who came back to the table immediately to ask if the food at least tasted ok. She said she had put the check in the system at 8:02 as shown on the receipt the manager gave us to show it was no charge, and blamed the cook, saying that she had gone to ask how were the steaks coming about 15 minutes after she put in the order, and they had not even started them. She also asked us to come back, and see her, and she would make sure we were well taken care of.

Would you go back???

(ps: the Déjà vu feeling was because we had a very similar experience at a Denny’s about 5 years ago, long wait for cold food, which is why we have never gone back…)

[whohit]ihop st patty[/whohit]

Cielito Lindo Restaurant Vineland, NJ

I have mixed feelings for this place, as I have visited many times.

The décor is nice, the food is excellent, but the service that used to be wonderful is now lacking.  On my last visit on a Saturday evening, as well as the prior one, the wait for food was well over 30 minutes, even though the place was almost empty, only 1 or 2 other tables occupied besides ours. That small of a crowd is rather strange for a Saturday after 7pm if you ask me.

On the last visit, 2 days ago, the temperature in the restaurant was about 10 degrees higher than outside, which was fairly warm at 70+ degrees. I noticed that no air conditioning was on.  I also noticed the vents in the ceiling, but I was told by the one employee we saw the whole time we were there that they did not have AC.

The menu has many culinary delights, but, alas, no desserts or fruit or even salads are listed. I ended up eating the Chile Relleno, which, to my surprise, had not a drop of any sauce anywhere on the plate, only a drizzle of sour cream. It was very tasty, but not overly greasy (just a bit) from the frying oil.  It also was not too spicy, which is always a plus for me!

I do have to rave about their Horchata beverage, it is in a huge round cup on a pedestal, I believe they are also used for margarita drinks, but this place does not serve alcohol.  The price is not bad, at $2.50, but I think that is part of the racket they have running, that you get so thirsty from the heat that you have to have more than one full glass of something to drink.

I think with a little more staff, fix the AC and some advertising this would be a great little restaurant!

Just sayin’