210 N Garnett St
Henderson, NC. 27536
Up-scale restaurant in a renovated old building.
I chose Father’s Day 2010 for my first, and probably last, visit. I waited until about 1:25 pm, Sunday afternoon to go through the doors. I immediately saw and heard that the place was “packed”, but I waited at the hostess podium for several minutes. I watched three waitresses moving about the restaurant. After standing for a few minutes, I sat on a bench next to a sign with the day’s specials listed. “Shrimp Tortellini, ½ Rack of BBQ Ribs, etc.” To my left was a water sculpture with a musical note in the glass and black stones at the base.
I waited for a while. One waitress passed by twice heading out the front door. She was waiting on several customers that had chosen to be seated outside, on a hot day. A black waitress walked up to the register and started working on a touch screen. She never looked up to make eye contact. A thin white waitress never got close enough or turned in my direction.
After about 20 minutes, some of the customers began to leave. I saw some of the empty tables as I looked between the water sculpture and the bench seat I was sitting upon. I stood up again at the hostess podium and hoped to get someone’s attention, but no. Finally, two women came through the front door and I stood again.
Here came the waitress that had passed me twice as she went outside (she apparently came back inside through another door) and made the assumption that all three of us, the two women and myself were part of a group. It was then that I had a chance to explain that I had been waiting for quite some time, over 30 minutes. *Now, why didn’t I at some point stand and yell out, “I would like some service!” Why should I have to?
I was seated around the corner, where I asked to be, with my back to the water sculpture. I asked for sweet tea, while I looked through the specials and the menus that had been handed to me. The waitress returned with my tea, and took my order, a ½ rack of BBQ Ribs with veggies, baked potato and a salad.
Fortunately, the waitress did not go far, attending to a nearby table (the ladies ordered a pizza), and as she came back by I told her that the tea she had brought me was not sweet. She left and returned with a sweet tea.
She brought the side salad, with honey mustard dressing. It was nothing special. I’ve seen it at several other restaurants, and it finally dawns on me that some wholesaler must sell this in a bag to many restaurants.
Then comes my meal, a large portion of BBQ Ribs with lots of meat on them. A group of steamed vegetables… broccoli, green beans and yellow squash, a baked potato, with an extremely dark thin skin and garlic Texas toast.
Probably about this time, the waitress asks if I would like more tea. She returns with another glass of “unsweet” tea. I catch her attention again and she returns with sweet tea.
The veggies are a little rubbery. The potato has an almost burnt skin, but does not taste burnt and the flesh is good. *I attribute the lack of stellar performance of these to it being late during the lunch period, and focus upon the rack of ribs. They are good, but the barbecue sauce is not really special or memorable.
The waitress is quick to process my Visa card, which is a plus. I still tip 10%, but think that I am usually willing to go 20% for lively service and a “hair” more for a waitress that makes the experience memorable. *I would not base a really good tip solely upon the waitresses’ active banter and attention. A culinary flavor I had not experienced before, or at an exceptional level, and the restaurant’s atmosphere would play factors.
What a disappointment this experience was.
After re-reading this many months later (April 18, 2011), I realize what shoddy-assed service I received, or let myself receive and there is no way that I should have tipped the waitress at all. Bringing unsweet tea, twice… what a moron! No waitress stepping up to the plate to ask if I had been served. Fire all of them for their inattentiveness!