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brewer's art -- disappointment, going downhill? (long)

  • t
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hi all,

baltimore's brewer's art has long been a fave of mine for the great house-brewed belgian style beers (i was born to drink "ozzy"!) and the elegantly satisfying menu. last week, thursday night, i met friends for happy hour in the basement bar there and we were enjoying ourselves so much we decided to cancel our plans to dine at red maple and just move upstairs to the brewer's art's dining room.

big mistake. first of all, we were rudely grilled by the hostess as to whether we were going to order entrees as well as small plates -- they wouldn't give us a table unless we planned to eat several courses, and the place was less than half full! and then they gave us the undisputedly worst table in the house, in the back dining room by the kitchen door -- the dining room was empty, by the way, and there was no reason we needed to sit at that high-traffic spot with servers swinging out from the kitchen every other minute.

finally, the service absolutely stank: we waited half an hour to give our order, appetizers arrived quickly and then we stared at empty plates for 45 minutes while our waitress kept promising she'd be 'right with you'. drinks we ordered never arrived, and i finally had to get up to find her to ask for the check. we left half our entree plates on the table, since no one had finished clearing after the second course.

i simply don't understand the treatment we had: we're a party of six respectable, well-dressed 35+ professionals. it's not as though we were intoxicated, misbehaving and rude!

and as cheesed off as i was by the service, i could have forgiven alot if the food had been as good as it usually is there, but with the exception of an oyster appetizer we were each disappointed with both apps and entrees. my pumpkin and spinach ravioli were almost cold, the pasta seemed to be made from play-dough, and the mound of whipped pumpkin in the center of the plate was crusty and dry, tasted of the refrigerator. terrible.

okay, that's it. i just had to vent! it pains me to pan the brewer's art, because i really do love the place, but this type of disappointment seems to be happening more and more often there. anyone else have a similar experience? or is it just me?

cheers,
trix

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  1. You know, I may ahve to agree.
    We ate there years ago when it first opened and I was upset to see that plates were small and the food was expensive. Years later we tried again, after a friend who worked there promised the menu had changed.
    We tried again and were very surprised. However, we just feel more comfortable eating light fare downstairs.
    Their fries are outstanding (vegetarians beware, fried in duck fat) and the pizzas are great.
    Went back there for a family birthday dinner in december and ate upstairs. I was a bit embarrassed that the waitress ignored us, coudln't give good suggestions (didn't eat meat or fish and I guess never bothered to ask the other wait staff what was good) and talked us into some pretty bad choices.
    All in all, the beer is good, light fare is good and the atmosphere is very different. I like to send out of towners here because of the historic setting, reminds me a bit of E.A. Poe.
    Just stick to the bar!

    1. v
      Volker Stewart, Brewer's Art

      Gus, Trix,

      What can I say? I am shocked at the treatment you received, and can only apologize. Clearly, this is not the way anyone should be treated in my restaurant (or any restaurant, for that matter). I will address this issue with the staff involved, and make sure this kind of thing does not happen again.

      I will also take up the issue of food temperature with the kitchen. This is the first time I have heard of a temperature complaint in years, and I hope it is a fluke.

      I should mention that our fries are cooked in peanut oil, not duck fat, so they are vegetarian-safe. Gus, did one of our servers say they were cooked in duck fat?

      Gus and Trix, thanks for your input. It helps me keep things in shape here. I am just sorry you had bad experiences here, and hope you will return. Could you please email me privately at malthops@abs.net? I would appreciate it.

      Cheers,

      Volker Stewart
      Proprietor
      Brewer's Art

      Link: http://www.thebrewersart.com

      5 Replies
      1. re: Volker Stewart, Brewer's Art

        Volker,
        Thanks for the response! Don't sweat it, everyone has an off night.
        Like I said, we'll always come back and I love the light fare and the downstairs area. Something about being all tucked away, very mysterious!
        As for the fries, yes a server told me a few years ago. Didn't bother me either way, but thanks for the clarification.
        We'll be in soon for an Ozzy!
        Gus

        1. re: Volker Stewart, Brewer's Art

          I've tried to email you off board and it isn't working, any defult address?
          Thanks,
          Gus

          1. re: Gus
            v
            Volker Stewart, Brewer's Art

            Gus, sorry the email didn't work, but I read your post to this board this AM. Thanks for the kind words. I would sure like to find that server. It's not right to misrepresent things like that, and I have no idea what he or she was thinking. Fries in duck fat would sure taste good (for meat-eaters!) but they would probably be prohibitively expensive! :^)

            Cheers, and again, thanks.
            Best Regards,
            Volker
            Brwer's Art

          2. re: Volker Stewart, Brewer's Art

            WAZZZZUP!?

            see, this is why I had to get an alias and not go vamping around as "Lucien" anymore. Oops, ok, enough about that, someone already outed me once. ;') Although in this case I don't call on Volker.

            So NEways, glad to see you lurking around here, sorry this kind of thing is what forced you to de-cloak. See you soon.

            1. re: Volker Stewart, Brewer's Art

              For what it's worth, my wife and I had dinner there last Friday night and found everything to be really very excellent. I had the bacon-wrapped filet (had a meat craving that day) and my wife had the shellfish appetizer and a salad. We were both really pleased with the meal and the service, and the ambience in the main dining room, as always, is great. My only complaint is that despite not having spent any time in the front bar, we both went home smelling of cigarette smoke; unavoidable I suppose.

              We are considering returning this Friday for a pre-theater meal as well...

              Regards,
              Dave