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Daisy May’s Disappointment

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So, last night I gathered together a bunch of friends for the Daisy May’s pig roast (Peter Meehan had reviewed it in the NY Times). We had to reserve in advance, and they took a deposit on a credit card. We pre-ordered a half-pig and a pork butt (the meat for pulled pork). We discussed the choices of sides and such over the phone – we went with the creamed spinach, corn, sweet potatoes, and baked beans.

While the food is good, they need to step up the service a bit if they’re going to continue taking reservations and charging the prices they’re charging.

Alright, so we get there, and first off we find that the A/C was broken. The dining room was absolutely sweltering, and having made a reservation to eat piles and piles of meat there, I really think they should have told me that. It was kind of unbearable, but my friends are good sports, so we just wiped our brow a bit and carried on.

We asked for water, and they said they had no water and no cups (I thought they were joking at first). If we wanted water, we had to wait on line with the takeout customers and buy bottles of Poland Spring. Call me fussy, but if your A/C is broken, you might want to be halfway decent to your customers and provide some ice water.

They brought out the pig and pork butt and the sides. Both were pretty amazing to behold. But that was it for any service there. We pretty much had to figure out how to attack the pig and pull it apart by ourselves. We asked to order drinks and they said we had to wait on line where the takeout BBQ came from to order there. My husband wanted an iced tea, so I went to the takeout line and waited for them to assemble 5 orders ahead of me for a single jar of iced tea to be pulled from their fridge. Ridiculous.

As for the food – the pulled pork, as always, was tender and delicious. The sides were surprisingly good too – I thought the creamed spinach was really flavorful and light, and the corn was perfectly summery and delicious. The texas toast (thick slices of eggy bread and butter) was also tasty and addictive, but you had to make an effort not to fill up when there was all that meat.

The pig, though, was a bit of a letdown. It was fatty and hammy and just not that flavorful. I think it’s more about the presentation than the actual eating. Most people agreed and we made more of a dent in the pulled pork.

Which brings me to another point of contention – the order size. Over the phone they insisted that no more than 6 people were allowed for one half-pig and no more than an additional 6 for the pork butt. So we were not allowed to bring more than 12 people. With the amount of food we had, we could have easily had 5 more people at our dinner. It felt very wasteful. Thankfully, we were able to grab some takeout containers and load them up for our friends.

The final bill for the pork party came to about $400. There’s one seating per night at 8pm. If Daisy May’s is going to take reservations and charge these type of prices, they really need to get a manager or a waitperson to seat and service these customers. The drink policy especially is just absurd.

My final sense, though, is that the other dishes at Daisy May’s are better anyway, and you’d do best to forgo the pig roast and just go and order off their regular menu.

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