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Ruth's Chris--what's up with this place? [moved from PA board]

c
cussbucket Jan 18, 2007 11:57 PM

My boyfriend and I were celebrating our anniversary, and wanted a nice place for dinner. His sister had kindly given us a gift certificate to Ruth's Chris, so we figured it would be a nice change from our usual spots.

Though I had had a previous "mehh, it was just okay" experience a couple of years ago at the same Ruth's Chris on Broad St, I hoped it was just an off night.

I was wrong.

The bad:

1. My steak, which I ordered medium well (yes, I realize this is not the "way" to order a steak, but I don't do bloody) came out medium rare. I asked them to replace it, and received my same steak, which, since it had been slathered in butter before it was first served, now tasted like burnt butter. And was now on an unappetizingly smelly plate that was black with burnt, crusty butter. When they asked me how I liked it, I told them it tasted like burnt butter and to please just take it away and remove it from the bill. Instead, they arrived with a new steak (which, admitedly, was much closer to medium well) five minutes later and charged us for it--though by that time, I wasn't even hungry and didn't eat 2 bites of the second steak.

2. Our creamed spinach was barely lukewarm. Again, we asked them for a warm plate of spinach. We did receive it, but it took a long time. By then, I had finished up most of our (gluey) mashed potatoes, and my boyfriend had finished his NY strip.

3. The drink service was bizarre. My boyfriend ordered a glass of wine, which came out in a small decanter. The first time, the decanter was barely halfway filled (no way close to a full glass). On his second glass, it was filled to the brim (this was after the steak debacle).

4. We had to ask for full sets of silverware.

The good:

1. Dessert (chocolate cheesecake) was tasty, though it had a weird, greasy texture.

2. My boyfriend's steak was well-cooked, though half of it was fat or gristle.

3. After we complained the second time about the steak, they gave us free dessert and a free round of a random cocktail called a rattlesteak. Service also improved dramatically.

So, my questions are:

1. Has anyone else experienced this weird service at RC, where if you aren't either a regular or don't complain about something you just get so-so service?

2. Is the food always this unreliable?

3. Has anyone else received their same steak, after they complained about how it was cooked?

4. Why on earth didn't they just take the steak off my bill? I suppose to save the $40 they added on to the bill, but it was more of a slap in my face, almost, after I asked nicely for them to remove my uneaten steak.

  1. t
    tomself Jan 19, 2007 12:04 AM

    Have eaten at the RC in Birmingham on four different occasions. Same thing. Food was marginal at best. Lousy service. This is NOT a high end steak place. If it wasn't for someone else paying and a gift card, I wouldn't have gone so many times.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tomself
      t
      theflytyr Jan 19, 2007 12:11 AM

      I had a similar experience at the Baltimore branch, the one close to but not on the inner harbor. As this chain expands its quality continues to deteriorate.

    2. Rondo Jan 19, 2007 12:42 AM

      I've eaten at the RC in Parsippany. It was fine and my client seemed to enjoy it. But it is far from my first choice as a steakhouse.

      1. Trice Jan 30, 2007 12:26 PM

        I went there for an office Christmas party a couple years ago and had the same kind of experience. Service was unbelievably slow and the food was certainly not worth the cost, especially since the app. was a wedge of iceberg lettuce. That's it. No tomato, or cucumber, carrot. Just lettuce. Good to know the quality isn't just bad in Canada.

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