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Places With Great Food, Bad Service- Phoenix

One of the other posts got me to thinking about places which have great food, but crappy service.

Luke's Italian Beef on 16th Street and Indian School has the best Italian Beef sandwiches, but the guy at the counter is miserable. He looks like he has an ice pick in his chest, with all the ugly faces he makes. I always try and smile and say hi, but he just grimaces and looks like you're interrupting his brain surgery.

Each time I swear I won't go back, but the food it too good.

You guys have any places like this? Would you ever say something to the person with the poor service?

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  1. Orange Table in Scottsdale. Great food, cool place, but I have waited for breakfast with a hangover TOO many times and won't do it anymore. 30-40 minutes for a breakfast burrito just doesn't do it for me.

    But then you get your food and it's great...and you forgot and go back again.

    At least the staff are friendly while you wait. :)

    6 Replies
    1. re: HomeCookKirsten

      That interesting. I've never had breakfast at the Orange Table, but I sometimes have lunch there with a friend who works nearby. Every time we have lunch, the service is quick, friendly, and efficient. The food, however, I would say is good but not great. I say that because I usually order some sort of salad, and I don't care for their thick, whipped salad dressings. As for our different experiences with the speed of service, maybe some of the staff are also hungover in the morning?

      1. re: silverbear

        Great point, the servers are probably worse off then the hungover customers.

        30-40 minutes is a long damn time for a burro. Don't you guys have any drive thurs in Scottsdale with the word 'Betos' on the end of the name?

        1. re: Max Fischer

          I don't live in Scottsdale, so I can't say for sure. Nevertheless, the "betos" phenomenon seems to be almost everywhere in the Phoenix area. I've never tried any of them, though. I'd be more more inclined to head to the nearest Chipotle when in need of fast Mexican food.

          Back to your original subject, I think there are two types of bad service:

          1) Service that is slow, inefficient, or rude. I can overlook this a few times because anyone can have a bad day. It has to be really egregious or repeated on many occasions before I'd put the restaurant on my "do not visit" list.

          2) Policies that create so much hassle that a restaurant is no longer worth visiting. These include no-reservations policies, long waits for tables, insufficient parking, and no-substitutions policies. I can overlook any one of these, but if two or more are combined, the restaurant is no longer worth the effort. I can definitely think of some celebrated local establishments that I no longer visit because the owners want customers to do business on their terms rather than vice-versa.

          1. re: silverbear

            I can definitely think of one that YOU are definitely thinking of...

            which reminds me, i need to call in to make some reservations (for 6 of course) for a post spring training dinner.

            1. re: silverbear

              I find a no reservations policy, particularly for a tiny restuarant, to be a very equalizing - FIRST COME FIRST SERVED.

              I know that I'm going to be waiting in line with the likes of the governor and Steve Nash. If a restaurant has a reservation policy it lends itself to favoritism and long, lingering dinners. If you see a line of people waiting to grab one of the ten tables, you tend to eat and go, which is courteous to those waiting.

              I don't mind it.
              :)

            2. re: Max Fischer

              Los Betos Mexican Food, 3001 N Hayden Rd Scottsdale, AZ

              The breakfast burritos don't suck, but, some of the other stuff, does.

        2. Too funny re: the staff @ Orange Table. My new plan is Los Betos on Hayden.

          I agree with Silverbear, there are different types of bad service.

          Excessive jumping through hoops and LONG waits and no credit card machine and no sharing entrees and other things like that are more likely to stop me from going back somewhere.

          A one-time rude person or slowish service/wrong food is just that, a one-time deal and is easily fixable on the next visit.

          1. I've been met with deep sighs when I've walked into Pat's Pizza Plus, especially from the extremely large guy that hangs out behind the counter.

            "Please, don't get up, I'll just shout out my order so that the guys in the kitchen can hear what I want", is what I've felt like saying.

            Chompies. Even the owner, Lovey is it?, she has a rather blase attitude towards customers when she's working the register. That seems to trickle down to the wait and counter staff.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mamamia

              GREAT point about Chompies, they really don't give a crap. I just don't understand that attitude. It must be that they think they have no competition.

              1. re: Max Fischer

                I'm not impressed with this place. The bagels suck and so does their rugelach.

              2. re: mamamia

                Funny, I was thinking Chompies when this topic came up. Their counter service really stinks. Never a smile, or a thank you, or basically any sign of courtesy.

                I like their bagels, and we buy a lot of them (when we bring in to the office, etc.).

                I find pretty good service in the restaurant usually.

                It is my experience, that no matter how good your food is, bad service will catch up with you eventually. Customers get tired of supporting establishments that don't seem to value their loyalty (and of course the opposite is true - I will forgive a lot of mistakes if the establishment makes an effort to show that they appreciate me coming in).

              3. Drift - the Tiki bar in Scottsdale.

                Well, then again, I'm not sure if the food is any good. Went with a big group of people for a b-day and everyone was served but me and one other person. Even after an hour of enquiries to our server, she claimed to have no idea what the kitchen was doing. I asked for a manager and explained to this well trained expert that we never got our food and now had to leave for another event.

                In front of 15 or so people who just dropped major $S$, he offered to rectify the situation by making sure we weren't charged for the missing food. Gee, thanks for that magnanimous offer. How could we refuse? No apology. No offering his card/number and a promise to make it up to us on a future visit. It's bad enough to send people out the door hungry. It's even worse when you send them out with seemingly no interest in earning back their business.

                But hey - that's what they got. No future business from us.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tastyjon

                  Holy crap, he told you that you didn't need to pay for something you never got? Wow, how can they afford such gestures of kindness? That sort of rash giving will put them out of business! Oh wait, poor service and not giving a crap will put them out of business too...

                  Did you ever follow-up with the GM, or whomever is at the top of the Totem Pole? They should know what is happening.

                  1. re: Max Fischer

                    They suffer from a decent location and most patrons are there for the scene and cocktails. It's not a culinary destination and that's reflected in many similar reviews on other boards - as I've since found.

                    1. re: tastyjon

                      Thanks for the insight, it's hard to know the scoop, when you haven't been to a place that is mentioned, so I appreciate inside knowledge. I must admit a bias I have regarding Scottsdale, often I find it too pretentious. I know this isn't really fair, but my experiences have led to that belief, so I try to avoid Scottsdale whenever possible.

                2. Pita Jungle at Scottsdale Rd and Shea has fit this category for us many times. We love the hummus there, but the staff has been amazingly incompetant on numerous occasions. Three tries and 45 minutes to get a simple Coke. A waiter who completely forgot that he hadn't taken our order. Our order being sent to the table behind us. The list goes on. Too bad the other locales are so far away. Luckily we've found a place with better hummus (Shish Kebob House in Glendale) and service that doesn't make you go there just to see how bad they can be.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Firenza00

                    I rarely go to the Scottsdale Pita Jungle, due to various bad experiences. But, I go to the other locations, often, and always seem to get very good, pleasant service (touch wood).

                    I really enjoyed the Homous at the Persian Room in N. Scottsdale. http://www.persianroom.com