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Waterfront Ale House

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I had a very disappointing lunch yesterday and thought I'd share the experience. Wife and I arrived at roughly 3PM Sunday afternoon. Started off with a 5-10 min wait to be seated (with no one else waiting and empty tables). Finally, decided to grab two empty seats at the bar since wait service looked like it could be a real problem. Bartender was no better. Took another 10 minutes to even get our beers, let alone order. We both ordered the venison burger with caraway stout ketchup. Burger was bland and dry. Ketchup was good but scarce. Fries were excellent. After eating, had another 15 minute wait for our tab which came to $80 for three beers, an app and two burgers. They had the audacity to charge $15 for a sub-par burger. Service - awful. Food - average at best. Value - awful. I have been to the Waterfront several times with each experience getting progressively worse. I used to take all my visitors there for some solid pub food and tasty beer. Never again. I am officially done with this place.

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  1. Wow, I went there last Thursday and had a completely different experience. I had the pulled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries and a beer and I think it came out to $20 with tax and tip. My roomate had sweet potato fries, chicken fingers, and some mixed drink, I think our total with tax and tip was maybe $41. We did probably wait about 10 minutes for the check, but the place was full, and it was prime dinner time (7:30ish) so it wasn't a huge drawback.

    1. That's we only go for a bottle of the annual, homemade Egg Nog (which I believe is now up to $23). It's a generally poor value for mediocrity at best -- and accompanied by similar service. Egg Nog rocks though.

      1. Wow, I'm surprised. I'm usually very happy there. Their regular burger, which is huge is $9 or $10. How did it come out to $80? If 2 burgers are $30, how did an app. and 3 beers $80? Their standard pints are $6, I think.

        5 Replies
        1. re: jdf

          The burgers were 30, the beers were 20 (cask ale was more) and the buffalo calamari was like 15. add tax and tip and voila.

          I can deal with a mediocre meal and substandard service every once in a while. It was a combo of those two and a bad attitude that really irked me.

          1. re: Ralphus

            I went here lately and I think they were short on wait staff, I could be wrong but I think our waiter was really a busboy...he was not bad per se, but his attitude was not all that great, almost unfriendly, and I really don't expect much. It's probably just a temporary staffing issue. I have always been happy with all my other experiences here and would certainly not give up after one mediocre experience.

            1. re: prunefeet

              Did you notice that the prices went up too? I don't think for everything but when I was there last week, I believe most of the appetizers and sandwiches had gone up about $1.

              1. re: jdf

                I didn't notice, but I don't go often enough to know their prices. Went yesterday and had a really nice salad special..it was bison flank steak on mixed greens, carrots, grape tomatoes, red onion, in a nice zippy orange chili dressing. The service was absolutely fine.

          2. re: jdf

            Well, since the moderators took down numerous posts saying good things about WAH (the horror), I'll try again. I've been going there for numerous years and it has come to be a neighborhood standby. I don't find the waitresses to be friendly, but are usually efficient. I find their food to be very solid and always a nice and interesting selection of beer. Sorry about your experience, but believe it is the exception.

          3. My original reply was one of the positive responses about Waterfront that got taken down. How heartbroken I am. Why do Chowhound moderators have it out for these guys? Their food is delicious (the buffalo calamari and their nachos are two of my favorite unhealthy splurges of anywhere i could possibly go), their service generally competent and friendly, and their beer selection is really top-notch. The prices, in my opinion, are entirely reasonable for what you get. I think the calamari appetizer, which is large enough to eat as a main course, is just under $10. Pretty perfect in my opinion.

            3 Replies
            1. re: vatl619

              I agree. Even with the recent price raise, I think its fair in light of what you get there. I don't think the moderators have it out for WAH, as mine was taken down too, but get a little overzealous sometimes.

              1. re: jdf

                Mods don't have it in for WAH, they probably responded to Ralphus being in a tizzy over the way people responded to his innaccurate claims of $15 buffalo calamari, which to set the record straight, is $8.95. How do I know? I had it last night!

                They took down my post as well and they'll propbably take this down too.

                1. re: Larry Brooks

                  Larry,

                  They may be in transition with their menus, though. I have to say, I went after the initial post and I saw it as $10.95 and the regular calamari at $9.95. As I've said, I still think its quite reasonable, but believe they have raised some of their prices, at least on the menu I had. (though certainly not $15).

            2. In my opinion, the pub fare at Waterfront is well above average and reasonably priced. As someone else said, the nachos and buffalo calamari are outstanding. I've also had very good burgers, ribs, etc. And the beer selection is outstanding for a neighborhood place. The service can be a little slow, but I certainly wouldn't call it awful. To each his own, I guess.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmh

                There chili’s decent too - the perfect accompaniment to one of their monthly specials. And yes their service can sometimes be a little spotty.

              2. Burger was bland and dry. - Don't order 'game' meats and expect the consistency you would get from beef.

                The Waterfront Ale house makes a competent burger, they can even do rare and medium rare consistently. I personally do not understand why people expect something transcendent from the place, or why people from out of town put it on their hit list. You might be happier at Henry's End.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Geo8rge

                  Disagree. I've had a regular medium rare burger there and it was basically raw meat seared on the outside.

                  No matter what burger I order, I expect it to taste good. And I do not expect a transcendent experience from an Ale House.

                  1. re: Geo8rge

                    Oh no, it's certainly not transcendent or even a destination place. It's in my general area, I would not travel to get to it. But I find it to be consistently good for a decent tasty lunch in a pleasant and cozy environment.