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Joe Squared: off night or downhill warning?

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I returned from Joe Squared a few hours ago where I had dinner with three other people. It was easily the worst meal I've had there, and is #1 on the list as the worst meal of 2008 so far. Three of the four of us had eaten there many times before.

Anyway, without going into tons of detail, the chicken wings were fried to a crisp with very little sauce; my friend's gumbo looked like Stovetop stuffing, and had no liquid. The fried calamari was almost too salty to eat. (For me , this is a big one, since I'm someone who could salt anchovies.) The Caesar salad was tasteless. The pizza was burnt.

The one Joe Squared newbie was someone I just met, and a bit of a fussy eater, so I'm not sure if her claim that her shrimp and avocado salad was just too salty was justified, but since everything was just so off I saw no reason to doubt her.

I told our server about our substandard meal. She said she would talk to the cook. And, she talked and he yelled. We could hear him in the kitchen:...calamari......salty...I don't care!......I'm tired!

Anyway, our server comped us a few dishes and offered us a round of drinks on the house, but at that point, we were just so disappointed that we just paid and left.

Of course, I'm hoping that this is an anomaly, but am posting in the event that anyone out there has experienced something sadly similar.

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  1. Sounds like business as usual. Over the past year, I've found Joe2 to be uneven and inconsistent. When the kitchen is on, they're on. It's kinda like one day they're great, the next day, not so much. I think it's like a 50/50 chance and you just gotta roll the dice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: onocoffee

      We actually talked about the inconsistency last night. But, while it's not been great in the past, it's never really reached the depths of being truly awful, that is, until last night.

      I also don't know if 50/50 odds are good enough to keep going back.

      1. re: baltoellen

        You could hear the cook yelling from the kitchen - d@mn...

        1. re: hon

          And another issue, actually one that I've had there before but never thought of as a huge deal is that the servers know very little about the specials. The newbie/fussy eater person asked if the soup of the day was spicy (ok, granted, she seems very sensitive to anything even remotely hot) and I asked if the soup was cream based. The server was clueless, but did check with the kitchen.

          Also, and this is from someone not up on the nuances of restaurant work, but shouldn't the server have checked what the food looked like before bringing it from the kitchen to our table? I mean, wouldn't she have seen that the gumbo looked like Stovetop stuffing and that the pizza was burnt?

          I know that this is a casual and funky place, but one would think that common sense of the part of servers there (or other low end places) would prevail.

          1. re: baltoellen

            If the cook/chef was in such a foul mood as you describe, perhaps the server figured it was better to risk your wrath than his. If she brought the food, there was a chance you would complain. If she called the cook on it, it sounds like it was a sure thing that there would have been screaming and such. Maybe not the best move for the interests of the restaurant, but I could understand a server taking the attitude of "I don't get paid enough to fight with the cook", even if I don't approve of such a stance.

            Or if the server was as clueless as you say about the specials, it may be that she had no idea what the food is supposed to look like when done properly.

            I hope the owner is still watching this board. He ought to be aware of these sorts of issues

    2. I've not experienced an inconsistency there in a long time. There was a little bit when they first opened, but since then no problems. Maybe I've just been lucky.

      That said, I think the owner monitros this board,so perhaps the incident in question will be "looked into".

      1. We've been several times in recent months with good results.