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Disappointed at TRAXX

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we had a "family reunion" dinner at the restaurant at Union Station, Traxx. Several of us locals in the family dine there (both together and separately) often. It's an absolutely lovely spot (if you haven't been to Union Station, you must -- it's gorgeously restored) -- and we've always enjoyed Traxx. It has always had good food (the hangar steak is terrific), cooked with thoughtfulness and care, plus attentive but not hovering service. And then this...

The room (inside) is not large, yet we've never had a problem with noise there before. But on Saturday night, there was a party (and I mean party!) at the table that should have far enough away not to overhear. But they were off-the-chart loud, rude, "rowdy", and one can only imagine just how much they'd had to drink. You couldn't hear yourself think. My family did not want to make a scene by saying anything (I believe if we had, the already-boisterous party might have grown very aggressive with us), so I waited.

After we paid and most of my family left, I went to our server and asked for a manager who of course "wasn't there." (I know that line.) So I told him that the over-the-top noise caused by that party ruined our evening. I explained why the night was so special to us; we had family members there we almost never get to see. The server then actually told me that the other party were regulars and spent more money at their restaurant than we do -- so, in essence, tough. Unbelievable!

I am still fuming. How do you all feel? Ever had that happen to you?

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  1. Sorry about your traxx experience, but if you got the server's name you should call the day after and note that to the manager. Personally, I would've either raised the issue during the meal or do a day-after email after I had a chance to cool my jets, bringing it up right after the meal is done and paid doesn't really give the server/manager much opportunity for them to rectify the issue and I'll still likely be irrationally POed.

    ~H.C.
    http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

    1. I've had lunch and dinner at Traxx several times and never had a problem.
      Nothing can spoil your dining experience like a bunch of drunken, loud and obnoxious people yelling and screaming like they are the only ones in the place. In a large restaurant, you can ask to be moved to another table. Sounds like your server was a bit of a jerk. You should report him to the manager and write a letter. I think they owe you a quiet meal.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Baron

        They don't owe her a quiet meal. She dined there by choice, and if things weren't to her liking, she could've left. There are rude, loud people everywhere. If you go to Macy's and you're in the fitting room with a jerk, do you get your clothes for free? If it was REALLY bothering the OP and her family, they would've spoken up early during the meal. If nothing was done, they would've left.

        The waitress was rude, but what could she do after you paid, other than appologize for something that wasn't her fault? Also, like it or not, she told you the truth. If they were big spending regulars, things are often overlooked. Seems you had a problem with obnoxious guests, not the restaurant itself.

        1. re: invinotheresverde

          I agree....when you go out that's part of it....if you want quiet... book a private room or stay home.

          According to your post you were reading into a lot of things(ie. aggressive to us, he meant tough ) if you displayed this type of attitude to the server I can see why he was dismissive of you.

          1. re: LaLa

            and I think you are reading more into the post than was there. While I do think that the OP should have either spoken sooner and/or to a manager, the behavior in question exceeds that which I think should be expected of patrons who don't book a private room.

            It is completely unacceptable to tell a patron that a situation cannot or will not be addressed because another patron is more important.

            1. re: susancinsf

              Sorry to hear your special evening got spoiled susie. I wasn't there but here is my take. Being a restaurant manager means working crappy hours, even saturday night on a big holiday weekend. If the manager had been present, in mind as well as body, he might have noticed how uncomfortable some of your party was and how over the top the other party was acting. Sounds like the lower level employee got stuck with a bad situation that really wasn't his job to handle, and he botched it. If blame needs to be assigned, I would give a large share to the "absent" manager. The captain of the Exxon Valdez was asleep when the ship had the accident, but I don't think the media ever printed the name of the person who was actually at the wheel. Someone needs to be in charge. I agree with susan. I have noticed a disturbing trend on chowhound where the OPs get beat up pretty badly, partly because the scolders read more into the post than was there. And what they see seems to be negative. Let us know if you ever contact the manager susie, and if things work out or not. The great thing about chowhound is that there are managers on duty and they make sure to keep our site civilized. If you really want to get beat up try gaming forums or some Live Journal discussions he he! This place is an oasis on the intrazweb trust me. :)

              1. re: givemecarbs

                I dont think I was scolding at all...if you don't want differing opinions don't ask for them as OP did.
                But since I have been called forth what I additionally think is it is pretty crappy to post such a inflammatory post about a restaurant you said you had always "enjoyed" over (1)something a person did that really didn't have any power to begin with.(2) expecting your server to be a mind reader(3) thinking your experience is more important than other diners

        2. re: Baron

          Jfood and Invino disagree more than agree but in this case jfood fully agrees that the restaurant owes the OP nothing. Without any analogies, which jfood loves to use, let's just look at the OP arrived, was seated, ate dinner and then after everything was over asked the server to intervene. Granted the waistress' response was plain stupid (whether truthful or not does not matter).

          But the OP did nto want to "make a scene." Answer - one person quietly leaves the table and asks to speak with the manager away from the crowd. Not a scene at all. They also assumed that the other table would get physical. Oh come on. If you ask for a different table and the other table is having a good time, they couldn't give a hoot whether someone moves. Plus as OP said they were far away from the offending table. They probably would not even notice.

          No it was not a pleasant evening and that is too bad, but if you want a guarantee of a quiet evening, then you need to plan at home, seek a private room or always have a plan B if there is a loud party on a holiday weekend.

          Sorry, but waiting for the cow to leave the barn and then complain is not the restaurant's fault.

        3. My question to you is- Was this your first "holiday weekend" experience there? (IOW did you ever test the weekend atmosphere?)

          In my area there a few places that change their "family atmosphere" to "party-party-party!!!" after 7pm over the weekends.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RShea78

            We have a lot of places like that in my area as well. Some you don't want to go to at all during the weekends, while others will provide a nice, quiet meal if you go early and turn into lounges/nightclubs after 9-10. My thoughts are if the group were loud and rowdy regulars, it might be that the atmosphere changes on Saturday nights.

          2. You should have said something DURING the meal.

            If the waitress gave you Heisman stiff-arm at that point in time, then I could see you being pissed.

            The way you handled it -- waiting until AFTER the meal -- leaves no one to blame but yourself.

            1. I'm sorry you had such a disappointing experience on such an important family occassion. I'm also sorry that other posters appear to be making you out to be the villan here. In retrospect, maybe you could have handled it differently, but until someone is walking in your shoes at the time of the incident, seeing, hearing and feeling everything you felt, it's absurd to take a "holier than thou" attutude. Then again, you posted your dilema here on CH, and that can be risky business if you don't have a thick skin.

              Obviously this still bothers you. You might get some closure (not "satisfaction"), by talking to the owner/manager at another time. Not confrontationally, but in a matter of fact way. Let him/her know that you may not be their best customer, but you are a customer, and you were disappointed. Approach the conversation in a way that makes it clear you are not looking for anything other than letting him know his employee did not represent him in a professional way. End of story.

              Then next time you have a special occassion, do a little prep work up front to lessen the possibility of a bad experience.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PattiCakes

                This may or not be directed at me, but I didn't see any attitude. Diners just have to have realistic expectations. Things can get loud at restaurants, especially on a Saturday during the holiday season.

                1. re: PattiCakes

                  And if directed to jfood he offered a suggestion on how to handle an unfortunate situation, agreed that the waitress was stupid and offered several suggestions going forward for a quiet family dinner.

                  Cannot agree that any responses were attacks.