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Evelys drive in....a little piece of Rhode Island rip off

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Never in my lifr have I felt so violated...

Last Monday night...finally getting to try the infamous bowl of Lobster Chow Mein...as seen on DDD...at Evelyns in Tiverton...just over the bridge from Bristol

A bowl of dry chow mein noodles...a ladle of powdered chow mein sauce...six slices of onions and 2 little pieces of overcooked lobster...

$25... uh...excuse me...when Guy Fieri says "Now Thats Money"...I thought he meant the food was good...this stunk.

A wine glass packed with ice and about two ounces if red wine punch...$9.95..."Now that's money"...sure was ...right out of my pocket

My partner sees the cod...with lemon and tomato sauce...and we watch the "cook"...and that being generous...pull it from a sysco bag...frozen

Then the hamburger for my son...we ask three times...no cheese...the waitress checks with the "cook" no cheese...guess what it comes with...cheese...and thenm they charge us .15 cents for the slice of tomato

$78 dollars plus tip ...when checking other sites on this glorified slop vendor...I am not alone...just wish I had read the reviews before I became the sucker of the month...

Absolutely the biggest rip off in my forty years of being in the food industry.

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  1. After a couple of visits, I learned to stick to the chowder (clear, no milk/cream) and clamcakes.

    1. We recently had a similar sticker shock after ordering the lobster chow mein, a small order of clams (around 20 bucks), some chowder, and a hot dog and fries. Nothing was really good, and the chowder was pretty mediocre. I'm amazed what they charge for this stuff.

      1. I go for the ride and the view.

        1 Reply
        1. re: trufflehound

          do everyone a favor...stop going...it just encourages them...this was a pathetic experience and from what I have seen on other sites...I am far from alone...Trip Advisor is a hoot...is anyone at Evelyns looking at this stuff?

          I could tell the waitress was embarassed when I ordered it...

          Never have I wanted to see someone go out of business more than this place...such a dissapointment after all the hype...
          can you tell I was upset?

        2. Well, your experience sounds awful-- that's a drag.

          I have been going to Evelyn's for ages (old owners and new) and have always had consistently good fish and chips, fried scallops, and clam cakes. I've never ventured into more adventurous fare there but I remain a fan of their basic fried seafood options (to be honest, the very notion of lobster chow mein curdles my stomach). I'll agree their prices can be steep but still worth it in my book.

          5 Replies
          1. re: GSM

            We have family in the area and when they moved there, we were so excited to try Evelyn's. Biggest ripoff and poor food (in my opinion) for miles. Way overpriced for sure. Not surprised to hear the cod is frozen, I bet most of the food is.

            Do yourself a favor and continue on down the road to the Commons Lunch in Little Compton. always FRESH seafood, chowder and others. Not water-Riverfront rather like Evenlyn, but the food makes up for it.

            1. re: rachgrn

              I'm not sure what route you'd take from Tiverton, but I don't think you'd be too far from the Back Eddy in Westport. I love that place. In fact, I'll be there next Saturday night. They have outstanding, fresh seafood.

              Plus you get the sunsets at no extra charge!

              1. re: Bob W

                Much as I love the Back Eddy, I hate that they don't have outdoor seating for the dinner menu....you can have cocktails or a limited deck menu (really limited, like burgers & dogs). For that reason, I end up avoiding it during the summer. Why would I want to sit indoors on a gorgeous 70 degree night by the water?

                1. re: JaneRI

                  Mosquitoes.

                  1. re: karlssoni

                    Not sure why, but mosquitos never seem to be a problem at restaurants w/outdoor seating areas.

          2. We drove what seemed like forever just to give it a try.Worst ever will not be back

            1. I am sorry that you had such a bad time. I have been having (and greatly enjoying) the lobster rolls there for many years.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Delhiwala

                All...Obvioulsy other options...I eat all over the country on a regular basis...last week at Salt Lick in Austin.,..the week before at Tra Vigne in Napa...(another place that needs a some re freshing)...not saying this to impress but to validate that I have some semblance of what a good value is for the dollar...I don't care about ambiance or service if it isn''t part of the package...and for drive in food...in New England...the food should be absolutely fresh...I expect the tartare sauce to be made in house...I donlt expect to haver to ask for a lemon with seafood...I expect the recipes to be true to the region..and I absolutely expect to pay a premium for food made at a place open seasonally...and I always tip over 20% ...but they better at least try to deliver...that's my issue with Evelyn's...they seem oblivious to these basic fundamentals.

                As much as I would like to think there is a some redeeming value with this spot...here are some other things that happened during my visit...

                The first three things we asked for they were out of..."really sorry it was a busy weekend"...(you can't shop on Monday's?)

                Rhode Island chowder...or clear chowder or what ever you want to call it was one of the first soups I learned to make (in the 60's and I opened the clams for it)......it is one of the really few regional soup recipes indiginous to a particular region of the United States...the south coast of New England and down through CT till you get to Saybrook where it stops...with some variations reflecting the large Portugese population in the area...it doesn't, never did, shouldn't and will never have milk in it...it is a broth made from clams juice (canned or otherwise)...the chowder we had was flavorless and obviously pulled from the same pot with chopped seafood added to one and chopped clams to the other...

                Did I mention the frozen whitefish? and they should be arrested for the Lobster Cow mein.

                $42 for the Fried platter dinner???...that means the server is going to get $8 for dropping the plate on your table with plastic ware???? For that??? I still tipped her...she looked embarrassed about the entire episode.

                Delhiwala and GSM...do these people a favor...print out this thread and print out the thread on Trip Advisor...and take it to them and show them what people are saying..because if they have their life savings invested in this ...it isnlt going toi last very long.

                Let me ask one thing...if you bought a car and it only had three wheels...would you bring it back?

                I am still not over this...and i think my level of concern is wartranted based on what ithers are saying.

                1. re: sodagirl

                  "Delhiwala and GSM...do these people a favor...print out this thread and print out the thread on Trip Advisor...and take it to them and show them what people are saying..because if they have their life savings invested in this ...it isnlt going toi last very long."

                  I think I'll just keep eating there instead.

              2. rip off big time,the fried combo plate was 42 bucks,yep 42 $.the clams were gross,like they had been fried twice,everything was pretty horrible.everything had that "we need to change the oil"taste,gross.

                15 Replies
                1. re: im hungry

                  Ditto, what I'm hungry said.

                  Poor quality (i,.e. frozen) over priced and old oil more than not...

                  problem is, there isn't much in the immediate area of Evelyn's, so people settle.

                  Keep driving to the Black Goose Cafe for a delish sandwich (the gobbler is YUMMY) and prices are reasonable.

                  1. re: rachgrn

                    This isnt targeted at anyone but this poor place has been beaten to death how does it stay in business. Someone's eating and spending money. Wow :)

                    1. re: Frank Terranova

                      well...Tourists...they will eat anything they think is authentic...such a shame to waste the view...

                      If the folks on this site and others have an opinion...and in most cases the opinions are accurate...it is clear that Eveyln's is not doing anyone a favor...and chowhounders will go to bat for the guy trying and missing...

                      you go there and eat...and then tell me you think a plate of very poorly prepared fried seafood if worth $42 plus tip (that's $50 bucks...for a paper plate...and tiny portions)...and dive into the lobster chow mein and ask yourself the same thing...

                      The fact this is as aggressive as I have ever been with a meal...also means something...if they are willing to send me a refund...as I asked in the letter i sent them...written in a much more personable tone than these emails...I might have some faith in them...so far...nothing.

                      1. re: sodagirl

                        Ok, let's not start insulting the diners who disagree with your assessment. I'm not a "tourist" (gee, should I spit when I say that word?), but I like Evelyn's. Clearly the haters are a vocal bunch but there are a few of us locals who remain fans.

                        1. re: GSM

                          I would never insult anyone...sorry of that was taken as such...

                          honestly...do you think a plate of fried food is worth $42? plus tip?

                          1. re: sodagirl

                            I wouldn't order a $42 plate of anything.

                            FWIW, I believe the price for the seafood platter is high because the price of clams in exceptionally high this season. Evelyn's is charging $20+ just for fried clams-- yes, that's too much. As I said, I personally stick to fish and scallops there and have never, never been disappointed in quality or portion size. In fact, I've always found their portions to be too big. It's really unfortunate that others have had unfavorable experiences there.

                            1. re: GSM

                              ive gone to evelyns every year for the past 10 years at least,this year they really went crazy.the combo plate was always in the 20 dollar range,and it was a huge pile of fried food,more then 2 peoples worth.this year that pile shrunk in size and quility by at least half,and the price doubled.theres just to many places out there,im all set with evelyns.

                            2. re: sodagirl

                              I'm confused....what on their menu is $42?

                              1. re: JaneRI

                                the fried seafood combo was $42.

                                1. re: im hungry

                                  i am in the procurement business...and buy food for one oif the largest food companies in the world...I can probably tell you off the top of my head the wholesale and general retail costs of anhything that swims, walks or grows on any given day...

                                  Clams are high...and they have been...but why charge $25 for that lobster chow mein...as they say on the menu 2ounces of lobster meat...at between $ and $6 a lb...the raw cost for a lobster in most new england locations this summer...even if you mark the price of cooked lobster up to $16 a pound...(triple the cost for cooking it)...that means the 2 oz cost $2...

                                  The rest of the dish can;t be more than $2 bucks...$

                                  Ithink this thread and the fact that so many people have responded in the negative means itr is as ensative subject and Evelyns has done great damage to what was once a popular location.

                                  As I suggested to some locals...someone should print out this thread and show it to them...maybe they just donlt know what they are doing...there has to be a reason.

                                  1. re: im hungry

                                    I'm sorry, I don't mean to blame the victim here...but, really, I would NEVER order a $42 seafood combo plate. We checked out Evelyn's last year. Weren't impressed. Rubbery, greasy clams and fish-n-chips that were soggy and flavorless (actually had to put salt on the fish to make it pseudo palatable). Won't be back, although we LOVE the view. We hang out at the coffee shop up the road a bit (coastal roasters) to enjoy awesome brew and view.

                                    1. re: Science Chick

                                      im with ya

                                      1. re: sodagirl

                                        the only reason we got the "42$ pile of crap" was because we got a 50 $ gc,thats the only reason i would even go there.we still dropped another 30 on salty chowder,burnt on the outside-raw inside clam cakes,i agree,someone needs to inform these people,

                                        1. re: im hungry

                                          We have family that moved to the area the year Evelyn's re-opened (I think they had a fire?) it has been almost 4 years and nothing has changed (other than prices get higher - food remains poor IMO). My opinion only is that they are not too interested in any reviews that may be on Chowhound, only making as much $$$ during the season, as long as people continue to pay those prices. For what it is worth, when lobster was (still is in Maine) very reasonable priced, Evelyn's was charging $26 per roll for again in my opinion, poor product.

                                          Like I said before, head to the Goose up the road or a delish sandwich, a great coffee at Coastal Roasters, or head to the Commons Lunch in Little Compton for real fresh tasty seafood (you can even sit outside)!

                                          1. re: rachgrn

                                            I will be back in RI next week and will look into your suggestions...thanks