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Jun 21, 2010 10:48 AM

worst dining experience I've ever had

Sadly, we had a very bad experience at the Frog and Turtle yesterday. We have been there several times, and even used to go when it was Uffa. However, yesterday the service was unacceptably slow and appallingly rude.

We had 10:00 am reservations for Father's Day Brunch. We usually do not go out to eat on holiday weekends, but were out of town and had to eat out. So, we decided to go to a place we had been before to be safe. I confirmed my reservations on Friday and requested a high-chair for my 18 month old son, and I was told I was all set.

On Sunday, we arrived a few minutes early and were sat immediately, but we were told there was no high-chair for my son, and that all they had was a booster seat. We took it since we had no choice (although other empty tables had high chairs setup for other reservations).

We ordered drinks and were brought them immediately. We then had to wait another 25 minutes to place our order. We ordered an order of three donuts and other breakfast entrees for everyone. The donuts took quite a while, but we did get these. I requested them to rush my son’s two scrambled eggs, and was told that they couldn't do that because they were too busy (the restaurant was less than half full). After waiting an hour, my toddler was starting to melt down. We still had no food. We asked and were told they were plating it. Fifteen minutes later, we still had no food and we decided to leave. That is when we were accosted by the staff and told we were being unforgivably rude for walking out. That they would pack our food to go and that we should pay for everything. We asked for a bill for what we had eaten and were brought the full bill for the entire breakfast. We left enough money to cover the three bar drinks and the donuts and left - as we were leaving they brought out two to-go boxes (five breakfast entrees – in two to-go containers!). We were told that it was all of our food and again wanted us to pay for everything. We told them we no longer wanted the food, and that we certainly did not want it to go and left. All the time being berated by the staff who were treating us as if we were the ones that were in the wrong.

They then followed us to our car to write down our license plate number. At this point I had reached my breaking point. I approached the waiter and asked why they were being so rude to us; that we had waited too long, and that we (and our toddler) simply couldn’t handle waiting any longer. I said that I understood that restaurants some times have bad days, but that was not an excuse to treat us so poorly. I asked him what he would do if he took his child out for breakfast and had to wait that long. I was told that he wouldn’t go out to a restaurant if he had a child. Now, I would never bring my son to a nice place for dinner – but this was FATHER’S DAY BRUNCH!!!!!!!!!

I have NEVER walked out of a restaurant before, and doubt that I will ever do it again. I work in the industry and know that it does not take 1 1/4 hour to make two omelets, two scrambled eggs, and a plate of pancakes. That being said, everyone has bad days, and if we had been able to just leave it would be fine. What was unacceptable was the way we were treated.

Needless, to say, I will not return to Frog and Turtle, but the whole event really bothers me. I cannot believe that we were made out to be in the wrong. I spent the rest of the day feeling terrible about the incident, and it ruined the day for everyone – including the two fathers present.

The Frog and Turtle
3 Bridge Street, Westbrook, ME 04092

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  1. OMG!!!! I have been there too...thought it was just me or someone was having a bad day. Clearly these people have NO concept of customer service. Only recourse is to spend your $ elsewhere!! The food wasn't that great either...but you wouldn't know that as you never received yours!! Sorry it sucked :(

    The Frog and Turtle
    3 Bridge Street, Westbrook, ME 04092

    1. I'm really sorry to hear this, but interestingly enough, had a similar problem with service on a Friday evening last week: had made a reservation early in the week, arrived on time, and had a 25 minute wait to be seated. Service thereafter was a bit hit-and-miss; food about the same as ever (which has in my experience been very good). I certainly hope Chef James hears of this, and takes steps to correct it. But your experience is really frightening.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mainemal

        I hope you write a letter to the owner or manager. Things like this need go to the top or they'll never know what happened. If you never want to go back there, let them know in you letter that you don't expect a gift certificate but just wanted them to know how rude their staff was to you. Maybe they won't care, but at least you've tried.

      2. Although I do think the owner should know about this, I think he already may as the whole meal was packaged to go (and that probably didn't happen in the dining room).

        The term "gastropub" is overused and trendy and probably shouldn't pertain to any place in the US, so already the chef/owner's lack of common sense should be taken into account. That being said, if you reserved a highchair, sit down with no highchair, see that there are unused highchairs at unsat "reserved" tables, why did you stay? I would have INSISTED the highchair in that instance or walked (given the fact you reserved the chair). So the highchair should have been your first major waring sign. But then again, you chose to go to a place that doesn't even normally serve breakfast, so why would you go there for a Father's Day brunch?

        4 Replies
        1. re: bewley

          Actually, it is not true that they don't normally serve breakfast. They always serve Sunday brunch. They are very well known for their Sunday Brunch, and I have been several times before with no problem.

          I agree about the highchair. It should have raised a warning flag.

          I have decided to send essentially this post in letter for to the owner. However, after our experience, I'm afraid to use my full name or address. After they chased us to the parking lot, I'm actually afraid of some sort of retribution.

          1. re: Girl Friday

            you made a reservation, they have your name already. you should contact the manager.

            1. re: jfood

              You are right. I am sending a letter to the owner today.

              1. re: Girl Friday

                Good for you. BTW, I forwarded the link to this post to them yesterday p.m., so they should know what's up.

        2. I didn't see anything about the Sunday brunch on their website, my mistake. I hope you let us know how the situation was handled on their end.

          1. I have only been there once and thought the food was wonderful, but I'm not surprised by your problems. When I was there the service was SLOW and the waitress was FORGETFULL. The only reason it was acceptable to me was that she was very friendly and nice and apologized for how long it took to get the meal.