Avoid La Locanda in Edgemont, PA
We went to lunch the other day at La Locanda. We don't live far from this place and had been there for an unimpressive dinner about 2 years ago....decided to try it for lunch...What a HUGE disappointment! We ordered from the "Lunch Express" menu and 40 minutes later our food finally arrives. My SO had ordered sausage and peppers....tasted good but not very hot. .... I had ordered a medium rare hamburger which was to come with caramelized onions, pancetta and boursin. It arrived with its side of fries. I tasted a fry and it was stone cold. I would have said something to the waiter but he had disappeared quickly. Deciding I was better off without fries anyway, I delved into the burger. I took a bite and couldn't quite figure out what was wrong...then i realized the burger was the most well done burger i've seen in a very long time...not wanting to wait for another burger to be cooked, I decided to continue eating the dry burger...my second bite made me realize what was really wrong....the cheese wasn't boursin but some creamy white cheese that wasn't something I liked. I picked off all the cheese and tried to continue eating some of the burger (hey, I was actually hungry). After 3 or 4 bites, I gave up...the cheese had melted into the burger and it wasn't a pleasant taste. The waiter FINALLY came over and asked how our meal was. When I told him about the wrong cheese, he sort of apologized and disappeared. Eventually he came back and said, "the chef has changed the burger and now serves it with provolone all the time. " WHAT?? I was so confused...he made it sound like it was MY fault i didn't know even though the provolone wasn't anywhere on the menu...there was only one hamburger on the entire menu and that was with boursin. The waiter never asked if he could bring a different meal. When I asked the waiter to take away my mostly uneaten food, I mentioned to the waiter that in addition to cheese I didn't like the burger was wayyyy overcooked. The waiter still offered nothing. AND then the waiter had the nerve to actually charge us for the meal. My SO decided just to pay for it with no tip and leave rather than educate the restaurant on how to handle unhappy customers who were served sub-par food. If the waiter had any issues with no tip, he can take it up with the chef.
There are several Italian restaurants very near by. How La Locanda could still be around I have no clue. We will never be back.
OK - I have to say it...
Why would you not tip? I can't imagine sitting there for 40 minutes, getting progressively angrier, hating lunch, and not asking to speak with a manager.
Many times management creates an atmosphere where the server feels uncomfortable bringing up complaints. Often they don't have the authority to offer anything. As for him disappearing, sure, he could have been out back texting, or they could have sent him out for hamburger buns, who knows?, it sounds like they were having a bad day.
Was he the best server, maybe not. But you never really know what's going on behind the scenes. Generally, management sets the tone. If the manager didn't offer to comp the bad burger, then you see why the overall experience was so shoddy. To penalize a server for the second bad meal you've had seems kind of unfair.
I think with La Locanda you have to adjust your expectations. It's not fine dining but it's also not a burger joint. Now, certainly you could argue that if the place can't do a burger properly, there's no hope for the soft shell crabs, or the osso buco, or even the lasagna. However, having eaten there 5-6 times over the past few years, I've never had a bad meal. I've never had a great meal either. But for above-average Italian food, I think it's a pretty good spot.
Dude/Dudette, I've been telling people that for YEARS. My wife and I call it "La LoCrappa". We went once many years ago, I think it was my mother or father's birthday. I ordered a caesar salad. It was unique and not in a good way. It had black olives on it, fresh from a can. My iced tea was Lipton's powder. The waitress kept calling us "hon". It ain't a freakin' diner, sweetheart! Needless to say we've never been back and I too cannot comprehend how it has stayed in business all these years. But hey, this is just one guy's opinion. To each his own. BTW, if you have a favorite Italian restaurant in Delaware or Chester county, let me know. Always looking for good ones.