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Distrito -- What's the Deal with Reservation Policy

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Our family of five had a nice lunch at Distrito yesterday, but what is the deal with their reservation policy? I called to say (a) we were driving in that morning from DC; (b) it was a special occaison, our college student's 18th birthday. But all they would offer was an 11:30 am or 2:30 pm reservation. Took the 11:30 am. It was very tight for us -- particularly as rain hit us on I-95. We get there at 11:30 and the place was EMPTY. Stayed EMPTY until noon. When we left at 12:30 there was still seating available.

I realize the desire to turn over tables, but banishing parties of 5 to those unrealistic time slots, I don't get.

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  1. I have found the management of Distrito to be very strange, especially compared to other Garces restaurants where I've had nothing but great experiences. Chalk up another instance, I guess.

    In the past I've been there where waiters made insane recommendations on how much to order (too much), where a single bartender was responsible for the entire first floor, including the tables, with no help, and I felt like they were ripping me off when I went for Dining Days (UC version of Restaurant Week).

    The food is great, though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      I suppose your last sentence sums it up, and a good Chowhound will put up with quite a bit for great food!

      1. re: Marissa

        Right, if someone read about an "authentic" food van/stand somewhere obscure they'll travel hours on bikes and cars and trains just to wait half an hour in the rain before being greeted by a surly vendor who shoves food through a window. Then they'll yelp about how underground and amazing and life changing their cupcake was. But if the waiter at a normal restaurant forgets to salute with eyes forward, chest out, knees straight and feet together at a forty five degree angle? It's the end of the world and a scathing one star review.

        This isn't directed at the OP (I love Distrito but they should totally have been accommodating, it was very proper to even call for brunch reservations, I would have just showed up and demanded to be seated regardless of party size) but at the ridiculousness of the foodie world.