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Jan 2, 2011 09:30 AM

Mike and Nellies- Owner Mike just doesn't care about his customers! Don't go here.

Went to Mike and Nellie's a couple of weeks ago. Ordered a filet mignon med rare and a NY Strip med rare as well. Both steaks came out of the kitchen ice cold. When we told the waiter, he promptly took back both of our plates and they were obviously reheated on the plate. When they came back, both were warm but far from hot. My son was starving, and ate his "cool" filet. When I told the waiter that my steak was still cold, he apologised and asked me what else I would like for dinner. When I told him a wanted another steak, he told me he couldn't do that. WHAT? Couldn't give me what I ordered, done correctly? Couldn't replace my steak with another steak? WHY NOT??

We finished dinner and I asked for the owner. Was told he wasn't there, but would be back in two days. I left my cell phone number and asked for him to call me. He never did. To be very fair before I wrote this post, I called Mike twice- only to be told both times he was there, but was "too busy" to call me back. WHAT? Too busy to hear what an unsatisfied patron had to say? Why not?

Mike and Nellie's is not an inexpensive restaurant. My steak was $39.00 and my son's filet was $34.00. No matter what price dishes are, are you not entitled to being served hot food? And if you're not, shouldn't the restaurant make the dish correctly? And if they can't, shouldn't the owner at least care?

If the owner doesn't care about his diners, wny would you want to be one of them? There are so many restaurants where the proprietors care....this is absolutely not one of them.

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  1. My view is simple. If you are not happy and are not willing to give the place another chance....stop going. I agree with your position.....however, on another thread concerning Pastrami and an arrogant owner....many suggested you ignore the owner's behavior and instead....kill him with kindness to see if he will come around. Granted, this was based on a good pastrami sandwich.....presumably, the steaks were good, just served cold and improperly.... This makes absolutely no sense. You can always find a better product and you should be treated with respect the first and every subsequent visit you make. It's not your job to please or change the owner's behavior or demeanor.

    As the sayings with your feet.....or dollars.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      You can't kill with kindness if the owner has no interest in responding!

    2. Just out of curiosity where is this place ?

      7 Replies
        1. re: sockster

          We had a similar experience a couple of years ago and have never been back. We unfortunately also went on a night when Mike was not there. We had been there previous times and the steaks were good, but we quickly learned that whoever cooks when Mike is not there (I think I remember that the waiter told us that it was Mike's cousin that fills in) does NOT know how to cook steak. We ordered ours medium and it came out virtually raw inside. After sending it back a few times, the steak was pretty much ruined. We were livid and also asked for the owner to call us....he never did and we never set foot in the place again. At those prices, Mike had better start catering to unsatisfied customers or he will be out of business. We have since discovered Brennan's in Neptune and have had nothing but good steaks there at much more reasonable prices.

          1. re: charmel

            I've been to Mike and Nellies many times and have always enjoyed the chicken or veal francese ( their specialty) but have never ordered the steak. I have also heard that its better to go when Mike is doing the cooking. Its a family owned place, so the quality in the kitchen probably varies depending on whether Mike is there or not. Its still a great choice in the area and a BYOB. I'll be back again for the francese dishes.

            1. re: scrappyone

              I think that it's wrong for patrons to have to check to make sure that "Mike is cooking that particular night" or not. Mike should have a qualified chef on duty when he is off. It is a poor reflection on him to be conducting business this way. The patrons who come there when Mike is off have to suffer and pay good money for sub par cooking. Let me tell you, the sub DOES NOT know how to cook a steak and for a "steakhouse" this is not the way to do business.

              1. re: charmel

                I agree, charmel, but Mike and Nellies isn't a large operation. While they should make sure that the food is the same every night, this is not the case with many restaurants. Mike is there on the busy nites, ie Saturday, etc.

                Try the chicken or veal francese. Its out of this world. Its so good that I will never order it in any other restaurant, since nowhere else has compared to the way Mike does it.

                I don't even think of Mike and Nellies as a steak house. Sure, they offer steak. But that's not there specialty, IMHO.

                1. re: scrappyone

                  I have never eaten at Mike & Nellie's, but when you have, or highlight *Steak and Seafood* in your name and promote Steak so prominently in your Specials Menu....presumably, you should be able to accommodate a diner's request....Especially, when you pat yourself on the back in your Homepage about your history.



                  1. re: fourunder

                    This is a local restaurant for us, that we've patronized for a number of years. Never had a bad meal, and it's distressing to see/hear what went down.

                    There seems to be a decided 'taking care of' long time (or 'known' diners) at M&N's - typically at one's expense (and that has included me as well though the slight may be imagined with respect to seatings with reservations a couple of times).

                    In the next breath, I've also never encountered a problem with our meals there

                    So this thread will cause me to pause as to the 'next dining experience there'. , Scrappy has it right in that their veal/chicken dishes are excellent and as fourunder cites, and I know the link without having to open and read, that they do promote being a purveyor of fine steaks - theydo serve prime steaks (my wife or oldest son have never had an issue with a filet or a NY Strip). I personally don't order steak in there, resigning myself to veal or fish.

                    Mike can get a bit sloppy as I know of one of his former Seafood chefs who commented same. Getting bad ink or word of mouth in this economy isn't good - then again, he has his very loyal local army of regulars. So what do you think it is? An isolated and bad instance, or a trend?

                    Bottom line. That was no way to treat a diner.

      1. we've been several times, about once every 6 months just waiting for improvement... calling it a family operation or a small operation is no excuse for the lousy and disinterested service we've experienced all too often.. the last time we went, about a month ago, was the LAST time, service is slow and we are always offered plenty of weak excuses... dishes come out wrong and we're told someone (Mike?) isn't in or on vacation or sick (or eating dinner somewhere better!)... again, no excuse... worse still is that the staff doesn't seem to have been instructed as to how to make the experience better for customers fighting through another rough night there... too little interest in pleasing the clientele, top to bottom... despite all this, the food isn't terrible, though many times it is not served the way it is described on the menu, as though they're making it up as they go along in the kitchen... too bad, really

        1 Reply
        1. re: aklein

          "worse still is that the staff doesn't seem to have been instructed as to how to make the experience better for customers fighting through another rough night there"

          Unfortunately, customer service is becoming a lost art. All it takes are the right words and actions to make a disaster into a success, and so few service staff and even owners know this or how to go about it these days.

        2. Maybe he thought wanting a "hot" medium-rare steak was unreasonable? I generally order my steaks rare, but sometime they come out medium-rare. I rarely get a steak that I would consider more than just "warm".

          Not to excuse that he didn't call you back, and I can't imagine how they could have served an ice cold steak.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hsk

            How about these miscues...

            * the steaks sat in the window too long

            * maybe the window did not have a food heat lamp

            * the plates were cold when the steaks were placed onto them

            * one steak was finished cooking before the other, therefore compromising delivery time to table

            * the heat in the dining room was set too low and food cooled off quickly

          2. I knew something was up with that place. We had been going there for some years, but the last time was not good. I always get the veal francaise and loved it. The last time I felt like I had been served another dish, it was tasteless and different. I went on their website and alerted them to the fact ,and of course never got a response. Guess once you make it and have a following, who cares...