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Alfoccino's @ Auburn Hills [DTW]

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I bought their GroupOn quite a while ago ... before the semi-recent comments re: the FH location
beginning to slip.

We arrived ~6:30PM and were seated promptly. The dining room on the north side was full. The
east dining room was closed. The west dining room was essentially closed for what seemed to
be a kid's birthday party.

Service started-off slow, and remained slow. Bread arrived, hot. Drink orders were taken and our
waiter said they'd be out in three [3] minutes. They were not written down. ~Ten minutes later the
drinks arrive. Mine is wrong, wildly so. I ordered a Moretti and was served a mixed drink. The
mistake was corrected promptly with serial, profuse apologies.

We decided to share an appetizer. They had a calamari appetizer on the menu and on the
'specials' sheet. The difference? $2 more for cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts. We opt'd for the one on the std menu. Our waiter said that calamari doesn't take long and that they'd be out in
three [3] minutes. ~Ten minutes later the order was delivered. The calamari was hot and
properly prepared. The marinara dipping sauce was quite flat. It was of the thick variety and
tasted of tomato paste ... no layered/complex seasonings or tastes.

The salad was iceberg, romaine and a few croutons. Chilled, nicely dressed with a vinegarette and self-served from a large-ish bowl. A good execution of a basic salad.

The entrees ... my bride ordered mussels di mare. A huge platter of medium+ sized mussels
with spaghetti noodles, dressed with a light sauce. It was properly prepared and the flavors were
good.

I ordered the Italian Trio; a bit of chicken parm, lasagna and fettuccini alfredo. Again; the waiter
wrote nothing down. A plate was delivered that was drown in marinara. There was obviously food
on the plate, but it was not immediately recognizable. The waiter is gone ... as I'm extracting the food from the pool of marinara ... it becomes obvious - wrong meal, waaay wrong meal. Looks
like veal parm with a mountain of angel hair pasta. I dislike angel hair pasta. The waiter is not in
sight. Nobody is in sight. I decide to eat what I'm served.

The busboy happens by. We flag him down and ask for a menu and our waiter. The waiter
insists I ordered veal parm. Not a chance. I ask, how would you know, you haven't written down
a thing all night? Crickets. He offers to correct it in three [3] minutes. I decline. He offers to comp
the meal. I decline, explaining, I'll eat what was served, please correct the check. ~Ten minutes later a plate with the lasagna & fettuccini alfredo arrives. I am pleasantly full and just pick at it. The
The fettuccini alfredo is good. The lasagna does not impress.

We were out the door ~:8:20. Quite a long dinner for what it was (or wasn't). I stifle the urge to tell him to buy a pencil, tablet and clock. I really doubt that we will return.

Is the no-writing schtik their standard practice? (I was not seated where I could observer other
wait staff.)

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  1. I was wondering a while ago if you spent your groupon at Alfoccino's. I remembered that you were going to Augurn HIlls and was curious if it was better than FH. Sorry to hear it wasn't very good. Very sad. When we moved here 5 years ago Alfoccino's F.H. was our go to if we wanted a good meal, close by. The food was so good 5 years ago. Tonight my hubby is at a business dinner there. When he told me where they were going I told him good luck. I'll be curious at how it will be. I'll report back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rheta

      The seasoned waiters at the F.H. location never wrote anything down but I always received the
      proper order (not so amazing since I always ordered the same thing. There was one waiter in particular I remember that no matter how many in our party and the complexity of the order, never wrote it down. He was amazing although he never smiled and rarely spoke. Rheta probably remembers him, a very dour individual.
      Sadly, the last time we ate there, it was sub-par. I hope it was just a fluke.
      Bob

      1. re: SonyBob

        I am unamused when waitstaff don't write. I adds no charm (for me). But, I'm a recovering
        engineer. Perhaps I have attended a few too many process-quality/ISO9000 classes. It just
        does not make sense to insist on a process that increases the risk of an unsatisfactory outcome.

        My bride reminded me that our waiter was almost always servicing an adjacent table, after
        ours, without going to an order terminal. I'm wondering if perhaps he was confused as to
        what food/drinks went to which guests/tables ...