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Sep 20, 2012 08:19 AM

Maximillian's Grill in Cary

Has anyone been here? They're offering a coupon and I wan to know if it's worth the trip. I do love the small plates/tapas concept where I can taste a lot of different items without gorging.

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  1. Been there done that and recommend it. Question- are they still operating under limited hours?

    1. Love the place. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

      1. I love Maximillians - never fails to be good.

        1. 1 star. Maybe.

          Y'alll. Y'ALL. I'd say that fortunately my dining experiences are somewhere from terrific to average most of the time, with the truly bad experiences being few and far between. If I don't get something that kicks my socks off, its a "meh," and move on to something else. Last night was truly bad.

          We found ourselves in Cary, and after going to one place with a posted sanitation score just barely over 90, I asked we move on down the road to Maximillians. (The score there was 93, which is not high to me, but at this point I was starving. I should have stuck with the first place).

          I'd never been there before and found the space quite attractive, if not a bit dated. No complaints there. The menu was lengthy but I was not expecting the high prices. I have no problem paying for a nice meal out, but I want to know it is worth it and don't want to waste good money on bad food. So, I was a bit trepidatious when deciding what the order. The wine list was also pricey. No house specials at a reasonable price. The Castle Rock Pinot Noir was $9.95/glass which is what a retail bottle costs (and I'm sure they're not paying retail for their bottles).

          I ordered the fried oyster salad and my fiancé got the braised short ribs over gnocchi after being told the short ribs were a real star.

          And this is where the fraud and bad food started.

          The only positive of the experience was the waitress was personally nice, but inattentive. A good waitress would have seen early on there were problems.

          Another waitress came out to our table with the entrees shortly after ordering them and asked who had what. We told her and she promptly plopped them down and whisked away leaving the fiancé to try and flag down someone to get some bread. When his attempts to make eye contact with anyone failed, he got up to go to the hostess and came back and we started eating.

          The greens on my salad were drenched in this dressing that was inordinately spicy. And a wretched spice with no thought behind it. I was like jalapeño peppers had been mixed with mayonnaise and put on the greens. First of all, the salad was a special and the waitress did not say the "dressing" (& I use that term loosely) was spicy, nor did she offer it on the side. The oysters, while small, were tasty, but there were only about 4 and that is all I could eat. The rest was inedible.

          When the other server plopped my fiancés "short ribs" down and walked away, I said to him "I don't think those are short ribs." The meat cuts were way too big to be any short ribs I have ever seen. He cut in and asked me to try the sauce and a gnocchi. Have y'all tasted Liquid Smoke before? Well, they had used about a gallon of it. And the texture of the gnocchi was either that of some frozen product, or made my someone that had never heard of gnocchi before. It was an icky, thick mess. Next I tried the "short ribs." It was pot roast. Not even close to short ribs. Some boneless chuck amalgamation (also heavily doused in Liquid Smoke). To use that crude expression, don't pee on my leg and tell me it is raining. There is no shame in serving pot roast, but call it freakin' pot roast and be honest.

          Between the fraud and the poor taste from the meat and gnocchi, it was just an inedible and disappointing as the salad.

          At some point a bus-boy type person arrived at the table with the fiancé's bread. It was something called "the bread plate" from the appetizer menu which appeared to be sliced hogie rolls with sliced olives at the end? It was weird looking, arrived long after we couldn't eat the entrees, and it was sent back.

          The waitress finally arrived back and looked surprised at our full plates and even more surprised when we didn't want a to-go container. She made some mention of taking the bread off the bill and we finally left.

          What a waste of $50. Complete and utter waste of money and time.

          1. I dine at Max's regularly. The food is outstanding. But it is not a small plates/tapas establishment. There are typically 8 or so salads and apps and another 6-8 entrees.