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Jun 17, 2013 02:43 PM

Luke's Kitchen and Marketplace - Revel AC

This place sucks. We had an absolutely great weekend at the Revel in AC - despite experiencing the mess that is Luke's Kitchen and Marketplace.

9:30 Saturday am, we're in the mood for a coffee and breakfast sandwich to enjoy outside in the Sky Garden overlooking the ocean. Decide to pop into Luke's for a quick to go order. Big mistake.

The process at Luke's is you place your order using a touch screen menu, get a receipt, pay at a cashier, get a number and your order is brought to you.

So we proceed to wait our turn at one of the 3 or 4 touch screens and watch as the 20 something dude ahead of us can't make up his mind as he clicks thru the 30 or so ordering option photo pages studying each picture in depth. Other screens are 3 people deep waiting as well.

Finally the dude completes his order and we go thru the process. Again clicking thru 30 pages to order 2 breakfast sandwiches, a latte and a double espresso. Can't order a qty of 2 of the same item. Complete the order, get our printed receipt and proceed to the cashier to pay.

Line for the one and only cashier is 25 people deep. Nothing gets cooked until you pay. So we wait literally 20 minutes to pay as she had to edit orders for some, wait for others to decide if they wanted theirs to go, explain to others they didn't have skim milk for a latte and wait for decisions on 2% or whole, deal with others who were trying to cut the line to "just pay for a bottle of water" from the cooler (happened 6 times during our creep to the cashier). Finally we pay, get our order number, pick up our coffees and grab a stool at a counter to wait for our food.

And wait we did. 40 long minutes to be exact. Yep. We should have bolted, but we were hungry and not in the mood to find another take out option.

During our wait, it was clear what the problem was. NO MANAGEMENT in sight and the most convoluted staffing and ordering process. One cashier to handle both retail and food orders. One guy at a pizza station doing nothing as no one was ordering pizza and One guy at a grill station who was so deep in the weeds that AC's finest search and rescue team may still be looking for him.

After a while, a guy in a white chef's coat came out from the back to help the grill station cook. Whoever he was, he made the situation worse as he grabs all the orders off the rail, starts calling out what he wants and creating another level of confusion. You could see the cook go into the I don't give a crap anymore mode.

Meanwhile, three "runners" are standing around chatting because there's nothing to deliver. More people are straying in and looking confused because they don't realize the ordering "system".

Finally, we get a brown bag with 2 Styrofoam containers and our long awaited sandwiches. By this time, our desire to enjoy an outdoor breakfast was gone. We ate there while others around us stared with envy.

Thinking we caught them on a bad day, we stopped back Sunday morning around 10 for another try. One cook. One barista. One pizza dude. 3 runners. One cashier. 3+ deep at each of the touch screens. 20+ deep for the cashier line. 10 tables occupied but not a crumb of food to be seen. Truly a sad site. We walked on by.

(As always - Mussel Bar was excellent for lunch, American Cut for dinner was again great [our AC fav], Amada was good for lunch. Sting at Borgata, Buffett on the beach and two late nights that turned into early mornings were just what we were looking for!)

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  1. Sorry about Luke's but I agree that American Cut is a fantastic restaurant and is my AC fav as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bgut1

      Saturday night's center table, tomahawk ribeye, brunello, amped up soundtrack and perfect service made for a memorable evening. Simply great.

    2. F4L, hat's off to you for that perfectly written piece. Truly perfect. This week I've seen an ad for souix chef, and tira mia Sue on a dessert menu. I placed an ad for a piece of furniture on craigslist, and spotted a 15k mahogany table (in Princeton, no less) featuring "chip and dale" features. No lie. Thanks for making me feel better.

      1. lol, i was at the exact same place on that day with my 2 kids and luckily we got there 30 minutes before you. We waited about 10 minutes for our breakfast sandwiches.
        Luke's was starting to get crowded when we leave around 9:30. I can definitely imagine the ridiculous long wait since it looks like everyone working there that morning was half asleep.

        The food we got was fine. I do have a problem with the coffee I got outside Lugo's. For a $3 brewed coffee, I was disappointed that it wasn't even hot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yCf

          gotta laugh . . .

          After giving up on Luke's Sunday am we stopped at that coffee place by Lugo's - called Corso. While we were waiting in line, they brought out 2 trays stacked with really great looking Italian sandwiches and set them by the cashier to be placed in the display case. I asked for one and they absolutely refused to sell it to me - they needed to shut the line down to change over the system. No matter how many times I asked, they wouldn't sell me one.

          Seems our great luck at Revel had run out.

        2. I couldn't agree more with Luke's! Horrible experience when we were there as well. Lousy customer service, disorganized, slow, confusion... I could go on and on!

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