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ROCKENWAGNER - POOR MANAGEMENT

Stopped by the new Rockenwagner on Wilshire near Barrington to take-out some lunch. They discontinued the turkey sandwich I usually get so I ordered a new salami combo on a square flat-bread. It was a bit cumbersome looking and more than I wanted to eat, so I asked the server if he could cut it in half, before wrapping it up. He said, sure. The manager then chimed in and said they could not cut it. I asked how it was possible that the place did not have a knife. She said the knifes were in the kitchen (accessible through a large opening less than 5 feet away). I asked if it would be possible to cut the sandwich in have in the kitchen. She said "NO". I thought she was kidding and asked if she was serious. She said that was management's policy during lunch. By the way, the place was 2/3 empty. All I could say was "wow, ok. Thank you." It will be my policy not to return.

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  1. Are they offering free parking in that building on the N/E corner of Wilshire and Barrington?

    1. Did you contact management to complain? I wonder if if there's some regulation that food can only move "one way" for sanitation reasons, but that seems like a VERY weird answer she gave to you. Yikes.

      BTW, how did the sandwich taste?

      2 Replies
      1. re: ilysla

        They have knives on the tables. The sandwich was marginal. Have no interest or desire to discuss with management. Just wanted to vent here.

        1. re: Thor123

          Oy. Sounds like a horrible experience. Don't blame you for wanting to vent and for not wanting to go back.

          I live in the area, and I've rarely seen many people in there, even at peak hrs (sometimes it's so empty in there I can't even really tell if it's open!). W/ service like this, there's not going to be in business long....

      2. Just to add to the 2/3 empty comment: they were completely empty every time I walked by after getting off the bus, around 6:30pm on weekdays.

        1. so many restaurants forget about hospitality and customer service. nothing more distasteful than being made to feel unwelcome. they should take a cue from burger king!

          1. I hear ya! I had a recent experience at the Mendocino Farms on Santa Monica near La Brea. I walked in right when they opened, I was 1 of about 3 customers. I asked for my two sandwiches to be cut in half (I was bringing them to my moms, and wanted to mix and match halves). The very sweet girl said "no problem!" I watched the procession of my sandwich being made, when the guy was cutting it I saw him whisper to the counter guy and look annoyed. A second later, I walked up to the counter to take my sandwiches, and as the counter guy was bagging him, he said in a super snotty tone "We went ahead and cut your sandwiches in half this time, but we won't do it again." I wanted to punch this kid in his stupid fucking face. When one employee tells me "no problem!", then don't make me feel like I did something wrong on this visit AND tell me what I can't do on my next visit! Ugh. My blood still boils. It's a little thing, I know, but infuriating nonetheless.

            10 Replies
            1. re: schrutefarms

              Any chance the Mendo employee was just trying to make a joke, since they already cut all of their sandwiches in half?

              1. re: SMBeetle

                My bad-I meant cut in quarters. Nah, he was being super lame. I wouldn't have cared if they girl had said no, it just sucked because I felt reprimanded, when in reality I had asked and was told that it was no problem. I almost felt like he wanted me to apologize. It was weird and left me with a bad taste in my mouth (which was then washed away by the awesome pork belly banh mi).

                1. re: schrutefarms

                  Yeah, I'd be annoyed too. FWIW, the Mendo mothership has good customer service in my experience. I sent an email politely griping about the shrinking amount of proteins in my recent sandwiches, and they gave me a pretty professional and concerned response that looped in the management of the particular branch.

                  1. re: SMBeetle

                    That's good to know. Crappy customer service will make never go to a place again.

                    1. re: SMBeetle

                      Would you be kind enough to post the email address?

                2. re: schrutefarms

                  Twice i've had a chicken incident on my tofu sandwich at mendo on third/fairfax. it happens from the panini grill. the first time i called and told them about the chicken lingering on my sandwich and they sent me a coupon for a free sandwich. the second time i ate there and realized it only when i had already eaten half. they made me an entirely new sandwich (so i technically had a free half of a sandwich). i had no idea about the extra cutting up in quarters, but next time i get a sandwich there, i'm asking them to cut it in quarters just to see what happens. if they give me attitude, well, i'll just have to remind them about the two times the chicken magically appeared.

                  1. re: Clyde

                    Ooooh! Please do and report back!

                    Incidentaly, years ago I got a bagel from Bagel Broker on Beverly. I got home, took a bite, and realized they had grabbed the knife out of the whitefish spread and double dipped it into the cream cheese for my bagel. I HATE fish. Like, seriously hate all fish. It took years to recover from that one.

                    1. re: schrutefarms

                      Lol, I remember from your Vietnamese food thread and all the talk about fish sauce. Have you been successful in trying some Vietnamese food, with or without fish sauce?

                      1. re: TheOffalo

                        Haha, I probably sound like a nightmare diner based on that post and this one :) I'm not, I swear. But no, I haven't tried Vietnamese yet-only because of time restraints! Luckily, I'm spending the next week with my mother and brother, both who love Vietnamese, so I'm hoping they'll take me out!!!

                3. I frequently pass by that location and I have never seen any signs of life. I hope Hans R. didn't sign a long lease. Everything about that building is unappealing. I have never been motivated to stop and check it out. My instincts appear to be correct.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: maudies5

                    Was it the iridescent blue lighting of the BW that turned you off? ;) I guess it's better than a mound of dirt, but I think the place is a bit of an assault on the senses.

                    Wish a good chef would take over Bar Food next to Amandine. Anybody out there w/ some $$$ listening??? ;)

                  2. Was this after the sandwich was served to you?

                    Or was it to go? After it was wrapped?

                    Not that either makes a difference. This just sounds so weird. Did they off up any explanation as to why they couldn't cut it in half?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                      This is just before they were going to wrap it after removing it from the case. It was to go. The manager said it was there lunch policy. I wasnt thinking or would have taken a knife off a table and cut it myself.

                    2. Shitty or surly service drives me crazy!

                      On Wednesday, I phoned in a takeout lunch order from Schodorf's Luncheonette on York in Highland Park. When I get there, I see the sandwiches piled on the counter and I grab a few sodas and bags of chips from the adjacent self-serve bins and place them next to the as yet unbagged sandwiches.

                      I place a few bucks in the tip jar and pay the bill. At this point, all the stuff is still laying on the counter. I ask the girl, "can I have a bag for that?" She says "Yes, sir" in a way that can only mean "fuck you," puts a bag on the counter and walks away.

                      I honestly felt like removing my money from the tip jar.

                      Solid sandwiches on good bread but I'm not likely to return.

                      http://www.schodorfs.com/schodorfs_lu...

                      1. yes. a coffee shop wouldn't grind their own beans for me. I no longer go

                        1. I actually find the "no cut" policy really confusing, both at Rockenwagner and at Mendicino Farms (down the thread).

                          I mean, I can wrap my head around a no substitution policy and even a "don't change the item" policy. For example, I like hamburgers not cheeseburgers and as a result I don't eat burgers at Father's Office because I've read about their "you can't change the burger" policy. It would be easy to get frustrated by that -- how hard would it be to not put cheese on the burger? -- but I understand the chef has created a dish and feels that it's important that you eat it as he created it or not at all.

                          But a "don't cut the sandwich" policy or a "you can cut it in half but not into quarters" policy baffles me. What is it about slicing a sandwich that would cause a restaurant have a "we can't do it policy"? Are they afraid it takes too long if everyone wanted their sandwich cut? That can't be it, it takes like 10 seconds to cut a sandwich -- if that?

                          And at Rockenwagner, it's only a policy during lunch. So, at 11 am you can have your sandwich cut to your heart's content, but at 1145 no knife will parse your sandwich under any circumstances. This just seems senseless.

                          For what it's worth, I sometimes buy bread or desserts in the Rockenwagner on Washington and the service is fine -- thought I've never deigned to ask them to cut something. (I once asked them to slice a bread for me, but they said they don't have a bread slicer. I don't know how they slice the bread that is sliced -- it must be sliced somewhere else.)