Written by  ,     September 3, 2010     Posted in Business, Restaurant, The Lighter Side

We recently returned from vacation. Since I was a kid, we have always camped on Marthas Vineyard with many family friends. These days we rent a house. Sandy, hard, damp tent floors are ok when you’re, well, a kid, but now that we’re spoiled…not a chance. (Not to mention the luxury of gas grills, roofs vs tarps, non stick pans, feather pillows vs rolled up towels, dry clothes and dryer sheets vs damp clothes and mildew smell, bathtubs, etc)

And then, at some point along the way, our children became less interested in watching whales than watching those in whale pants, so we rented in the Edgartown Zip code! (outskirts darling…near the bless’ed dump!!)

For those of you unfamiliar, Edgartown is like a mini “wannabe” version of Nantucket. The Yachting set: blazers, stripes, white pants, alligator shirts, big straw hats and Chanel. “Honestly Charles, shan’t we call for the driver?”

It was a great week, all in all. But, in two trips out to dinner in Edgartown, nights we weren’t eating the clams we dug ourselves or the giant lobster rolls from the church where they sell for $13.99, we were again disappointed by the failure to deliver and a reputed restaurant with a healthy price tag.

In another blog perhaps, I will talk about the challenges (magnified) in running a seasonal restaurant, but in this blog I will say this; Both the Harborview Hotel (“Water Street”)and the incredibly busy “The Atlantic”, formally The Navigator, are falling short!

Water Street; The waiter finally showed up. He was sweaty. And nervous. He forgot a course. He filled the sparkling water with still water. He then filled the white wine with still water. He then took over 15 minutes to deliver a 2nd glass of red wine. His “friend came over (head waiter?) and said “Hey, how youz doin’?” (No, seriously) “Your guys new, so I’m just checkin’ on him. Anything you need.” While he was talking, he was scratching under his arm pit. We wondered if it was a comedy routine.

The food was good. We had fun anyway. The waiter was to be forgiven because he was new, and he was nice. He meant to be good.

On the last night, we went to the hopping, swank, chic, cougar-rich atmosphere of The Atlantic, where a live band played inside (“Turn the Beat around”), and a skunk kept wandering onto the patio outside. (Where the girls from the Wedding shower kept shrieking, leading OUR girls to surmise that by the looks of all the Lilly Pulitzer dresses, not too many skunks were seen in their gated communities growing up!!)

After a warm martini, I struggled to choose between the $17.00 Chili (“Hollywood recipe”) and the $18.00 Kobe Beef Hot Dog with home made ketchup. Which sucked) OK…yes, I am spoiled. Here’s the thing. I could have had a burger for $12.00 (reasonable for Edgartown) or a not so ridiculously priced $32.00 Steak. (Even Outback has a $32.00 steak) But, in my mind, I get challenged. If you have the balls to put an $18.00 Hot Dog on the menu…blow me away. (or…well…never mind)

They didn’t. The hot dog was overcooked, and dry, and had no distinguishable flavor beyond “dry hot dog”, the roll was “day old”, the home made sauerkraut was cabbage, the home made ketchup seemed like a squishy tomato got tossed in the blender, the waiter did not know what “Oak aged” meant when we inquired about the house Chardonnay, one waiter shouted to the other across the room, while he dragged furniture around for a re setup, John’s Tuna was dry-dry-dry, the lobster salad on a salad was lame….The fries? EXCELLENT. (Same exact ones we serve at Cobblestones and Moonstones) And, both of these “top rated”, over priced restaurants fell way short of expectations. I’m just sayin’.

Once again, we were better. I am spoiled rotten, maybe. But, I’ll tell you this if you are still reading;

If you see ANY OF THIS in our restaurants, SPEAK UP PLEASE!!! Ask what Oak Aged means. Please. Let me know the answer. splath@cobblestonesoflowell


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