Concordia Ale House - Our first "Bad Service" tag-ee...

Our blog has long loved the Concordia Ale House. Not loved. LOVED. Which is why this is hard to say.

I may never go back.

In my opinion, food is half of the restaurant experience. The rest is composed of the various experiential points that make a place worthwhile. Price, ambiance, and, of course, service.

JLowe and I arranged, tonight, to meet at Concordia Ale House for dinner, at 6:45, with our wives and kids. We arrived at the appointed time and were seated promptly.

Then began the trouble. About 3 minutes later, JLowe's neighbors, a group of about 6 altogether, arrived and were seated on the other side of the restaurant. At that point, there was one open table remaining, and every other table was full. Shortly after, some other people were seated at the open table.

Typically busy Friday night, in my opinion.

We watched the two waitresses make the rounds, serving beer and drinks and food to the other tables, and continued to chat amongst ourselves. I decided I would have the Firehouse Burger and a Naughty Nellie beer. My wife decided she'd have chicken strips with Buffalo sauce. We decided between the families that the kids would split a grilled cheese. I don't know what JLowe and his wife were going to order, but they'd decided as well. The menus were closed and put aside, and we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After about 20 minutes of waiting, we started watching. The people after us had been served. The people at the table behind me and my wife were chatted up and served by the waitstaff, as were the people at the table behind JLowe and his wife. We continued to watch as the large party off to our left (the wall was to my right) was addressed. An empty table outside was bussed.

JLowe waved his menu in the air, to the chagrin of us all. I sat, with my back to the remainder of my party, just trying to make eye contact with a waitress. JLowe talked to his neighbors, as a waitress was at their table, and made sure to mention that we hadn't been served yet (and the waitress looked towards our table).

Still, nothing. About a half hour, without water, without beverage, without food, and with waitresses actually looking at us and passing us up.

In my opinion, this is absolutely unacceptable. Even at the cheapest, crappiest franchise places, the wait staff knows to at least say "be right there" or send some water your way. We didn't even get the courtesy of a "hi" after being seated.

Thank God Cannon's, one of my favorite places, was nearby. After a half hour, we took our good legal tender there, while JLowe and his wife grabbed some stuff from New Seasons. We went back to their house and ate our food there.

So, what do you think? Would you go back? Frankly, I don't know if I will...


Anonymous said...

what would make you people wait that long without someone from your party going up to a manager or seemingly responsible staff memeber and ask for service, maybe you had some odd table of two servers' confused the ownership
did i miss something in your blog? if you love the place why did you sit there and not demand service?

J__Lowe said...

...because we didn't want to be rude.

Anonymous said...

I have similar experiences on more than one occasion and consequently have not been back for over a year.

nick said...

why would you worry about being rude to people who are obviously being rude to you? just sayin.....

Rick Hamell said...

Having worked in the food server industry I do not put up with bad service myself. I'll give the benefit of the doubt for lack luster service, and I'll way over tip for great service. But no service? That turns in to a place that gets blacklisted in my book. There are too many other great places in Portland to eat at to waste time on it.

Anonymous said...

Did ya smell funny that day....?


The Angry Jew said...

Well all I can say is that you are far more patient then I. After 15 minutes, I would have asked to speak to the manager, after 20, I would have found him myself, and after talking to him, I would have headed out the door and slipped him my card and told him to check out my site...I write a review or two myself.
Never worry about being rube, when you walk into any establishment, there is an expectation of service. If you don't receive it, any good manager is going to want to know and correct the situation. If they don't...well then, as you said, your tender is best spent elsewhere.
Keep up the great work.
The Angry Jew