The Worst Service We've Had in NYC Restaurants This Year

absentmindedwaiter.jpg
From The Absent-Minded Waiter
In Zachary Feldman's review of El Vez, he pointed to numerous issues with service that had a major impact on his meal. But this Battery Park City cantina isn't the only restaurant in New York suffering from hospitality problems. Fork in the Roaders eat out nearly nightly, and we see a lot of bad behavior. Here are the most egregious examples of bad service we've seen so far this year.

El Vez, 259 Vesey Street
Like the table mentioned in Feldman's review of El Vez, my party was set upon by our server while our host was still handing out menus. My party had requested and received patio seats with our reservation, but when we showed up, we were told the patio came with an additional 30 minute wait. Undeterred, we had a margarita at the bar until the table was ready. The hostess dropped us off and, before she'd walked away, our server came over and asked if we were ready to order. We told him we needed a minute since we'd just been seated, so he remained at our table, filling our water glasses, while we continued talking, our menus still untouched. Before he walked away, he said, with an impatient hand gesture, "So, are you ready now?" I'm not sure, do I have x-ray vision?

At the end of the meal, he asked us, "Anything else? Coffee? Dessert? A tequila shot for your server?" We laughed uncomfortably, and then he said, seriously and expectantly, "No, seriously. It's been an extremely long day." You're showing us too much behind the curtain, dude.

Jack's Wife Freda, 224 Lafayette Street
Against better judgement, my group decided to brave the Sunday brunch line at Jack's Wife Freda. I got there first, and there was a massive queue of people just waiting to put their names on the list. The hostess was clearly frazzled, but instead of dealing with the hordes, she was ignoring them completely. A group of her friends rocked up, saw the line, and said, "Oh, this seems like a bad day to try to attempt this," making it clear to everyone within earshot -- a dozen people or so -- that they'd just arrived. She stepped by the waiting parties, leaving them to languish, and had a lazy conversation, which ended when she declared, rather loudly, "No, no, it's okay, I'll just seat you now." Hosts -- it's you're prerogative to let your friends and VIPs skip the line, but do you have to be so obvious about it? We went elsewhere. I was afraid that I would yell at her if I had to talk to her. This is why people hate brunch.

Cascabel Taqueria, 1538 Second Avenue
Upon biting into a delivery order of chicken tacos from Cascabel Taqueria, we found ourselves cracking into the entire hilt of a drumstick bone chucked in with the braised meat and scallions, and we also discovered a few other smaller bones. Alerted to the issue and asked for a replacement order of carnitas, the restaurant's initial response was, "Can't you just remove the bones and eat it?" They eventually delivered the carnitas, but not until we'd sufficiently convinced them of the choking hazard.

Hamilton's Luncheonette, 51 Bank Street
The schmoozy, older host at Hamilton's Luncheonette hit on my mom and jokingly (but not jokingly) shamed us for not ordering enough.


My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
joey_2191
joey_2191

When did the Voice turn into a bunch of bourgie stuck up white people complaining about not getting what they want and how they want it? 

joey_2191
joey_2191

If you get bad service everywhere you go, you're the problem, not the service

christopher.whann
christopher.whann

These places sound wretched, but clearly you have never been to La Marina on Dyckman Street. It's not just the sucky service, but the withering disdain with which we were treated...and when I wrote to their manager on email to explain how problematic the service was, the message was roundly ignored. We had to wait over a half hour to be seated when there were lots of empty tables, I assume because they were waiting for more important guests. Then it was 45 minutes for a glass of water, the wrong meal was delivered to my companion, and it was mediocre to obnoxious treatment the rest of the evening. 


slanguage
slanguage

This is one of those articles where you realize that sometimes people who like food should stop at critiquing dishes.

Chris Potter
Chris Potter

Not sure if this is a first world problems satire. If not, people suck.

lkay2325
lkay2325

The Leadbelly! My friends and I had an absolutely horrendous experience. We went for oyster happy hour and ordered a decent amount of various oysters and other food. There was a live crab in the oysters. Fine. When the bill came, we noticed we had been charged the regular price for the oysters. We asked our server and he told us that only a certain kind of oyster was part of the happy hour. We put up a fight because no one had ever told us that in the first place, even after we specifically said we were there for happy hour. The waiter went on to tell us that WE were costing HIM money because we weren't paying what the oysters cost. He was BEYOND rude and definitely didn't have the "customer is always right" attitude. He eventually lowered the price but didn't apologize for anything. I will not be bringing my business there anymore.

Madison Elizabeth Mettling
Madison Elizabeth Mettling

Can you do an article about the terrible customers service industry workers have had to deal with? Represent both sides of the spectrum. :)

Ryan_from_Brooklyn
Ryan_from_Brooklyn

Worst I've had was at La Mela, in Little Italy. The waiter repeated hit on my mom, even after we had made clear that he had crossed the line from charming to offensive. My dad gave him a 15 percent tip as a result - wildly under his average - and the guy crossed out what my dad wrote to give himself an extra $20. My dad is a fanatic about keeping receipts and checking his accounts, so he discovered this instantly; the owner admitted to the subterfuge and made a big show of refunding the $20 -- not comping the meal or firing the waiter, even though changing receipts like that would seem to be illegal. The food wasn't bad, as I recall, but it is the only place in the city I tell people to absolutely not go to.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...