We found ourselves in the area of St.Michaels and Tilghman Island yesterday, and decided to stop into Bay Hundred, right at the drawbridge to Tilghman Island, for dinner. In anticipation of this day trip, I had poked around various area restaurant websites. When I came across the site for Bay Hundred I decided that it'd be a good place to eat because chef Mark Chew was someone we had gotten to know when he owned a couple of restaurants in our local Kennett Square, PA/Hockessin, DE area. But what a disappointment this turned out to be!!!
The first thing I noticed as we were being seated was that food remnants of a former occupant of my seat had to be brushed off my chair, and there were french fries on the floor alongside. After we placed our order I headed for the ladies' room. The outside door was out of kilter and impossible to close; inside, there were discarded paper towels on the floor. On my way back to my table, I stopped to mention the poor condition of the restroom to the hostess, who seemed not to care a bit.
As we waited for our food to arrive, we were swatting flies away. One landed in my husband's water glass and drowned. When the waitress came by, the uninvited critter was pointed out to her. She apologized, removed the glass, and didn't come back with a new glass and water until she was asked for it. Yes, we should have left right then and there.
But then our meal arrived. We started out with a crab and artichoke dip to share. The chips that accompanied the dip were hard and stale. Our salads were skimpy and consisted of little more than a couple of pieces of iceberg lettuce, one small wedge of tomato, and two red onion rings.
Of the four of us dining (and I use the term VERY loosely), three ordered rockfish, ordinarily a good choice on the Eastern Shore where it's typically fresh and nicely prepared. One of us had ordered the rockfish stuffed with crabmeat; the other two ordered their fish broiled with lemon and butter. The three platters that were brought to the table were identical, except that the one that was supposed to be stuffed had a scoop of a crab-something mixture alongside the fish. Each plate had two flavorless, boney filets, cooked so dry as to be inedible. Also on each plate was a scoop of something that maybe was supposed to be Spanish rice -- can't really say for sure -- it was just plain awful, and, in any event, a weird accompaniment to the fish. The fourth member of our group had ordered lobster ravioli. That came bathed in a thick, tasteless sauce that was supposed to be Alfredo, but I know Alfredo sauce, and this was NOT it.
This was one of those meals that had me wishing I was somewhere else -- anywhere else, and the feeling intensified with every new dish that arrived at the table. Oh, and not surprisingly, the waitress never came by to ask how everything was. I don't know that I've ever walked out of a restaurant because of a bad first impression, but I can tell you that I'll pay closer attention to my instincts in the future. I eat out a lot, and I know I often overlook small faults because the larger picture is generally positive. But I can't think of one positive thing to say about this particular dining experience. And by the time the check came, we were just so happy to be leaving, we didn't register a detailed complaint about the meal. My thinking, rightly or wrongly, is that when ONE thing is bad, it's worth complaining about; but when EVERYTHING is bad, it's clear that the restaurant management just doesn't care.