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Outer Boroughs Birthday

worst birthday ever at Saul on Smith Street

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worst birthday ever at Saul on Smith Street

foodnfilm | Oct 1, 2007 07:47 AM

I had the most unpleasant experience I can ever recall having– anywhere– at Saul in Brooklyn on Saturday night. After having made a reservation weeks ago for six people to celebrate my birthday, a seventh person was added to our party at the last minute. (A friend’s husband whose work suddenly freed him up.) And rather than squeeze another chair in at our table for six, we were summarily turned away.

I have no experience whatsoever in the restaurant business, but I have an idea of the amount of logistical juggling must take place in such an operation. I appreciate that. However, no matter how unforgiving the seating (the place was half empty when we arrived), I was shocked that given the choice between pulling up an extra chair or not, the manager chose to turn me away, leave me to wander down Smith Street ON MY BIRTHDAY with six of my friends in search of last minute accommodation, upset, disappointed, and very near tearful, and leave all of us with an astoundingly negative impression of Saul. I can't imagine anything would be worth that for a restaurant.

Even one of their own diners who was outside having a cigarette was more sympathetic than any one of Saul’s staff; she gave me a sad "happy birthday" as she went back inside to finish her meal. She seemed as stunned as we were at our poor reception. Personally, my jaw still drops when I think of how the situation was managed.

One last note: whoever did take my reservation originally was extremely nice. Maybe because we were a party of six, he made a point of asking "Is this a special occasion?" I imagined this implied we would have a special evening; unfortunately it only made the terrible treatment on Saturday sting that much more. Worst. Birthday. Ever.

I can recommend any number of outstanding restaurants in Brooklyn that will be happy to serve you graciously. Saul is not one of them.

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