Just a head's up to anybody interested in heading over to the critically-praised Maggie Brown's in Fort Greene...if my experience this past Friday is indicative of the norm, beware of weekend nights.
My girlfriend and I entered Maggie Browns just before 9PM. They were packed - I'm guessing they seat about 35 or 40 people with room for 10 at the bar?
The manager told us it would be quite a while for a table for two. When asked whether any of the bar patrons would be vacating their stools for a table any time soon, he told us that it was a good bet. We decided that we would be more than happy to eat at the bar, and decided to get a cocktail and wait for a couple of stools to open up. A few minutes later, we were able to sit down and that's where our experience went South in a hurry.
While the bartender was sweet and friendly, she was ultimately inattentive. After she gave us honest appraisals of some of the dishes, we ordered the following: the Deviled Egg of the Day (bleue and bacon) and an app portion of Thyme-Crusted Tuna followed by a Cheeseburger (they do their with cheddar, bacon, and horseradish) and Lamb Chops with Tszaziki (sp.?). After 30 minutes passed (without a word from the bartender or deer-in-the-headlights manager), I inquired where our food might be. I was told that it was on its way out and that the kitchen was backed up by a party of six.
Ten more minutes passed without food or further update, and we decided to pack it in. The manager assured us that the food was coming (again) and that he would comp us if we stayed, but the damage was done. He apologized and told us that they only had one cook in the kitchen.
Unless someone called in sick, it is inexusable to only have one cook running the show on a Friday night - esp. when the Times reviewed Maggie Brown's only 5 weeks earlier. Furthermore, the manager and bartender are guilty for not proactively telling us that the kitchen was backed up - it should not be the customer's responsibility to have to inquire after 20 minutes, much less more than thirty! At the very least, rhe kitchen should have cranked out the Deviled Egg right away to pacify us - it was a special and I'm sure it wasn't being cooked to order!
All in all, it was an utter disappointment and that is sad because it has a great vibe, cozy design, and a fun, eclectic menu - and an excellent cocktail list.
Yet another piece of evidence as to why it's best to not eat out on weekends in NYC. It seems as though more often than not, we have a meal that is marred by incompetent management in the front-of-the-house and an under-staffed kitchen that is unable to expedite with speed and efficiency in the back of the house.