Had a meal at Maroon last nite, and its fair to say it was quite disappointing...
Last nite after not really being able to think of a good cheap option for dinner on the UWS for 4, my friends and I revised our plans and on the advice of two people in the group who had eaten there before we went down town and ate at Maroons. Maroons is a Jamaican/Southern eatery on 16th street between 7th and 8th avenue. This does not, by the way, mean that it was some type of fusion between the two which probably would have been interesting. Rather, the menu was structured nto two distinct catagories, "Southern" and "Jamaican"
When we got to the restaurant, and navigated through the thick odor coming from a group of smokers outside (It is a Jamaican restaurant so I suppose that type of smoke is to be expected) we were greated warmly by the receptionist. We did not have a reservation, however the host told us that when our fourth member arrived we would be seated right away. This was where the night took a decisive turn for the worse. When our guest did arrive and we informed the host, she told us she would get right on it. We ended up waiting outside for about 20-30 mins while she "got right on it" It appeared that there were a couple of free tables outside and quite a few tables inside, however we assumed they were reserved for someone, which was why we were not offered them( I never saw them filled).
When we were finally seated after much diress, it was next to the bathroom and literally right under an air conditioner that jutted out of the wall. I suppose we were literally seated in Siberia! Our waitress took our orders, and basically left us alone for the rest of the meal. No refills on drinks, no asking how things were. When we were served the wrong drink we had to go to the bar ourselves and change it because there was no one in site. It thoroughly soured our entire party.
The meal itself was nothing special. I thought the cornbread and grits were pretty good, but the salad, ribs, and patties that my friends got were pretty boring and uninspired. I also felt that the dishes were fairly expensive for what you were getting (standard soul food type fair). We did talk to the hostess about the service issues, she was cordial and brought over cornbread for the whole table (which we didnt really want, our meal was basically over) and it was really a case of too little too late.
The meal definitely left me with a hankering for good inexpensive soul food, the kind that you can get in harlem and beyond. Its safe to say I wont be back.