Restaurants & Bars 12

Pastosa - Manalapan - My Disaster this Weekend

angelo04 | Apr 29, 200801:54 PM

I am very fond of Pastosa fresh ravioli. They also have great meat/deli stuff. Always got stuff from there growing up in Staten Island. Needless to say I was very pleased when they recently opened here in NJ.

My Father In-law is Greek Orthodox, so we celebrated Easter with them this past Sunday. We hosted 14 people. Roasting a whole lamb (Think big fat Greek wedding movie) is not foreign to me but it is a lot of work, a pain in the arse IMHO and I think I can do better with a leg of lamb with a lot less fuss. As most holidays go, my wife takes care of everything but the meat. That is my department. Went to Pastosa and ordered a boneless leg of lamb and requested that it be tied to my rotisserie stick for my charcoal Weber BBQ. The owner/person in charge, Mike said no problem. Went in Sunday Morning when they opened. They brought out my special order and to my surprise they got a whole entire lamb. I said this isn't what I ordered. The owner came out and of course said this is exactly what I ordered and proceeded to blame my wife whom was not present and didn't place the order. At this point it is 8:35 AM and I have a 14 people to feed at 2:00. There is no sense in losing time arguing with this jerk. Anyone who has cooked an entire lamb will realize, I am in a really tough spot. I can walk out and not serve my guests the planned lamb dish. Instead, I pay $225, take it on the chin, and try to make the best of it. I get home and as I suspected, this thing is too big for my BBQ to accommodate. I call Pastosa and get this Mike Guy on he phone. I said, I'm not calling to argue who said what but recognize, I have a brewing disaster on my hand, you need to butcher this entire lamb into manageable pieces for me. He obliges albeit with a poor attitude. I go back, someone comes and takes the lamb into the back and proceeds to butcher it.

Here is the kicker for me. This Mike guy stayed and hid in the back, made an appearance for 2 minutes while I waited and did not even look me in the eye. He didn't apologize for the situation or attempt to do or say anything to make the situation better. He was only concerned with not getting stuck with a $225 piece of meat. I'm pretty easy, all he had to say was I am sorry for any mis-understanding blah blah blah. He lost a customer. I will never shop there again.

While I won't suggest that anyone reading this post not shop there as I can't deny they have great products, I would avoid placing any special orders. This guy has poor listening skills and zero people skills when a problem arises. My only fault is I didn't get the order in writing. That doesn't excuse the owners poor attitude or the way he handled this.

In the end, dinner turned out well, but it was far more stressful and required me to be at the grill for a good 2 hours. Dinner got started around 3:30 instead of 2:00, not terrible but certainly not the way we planned the day. All this while trying to manage my 4 and 2 year old. Thankfully we survived.

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