Last Friday night, I went with a group of 6 friends to the Prairie Grass Café. We arrived on time for our 7:30 reservation, we were hungry, we brought money, and we were ready to eat! We had heard great things about the restaurant and I had looked forward to this all week. Here is a timeline of our evening:
7:35 -- We were seated, and our waitress asked if we would like to order some appetizers. We did, and they were delicious! We thought we were off to a great start. During appetizers, the busboy tried to serve us coffee, twice. We should have taken it as a sign of things to come.
8:00 -- We were getting anxious to order our entrées, but unfortunately we could not locate our waitress.
8:15 -- The orders are placed.
8:20 -- We are informed that they are out of Moussaka, and one order will have to be changed. We are also told that if you wish to have Moussaka, and are planning on a dinner as late as 7:30, then you should really order it over the phone when you make your reservations.
8:30 -- we are informed that they are down to one last serving of Mushroom Ragu in Phyllo Dough. Another order change, and we wait. Another bread plate is brought to the table.
8:45 -- Still waiting.
9:00 -- Bread plate #3, still waiting, and our waitress is M.I.A.
9:15 -- We seek out the Manager, as one of our friends has to leave and needs her dinner to go.
9:16 -- Our waitress appears and informs us that we did not have to speak to the manager; our dinner is taking so long because placed our appetizer order separately from our entrée order. From our collective experience at dining establishments, we believe that it is standard protocol to order appetizers prior to entrees, especially when the waitress asks the question Would you like to order any appetizers?, but perhaps they do things differently here.
9:20 -- Our dinners appear. They were really, really good, and not just because we were really, really hungry! Our waitress again tries to explain to us how the 1 hour, 45 minute wait for our entrees was our fault due to our separate ordering of appetizers and entrees, and twice ordering things that were on the menu, but all sold out. We are not interested in discussing the excuses any more, so we ask to speak to the manager, again. The manager appears over 10 minutes later, clearly not concerned with unhappy diners. He explains to us that the chef had to make the Mushroom Ragu in Phyllo, from scratch. Furthermore, he explains to us how difficult it is to roll out phyllo dough. I do not claim to be a famous chef with a four-star pedigree, but I seriously doubt that anyone was in the kitchen making phyllo dough from scratch. And we were previously told that they were down to the last serving of this dish, which is why we had to change one of our orders! If they were making one, then they would have been able to make two. Liar, liar pants on fire! At this point we inform him that all we want is for him to take responsibility for the hour and 45 minute wait, and apologize for the mistakes of his staff. He told us he would go to the kitchen and speak to the chef. Upon his return, he offers us one free dessert, but NO APOLOGY! One member of our party points out that he is looking at 6 unhappy customers who are going to go back to our friends and tell them about our negative experience at Prairie Grass Café.
9:40 -- We are kicked out of the restaurant by the manager, who now tells us that he is the owner.
If you are still reading this, the point is that the Prairie Grass Café has good food, but not so good that it makes up for terrible customer service! We will never be back.