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Thanksgiving @ the Del Coronado - food 7 ... service 0

Stanley Stephan | Dec 1, 200311:50 AM

Or could I give a negative number for service.

I chose the Coronado because they were recently sold and the new management has given notice to all the employees. If they want to stay, they have to reapply for their jobs.

This led to a protest by the employees who said they were what made the Coronado such a special place. So I thought I would try the place before the changing of the guard.

Some of these people SHOULD be let go. I have never ... never ... had such inept service. And to be inept serving a buffet is pretty special.

The food was a notch up from many buffets. The odd thing was that the selection wasn't extensive, just big. So there was a huge silver platter that took up a quarter of the salad station, but all it had was shrimp. The only other cold fish was some lox. Very good lox and shrimp though.

Huge dessert table, with over 50 plates, but only eight desserts ... walnut pie, pumpkin pie, flourless chocolate cake (yum), unidentifiable mousse, black forest cake, hot bread pudding, ginger pumpkin cheese cake and pinapple chunks and strawberries to be dunked in melted chocolate. Ok, there was a plate of truffles in there near the strawberres.

All classy and executed nicely, but not as varied or extensive as other places I've been.

Excellent cheese tray with lots of Northern California cheese that I'm familiar with (which the deli at the hotel sells). The turkey was free range but everyone agreed was a little dry. I don't think the chestnut stuffing was a good choice either as many people are not that fond of chestnuts.

There was a pasta station and salmon for vegetarians of various persuasions.

Going back to the lack of variety, there was only one type of dinner roll. There MAY have been cornbread, but it was so hard, almost of cracker consistancy that I passed.

So food, decent enough. I didn't feel cheated. Ambiance, nice. There was a harpist playing from the balcony. BTW, there are two rooms if you ever go. Don't choose the Crown Room (where we were). The other room has a better view.

Back to the service ... non existant ... I had to ask for coffee five times and still never got the coffee. No effort was made to check on filled water or beverage glasses. Other than the first inquery of if we wanted drinks, no one ever asked if we wanted another glass of wine. From the hotel's point of view, they must have lost quite a bit of money. We would have ordered more drinks if we could ever get a waiter. Even so, our first round of wine wasn't served until we were half way through our first plate of salad.

Plates were not cleared when we went from salad to dinner to dessert. We had to call waiters over to celar the plates. No ... no ... no ... Not when you are paying $66 bucks (mandatory tip hiked this price up ... not to mention taxes)

The HUGE, HUGE problem was billing. They charged my card 72 hours before dinner ... incorrectly as it turns out. My original reservation was for four. A week before, I changed it to three. I was charged for four.

When we arrived, the hostess mentioned a reservation for four. I said no, three. I asked her to check about billing. She said to take it up with my server. My server said we were being charged for three. I later figured out that he got this from the hostess, not my actual billimg. They refused to give me an itemized bill, as the charge had gone through 72 hours before dinner.

Calls on Friday get this resolved went unanswered. I didn't get a call back until just as I was finishing this post. Seems everyone in management took the day after Thanksgiving off. I did attempt to esculate up the ladder as I had unanswered calls. I gave up after three people didn't answer my call.

A final zinger. One of my party was disabled. A call prior to arriving to inquire about parking resulted in the valet parking attendant saying he wasn't sure if there was a handicapped area in the parking lot. However, a valet could park the car if we wanted to pay.

I would chalk some of this up to Thanksgiving, but I've had the same inattentive service on another visit to the Del Coronado.

Perhaps the new management will be better about training the staff. Until this point I was sympathetic to the employees. I have never crossed a picket line in my life and never intend to. So I am highly sympathetic to labor issues. However, the staff at the Del Coronado did nothing to make me empathetic to their plight.

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