Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bad Online Restaurant Review Roundup Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Back by unpopular demand, I'm pleased to bring you more user-written local restaurant review from various sites around the web. Our first chapter in this walk through the dregs of opinion was last October, and at the time I had plenty of people tell me the idea was amusing and enjoyable. Naturally, not everyone was thrilled to bits, especially an anonymous restaurant owner who posted this comment:
Any "one" single person can flame a good restaurant, sometimes out of ignorance and sometimes out of selfish spite. Most any one of your "reviews" could be made up or done by (to be kind (a rarity) and say the least) unqualified restaurant reviewers. And if you are successful, sadly there will always be some haters. I found some of your so called "reviews" that you picked downright mean and with way to strong of words to be picked for posting.

I felt really bad for some restaurant owners. Yes mine was listed but fortunately not deconstructed or called crap like some actually were. When you bring a new restaurant to town and offer competition and more choices for the locals this is a good thing! Why not look at the thousands who vote in reader's poles for a balanced opinion?

I know from personal experience that fortunately there are many nice people who want to help restaurants here in North Idaho get better. Can't you do something a bit more positive? For every restaurant you listed a bad post I am sure that you could find some good one too. Running a restaurant (which ahem, includes giving people jobs) in this economy is not an easy task I assure you.

To which I say: Meh, get over it. Obviously, I never held the poison pen that wrote any of them, I'm just re-posting for entertainment value. I did say last time that I would balance it with some NICE user reviews, but decided that was a terribly boring idea. Now let's get on with it, shall we?

Azteca, Cd'A

Worst enchiladas I have ever had (no flavor and on the cool side with unmelted cheese) and to top it off, when I mentioned it to the server, he said he would talk to the manager. Then, he came back with the check and no word about the enchiladas. When I inquired, he said that was how they were and blew it off. We did not leave a tip (for other reasons too like no drink service until we kept asking). Don't waste your time or money... - Katheen S., Yelp

Beachouse, C'dA
This is a Hagadone property as are Cedars, Tito Macaroni's and the CDA Resort, and amazingly TBH smells the same as Cedars, like the inside of a men's restroom, only The Beach House also smelled like fish.

We were having dinner with out of town family. A hot July day. We were seated in the back of the restaurant in the corner at a table too small for 5 people. The air conditioning must not have been working or was turned too low and we were all sweating through the entire meal. The beer can chicken was agreeable as were my families meals but not for the prices. The very nice view was overwhelmed by the heat, the smell of bleach or cleaning agent, and my having to hug the corner of the table. - MikeB., Yelp

Uh-oh, here's story of a review gone south. After a full day of white water rafting, we arrived hungry and tired at the Beachhouse in Cda. Why did we go there? Well, we went there last year after rafting. I rewarded it a 4 star experience on my previous review. Based on that, it was unanimous we were making this a tradition and would be back on the deck with crab legs, mallets and bibs. We got right in and had a great table on the deck overlooking the marina.
What this? A new menu? No Seafood Pot? Confused we asked our waiter, what gives? He explained a few changes. New menu, new employees, new chefs. We thought about moving on, but we were hungry and ordered something new.

Meh! It was just okay. At the beachhouse, all those NEW changes made us OLD customers. Its spendy, and we can do much better in Cda. Needless to say, were looking for a new tradition apres rafting. - Laurie R. Spokane

Beverly's, Cd'A
We were less than thrilled with most aspects of Beverly's. We ate there last night and they weren't that busy, but we were still neglected. The manager made a snotty comment when the suggestion was made that we were surprised Bookwalter wines were not on their extensive wine lists as they are an exceptional Washington wine and they have many. Exotic meat appetizer was very enjoyable as was the Venison chops, but when they advertise "rack" be advised it means two, not four or eight . . . hardly a rack for $44. The sides are exotic and not particularly enjoyable. Root veggies turned into this conglomeration that resembles a bitter mashed potato dish. The three types of duck dish was far from satisfactory. Desserts were adequate only. - CowboyBo, Trip Advisor
Caruso's, Hayden
“Got so sick I missed my meetings for 2 days. I called the restaurant, said too bad the meat was rotten and the beer was flat the employees were very rude.” - John, MyTravelGuide

Cedars Floating Restaurant
Not only is the food mediocre and overpriced-but they charged me twice for my meal. Gave me the run-around! I had to call my bank to get the money back! Thank God for Wells Fargo-I'd be out $100!!! Hands down the worst experience I've ever had! - zlata1983, Trip Advisor

Absolutely pathetic portions and there is very little originality to the dishes. I have been to this restaurant on numerous occasions for many different reasons not of my choosing and have never had a satisfying meal. Very disappointing.

You will be paying a hefty price for beautiful views that you can only get at a few places in town but if you are hungry go somewhere else. Service is fine, drinks are fine but absolutely nothing to rave about and definitely not worth the price. - GrnEyeGuy, Trip Advisor
Iron Horse
Stopped in on our trip from Missoula to Spokane last week (after reading about how great the crab cakes were on this board). Bartender/waiter was wearing big old baggy shorts with his underwear hanging out. Fly was half unzipped. Grungy shoes with no socks. Carried his order book down the back of his pants. Blech. Bathroom was disgusting. Doors don't latch and half falling off. Toilets didn't flush (finally, after the third try, which explains why the toilets in the other four stalls weren't "clean"). We had one drink. No way I'd eat there. Can't imagine what the kitchen looks like. *shudders* -Karol221, Virtual Tourist
Jalapenos, Sandpoint
Once you carve your way through a thick mat of cheddar cheese you eyes just might find the Mexican in this food, but honestly I can't believe they really have this stuff being made by people from the land of it's origin. This is the most "White Guy in Khakis" Mexican food I think I've ever had. - fleshtonegolum, Trip Advisor
Japan House
I am a sushi lover. Japan house has the worst sushi I've ever encountered. The rice was dry & undercooked, the seaweed wrapped around the rolls was chewy, and it was $8 for an order of tempura greenbeans. Their idea of an "order" is TWO BEANS!!! I live around the corner and was soooo happy to have sushi coming in within walking distance of my house. I'd rather walk across the street to the MouseTrap and have deep-fried mushrooms. - idbarrelracer, Trip Advisor
Las Palmitas
The food here is good, but we don't go often because the building stinks, the service is slow and the prices are higher than what we like to pay for this type of food. - yankee_canuck, Trip Advisor

We live in Coeur d'alene and work downtown, so we're familiar with many downtown restaurants. We used to really enjoy Las Palmitas (cabbage salsa, food value, atmosphere), but unfortunately it has gone downhill in the past few months. We finally had our "last straw" visit recently. Here is a quick recap of the last few visits.

1) SMELL. When you walk in the front door, it smells HORRIBLE, like a urinal. Thankfully, the smell wasn't too bad in the actual dining area, but after visiting the bar last week I found that the smell was even worse there. (When you walk in, you go to the left for the restaurant seating, OR to the right and down a couple of steps to the bar area).

2) SERVICE. a) they are skimpy on salsa and will only bring one small dish at a time b) TWICE now, they have served everyone at the table EXCEPT me, with no explanation or ETA. The first time, I sat there a good 10 minutes before FINALLY getting my food. The second time wasn't quite as long, but still odd and annoying.

3) FOOD QUALITY. I've had wonderful steak carnitas and other large plate dishes in the past, but the last couple of times the meat has been poor quality - REALLY fatty and rubbery. My kids have been served burgers on buns that were mostly FROZEN, and finally

4) on a nice night last week some girlfriends and I wanted to have some margaritas and nachos on their deck. Well ... their deck is ONLY for SMOKING customers and you can have a drink out there but no food ... Huh?

We're pretty bummed, but we will be crossing Las Palmitas off the list of possible places to eat and sticking to Toro Viejo or Mexican Food Factory downtown. - Idahogrrl, Trip Advisor
Long Bridge Grill, Sandpoint
A bit long in the tooth. Hasn't been updated since the '70's. Smells bad. Mostly local drunks hang out here. - Idaho Supd S., YelP
Outback Steakhouse
We have now been to the Outback in Coeur d'Alene for the last time. We are retired on a fixed income and do not eat out very often. This was to be my choice for my birthday dinner. I remembered the delicious prime rib dinner we had once before, so I picked Outback. This time, the meat was cold, and flavorless! The best part of my dinner was the baked potato~ who can mess that up? My husband chose french fries and they were hard, as if prepared early, then heated in microwave; they were also cold. Another member of our party had a floverless steak, better off his own grill. None of us complained because we didn't want to ruin the rest of the dinner for the others - Stoneridge_Resident, Trip Advisor

Everything else nearby was closed so we went to the local Outback. We were familiar with the chain so we knew what to expect. They always over season (usually too much salt) the meat which helps hide the fact that they are using cheap cuts of meat. I always feel I have overpaid whenever I leave an Outback. - jimborooney, Trip Advisor
Pizza Hut, Cd'A
I probably should have known better than to try out a nostalgic classic; early childhood memories of Book It, tasty personal pan pizzas and delicious bread sticks should have been left alone. However, on our way back to Montana, rather than stopping for another greasy Burger King meal next door, we decided to hit up Pizza Hut.

M! I! S! T! A! K! E! Admittedly, our vapid, clueless, high school dropout of a server was our main issue, but she singlehandedly ensured that I'll never set foot in a Pizza Hut again and should be fired. We arrive at opening, 11 AM. -Seated at a booth with a giant rip across the width of the seat. -15 minutes passes before she takes our order -15 minutes after our order is taken, I have to get up out of the booth to ask for our drinks (there is ONE OTHER TABLE in the restaurant) -No utensils in the salad bar - am forced to use a fork from the table -No paper towels in the bathroom (upon telling the idiot waitress, she hands over some napkins and DOESN'T PUT ANY MORE in the bathroom) -ONE HOUR LATER our food arrives (we suspect she didn't even input it until 30 minutes after we were there, as she kept wandering around lazily, chatting with co workers, and finally went over to the machine) - husband's pizza has cheese on it even though we ordered it without. Now we have to wait another 15 minutes to get his. -Someone in our party goes and complains to the other staff, who seem apologetic but say they can't comp us for anything as the ticket was already punched in. WORST EXPERIENCE EVER. - KimC, Yelp
Paul Bunyan, Post Falls
“The place was empty. The air conditioning was cranked up so high, that it felt like 32 degrees in there. I think they turned it up, so the staff would be comfortable but for a guest sitting down eating, it was so frigid that I was shivering. The worst hamburger I have had in my life.” - Judy, My Travel Guide
Scratch, Cd'A
The menu and atmosphere looked good from the front door so we ventured in to give it a try. The food was good going down. We had the twisted philo dough with pesto (delivered late) and it was very tasty and nicely presented. Then came the spinach house salad...again very tasty and nicely presented. Then came the fried calamari. This was not served with any lemon so I had to ask for some. It was a pretty good size amount of squid on one plate as an appetizer, but I’m guessing that it was not cooked all the way since I woke up at 1:30 in the morning severely nauseated blew out dinner into the toilet…It tasted good going down, but not the second time around.

The main course was fish for me and steak for my wife. The steak looked a little raw in the middle and burnt on the outside. There was plenty of black on it which does not appeal to me. I don’t like the taste of the charred food stuck on my grill…I scrape that junk off and throw it away…maybe it appeals to some, but not me. The fish I had was tasty, but the portion was extremely small and artistically displayed. Fancy looking food is not a priority with me…I care more about taste and portion…it did taste good, but was nothing to get full on except for the fact that it was very saturated in some kind of oil which made you feel full on a small amount of food…which probably added to the indigestion and chumming later that night. After blowing over $100 on a “nice” dinner for two…I will definitely SCRATCH this one off my list…I’M NEVER GOING BACK. You’ve all been warned…there is better tasting more affordable food elsewhere that you won’t have to taste a second time. - Buck222, Trip Advisor
Shari's, Cd'A
We were VERY unhappy with this restaurant. The prices were high, the food was terrible....the service was nonexistent. We went out for a casual dinner, not expecting much... and received much less than that. -MattKayPhotography, Trip Advisor
Subway, Hayden
My kids stole a bunch of drinks and chips from this location without me nor the employees noticing. It was really an accident; my kids assumed I was paying for them, and I wasn't paying any attention.

While we were eating, I needed something, but the employees had run off to the back (to get high or something?) and I couldn't get anyone to come out at all. I could have taken the cash register home with me by the time they came back.

My husband ordered a toasted sandwich, and instead of making it for him so it would be warm, they let it sit on the counter while they made the other 5 sandwiches we ordered So then I got to listen to my husband complain about how much his sandwich sucked. In the end, I wished we had gone somewhere else. - Spessa M., Yelp
Thai Bamboo
We have been in the restaurant once and have ordered take out 5-6 or times. The restaurant experience was not the best. We had a young, well behaved baby with us and the server wanted to sit us in the corner near the kitchen to "keep us out of the way", in his words. The restaurant had about 4 occupied tables as it was only 5:30 in the evening. one star for that!

Take out has been, by Coeur d'Alene standards, pretty good up till this last time. Disclaimer is that we are from San Francisco (amazing ethnic food) and have been to Thailand. This last take out experience, and unfortunately it will probably be our last, was very underwhelming. It tasted like some important ingredient was missing but neither of us could put a finger on it. - Kathleen S., Yelp

Thai bordering on inedible. Ignoring warnings from several friends, I gave Thai Bamboo a try. I received bright red Pad Thai and a dry, crumbly fried tofu appetizer. I ate a few bites of each and pushed the plate aside. The emo kid serving me asked if I was done. I told him the food was terrible to which he replied, "Will there be anything else?" I threw a few bucks on the table and left. - Ian M., Yelp
Tito Macaroni, Cd'A
Five of us for dinner. Salads and soup came right away but main entrees took forever even though the restaurant was not crowded. Chopped salad had lots of lettuce and dressing and that was about all. Chicken Parmesan was overcooked and Seafood Fettuccine had very little seafood and was tasteless. Will not go back. I'll stick to the Olive Garden.- norsun, Trip Advisor

We spent an afternoon in CDA with some relatives who were visiting and we decided to try Tito's. This according to our relatives was probably the worst food that they have ever been served in a restaurant. Service was pathetic, pasta overcooked, bland and they didn't drain the water off of the plates, burnt pizza, etc etc etc. You could not PAY me to eat there again. - Stephen Z., Yelp

There's a reason why they put a bottle of wine on the table for you to serve yourself--the cheerful, 'cute' and inattentive waitresses are most likely capable of only serving about one thing an hour. And like Laurie said--the kids get to make pizzas probably for the same reason....come to think of it, perhaps someone's kids made my dinner, too. Looked like it--tasted like it. - Nobody M., Yelp
Wine Cellar
Owners brag they have been to Europe. They must not have been paying attention. My pasta dish was terrible and I even asked them nicely to not overcook it. The pasta was mushy and tasteless. The worst pasta I have had in years. They asked if I wanted something else and I ordered a salad and they charged me for it! My wife's food was also very mediocre. I asked to speak to the manager and the manager never showed up. Not very responsive to say the least. - MercuriMan, Trip Advisor

This is a real hole in the wall, dimly lit with low ceilings, and the smell of old food, old wine and old carpeting. Maybe it's a good thing the place is so dark, that way you can't see how dingy and dirty it is. But even the dim lighting can't hide the dismally dated decor.

I was told this was fine dining in Coeur d'Alene. Obviously the locals don't get out much. This wouldn't be fine dining anywhere else in the country. The menu was dated and the choices were terribly ordinary and poorly presented. The food quality and cleanliness was suspicious, therefore, some of our items were left uneaten. The service was "folksy" at best, chaotic and unprofessional overall. And to think all of this was served up at high-end prices. Really, this is a place to be avoided. - for_real_bay_area, Trip Advisor

Don’t come here for anything but the wine selection and music. The food is terrible and over-priced, and the service was rude at best. My husband and I went there for a New Year’s Eve four course dinner-and it was understood that we would be staying there to ring in the New Year. We were served cold, raw food. Oddly, each course was served before we had barely finished the last. After the dessert was served, the waitress handed us the bill while we had a half of bottle of wine left to drink. The bill sat on the table, as rude glances were given to us by our waitress.

The place was packed, and we had people standing over us, waiting for us to leave. I spoke to the waitress and told her that we were told by the chef when placing the reservation that we could (and were expected to) stay until midnight. She responded by telling us that we had better order more alcohol (we still had a half of a bottle), and she would do us the favor of letting us stay. I’m not sure what kind of turn-around the owners want in this restaurant, but don’t go here unless you want to blow $100+ in less than 40 minutes, and you like to be rushed and treated rudely. - mwstudio, Trip Advisor
Zips, Cd'A
I leave 1 star for the worst... we ate here and found hair embeded in our burger... we told them... we didn't even want our money back... they laughed at us and said "what food doesn't have hair in it... we have two hairy guys cooking!" I was appalled... threw all our food away and will NEVER be back... this is not the first issue with zips... they are all pretty dirty and bad. - Brandon M., Yelp
Zips, Sandpoint
Zips is the fast food joint for people who think McDonald's is high cuisine. Their specialty fish and chips could only have been helped by a FEMA grease pit cleanup and a complete re-hydration of what was supposed to be fish inside. When I say they were bad that is being kind. The burgers are so limp and lifeless I am not entirely sure the meat came from a living being. I ended up here twice out of sheer desperation and both times wished I had just gone hungry. To add insult to injury they now have pictures posted on their sign of the burgers and they do not even have the common decency to put up a quality shot. The pictures look worse than the real burger and that was hard to do I bet. I beg you, do not go into this place. Either go to Dub's down the street or go home and eat a cardboard box. You will thank me. - Jason S., Yelp

1 comment:

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