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Friday, June 19, 2009

Dinner Report: Mr. Cod, Part 5 (and Final I might Add)...

I owe a huge apology to the numerous people who left comments on my first review of Mr. Cod. You can see the original post and all the negative comments here, followed by my first review and all the negative comments here. In all honesty, we had a relatively good experience the first time around and just assumed that the rest of you people were screwed up. As it would turn out, we were just lucky. So, sorry.

I came home from work this evening and suggested to my wife that we go and give Mr. Cod a second go round, especially considering that they have been in business a full month, but also because we were really impressed when we met the owner. The owner and his wife are trying so hard to make the place a success and if you encountered them at the store, you would want them to succeed.

So we went in and there was a couple in line in front of us, and several other customers who had ordered ahead of them and were seated waiting to get their orders.

I have to admit that I was somewhat put off by the man ordering in front of us. He wanted the person to explain to him how the "chips" were cut. Let's be clear: chips is fries. You don't need to know any more than that. Yes, the Blokes cook theirs to a slightly different consistency, but in truth, they are just fries. French fries if you want to be more specific. But this guy for some reason was trying to display his knowledge of European foods and had to point out - to a British guy who I assumed to be from the Mr. Cod franchise - that they cut the potatoes differently in Italy. WTF?

My wife and I (who in case you were not aware also lived in Italy for three years) just looked at each other. Italians have French Fries just like us. And by the way, I don't think most British people think of themselves as European, but I don't want to speak for them since I only lived there for two years and that was back in the mid 80's when "Wake me up before you Go Go" was some fine sounding music, and George Michael only seemed Gay. Anyway, I just want to point out that this sort of behavior is what the term "ugly American" is all about.

I'm sorry for that minor outburst, but I just couldn't take it. On to my less than tasty meal.

We Americans are always in a hurry. We want our food fast, but more than we want it fast, we'd prefer it to be fully cooked. Some of the complaints received from you readers who took the time to leave comments, was that the cooking left something to be desired. My neighbor for instance had a piece of fish that was burnt crisp on one end and raw on the other end (but just right in the middle, I suppose).

Another complaint was the high prices and the small size. When we went the first time, it was during lunch and we had the special, so honestly, for $5.99, we thought the size of fish was okay. Interestingly enough, I got really good sized fish this evening, but I noticed as we were leaving that somebody picked up an order, and the pieces of fish were literally half the size of my order. Unbelievable.
Oh, and this is my favorite. Several complaints from people about the napkin situation. But when we brought it up to the owner on our first visit (and as I noted in our report) they were expecting the napkin dispensers to be placed on tables soon. Apparently, three weeks later is not soon. They actually have rolls of bathroom style paper towels on each table. Egad.So on to it. My wife ordered the Fish Sandwich Combo (I think that is a #5) and it was $6.09, and comes with chips/fries and a drink. She was almost completely pleased with the sandwich. The fish was good, the size was enormous and it was served hot after a 15 minute wait.The only negative was the brown lettuce in the sandwich. A couple with an older lady came in and were seated near us and the lady had a salad. Her lettuce was all brown and the man immediately whipped out the customer survey card and started going to town, writing several paragraphs on the back of it.My wife also ordered the side of calamari for $2.99 which, if you have ever ordered from a place like Sea Island or Olive Garden, that is a pretty good price. Unless it sucks. We always know to eat the calamari as soon as it comes out because it doesn't take long for it to get chewy. By the time it got to our table, we were too late. I had two pieces and left it at that. My wife tried a few more and that was enough.

I ordered up something called the Trio Sampler Platter which comes with fish & chips, chicken and shrimp. Well, mine came with the fish, chips and chicken, but I had to wait even longer for the shrimp. And not worth the wait. It was I think $9.99.
The fish was fine. Someone had complained before that it was bland. I have to agree this time around. Though I loaded mine up with malt vinegar - a must - it was not as flavorful as I thought it should be. But still, it was piping hot and it was enough to hit the spot. My two pieces of fish were fair portions and I have no complaints about the size, though as I said earlier, the people I saw pick up the order after us got royally (no pun intended) gypped. As I said, the shrimp was worthless - same as the first time we went.What was really weired was the chicken. For some reason, I just had it in my mind that they would serve chicken fingers or chicken planks or something, not actual pieces of chicken. But sure enough, the meal came with a leg and a thigh, fried up like the fish. I think they use a pressure cooker of some sort the same way KFC does. The only problem was, in spite of the long wait, the chicken was not cooked. Now don't get me wrong; I'm not one of these people who needs food to be completely burnt to a crisp, and in fact, I have had more than one person ask me to throw their chicken back on the grill because I pulled it sooner than most people would like. So if I look at a piece of chicken and it gives me the shivers, then we have a problem.

My wife took the chicken thigh up to the counter and saw the owner. She discreetly showed him the chicken and he nearly had a cow. He apologized profusely then grabbed the cook and had words as a new batch of chicken went in.

As we waited, we finished up our chips which were sadly, crappy. One of my neighbors had complained about the chips being a big clump stuck together. We had a similar experience today. Not all of them, but several clumps along with some overcooked fries. Overall, just not good.

After at least another 15 minutes, I went up to the counter and asked for the piece of chicken to-go. In all honesty, I was done eating but my wife didn't want to leave without the chicken considering we paid almost $10 for it. If anything, we would give it to the dog.
When we got home, I opened up the container and the chicken looked very good on the outside, and in fact, I pulled the skin off (I wouldn't want my dog to get high cholesterol or anything) and ate it. Then, I started to cut into it so I could put it in the dog dish and my wife saw blood again. That was it.I'm sure Gracie would not have minded in the least, but my wife jumped in the truck and drove right back over to Mr. Cod with the bloody (no pun intended) chicken. She worked for 17 or so years in the food service industry and basically went to the owner and told him to cease and desist his chicken sales until they could get their act together. He was kind enough to give her a coupon for $5 off the next purchase of $15.00, but in all seriousness, I'm probably going to put it on Craigslist and see if I can get $3 for it. Okay, not really.

But I won't use it. I will give it to a homeless guy.

This is one of those cases where I wanted so bad for the place to be good enough for me to go there on a regular basis, but it just didn't work out. I wish the owners luck in whatever their next endeavor is, because I just don't see this one panning out.

And to those of you who called this one right from the word go, you have my sincere appreciation for trying to keep me straight! Need to go back and read all the comments? Click here.


Rich said...

Wow, guess I can scratch that place from my list. Thanks for the review. Sorry to hear it though as I was hoping they would succeed as well.

Maureen said...


I just didn't want them to suck. Even a "well, it wasn't THAT bad" would have worked. Bloody chicken? Oh, hell no. Not that I would have ordered chicken, but exactly what in the hell are they doing in that kitchen that they can't get the chicken right?

So sad. We really needed this place to NOT suck.

brenty said...

And I was feeling pretty bad thinking I might have been too harsh when I said all the negative things about M/Cod after hearing about the positive comments you posted.

Maureen, do you have another tissue? Sob

Anonymous said...

We were not happy with Mr. Cod at all! We ordered the family meal for the four of us for $35 and they negected to tell us that they were out of chicken. They took our $35 and after 30 minutes they brought out four pieces of fish and four baskets of fries. That is all!! They came over and said that were out of wings but that they would substitute some fried chicken. They lied!! They were all out of chicken and knew it when we ordered!! I think we waited for over an hour while they kept coming to tell us that it would be a little while longer. Finally, the owner came over and apologized. He told us to come back another day and we could order anything we wanted and it would be free. We are not going back, not even for "free" food.

Dave said...

They probably quit serving chicken after my wife read them the riot act!

derekmarc said...

hey dave, have you ever tried Neptunes on the Southeast side?

derekmarc said...

If case you haven't and want to, the directions are simple. Get to 37 and take 37 south going towards Brooks. Get off at Pecan Valley Dr. Make a left at Goliad St. and drive about 1/4 a mile and it'll be on the right.

I tell you, you won't regret it.

derekmarc said...

Get off at Pecan Valley Dr. Go left towards Goliad Rd. Make a left at Goliad Rd. and drive about 1/4 a mile and it'll be on the right.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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