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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Follow-up Dining Notes: Ruby Tuesday...

I have mentioned previously that we really enjoy this new Ruby Tuesday in Alamo Ranch, and we are especially fond of the salad bar situation there. But like so many of you have found from reading here, it is always possible to hit a restaurant on a bad night. That happened to us Friday night.

I don't really want to dwell on it because we have been pleased enough with other experiences that we can afford to blow this little incident off as bad timing, but it would be wrong of me to post multiple great reviews of RT in AR without sharing this with readers. Right?

So we go in around 5:15 and are immediately seated by a hostess. On the way to a table, we are greeted by a manager and we noticed several servers all over the place. That is one of the things I like about Ruby Tuesday; they seem to have an assload of servers ready to, you know, serve.

We sat down and began looking at the menu, decided what it was we wanted to order, then sat and stared at one another. For at least five minutes. My wife was facing the main gathering area for all the servers and she would make eye contact as waitstaff walked by and they would smile at us as if to indicate they knew we were waiting and they'd be right over. Nope. They were just smiler's I guess.

So I really hate to be a whining customer anywhere, but most importantly in a restaurant and especially when I have not received any food. My preference in situations like this is to simply get up and leave, then let them wonder what happened to the people sitting at the empty booth. But, I really wanted the salad bar. My wife, who has no problems with asking for her food to be spat upon, asked me if I was going to handle it or if she needed to make a scene.

I got up and found two guys standing not a booth away from us but facing the other direction shootin' the breeze, and I ask, "Say, are any of you guys waiters?" The more experienced of the two responds politely, "Yes, sir. Can I help you?" "Why yes", I say pleasantly, "do you think you could take our order?"

And that was it. Both guys, apparently a trainer and trainee were at our table, taking drink orders and our dinner order, apologizing profusely for the oversight and encouraging us to hit the salad bar at our leisure.

By the time we got back from the salad bar (which is wonderful - in case I hadn't mentioned it before), our drinks were being served and all was well.
By the way, my wife ordered a bowl of the broccoli and cheese soup. It was wonderful.

I had ordered these little mini Buffalo chicken burgers to go along with my salad and I didn't bother to take pictures. They are what you would expect and I thought, really good. Throughout our meal, the waiter team would come back to make sure we didn't need anything else, almost to the point of overdoing it.
But I just couldn't get my mind off the fact that I had complained and that is a solid recipe for foreign objects in the food. Then I bit into something that didn't feel like a tomato skin. I pulled it out of my mouth and set it on the plate. Really, it was no big deal. I was mostly relived that my foreign object was not a booger. Instead, it appears that I got part of the packaging from the french fries or the Buffalo chicken. Actually, with the sauce, it wasn't bad.

I know there are many of you readers who would have contacted your lawyer by now, but really, if you've ever worked in a restaurant kitchen, you would know that this sort of thing is just one of the hazards of cooking in a fast paced kitchen.

Of course, we were done eating and somehow, the overly attentive waitstaff went back into stealth mode because we waited and waited to get the check brought to our table. Whatever.

Like I say, I look at something like this as sort of a luck of the draw kinda thing. I'm sure a hundred other diners went in to Ruby Tuesday in Alamo Ranch last night and experienced wonderful service, foreign object free food and had the check within a minute of being ready to go. Now if it gets to be a habit, we'll have to move on to the Red Robin, BJ's, BWW, Logan's or any of the other fine places in that area. It is wonderful to have so many choices.

Do you have any stories about finding junk in your food? We'd love to know about it! Use the comments button below.


frankvw said...

I've had a similar experience at this restaurant. We've been there twice and the first time we waited 10-mins before I talked to the hostess about getting someone to wait on our table. When the waitress arrived she did an alright job at keeping glasses filled and being around if we needed something. Since it was late (approx 8pm) and not that busy I actually thought the service could have been better. The second time we went (because the wife and I were craving the salad bar) the service was fine. We went to the Zios on I-10 and De Zavala for lunch today and the service was much more polished. The manager even came around and was joking with our son and checking to see how everything was...which is always a nice touch.

Albatross said...

... we waited and waited to get the check brought to our table.

Whenever I find myself in this situation I start heading for the door. Amazingly, most times the waiter shows up pretty quickly with my check.

About Your Host

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San Antonio, TX, United States
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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