I have a Friend (sure, you've heard That One before). She owns several restaurants in town. As a challenge, she stumbled upon a unique opportunity to take ownership of an ethnic themed restaurant for little to nothing. One Problem...
Frogs Can't Bake Chicken
My friend lives the American Dream. An immigrant, entrepreneur, she is an honor graduate -- magna cum laute -- of Hard Knocks University. Her restauranteur skills are impeccable. Yet frogs can't bake chicken. The new venture has an ethnic-specific theme; her cooking expertise is as far away from the new restaurant's theme as california is from new york.
Eating Out is an Almost Real Job
Determined to make a success of the new free enterprise, she asked for my help. The favor, "Mystery Shop My New Restaurant." "I Want a Full Report!"
Off I go; invited a friend that has a palate for this ethnic-specific haute cuisine. Arriving @4pm, the place was like a ghost town, High Noon at O.K. Corral. One would have thought that Jesse James was coming to town. I talking GHOST!
The Restaurant Experience
A lovely young female server greets and seats the two of us. Her name is Silvia; she is 16 years old. Her smile is Powerful! Two Thumbs Up -- my friend and I render.
"What's the special," he asks. She recommends the stuffed alligator. NOT...
The special was less exotic (not wanting to giveaway the restaurant's theme -- someone might recognize it). Usually, I post customer service experiences and restaurant reviews on YELP dotcom. That would be too public; the review would not have been very flattering.
The 'Help' were busy cleaning and mopping the floor. I wanted to meet the cook/chef, but was told that he was too busy. Busy? There were no patrons there except me and...
We order -- fast forward, 20 minutes later, the food arrives. I order chicken.
- Chicken was cold
- Chicken had NO FLAVOR
- Tortillas were store-bought; were not compatible with enchiladas (too thick)
- Guacamole -- good, yet missing cilantro
- Cheese -- American...was not the authentic ethnic variety
- Flavor-Deficit, Flavor-Deficit, Flavor-Deficit
The bill for two entrees, although gratis, was rather steep. Not sure if I would have paid as much. maybe, if the flavor was more...
- Customer Service * A+
- Food & Flavor * B-
- Price * C
- Location * A+
- Serving Time, Order-to-Plate *D+