A Boomerang to the Gut-Boomerang’s

Boomerang’s – Newpointe Shopping Center, Clarksburg, WV

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Tracey says…

Wow. We just had a meal experience so thoroughly bad that I ran out to the car to write this before Dan even finished paying the bill. Well, actually, paying the bill did take a very long time. When our server disappeared (again) and we tried to pay the cashier at the front, she said she would not be able to take our money because it was “too complicated.” The cashier. Said she couldn’t. Take our money. I mean, this experience was so bad that it hurt our feelings.

What we’re talking about here is Boomerang’s. Just imagine what it would be like if you combined Shoney’s, Bennigan’s, Outback, Hibachi, and Bob Evans…. Yeah, imagine that. Why would you do that, you say? We don’t know either! But, it makes for a good story.

Samples from the "Walkabout Cafe"

Samples from the "Walkabout Buffet"

So, sit back. Relax….. Let us take you on a trip around the world. We’ll start right here in America– where we love a buffet. Here at Boomerang’s, they have named theirs the “Walkabout Buffet.” They should have named it the “Walkout Buffet” because if I would have looked at it when we came in, that’s precisely what I would have insisted that we do. However, by the time the girls finished in the bathroom, Dan already had drinks ordered. So. There we were. I looked at it and knew with a fair degree of clarity that we would be seeing it again later. There was some sweet potato something on there that might have been left over from Christmas Dinner. It looked like it probably had been sitting right there on the bar since then too.

Quality Control?

Attention to detail?

That wasn’t the only time I wanted to insist that we walk out. When our server came back 20 minutes after we had picked what non-dried out morsels were left on the bar (at 6pm!!!) to ask what Dan had ordered again, I was ready to cry. And this time what made me stay was “train-wreck” phenomenon. Meaning that I was actually curious to see how much worse it could get.

The 4PM(?) ham at 6PM...

The 4PM(?) ham at 6PM...

OK- but back to the world tour. We were told that tonight’s special was 2 full meals (apparently of a few select options) for $14.99 so that’s what we decided to do. (Sounds like Logans) He told us that since our kids were under 8yrs old, they could eat for free. I never saw this message anywhere on the menu, so if you are nuts enough to go there after I explain our experience, don’t be surprised if you don’t get that deal. The only vegetarian options were spaghetti and fettucini alfredo. Italy!!! So I picked spaghetti. Alas, it would be hours before we laid eyes on that dish. The Bennigan’s inspired Toddy Chicken (Ireland- that’s three!) was not offered in this deal.

Autrailian Spaghetti...

Australian Spaghetti...

Prime Rib

Prime Rib

Dan chose the gourmet option of prime rib. And onion rings. When in Rome, er…. Australia….er….. well– you know what I mean. I have to pause to tell you about stop number four on our cross cultural extravaganza. While we were painfully waiting and waiting for the entrees to come out, we were excited to see a man wheel a big cart of ingredients past us into a side room where he proceeded to make “shrimp on the barbie” on a Hibachi style grill. Are you keeping up? Boom! Australia and Boom! Japan! At this point, I was reduced to hysterics. The girls were screaming, “what mommy what mommy?” as Dan and I wiped our eyes from laughing about the flames shooting from the onion volcano in the room next door. When we heard the clinkclinkclink of the salt and pepper shaker against the spatula, I expected a shrimp or two to come flying by as someone tried to catch it in the air.
Oh! I almost forgot to mention that our server brought a drink to the table next to us and when then asked him what it was (as in, is that his Dr. Pepper or her Pepsi? he literally held it up to his nose and sniffed it real good before proclaiming that it was her Pepsi.

Restuarant or Gift Shop?

Restaurant or Gift Shop?

And as all this fun and frivolity was going on, my kids were begging to shop in the “Boomerang Gift Shop” which was a Bob Evans/Cracker Barrel style offering of WVU and Marshall merchandise right next to the bar (smoked up sweatshirts baby!– time to get a jump on my shopping for next Christmas!)
If this place had been clean and well-run, I would have thought I was at Epcot with all the cultures represented and complete with a gift shop. This experience, however, was definitely not magical.

I have to give it NO FORKS FOR YOU!.

Dan says…

7685294Time to be constructive.  At Boomerangs the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. What does that mean. Taking pieces of all your favorite restaurants and squeezing them into one is not a recipe for success.  It dilutes your brand. Pick a concept, focus on it and do it better than anyone else. An Australian theme is cool. Boomerang’s is a great name, but the menu makes me the think the owners research on Australian cuisine and culture was watching Crocodile Dundee.

If I managed this place I would:

  • Lose the buffet, but add a larger salad bar
  • Lose the Hibachi grill (sell them on e-Bay), but carve roasted meats in the dining room
  • Put together a good collection of Australian wine
  • Serve fish and chips (Australia was colonized by the British)
  • Focus the menu on the grill or barbecue
  • Lose that gift shop. It’s tacky.
  • Focus on quality control

That last point is critical. The lettuce was brown.  The one onion ring I got was crunchy on the inside. After tasting that one I was glad the server messed up and brought me a baker instead of an order of rings. The food was dried out on the buffet. I am not exaggerating.  I do not believe that the management would have eaten off the bar when I was there.

I will not be repeating this culinary error ever. NO FORKS FOR YOU!

Clarksburg, WV 26301

(304) 326-0310

Boomerang's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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25 responses to “A Boomerang to the Gut-Boomerang’s

  1. Wow. Maybe they call it “Boomerang” because their food comes back around. I hope not, for your sake. yecch.

    Maybe this will cheer you up: I had a rather ditzy friend who decided that she wanted to take a trip to Australia for the sole reason that she liked the food at Outback.

  2. Since my parents live in Buckhannon and Ron’s dad lives in Grafton, we are in the Bridgeport area quite frequently. I have often wondered what Boomerangs would be like.

    After reading Dan and Tracey’s account of their experience I almost want to go there just to see it for myself. Ron would have a great time heckling them.

    Tracey- did they have a bloomin’ onion sort of appetizer on the menu?

    Stanton – are you trying to tell me that Outback’s food is not authentic Australian cuisine? What about Olive Garden? I wanted to go to Italy to eat Garlic Chicken con Broccoli and breadsticks. damn. ;-)

  3. demosthenes.or.locke

    Did Boomerang’s have Ronsagna?

    If you aren’t familiar with that recipe, its chef boyardee with cheezits in it. Sounds like it would fit in on your buffet with the dry aged ham.

    Clarksburg has some decent places to eat but they are all out of the way mom and pop type places. Lots of mixed opinion on the wonderbar steakhouse.

  4. Hey D.O.L: Are we Lost? Try the new 4th Street in downtown Clarksburg. It is great! Lines even. See you back over at hippiekiller!

  5. I have eaten at several good places in Clarksburg.

    They had Lasagna but no Ronsagna.

    I got to wonder when we will get to read the demoblog.

  6. demosthenes.or.locke

    Thanks Jolene. Haven’t tried 4th Street, but haven’t been back in clarksburg lately.

  7. Yikes! This post makes me happy that I have absolutely no reason to ever visit Clarksburg!

    Great narrative!

  8. Julio’s in downtown Clarksburg is great with excellent service. I also enjoy Oliverio’s in Bridgeport.

    Ronsagna is hilarious.

  9. Pingback: Critical Critics — How Novel « FIFTH COLUMN

  10. I live in Bport and although Boomerangs is not tops on my list, I have ate there on more than one occassion and have found everything fine.
    GOD BLESS
    BUDDY

  11. If you’re in that country, why waste yer time??Muriales is the only place to eat in the Tri-county area(monitor the tri-county area on your CBs; Mr Blues is gonna louse up, and when he does, he better hope the cops get him first)
    Honest to goodness, my brother and I would drive from Charleston to Fairmont just to eat there.
    He moved to Memphis, and we’re going to get Rocco to Express Mail him some sauce;a feller could get tired of Bubba-Q for breakfast…

  12. Maybe it would be a more interesting place to eat if they offered kangaroo steaks, emu egg omelettes, and koala-kibabs.

  13. I agree with DW – Muriale’s is a great place to eat. I love their bruschetta appetizer in particular.

  14. C’mon people–Muriale’s is great, and so is Julio’s–walk through the bar to the dining room in the back. Julio’s is a timeless jewel–great service, great food, great place.

    Why ever expect anything from these fake places like are in this review? I mean, really???

    For lunch there are few places better than the BLUEBIRD store and its fried chicken. Mmmm. $5 will get you a delicious lunch. Just don’t sit in the smoking section (very back of the place)–yuck.

  15. How do you know if a place is a “fake place” before you go there and waste your money? Are there tell tale signs we should look for?

    I try to find reviews of a place online before I go there to help prevent culinary disasters. If you can’t find a review, then what do you have to go on?

    I appreciate the tips from people about where to eat in the Clarksburg area since I travel there several times a year.

  16. I think there are telltale signs–having a “theme” without anything of substance to back it up, a gift shop with the usual crap in front, and any place generally too eager.

    I didn’t mean to ruffle feathers, but when I tell folks about finds in Clarksburg/Bridgeport like Muriale’s, Julio’s, the Bluebird, they’ve often never heard of them. These places are genuine and aren’t trying to put on a show, just good food.

    One recommendation–skip trying to find reviews online, unless your location (like Morgantown) is a place that has had, maybe, something like a “36 Hours in … ” piece in the NYT.

    Better resource for finding that great place that everyone doesn’t know about: asking locals. Ask around among people who live there and they can usually steer you in the right direction.

    Good luck!

    • See the beauty of this blog is that we are “locals”. We may live in Charleston, but I travel the whole state. I am typing this response from Farmington. I have eaten at everyplace that you mentioned but Bluebird and I’ll get there too.

      Trust me. We will get to all those places and I’m sure not everyone will agree with our opinions.

      I like the Dolphin Room, too.

  17. Scooter from Marion County

    Stay away from this #hithouse.
    It made me puke.

  18. I ate there once, right after it opened.
    BIG mistake.
    I was sick (nausea, diarrhea, you get the picture) for 3 days.
    S T A Y A W A Y !

    -

  19. I am excited to see people discussing our dining in Clarksburg. We have alot to offer, of course I am partial to my own establishment, but we are new and having to earn our reputation which if I do say so myself is top notch so far. But there are many hidden gems..Wonderbar, Julio’s, Parkette, Clique Club, and of course now 4th Street….and don’t forget PJ Kelly’s is reopening soon!

  20. Quite frankly I find this review RIDICULOUS! Obviously every restaurant CANNOT satisfy others. & just because ONE person has a BAD experience don’t criticize for others may enjoy it including myself. I’ve been to Boomerang’s SEVERAL times & NEVER have had a bad experience..There all you can eat Prime Rib/Crab legs special is WONDERFUL! My server has always been very prompt & attentive. The manager came around TWICE & asked how our meal was.

    & to the person writing this review..If you think you can run a restaurant better..open one..Until then don’t criticize :)

    • ??,
      I see that you enjoyed it so much you are willing write a non-anonymous comment. Oh wait…you didn’t. You must of not liked enough to put your name on it. The pictures of my food speak volumes for the effort the management is putting into their establishment.

  21. I invite you to come to 4th Street and enjoy a wonderful experience and if it is a good deal you are looking for we have “Early Bird” Mon-Thursday from 4pm to 6pm for $12.99 hi quality food, great service and atomosphere and your children are welcome as well!

  22. Just wanted to let you know that Boomerangs and Shoneys are together “at last” in Clarksburg. Really – no joke in that same location/building!

  23. I have eaten at Boomerang’s and the service was excellent and food was only average. The chicken strips are exceptionally delicious if you do go…I am not lying here. Clarksburg definitely has some hidden gems…I agree, Bluebird is yummy, Wonderbar and Julios are delicious if you can afford it. 4th st. I hear is pretty good as well. If you’re in the mood for Pizza, Goodfellas (might be closed) is delicious and Vito’s is one of my favorite pizzerias on the planet! “The Village Idiot” sandwich from Marino’s Bros. in North View is a MUST! Dan and Tracy, I sure think you could have constructively criticized this establishment with less snark; although, I do have to agree with the cheesey-ness of this establishment.

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