As you will recall from our Pulitzer-nominated review on Murad’s, we enjoy their burgers so this restaurant is in our regular rotation. Daniel had a hankerin’ for a Blue & Gold Burger so he was pushing for Murad’s. Since he’s been traveling so much with his real job, we thought it was only fair that he pick the location on his only day in town all week.
Ask us now if we regret that. For that matter, ask Daniel!
Our sometimes dining friend, Terry, has been taking his lunch from 11:30 to 12:30 and found the restaurants were less crowded, he got served faster, and there were better parking spots available upon his return to work. We agreed that seemed like a great idea so on this fateful day, we departed promptly at 11:30. Daniel came into our hallway bellowing: “You’re not standing up! You’re not cresting the doorway!” in an effort to get us moving and out the door.
Sure enough, there were only a handful of other patrons seated when we arrived on 35th Street. Our server greeted us with friendly banter and placed the menus before us.
When she came back to take the drink orders, she immediately began cutting on Daniel and the Arnold Palmer that he insists on ordering EVERYWHERE. He said he wanted an Arnold Palmer and followed that statement with the description of the drink in the same breath. Our server made sure to tell Daniel that she not only knew what it was and how to make it, she makes it better than anyone else. She explained the drink construction when she brought it back to him and pointed out the lemon wedge on the rim of the plastic cup. (One reason this is so amusing to the group, is that only minutes before the Drink Incident, Daniel was cutting on Terry for his pronunciation of “pilaf”. Daniel was laughing so hard, I thought he might wreck the car.)
Three others ordered sodas and after inquiring of the price of said sodas (our server replied “somewhere between $1.65 and $1.85”) I had to choose water according to my Soda Policy. What’s with that anyway? Did she honestly not know the price of the sodas? Come on. They aren’t printed in the menu, and then the people that work there can’t even tell you how much they cost.
Three blue & gold burgers, a hamburger, and some kind of hoagie (Phil) were ordered and our server continued her friendly banter. It turned into irritating banter when she interjected in Daniel’s rambling about how much he enjoys watching Hannah Montana and the Wizards of Waverly Place while attending to the table behind us.
The food took a while and the soda drinkers were never offered a refill. Not even after the food came. All the plastic cups were empty and we were sucking air. This made me doubly glad I did not violate my soda policy….Pepsi products AND no refills wouldn’t have been worth it.
Everyone enjoyed their burgers, the fries have been going downhill over our past several visits and today Misty’s were so salty they were inedible. Still no offer of refills as we devoured our food. And at the point we were all finished eating, we were just at the hour mark. We needed to wrap this up and head back to the office.
Daniel mentioned to our loquacious server that we had a We Save card and Phil and Misty asked for drink refills in a to-go cup. She returned with the to-go cups and our checks….WITHOUT THE DISCOUNT. When Misty mentioned the oversight we were told “If I had known about it before I split the checks I could have given you all the discount.” What??? I could see Misty’s “poker face” clearly showed her irritation. She heard the refill request but didn’t hear mention of the We Save card? Even with Misty waving it around as Daniel spoke?
Our server assured Misty she would take the discount off her total, but only hers. We had been waiting so long already to get our checks that we really couldn’t afford to wait another 15 minutes to get a $.50 discount so we chose not to press the issue of the discount. Turns out, we had to wait forever anyway.
Is this a case of selective hearing or staff training? Do the restaurant owners purposefully train the staff to ignore empty cups thus saving a whopping five cents per person in soda cost? Do they purposefully make it so painful to redeem a discount that people simply give up and pay full price?
We were thankful to get out of there. It was an exhausting lunch, not the refreshing mid-day break you hope your lunch hour to be.
On our way back to work, it was clear Daniel didn’t appreciate the server schooling him on his new favorite drink obsession. I am sure Terry was secretly enjoying it, though.