Sunday, February 27, 2011

More Brawley for you - Shoals Saloon & Grille

Our last Brawley visit was not so hot.  In fact, this is where I wanted to go that night and ended up in our own Brawley Crawl.  Shoals is in that Bloom plaza halfway down Brawley.  Well placed in my opinion.

It's Saturday afternoon and we are met at the door by - no one.  I am not  fan of the "please seat yourself" sign, but we found a cool booth and sat.  Why don't I like the sign?  Two reasons:  first - we have never been here before and would like to be welcomed; second - what if we and three or four groups sat in the same section within minutes?  That would create a server issue of being too busy at once.  Notice to all restaurants:  Greet and seat at all hours.

We found cool booth off to the bar side, it was like a small lake cabin.  The entire motif is very lake cabin-oriented and well decorated.  It really was fun to look around.  As I looked over at the bar, someone took the time to think of TVs up in the cabinetry inside the bar for the patrons to see, rather than turn or look at a wall further away.  Well done.

Our waitress (Toni) was a classic New Yorker that found Mooresville.  She was kinda funny and asnwered some menu questions easily and honestly.  I appreciate honest servers.  If every questions you ask them ends in good or great, they are probably lying or you are at a 2 Michelin star establishment.

We ordered a wedge salad, burger special, grilled chicken sandwich.  As we watched the others around us, we saw a man delivering/expediting and I had to know more.  His name is Bill, he is a manager, and unfortunately - he did not make things smooth.  The role of the expediter is to ensure that all of the food is prepared, assembled and garnished as ordered.  I watched him deliver food a couple of times that had to go back for wrong assembly.  Our burger was not medium, but mid-well and had regular fries (ordered sweet potato); the chicken sandwich was missing the bacon and side of BBQ sauce; the wedge salad was missing the dressing on the side.  Our waitress knew and handled promptly, but if he took the time to check, he would have known as well.  I observed him deliver a salad with the wrong chicken on it to a table a few away from us.  By the time it came out correctly, they decided to pay and leave.

We enjoyed our food, enjoyed our service, and certainly enjoyed the place.  It is a definite return.  I know they have made some changes in the management, but I have to add my two cents and say that they may not all be good.  If the expediter is delivering food, they must be very detail oriented.  Re-dos cost time and satisfaction.  To see several during our visit (Saturday lunch) is a shame.  Imagine a peak time re-firing and re-doing several orders.  You will implode.

By the way, disregard the pricing indication on Urbanspoon for being $$$ - someone really got that wrong.  The menu is loaded with $7.95-$10 items, with some entress around $12-14.  The prices are very competitive and the portions certainly met/exceeded our expectation.  I would call it a "Like" based on overall, but would love to see a few tweaks in the coming weeks.  We will go back on a busy night and see how that goes.

Shoals Saloon and Grille on Urbanspoon

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