Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blu Star Grill - more of a half star

So the title intrigues you huh?  Well, there are two aspects to every restaurant... front of house and the kitchen.  I can assure you the kitchen carried the visit tonight.  Was it bad?  No.  Was the food good?  Sure.  Was it what I expected?  Sorry, but no.

My wife had eaten there a couple times prior and had thought we could go as a family tonight.  We entered and after a few seconds we were greeted with a "be with you in a just a minute".  We heard that two more times from two other people.  At some point it became a few minutes.  The waitress we would have came over to seat us and as we followed her, she handed off menus to the owner and said something to him.  It created a pause and we stood waiting for direction.  Who do we follow now?  Well, sure enough, it was still her.

The restaurant has a few tables going with two servers and a host/owner on the floor.  We ordered our beverages and reviewed the menu.  My wife had mentioned there were some organic foods as well as other healthy items (bison being one example).  One thing she mentioned was a Blackened Salmon on a salad.  To my surprise, not on the menu nor a specials board.  I continued to look down the menu and just wasn't getting the vibe I hoped for.

Our daughter is a salad lover - so picking the Cobb with chicken tenders on it was an easy choice.  The salad dressing choices are eclectic, but lack some staples.  She loves Blue Cheese and it was not on there.  She lost interest in the salad and looked at other items with disappointment.  As the waitress returned, I asked if there was any Blue Cheese and she said they have it.  Why then leave it off the menu?  These are laminated single pages!  Put what you have on the menu.  I ordered the Cobb as well with the Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic dressing.  My wife ordered the Strawberry Fields salad (comes with grilled chicken).

While we waited for the food just looking around.  The decor is neat and clean.  Nice details to pull the theme together.  A TV on the wall in dining room with ESPN on seemed out of place.  It's more common these days, but not needed here.

The owner was floating around quite a bit.  It appeared he knew someone at the table next to us.  They received a considerable amount of his attention - we didn't even get a head nod or "how are you" thrown our way.  The other waitress spent a lot of time on this other table too - my beverage sat empty, and the finished plate hung out at the end of the table for far too long.

A couple more tables came in and he made an effort to help with the larger one.  The rest of us were left to our rookie staff.  That's really what it boils down to.  The wait staff lacks the leadership and customer skills that a seasoned team would have.  The owner, Nelson, appears to come from a corporate environment and not the restaurant world.  I love an adventure - and he is on one - but he needs a skilled leader in the customer care business.

Now the salads were plentiful.  The dressings were great, as if home made.  The food is certainly not a concern.  If the folks delivering it take away from the experience - the food will not make up for it.  First things first, get the menu right and teach it.  I wanted a salmon salad dang it.  I wasn't going to ask for a custom order.  I had to pay an extra 50 cents for extra dressing on my wife's salad.  I would be afraid to get a custom salad order.

Will I go back?  Most likely.  Will I settle for below average service?  Not likely.  Will I get a salmon salad?  I don't know if I can afford it.  I guess we will see.

 Blu Star Grill on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Talk about bad service. Guess they deserve half a star.