Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Restaurant Fail: Crawfish Shack Seafood

When it comes to blogging, I try to subscribe to the old cliche, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. But I make exceptions to that rule when a restaurant botches things beyond belief. So before I launch into my rant, let it be known that I'm merely sharing my personal experience, and I am sure on another night, it might have been perfectly lovely. Now on to the good (or bad!) stuff...

On Saturday, we were eager to use our Scoutmob at Crawfish Shack Seafood. The line was incredibly long, but it was a weekend and they had a 50% off deal on, so no surprises there. We waited our turn, to the tune of at least 20 minutes, and finally ordered our meal - oysters and fried seafood po' boys. We sat down in the charm-less dining area to await our food.

We had planned on a 7:40 showing of Water for Elephants (sweet and well worth seeing if that's your kind of thing), so we were on a schedule, but we arrived at 6:15 or so, so time shouldn't be a problem, right?

You know how sometimes you reach that point where you've been waiting so long for something that you can no longer even have a conversation other than "what the hell is taking so long?" Well, after some initial chit chat, we hit that point after about 20 minutes. I mean it's a fried food emporium, not Bacchanalia, what could possibly take so long? But still I can cut a place some slack. I know many restaurants are overwhelmed by the crowds that come with Scoutmobs.

But my slack cutting was seriously waning after another 20 minutes. At this point, we were risking missing the movie if we waited much longer. When we saw a table that arrived after us get their order of oysters, we knew something was wrong.

So we checked on our order, and you know what they said? "We lost your ticket." One hour, one used up scoutmob, $25, and nary a bite to show for it. How exactly does a restaurant take your order and take your money and then not feed you for it? Of course they were willing to start making our food at that point, but the damage was done.

We got our money back and went to our movie hungry, and I can assure you that despite their offer to "take care of us" next time, that I won't be going back any time soon, if ever. There are just too many great restaurants in town to bother with a place that was such a bust. I do at least appreciate that they were apologetic, but not feeding guests is a rather significant restaurant sin in my book.

Our post-movie visit to Grindhouse went little better - despite the fact that the kitchen was still technically open, they were "out of food." While I again can appreciate that they're getting huge crowds, this also strikes me as super lame. But we didn't have to wait an hour to hear that, so we left there disappointed by not as angry.

In the end, Ron Eyester's team at the Family Dog finally fed us at 11 pm. Not quite what I had in mind for the night but it worked out in the end. Duck quesadillas have a way of taking the edge off!

So I clearly can't speak to the food at the Crawfish Shack, but I can tell you that service if highly suspect and atmosphere is in Mr. AT's words, like a Long John Silver's that's not even trying. I'm sure if I hear from enough people that the food is great, that I'll forgive and forget. A good fried oyster can erase many of bad memory, but for now, I'm still irked and will be looking for my seafood fix elsewhere.

Crawfish Shack Seafood on Urbanspoon


Tom said...

Honestly, this sounds like an honest mistake on their part. It's unfortunate, but if they were apologetic, and refunded your money, I'm not sure what more they could have done.

I've had several very positive experiences at the Crawfish shack, so I'm not sure it's fair to write a review based on just one negative experience.

Marc Schultz said...

That place is notoriously slow, which makes it even more difficult to tell when they've screwed up your meal. They forgot our sweet potato fries. And the crab was good but not as fresh as usual--bendy shells, difficult-to-remove meat. Obviously an off night for them.

Plus: only $10 off per table throught Scoutmob, also kinda lame.

We found a pretty great little Korean bakery down the road though. I think it was called Milano.

Skip said...

@ Tom - the author pretty clearly said at the outset that her rant was based on her experience and was not meant as a critique of the place as a whole. Having been there, however, I don't get what the big deal about the place is.

Adventurous Tastes said...

@Tom, I'm with @Skip on this. I clearly indicated it was just my experience, and I articulated what they did right and gave them credit for that. Also, I hardly implied that they failed to feed us with malicious intent. Any reasonable person would know that it was an "honest mistake," but that doesn't mitigate the experience.

Last I checked, most bloggers or other online reviewers do not hold themselves to the same multiple visits to a restaurant standard that paid restaurant reviewers observe, so all I can do is offer my experiences as honestly as possible, and if people want to listen to me because they trust my judgement, then great, but if they don't, that's fine with me, too.

Jori said...

AT - Didn't you luv the crowd at Family Dog! I was there around the same time you were and I was pleasantly pleased with the turnout.... just a side note :-)

Disneypal said...

I hope you will give this place another chance when you can - their service is usually really good and the food is very good too. I think if you try once more you will have a better experience.

Madboy said...

You guys have to try The Crab Boil on Peachtree Industrial Blvd in Doraville.




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