Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Food Vacation Part 2: Comment Cards

This second installment of my commentary on the trip to Brownwood, TX will focus on the last meal we had there.

For the post-graduation celebratory dinner we dined at The Turtle. The Turtle is the only "fancy" restaurant in Brownwood, TX. It is attached to The Turtle Gellateria, which serves yummy homemade gellato and sorbetto. We made a reservation for 7:00pm thinking it might be a good idea to reserve our spot since it was graduation weekend and it is the only "fancy" restaurant in town.

The Turtle's moto is: Slow, fresh food. Well, they got the "slow" part right.

The Turtle has apprx. 7 tables. It seats apprx. 34 people. The night we were there the restaurant was 3/4 full and it's staff consisted of 4 waiters. That averages out to 6 people per waiter. I have never been a waiter, but I tend to think that I could attentively serve 6 people with not too much trouble. Our waiter, whose name escapes me at the moment, was having a hard time with it though.

We experienced all the typical problems: draining our water glasses and having to wait an inordinate amount of time to have them refilled, having to wait an extremely long time to place our order, not having our bread baskets refilled promptly, etc.

Aunt Leigh ordered a glass of wine and wanted it to be brought to her before the meal thinking she would order another glass to drink with dinner. However, since the first glass she ordered didn't arrive at the table until our meal was served she only drank the one. Poor service cost them an extra $7 that would have been added to our bill.

I was especially annoyed. So, when the bill finally came (three hours after we sat down) I took the time to fill out the accompanying comment card.

I like comments cards. I like feedback. I like to give and to receive feedback. I think feedback aids most processes. So, I gave The Turtle mine. I was fair. I was not rude. I complimented and offered what I hope will be taken as constructive criticism. The comment card was full by the time I finished. I even used the back. But, I sincerely hope it helps. I like The Turtle. I just did not have a pleasurable experience this time around.

Two things I did take away from this dining out experience: One, I will have comment cards at my restaurant. And two, I will personally have each of the waiters I hire serve me and my sister Victoria as a trial run before I offer them a position. We have extremely high standards. We will only be satisfied with the best, most attentive, most professional waiters. We will be ruthless. Beware!


  1. can I also sit in on this waiter judging thing?

  2. Love it... the idea of judging waiters before you hire them, that is. I want to watch too! LOL