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stxfoodie
(@stxfoodie)
Advanced Member

WINE TASTING:

I know this isn't a place for classifieds, but i thought if anyone is into wine this Thursday, on the 20th anniversary of Hugo (lest we forget), Tophat is having its first wine tasing of Rhone style wines hosted by Premier. Should be fun if anyone is interested here is the info per Hanne. I'm pretty sure they are having it upstairs in the art gallery section where the old restaurant used to be.

"Hope to see you at our first wine tasting, Thursday September 17th, at 6pm. w/ fine wines from Premier Wines pared with delicious hors doeuvres by Bent. $25.00 per person. Reservations a must, 513-3558."

Hanne Rasmussen
tophat@viaccess.net
340 773 2346 h
340 513 3558 cell

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Posted : September 14, 2009 10:23 pm
marlene
(@marlene)
Advanced Member

If anyone is into fresh donuts, they will start making thme at Golden Rail. I tried one since they were asking us our opinions on how they tasted since the machine just came on Friday afternoon. Warm out of the oven....OMG they were awsome.

I don't know the prices.

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Posted : September 14, 2009 10:35 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

well our regular cook,keith, is in antigua for a couple of weeks and the lady is out sick for a couple of days so we have a young guy cooking right now,he worked there4-5years ago as a temp.really nice guy but he did not have an opportunity to work with keith for a shift before he left and so he did'nt know where anything was or our system,lol poor guy so i went in early this am and helped him get everything setup and what to do when, you know soup and stuff, my boss just does not have the patience to teach,but because my mother was a teacher i enjoy it, so anyway it turns out the kid can cook our food really well when shown our system and you know what i was a little worried about him thinking i was a jerk for telling him what to do but he pulled me aside twice and thanked me, i dunno the way i look at it, if you succeed we all succeed,so anyway the kid is good, i think he got trained sometime back at carambola but left there to work construction and that would have been long hair brian training him out there and he's really good

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Posted : September 15, 2009 8:23 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

It's so hard to step into a kitchen and just go with it. There's gotta be some sort of training before taking the reigns. But, it is kinda fun to wing it.

For Tom's sake, glad you're patient trw!

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Posted : September 16, 2009 12:27 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

hey no matter what alot of you think the TRW is a nice guy,

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Posted : September 16, 2009 12:40 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

katherine?

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Posted : September 18, 2009 12:15 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Just heard of another "we can't (won't) split the check...The party telling me didn't even know the other people (who decided to pull their tables together). My friends asked, in advance, to have a separate check. When the bill came.....surprise....all one check, and the server just said sorry, I can't split it. My friends are nicer than I am, and they just dealt with it, BUT...they are looking for other places to go. So, if you are reading this, and see yourself, perhaps think about it.:-)

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Posted : September 18, 2009 3:00 am
nforbes
(@nforbes)
Trusted Member

that's silly - if they knew in advance, they should have just done it. a little bit goes a long way, and i'm sure that affected the tip.

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Posted : September 18, 2009 12:50 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

ive meet trw and he usually is a nice guy8-) no one is nice all of the time though

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Posted : September 18, 2009 1:15 pm
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

When customers think they have a right to move a restaurant's tables around & start pulling them together to customize a seating arrangement without asking the restuarant, there's no way a waiter/waitress should split up a check.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 8:15 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Jumbie,
That was part of the problem. The people who moved the table did so "uninvited". Anyway, there was a total misunderstanding. It wasn't evil on the waitress' part, just didn't know how else to handle it.

Curious though...I may be reading your tone wrong, but it sounds like you are suggesting the server should "punish" the customers for moving the tables.

I don't know why this issue interests me so much, but it does, so I actually googled the question, and got pages of sites, blogs, etc. all addressing the fact that it is difficult for a server to split a check AFTER the meal. Most did not even address the issue of asking BEFORE the meal, but the ones that did all agreed there should not be a problem splitting a check, if asked in advance. I still have not ever had anyone give me a good reason. The only reason that is halfway acceptable is if you want all your food to come out together, it needs to be one one check. I can accept that, although I know it can still be dealt with. When I worked at Molly's we used to put a big X on both checks and hang them side by side. The kitchen could figure that out. Obviously if you have more than 2 checks per table, the odds of everything coming together are worse, but depending on the situation, that might be fine with the customer. In a casual place, I don't really care about my meal coming at the same time (often it doesn't anyway). Fine dining should be able to handle it.

I hope everyone doesn't think I am trying to nickel and dime the restaurants. Not at all. For the most part, we only go out with good friends and really don't care who pays for what. We just split the check in half, no matter who had what. But there are occasions when it does matter, and I think as the customer, I should have that right.

Had brunch at Breezez (never know how to spell that) yesterday. Colleen, the bartender is terrific. I noticed the menu actually states "no separate checks". Also, gratuity added to parties of more than 7 (?) without a reservation. I understand grating a big party, but what does the reservation have to do with it?

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Posted : September 21, 2009 11:12 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i worked at a rest. many years ago and if the customer asked in advance to split the check, no problem but if they ask after, problem. you have to void the original check , re-enter everything and hope to catch the kitchen before they start making the order again. for a rest. just way too time consuming and not cost effective. as for customer putting tables together, those tables they are putting together might actually be reserved for another party and as a customer you just dont know nor do you have the right.. thats kinda like going into someones house and rearranging their furniture. its just not done. gratuity added to parties of (insert number ), i dont agree with that at all though i do understand why some places do it.other countries, wait staff dont get tips and that is why alot of people from other countries dont tip. some big parties dont tip very well either. as a customer if i see a tip added already, i dont leave extra. if no tip is added i leave 20% at least.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 12:10 pm
stxfoodie
(@stxfoodie)
Advanced Member

What do you guys think of this situation - dinner out with friends. We all were imbibing, but not hammered. Bill comes and we didn't check it just paid it. Then added a nice gratuity. Realized later that the restaurant, per their policy had already included an 18% charge on tables of 5 or more. My question is, should the waitstaff have courtesously reminded us that the gratuity of 18% was already on the bill or was it OK for them to just say, they'll never notice.

Thanks

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Posted : September 21, 2009 12:49 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

It's a tough call. Servers loves double tipping. They will never point out that they gratted your party in the hopes of a double tip. No offense to any servers reading this, but this is my experience.
It would be nice if they circled the grat on your receipt...or pointed it out. But they would rather you never saw it.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 1:59 pm
stxfoodie
(@stxfoodie)
Advanced Member

True - but its short term thinking. I'm a local, not a tourist, and they will see me again at some point. I figured it out - albeit after the fact. Alison, when she was waiting tables there, would have given me a heads up. I guess I'm mainly annoyed that I didn't see it, but I think it breeds good will when the server does the right thing, which I think is to remind the customer, as opposed to making an extra quick buck which leaves me feeling slightly cheated. It does appear to mostly young wait staff who i didnt recognize so perhaps they'll learn - but I'm still disappointed that doing the right thing didn't take precedence over the quick buck. I'm debating whether to mention it to the owner or not. Probably best to just let it go and go elsewhere for a while until my annoyance wears off.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 3:09 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

thats a greedy waiter trick and i've seen more than one server get fired because of it, is it really worth your job, i've also seen one of the restaurant owners down here add to a credit card tip if this person didn't think the tip was enough,this person did this when they were a server

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Posted : September 21, 2009 3:09 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

When the gratuity is added to the check, and the customer pays with a credit card, that can really get a little cheeky. Say the bill is $100, grat of $18, so the server rings the check as $118, you hand them you cc, and they run it for $118, as if it were all food, leaving the tip line blank. Now that's really dishonest, not just wishful thinking for a double tip. When I was a manager, we simply could not get the servers to stop doing it. They ALWAYS had some lame "I forgot" excuse! We started deducting it from their pay and doing a refund to the customer's cc.

To answer stxfoodie's question, I think it should have been mentioned. You don't really expect it on a party of 5. Isn't it usually 6 or more? Since our incident at Elizabeth's, when we weren't expecting it on a party of 4, we are a bit more diligent in looking over the check.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 4:15 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

regardless, if a tip is added onto the check, it should always be mentioned at the table loud enough to hear. you might want to contact your credit card company and let them know what happened or go to the manager/owner of the rest. you ate at. they might not know thats how their servers are doing it.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 4:21 pm
stxfoodie
(@stxfoodie)
Advanced Member

This restaurant has a clear a policy of 18% on 5 or more - its on their menu and its online on their menu. I think I'll just let it go. But I will not go back for a while, so they've lost my business for a bit even thought I like the food.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 4:41 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

Never hurts to mention it to the owner. You can get that money back. . .. .

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Posted : September 21, 2009 4:46 pm
stxfoodie
(@stxfoodie)
Advanced Member

Perhaps I will - we'll see. I don't really care about getting the $ back at this point, I'd just like them not to do it to me or other customers in the future as it feels slightly less than honorable.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 4:52 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i agree with you stxfoodie. but again, the owner might not know it happened? would be worth mentioning.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 4:55 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

My opinion is that a tip should always be voluntary and based upon the level of service. I do not feel obligated to pay 18% if the service is poor. I've left extremely generous tips for outstanding service. I have also left very meager tips when the service was poor. One example was a waiter at Bolongos that insisted on arguing with us about everything from silverware to the desert. He insisted that we didn't need fresh drawn butter for our crab legs - that all butter is the same. He only conceded when we tipped the butter dish upside down and nothing poured out. If you leave no tip at all, they may think that you simply forgot to tip. I send a clear message. I didn't forget. I was was quite dipleased. That said, I don't punish the server if the kitchen is slow or for things beyond their control. LOL...as far as the fella at Bolongo's goes, I may have done him a favor. He was clearly in the wrong line of work.

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Posted : September 21, 2009 5:14 pm
SunshineCruzan
(@SunshineCruzan)
Advanced Member

Hey all!
Great conversation going on here! (REALLY!) I'm, thank GOD behind the bar instead of on the floor, but have seen each and every scenario depicted here. Personally, I think that you certainly SHOULD mention to the table that a gratuity has been included, as well as pointing out where it's been posted if necessary. Also, the customer has (I think?) the legal right to refuse to pay the added tip if they wish...(douch-bags!).ALSO, I'm pretty certain that it's blatantly against the law to add to or doctor someone's credit card slip. In our place, I've had co-workers who know this STILL ask me if they should do it...of course I say NO! Sometimes, the customer takes the wrong copy and I can see the indentation where they put the tip in. Otherwise, you just take it as a loss.( I have no shame in nicely bringing this up if it's a regular tho'. ) Some servers have been able to catch the party before they drive off and ask them if there was something wrong, regarding the tip. Lots of times, they think "so and so left it! ) ALSO, when the servers aren't sure whether the party of 6 or more are good tippers (nice people, but hey...it's our rent payment coming up!) they usually let them know, when giving them their check, that they did NOT include the otherwise automatic tip of ?% to the bill...(schmooze here!) because they are SUCH great customers, etc.
After that, well...you win some and you lose some. All part of the job. (wow...out of breath now!...sorry!:D )

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Posted : September 22, 2009 4:01 am
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

Juanita
No I didn't mean to imply server punished you & other customer for moving the tables together. What I meant was since the "table being served got bigger" this particular restaurant/server decided to auto tip. In general I do feel a customer moving tables together is like somebody coming in your home & moving your furniture around. These people in your case should have asked the restaurant's permission before hand.

Bottom line -any server who doesn't make it clear to the table that he/she is adding the auto grat before the bill is done is trying to "sneak one over" on the customer. I thing it should always be made clear up front before orders are taken what the "deal is" and always make sure to tell & show the person who pays the bill that a gratuity has been added.

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Posted : September 22, 2009 8:48 am
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