Sunday, May 14, 2006

Taco Bell - Silver Spring & Port Washington Rds, Glendale

In all fairness, I should let everyone know that I visited this particular Taco Bell today knowing a S**T List post would come out of it. I've called both the store manager and corporate to complain about this place on a number of occasions. Why, you might ask, do I bother going back?

One, it's the nearest Taco Bell to my house and, two, I love my encheritos!

But in spite of all my complaints, it seems we need to get back to basics, yet again:

1) When calling the next person in line, say something like "may I help the next person," or, at the very least, "next." Staring someone down with a look of death as they approach your register is not the most appropriate greeting. And yes, we all know you're stoned. Try eye drops.

2) I know the girl behind me was far more attractive that I am. But that's no excuse for staring at her the entire time I try ordering. Might I add that you stared at her with the same look you gave me. I bet you get a lot of girls that way. She also knew you were stoned. As an added benefit, by paying attention to me it will be much easier to enter my order into your register. That way I won't have to repeat it to you. Twice.

3) Tell me what I owe you! It's bad enough that you haven't bothered acknowledging me the entire time, but when the point comes where you need to "close the deal," the least you could do is tell me how much of my money you want. I realize there's a little display there to show me what I need to pay, but that doesn't excuse you from not saying anything as you hold your hand out waiting for my cash.

4) You have the cups on your side of the counter. I feel uncomfortable leaning over that counter to get my cup. But I'm feeling like maybe that's how it's supposed to work, considering I ask you for my cup EVERY SINGLE TIME. Has that much time passed since I ordered a soft drink that you forgot I needed something to put it in?

5) The top of a taco is open to allow the addition of filling. The bottom of the taco keeps those fillings inside. The design is beautiful simplicity. One major flaw is that when placed upside down in a bag, all the fillings fall out!

6) When you place my encherito in a mexican pizza box and I say you may have given me the wrong order, don't yell "we're out of boxes!" Rather, politely reassure me that you were out of encherito containers and had to use another box. I will understand. Trying to intimidate me into pseudo-Mexican-compliance won't work.

7) Please. Thank you. I shouldn't be the only one saying them.

Water Street Brewery Woes


Memo to Jess, the blonde waitress that served me last night at Water Street Brewery on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee:

There is a reason that you only received a $.78 tip on a $48.22 tab last night.

You should actually consider yourself rather lucky. My wife does not like it when I speak up about service and food issues at restaurants. Since I am working today, last night was her Mother’s Day dinner. I did not want to upset her and further ruin her dinner by letting you know how ignorant you were to such bad food and service.

Having grown up in a restaurant I feel that I can provide a few common sense areas in which you should improve. Areas #1 & 2 are for you Jess, the other two are comments on the restaurant in general.

Area #1

Don’t serve burnt food. How you could have made it all the way from the kitchen to our table without smelling the raunchy smell of the food, I don’t know. Unless, you are so used to serving burnt food, that it didn’t faze you. In which case you should look for a different restaurant to work in. Although, you should improve in area #2 first, or else where you work won’t make much of a difference.

As a matter of fact, Usinger smoked beef sausage and smoked link kielbasa should not be served BLACK. They were not just charbroiled they were black. They were burnt so bad that I could not tell which one was which. The stench from the burnt sausage was horrendous. How could you have possible served it?

If I were a marketing VP at Usinger, I would cut off your restaurant from using the fine Usinger name until you kitchen staff learns to cook.

Area #2.

When you come around after the meal is served and ask if the food is OK, I would recommend only listening to the adults at the table. Don’t listen to the eight year little girl eating her cheese pizza. The only exception to this rule is if the 8 year old is paying for the meal.

You could have dropped the pizza on the floor in front of her, stepped on it and still served it too her. She would have still eaten it and loved it. It is a cheese pizza for crying out loud. Of course for her it is fine.

When you asked if everything was fine, you walked away as soon as I started to speak. THAT PISSED ME OFF. Once again you can thank my wife. If she were not there, I would have started speaking loudly to you from across the room. Had you still ignored me, I would have followed you into the kitchen. And yes, I have done that before when waitresses/waiters have ignored me.

Area #3

Beer Cheese soup should consist of more than melted Mexican Velveeta and a shot of beer.

Area #4

Your menu claimed that the Jambalaya would have Andouille smoked sausage,boneless chicken, smoked ham. One small piece of each meat, buried in the rice was extremely disappointing. In addition the side salad that was served on the same plate should take up less room than the main meal otherwise it isn’t a side salad.


The Raspberry Weiss was a good beer without being overly sweet.

The freshly sauteed spaetzle was edible.

I knew as soon as we arrived at your facility and were told that we would only have to wait 10 minutes that we would probably have a bad experience. There is an unwritten rule in Milwaukee. If you go to a restaurant at 6pm on a Saturday night, you can tell how good of a restaurant it is by the wait time to get a table. If you have to wait more than one hour, it is a good place to eat. If you have to wait about a half hour, it will be so/so. Any wait of less than 15 minutes, and 90% of the time, you will get bad service or food. My experience Saturday night continued to validate that theory.

There is a reason that on a Saturday night, I could be seated almost immediately. Anyone who had tried your facility would rather wait more than an hour to eat somewhere else. Quite honestly I can’t blame them. I will now be waiting with them at a different restaurant next time my family goes out to eat.

UPDATE I have sent an email to WSB informing them of my displeasure and stated that I am willing to post any replies on this post. I am not holding my breath waiting for a reply.

UPDATE2 (5/16): I have received an email from Sean, the Director of Operations for Water Street Brewery asking my to call him to ‘discuss this further’. Obviously he did not want to discuss this further via email. I will update the post after our conversation.

UPDATE3 (5/16): I have spoken with Sean. He will discuss this issue with his staff in hopes of improving service and quality. He offered to bring me back into the restaurant for a meal on him. I told him that I have no desire to fight downtown Milwaukee even for a free meal. He will instead partially refund my meal price. Sean wanted me to make sure that I understand that the service received is not how his business normally operates.

If anyone goes there in the future, feel free to leave you comments here. I for one will not go back.