When I am happy with a product, customer service or great experience I will share it with the world.
When I am dissatisfied with something I will share it equally.
I waited four days to see if I had reason to be upset by the experience. Yup, I am .
The following story is designed to just bash the soon to be mentioned restaurant. I have hopes, since they used to be one of the best restaurants in the area they they will see this and make some changes…QUICKLY.
Because of the size of our group (12 adults) and the range of preferences in food fare our family liason chose Mangrove Mattie’s in Fort Pierce for their Mother’s Day buffet. We had a 2:00 p.m. seating.
When we arrived there were two swarms. One was a swarm of people outside qaiting for the last seating of people to leave and have the tables cleaned off. (More on the ‘clean’ topic coming up)
The other swarm was a grouping of bumble bees that brought out a lot of hand swatting from the waiting patrons as they tried to avoid them without causing conflict. Bumble Bees are not normally aggressive but they can sting and if they sting someone who is allergic that’s a whole different ending to the story of their Mother’s Day.
Once inside we were seated at a table where it was obvious they were trying to fit as many people in as small a space as possible. I get it. It’s Mother’s Day and they want the business and to accomodate every phone call that comes in to them for a reservation. (I did ask the woman at another table but close enough to be in my lap to pass the salt)
The buffet was $26 per person and I knew before I walked in that I was going to take a hit because I knew that I and those on the part of the check I was paying for were not going to over-indulge.
The logistics of the buffet were not thought out at all. Had they ever had a buffet before. You’d never know it. (Yes, I said the logistics of the buffet. It matters)
Customers were coming from all directions and there was no line or order. There should have been an employee guiding people and if they couldn’t spare one they could have borrowed a set of velvet ropes from a bank that was not using them on this particular Sunday.
I walked around where I thought would be the start of a supposed line where the stack of plates were. I shuffled 8 plates off the pile and chose the one with the least amount of grunge on it and wiped it off on their table cloth.
I was first met with a small table of fresh cut roast beef. I must have come at the wrong time to get the middle of the cut with a huge, circular chunk of fat in the middle. I would later cut around it. On a scale of 1-10 of what I ate I would give it a 5. It wasn’t tender but not tough either. It was adequate.
The next table was oysters on a half shell and a tub of shrimp. I took a few oysters but the shrimp was relatively empty except for a few floaters in dirty, shrimpy water. Maybe I’ll come back for that.
I would have liked the salmon that was next, but all that was there was the dead skin of a smoked salmon on a bed of lettuce that was already turning. Maybe I’ll come back for that.
The fruit tray was next so I scooped up some melon and pineapple that were cut too close to the rind so that it was a contrast of ripe and inedible all in the same piece.
There was another row of tables with some other food that I couldnt quite see because of the people coming in from all ends. I did see a crock pot looking container of what was once scrabled eggs. Maybe I’ll come back for that.
I returned to my table and a waiting, fresshly topped off diet coke with 8 oysters and a few pieces of fruit.
I looked at the plates of others and saw a few sausage links, some pasta/cream sauce concoction and something that looked like and Egg McMuffin. They must have been looking to battle more than I.
The oysters, like the beef, were adequate. I would give them a 5 on that same scale. They didn’t pop right off the shell. It took some effort but they weren’t sandy like I heard the gentleman at a nearby table mention.
I went back up in search of the salmon and some eggs but to no avail The same salmon skin was still laying on the bed of nasty lettuce twenty minutes later (unless it was a more updated skin, but I doubt that)
The eggs were still empty (or empty again). Who knows?
I grabbed a few more oysters. Not a big attraction for these people eating like it was their last meal on exexcution day.
My diet coke refreshed again, I polished off the oysters in no time.
My whole time there I had noticed a bussser who was apparently working so hard he was sweating through his shirt like a slave working building pyramids. That was unsightly enough, but when he carried six water glasses by cradling them up against he sweaty shirt easily adding a little salt content to that patron’s next glass of water.
The comedic part of the lunch was watching three employees take on the role of engineers as they tried to fill the gap between an outside tent with customers and the main building with an umbrella during a brief afternoon downpour. It wasn’t working. The rain just found a nother path to come down through thanks to gravity.
The waiter brought the check and informed me that there was an 18% gratutiy already included. How nice that he ‘earned a $29 tip for getting me three sodas while I got my own food…or attempted to.
Sorry Mangrove Matties. Never again. I love the mothers in my family too much to subject them to an all around bad afternoon like that.