Thursday, June 02, 2005

Island Food Review

Location : Island House Bar and Grille Circut Ave in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA
Mission : Lunch, in the shade / indoors, non-seafood items. (None of us eat seafood).
5 Adults and 2 Infants
This was an extensive ordeal to report... (lenthy)
Service time took about 1.5 hours, (way too long).

The place had a narrow porch for small groups of one to two outside, and alot of free indoor space, empty except for the bar. We were seated / hidden in the farthest and darkest corner possible from the door. We had to suggest and move another table in to fit our group. Only one other four-plus group came in to eat, with one child about ten. They were seated halfway to the door area. We were very near to the kitchen door, and easily observed the staff taking frequent breaks, speaking non-English, and watching us.

Menu issues : We weren't initally provided with the children's menu, the waitress suggested and brought it after we'd perused the regular menu. The menu had an entire side devoted to alcoholic drinks. It bragged the island's best Mudslide and had an extensive wine and local brew list. Initally, three out of five drinks ordered were unavailable. The person who wanted local island brews couldn't find any available after speaking to the waitress, and had to settle for a national brand ale. None of the local listings on the menu had yet been stocked. It would've been nice to be informed that most items listed there were still unavailable before trying to order them and becoming frustrated. Note : It's reported in the local Best Read Guide that some of Martha's Vinyard's other towns (three, I think) are known for being "dry towns."

Pricing : Mid-range for lunch sandwiches, ($7.99 Hamburger) High for drinks ($6.99 Mudslide, $1.50 less for brews) Note, "tourist season pricing" is obviously in effect.

The children's Hotdog Meal requested ASAP was brought out quickly. The drinks came next, then the only ordered appetizer, spud skins, next. When only three entrees came out, the waitress went away for a time, and the people who had ordered the appetizer waited and wondered when they would be served. We finally got her attention and in answer to our inquiry, she indicated that the other two meal slips, somehow, had not yet been submitted. We were in sight of the kitchen help, and saw an arguement taking place about not knowing how to prepare a BLT wrap, and the cook walking out for a break while we were still waiting for the missing meals. The BLT was delivered to the table dead last, behind two hot meals, and hamburgers. The well done one was delivered earliest, initally.

We'd been there awhile and the babies got restless. The waitress was obviously sent over by an employe-r/-ee to ask "If it was alright, could she take the fussing toddler outside?" Of course not! This insulted all of us, as our immediate family hadn't had any time all together in over seven months! If she meant her babysitting, there was no way a stranger would be acceptable. There was only that one other table of people, who hadn't complained, (not many to be inconvenienced at all). The child wasn't really crying very loud, and was being comforted in his mother's lap at the time... Before the late food was all eaten, I asked for the check, and then we bolted, not believing the nerve of these rude grille people, treating tourists with young children so badly.

Service : -8 points (of +/-10)They screwed themselves out of a twenty percent tip. The waitress and crew were inexperienced. After the order mess-up we weren't treated well at all, not a good way to gain repeat customers. Perhaps they depend on not-too-picky, rich alcoholics! Maybe better help arrives in the evening...
Food Quality : mudslide was good, frothy, chocolatey, and very sweet, (over-priced). Hamburger with cheeze and Bacon, Angus beef, was cooked to proper requested doneness on a bulky roll, Tasted okay, not spectacular, and was chewable. The fries were overdone, too crunchy for my taste, and difficult to chew. No other side choices were available, (I prefer Onion rings or garden vegtables). We left before trying desert.

Had all entrees been timely delivered and the menu reprinted to reflect drinks actually available, this may've been a passable experience, and the kids wouldn't have been as aggitated.
I DO NOT recommend the "Island House Bar and Grille" on the Vineyard for lunch... (unless you are alcohol dependant).


At 1:30 PM, Blogger Milk Brain said...

right on the button with the reviews! altho i think we did end up leaving a minimal tip for the waitress upon determining that it wasn't really her fault we spent the majority of our trip to the vineyard in that stinking place. it was entertaining watching her flip out not only b/c she was new, but b/c i think she was afraid she wouldn't get any tip at all b/c of the stupid chef.

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Mad Mom said...

my drink the toasted almond whosiwhatsit wasn't too bad.... probably shouldn't indulge and breastfeed anyways.... but people, not only did my blt wrap come out last, only half was a blt... the other half was only bl.... I don't really get it... you wait 30 minutes for 3 cheeseburgers, you complain about missing food, and a cheeseburger appears in 5 minutes.... 20 minutes later you get a blt WRAP!!! not on bread... ($7) what a waste.... and yeah the waitress we just met offering to take my nephew outside was definatly odd.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Erica B said...

I wonder if this place is still open? If it is I bet it would be a great candidate for Kitchen Nightmares with gordon ramsey!


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