3-3-13 Sunday (Food Auctions)

LocalWe try to support local restaurateurs but we’re usually met with disappointment.  I realize we’ve picky but it’s our money to spend, so we tend to be that way.

MANY times Jim and I have believed that chain restaurants don’t put locals out of business… local businesses put themselves out of business.

I introduce Tanner’s Snack Bar.  We went there on a Groupon. This is a soul food place that boasts a “hot bar” which wasn’t open at the time.  They don’t have a website of their own but I linked their name to a website that gives the history of the place.  It’s been around a long time.  I have mixed emotions about that.  Are they screwing up now?  Is it an isolated incident?  If it’s that great they probably wouldn’t need a Groupon to promote it.  I’m not sure how isolated of an incident it could be.  We watched the staff; we watched them not greet people.  We watched them mess up orders.  They asked one couple behind us “I’m sorry, what did you guys order?” and that was probably 15 minutes after they ordered.

The arrival: We walked in and stood at the entrance.  A couple of staff members didn’t say a thing.  I would have liked a “Welcome to Tanners, sit where ever you’d like” or something like that.  But no.  We stood there and eventually just sat at a table.  Our server comes over and asks if we need more time.  Jim replied, “Yes pelase but can I have a Diet Coke” and I’m not kidding, the server walked away immediately.  Ummmmm, what about me?  Someone else comes back with it and asks what I want to drink.  I was kinda stunned.

The order: Jim asks what’s on the Philly.  She has to scream back to the kitchen, they reply and she relays it.  Now all the while, she stands 10 feet away from us leaning on a counter and writing our order on a single piece of paper.  If she had a pad, she’d be able to stand AT our table.  Jim says no peppers.  He asks to add mayo and lettuce.  In each sentence he says to her, she misunderstands what he says.  Perhaps it’s because you’re 10 feet away dipshit.  I order a cheeseburger.  She didn’t ask how I want it dressed so I ASSUME it comes with toppings on the side.  That’s the typical way it happens.  I’m not new to ordering food, just look at my belly.

The coming of the food, kinda: Jim’s Philly comes out.  It’s got peppers.  The server takes it back, apologizes, yells into the kitchen and reports that the cook is going to make it all over.  We wait.  Hmmmm, where’s my burger?  A managerish guy says, “they messed up your order.”  Jim says yeah, he leaves.  We wait some more.  Jim asks for a refill.  She says there’s a charge.  Jim nods.  I see a soda fountain so can’t quite grasp why refills aren’t free.  Upon delivery of his refill, it’s said that there will be no charge for his refill since the order was wrong. Eventually my burger arrives.  Jim’s Philly?  Not so much. What I wondered at this point is why the timing was so poor.  If Jim’s Philly had been right then I would have been waiting on my burger.  Since his was wrong, now he’s waiting on his.  My burger arrived with no lettuce, no tomato.  The bun is polluted with diced raw onion, mustard and ketchup.  I had to scrape it off.  Why wasn’t I asked about how I wanted it?  I didn’t ask for lettuce or anything at this point.  I really just wanted to eat and go.  Jim’s food arrives, I was half way through my meal.

The verdict: The food was OK.  Everything is served in or on Styrofoam.  Plastic utensils. What a waste.  Drinks in Styrofoam definitely make it hard for a server to determine when a refill was needed.  After we ate, Jim asked for another refill.  They had just run out of Diet but offered something else.  We declined and just wanted the check.

I told Jim I was going to freeze his Groupon account…

cripsy-crepe-exteriorAt dinner we went to Crispy Crêpe.  This place was good.  Unfortunately, Jim played it too safe and ordered the Egg & Veggie Cheddar: Crispy crêpe with egg, caramelized onions, tomatoes, spinach, roasted mushrooms & cheddar cheese. He asked for no tomatoes.  He didn't realize it until he was halfway done that they also omitted the spinach.  He didn't bother "reporting" it.  I ordered Mediterranean Chicken: Grilled marinated chicken with hummus, olive tapenade, red onions, baby spinach & roasted garlic-lemon vinaigrette. Mine was delicious!

Naturally we had dessert.  Jim had a dessert waffle.  I can't remember which one.  I had the Chocolate Chip Cannoli Crêpes: Fresh sweet ricotta filling & chocolate chips. Sprinkled with cocoa powder & whipped cream.   Divine.

The service was OK.  A couple of things.  We were one of two tables the server had.  When he came out with the food, he had to ask who got what.  This seems to be a popular things.  Jim calls it "auctioning off the food".  The servers stand there and say "cheeseburger?" awaiting a response.  I hate that.

The second thing was the server asked if I wanted a refill.  I replied yes and then he asked me to take my straw.  Huh?  I had to lay it on the edge of my plate.  Why can't he refill my drink like the other 99% of restaurants do?       

The food was excellent, the service wasn’t bad enough not to go back of course.

On Sunday, we went to a flea market.  It was our first time there.  It was a mix of old and new.  I scored a Foodsaver 3800 for $38.  It was brand new and we tested it there and then again when we got home.  This model currently sells for about $170.  This will replace a Foodsaver we have that’s like 15 years old.


We also bought several pairs of ear warmers. It was so windy and cold, we bought them to use right away.  Then we went back for 2 more so now we’ll have several for Alaska.  They were ONLY $1 a pair.  They fit around the back of the head.  Name brands run about $18 on Amazon.

ear warmers
We also bought 2 carry-on’s.  Jim researched the airline tolerable size and we shopped with a measuring tape in hand.  We plan to pack shoes and jeans (heavy stuff) in one and a change of clothes and HBA in the other.  I think a big ole steamer trunk would be better… and probably needed.
Sunday we went out to eat.  Surprise!  We had brunch at Cosmos Café.  They had a nice brunch buffet for $12.  I enjoyed the selection and high quality food.  This was no Golden Corral

And Sunday for dinner?  We ate at home… so there.


  1. In my experience the best local places are the ones NOT offering Groupons. Unless it's a brand new place trying to get the word out.

    1. I know it but some are good, some are bad. =(

  2. I'm with Brenda. Even the "nicer" places I've had groupons for have been so-so. Also, keep in mind you've tried a lot of local places during Restaurant Week, which is one of the worst times to see what they can do. Good places aren't really used to the volume, so they'll be struggling. Mediocre places are only going after the volume and will skimp more than usual on portions, quality of ingredients, etc.

    I don't know your side of town very well, or I'd try to make suggestions. Most of the Uptown places I know serve the kind of food you don't like--you know, hoity-toity stuff with too many adjectives. :-)

    1. Actually most of the Restaurant Week stuff has been awesome! I love Restaurant Week!

      I'm in the University Area. I don't mind hoity-toity since we do that in Asheville all the time but we're about price. Although one time in Beverly Hills, we went to Spago and had Sweet Bread not knowing what it was. If it wasn't so hoity-toity then they would have just called it Glands or something.

  3. Like the Entertainment discount books. Places in the book don't seem as desperate as the Groupon places.

    You should open a restuarant - how hard can it be ;)

    Wish I could find a groupon for the local http://www.kosama.com/ place. Would like to join but the charge 6 to 8 hundred .....

    1. Jim and I say "we need to pull a Chef Ramsey" on this place. Why open just one restaurant? Might as well go for 5.

      kosama looks intense and yes, expensive. They're offering franchises!


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