Perhaps you recall our visit to Grapefest. We had a less than spectacular dining experience that day, but I didn’t tell you where it occurred, because they offered us a gift certificate to give them another chance. Well, it was Farnia’s and unfortunately, we gave it another chance.
Same Song, Second Verse
See, if it had been up to me, after the Grapefest debacle, I would have just mentioned the restaurant wasn’t up to par in my blog and would have blamed it on the craziness of the festival. Bill was having none of it.
During that first visit, they delivered our entrees at the same time as our soup and salads, but we couldn’t eat any of them because we had no silverware. The food wasn’t all that good, but any restaurant can have a bad day, especially when the barbarians are breaking down the gate. However, when Bill asked for the manager, the servers ignored him. That’s never a good sign.
Sunday night was deja vu all over again, but sans the barbarians. Oh, to be fair, there was one improvement. We did get silverware before any food was served, but that was about it. We were perfectly willing to be charmed into loving them on their dime, but they managed to turn us into detractors instead.
Send in the Maintenance Crew
We sat down and the first thing we figured out was that the front dining room is not the place to be when it’s chilly outside. The sporadic breeze from the frequently opened door was unpleasant. Bill noticed there was a mechanism on the door to hasten its closing, but it was broken. And it wasn’t the only thing.
I can’t speak for the men’s room, but the ladies’ room was very tight. I’m aware that to meet ADA requirements, especially in older spaces, something has to give. That something is usually the regular toilet. In most situations, I’m fine with that, but Farina’s gave me a new definition for tight. There was a hook on the back of the stall door and it was at eye level. If I’d momentarily lost my balance – an easy thing to do in such tight quarters – I would have also lost my eye. Farina’s please, for your own sake remove that hook!
But I mentioned that something was broken. That something was the hand dryer. I’m not a big fan of blowers anyway. I think it’s false economy on the part of the establishments who use it. None of the dryers get your hands dry, they’re noisy and the floor is always covered in drips. (Add that to the dangers of the eye-threatening hook!) One lawsuit for damages from a fall and all that false economy flies out the window.
Also, in case the restroom owners of the world were unaware of it, patrons use paper towels for a whole lot more than drying our hands – things for which the blower is not equipped. This blower gave new meaning to the word useless. I let my hands drip back to the table and used the napkin, which thankfully they’d delivered. When Bill and I compared notes about the restrooms we decided they had similarities.
Back to Our Meal
Beyond the maintenance issues, it seemed our meal might turn out okay. Our waitress took our drink order, delivered our beverages and took our food order. I chose a glass of white wine from the specials on the board and it was very good with a generous pour. They didn’t have his favorite beer, but it was cold and they provided a glass, so he was fine. Dinner came with a choice of soup or salad. I chose the salad and he wanted the soup.
Imagine our astonishment when lightning struck twice. The server showed up with our entree, before we got the soup and salad. This time the entree showed up unaccompanied by anything. Again Bill asked to see a manager. Again he was ignored.
We were both hungry so we tucked into our food sans our first course. The food wasn’t any better than it had been the first time, even if it was comped. I had Chicken Marsala. The chicken was a tasteless over-processed piece of cardboard covered in BBQ sauce. The menu mentioned their sauce was thicker than the usual Marsala sauce, but it should have said, “We use bottled BBQ sauce and call it Chicken Marsala.” Bill’s Whitefish was also void of flavor and his asparagus was stringy.
Our waitress returned to ask after our meal. Bill let her know how disappointed we were that the same thing had happened twice, at least sort of. The first time we at least got the first course, even if it was delivered out of sequence. The waitress apologized, promised the first course would be delivered and offered a free dessert.
Perhaps we should have stormed out in a fit of pique, but we agreed to be mollified. I have to admit my salad was quite good, the best part of the meal, but Bill’s soup was cold. A slice of pecan pie with a scoop of ice cream was delivered for our dessert. A bit sweet for my taste, but that is a matter of taste. Some folks might love it.
We counted on our fingers and realized our gift certificate would cover our dinner and drinks, so we tossed it to the waitress and absconded. She didn’t get a tip, but her service didn’t really qualify for one. We’ve had worse service, but we were finally ready for that fit of pique. We managed to have it without disturbing the other diners, but we were done.
As you guys know, it’s rare for me to find a place I can’t find something to like about. Well, I finally found one. Bill bemoaned the fact that their location will probably keep them in business for much longer than they deserve to be, but at least I can save you from going there.