To start, I would like to give a disclaimer. I am a waitress and have been in the food industry environment since I was born, as my mother owned a fine dining restaurant. I am a nineteen year old girl and greatly enjoy going out to eat. Because of my history in the service industry, I always tip 20% or above regardless of my current income because it was how I was raised. This weekend, my sister (21) and I travelled to Dayton Beach on a spur of the moment trip. As it was unplanned, and we are young, we have been operating on a budget. So, as a faithful groupon-er, I searched for the local deals to find a restaurant for our night out. We could not afford much, so I was very pleased when I found a groupon for a local steakhouse. I made reservations and the hostess was very easy-going and well-informed on the phone. I was very excited to go there as this is the ONLY time we had planned to go out to eat on our trip.
Now that you have the setting, here is our restaurant experience with Gene's.
Upon arriving, it was set in a very deserted location on the side of the highway. You could say it was off the beaten path in terms of Daytona Beach. We decided to look past its appearance and enter anyway, hoping that it tasted better than it looked. We were rewarded as it did TASTE better than it looked. We both got the petite filet mignon, cooked medium. I got the salad and my sister got the soup. Everything food wise was excellent and I believe that they have a great menu. My concern is the service. If you decide to go to this restaurant, I would definitely advise you to ask for ANY server other than Judy.
We arrived early for our reservation time and were asked to sit at the bar until our table was ready. This was understandable as it was a small restaurant and they were probably ill-prepared for a reservation to arrive early.
We ordered a coke and a sweet tea at the bar and were soon after escorted to our table. Upon arriving at the table, we already knew what we wanted to order but decided to look over the menu while we waited for the waitress. We then proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait. It took Ms. Judy 20 minutes to greet us at our table. At this point, I was friendly and laughed it off and greeted her nicely because, as I said, I work in the food industry and understand that sometimes you have greater matters to attend to. I ordered the stuffed mushrooms, which I had been looking forward to all day, as an appetizer, the filets and our side items. It took quite a while to receive our soup and salad, at which point my sisters ice had melted in her coke, making it displeasing to drink. When she gave us the soup, salad, and warm bread my sister asked if she could have a new coke because hers was watered down. Judy replied that it was the restaurants policy to refill using the same glass, and that she would refill the coke when my sister had finished its contents. This created a rather awkward moment because my sister did not want to drink watered down coke as it is disgusting.
So, Judy walked away and left my sister and I there to eat our salad and soup. My sister then poured the coke into the water glass we were given and waited for a refill. The hostess, who I assume was the manager, came over and asked if she wanted a refill to which she responded, yes please. Judy then seemed very annoyed with us in general and clearly treated us differently than her other customers. I honestly wish I had been with one of the other groups that Judy had served as they all seemed well taken care of and happy. I believe that she discriminated against us because of our age, which was unwise because I am a generous tipper when the job is done right.
Now to the food, our entree came after about a 40-50 minute wait and it was nice. The filet was cooked medium and it was done nicely. The potato was small but well cooked. The problem, however, was that I had ordered mushrooms as an appetizer and they were not delivered. I mentioned, politely, that we had not received our mushrooms and asked when they would be out. This would have been the perfect opportunity for her to do one of three things.
1- Say "Oh, yes! I'll go grab them from the kitchen" and pretend she hadn't forgotten.
2- Say "Oh, goodness. I forgot. I will get them out ASAP and they will be on the house!"
3- Say "You never asked for mushrooms. I don't have it written down, therefore you didn't order it. But since you didn't order them, you'll have room for dessert!" She then proceeded to list the dessert menu..... No clue why. I wanted mushrooms.
So, needless to say, we never ate their mushrooms, which were a $10 appetizer and which would have increased her check greatly. I also had requested a bread refill, which I never received.
After finishing the dinner, we opted not to have dessert (we planned to have creme brûlée, but were so displeased with the service we simply wanted to leave) and paid quickly and left. I left her a tip of $2. I understand that this is very rude, but in response to the rudeness, discriminated service, and blatant disrespect we received, I deemed it generous. To prove that I usually tip well, I tipped the bartender the same amount ($2) on our $4 drink order.
Overall, the food was great, Judy was awful. The other tables with other servers looked very pleased. But I left very irritated and will never return or recommend her as a waitress. At her age, she should have been able to key in an appetizer and not blame the guest for her mistake.
Another issue I have with their service is their inability to provide a new coke which comes with unlimited refills. In my experience, you always have to serve fountain soda drinks with a new glass as pressing a used glass against the soda fountain is dirty and against food service policy.
Anyway, my rant is complete. I am currently sipping a margarita and trying to forget about the awful service I received. I feel bad for them really, if you would like to stay in business Gene's, I highly recommend the following:
2- cover up the door in the dining room, it does not look appealing and ruins the pretty wine wall decor
3-knock down the wall separating the dining room and the bar area. It will create a more open feel and seem less dingy.
4- repaint one wall with a vibrant color, perhaps a rich red wine color
Best of luck, your food truly was good.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.