It has been said that, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." While this may be how things usually end up 90% of the time, today, Rock House got right with the second time around.
Now, before you go thinking that this was my second time in attendance, nix that idea right now. Let me explain.
After spending the majority of the morning on the beach, my wife, mother-in-law, six month-old son, and I were ready for just about anything edible. It was late, around 2PM, and so we had a pretty good idea that we'd be seated quickly wherever we went. I was concerned that we were going to wander, but as soon as we turned the corner, we feasted our eyes on the Rock House and decided to dive in.
The hostess, who couldn't be older than 17 or 18, asked how many were in our party. We advised that was had 3 adults and one baby. She then proceeded to ask, "Will the baby need a high chair or are you going to leave HER in the stroller?" My son was in a black stroller, wearing a navy blue rash guard, and blue swimming trunks. Why on earth would this teeny bopper think this baby was a girl? Given her age, I would let it slide, but come on! STRIKE ONE!
When we were seated, the hostess did not tell us who our server would be as most hostesses do in most restaurants. Upon arriving at our table, my wife and mother-in-law retreated to the restroom with our son to conduct a quick diaper change. NO CHANGING TABLES!! This is 2013 and Tybee Island is marketed as a family beach. Are you kidding me?? Can't spare a little change for changing tables?? STRIKE TWO!
While they were gone, I fully expected to place our drink order, however, when they did return 12 minutes later, a server still had not come by. During that time, I began observing the immediate surroundings to see which server appeared to be working the neighboring tables. That's when I spotted a young lady, who appeared to be under 21, sporting a Rock House t-shirt and bootie shorts, a la Hooters, flirting with a table of four under 21 boys who appeared to have just finished their Abercrombie shoot. Nice. (By the way, it should be said that the tee and bootie shorts appear to be the uniform for the ALL FEMALE, probably ALL under age wait staff; and yep, you guessed it, the boys are reduced to bussing tables at this joint!) But I digress. She stood there, at one point for 4 mins - yes - I timed it, completely ignoring the other tables in her section (the section was not full because it was 2PM). I watched as other frustrated guests were trying to get her attention for refills, and another who appeared frustrated over waiting for his check. The server and the boys were in another world when finally one of the guests bellowed out and got her attention. Is this my server?? Awww GEEZ! After my wife and mother-in-law returned to the table, she FINALLY came to serve us...as stated earlier, 12 minutes later. STRIKE THREE!!!
Let me now state that my drink order is simple...Diet Coke with a lime. Nothing fancy. I don't ask for umbrellas or a sip from Jacob's well...no, just a Diet Coke with a lime. About 75% of servers get this wrong and bring me lemon instead. So to say I was pleased, and even somewhat impressed, that our server had gotten my drink order right may be setting the bar a little to low. But she did get it right, and while anyone with half a brain and functioning ears SHOULD get it right, 75% do not. So, things began to surprisingly move in the right direction.
After we placed our orders, we patiently began waiting for our food. During that time, Journey's "Faithfully" began playing. I love this song and so it caught my attention. In fact, I had heard it earlier in the day on my iPhone while working out. It was then that I looked up and noticed a DJ was actually playing the music...interesting...I hadn't noticed him when we walked in...maybe because he was wearing knee length shorts???? After this, Debbie Gibson's "Foolish Beat" began playing. I LOVE THIS SONG, TOO! It was on my favorite mix tape in 5th grade! Needless to say at this point, the music had my full attention.
I was lost in nostalgia by the time I reached the bottom of my Diet Coke. There I was, high on caffeine, bopping my head to a mix of 80s and 90s music so good that I could have come up with the playlist.
Just then, I looked up and incidentally made eye contact with our server. Within two minutes, I had another Diet Coke WITH A FRESH LIME in front of me. UH OH...our server was really starting to turn this ship around. Not only do most servers NOT get my drink order right, but now she brought me a fresh lime and just about NO ONE EVER DOES THAT!!!! WHAT?????? Is this REALLY HAPPENING? Yep!
Within a few minutes, our food arrived and it was very good. We didn't order anything we couldn't get at home...wife had a California burger, mother-in-law had a caesar salad with...wait for it, wait for it...ATOMIC WINGS...showing she can get all VOLCANIC on us...and wings and cheese fries for me. While the cost of lunch was a steep $67 including tip, the music and FOUR MORE DIET COKES WITH FRESH LIMES made it ALMOST worth it. ALMOST. The cost really shouldn't have been more than $35 but we are at the beach.
In the end, the Rock House redeemed itself so much that I rate it an average. The food was average, the music was GREAT, getting my drink order right and bringing my fresh limes was SUBLIME, but they were working with three strikes already. Had the food be more moderately priced, perhaps a very good rating would have been in order...but not this time. The bar can't be set THAT low, now, can it??
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.