As locals in a city where chains are king, we really want to support the locally owned restaurants. And we have tried to like Ray J's. This was not our first trip, but it will be our last.
We were told it would be a 20-minute wait for a table in the dining room. And it was, only they put us in the bar. Then a 10-minute wait for water and another 10 to place our order.
Food came out fairly quickly. A plate of iceberg lettuce, warm and limp, with a few chunks of cucumber and one cherry tomato and a dressing they said was garlic. Soup cold. Both watery and without flavor. Strips of potato peel were the only chunky thing in my clam chowder. Both went back, half eaten. Waiter never asked how they were. Since there was no bread, we split the crackers from my soup.
My husband ordered a New York strip, I had prime rib. Mine was cool and flavorless and came with gummy, lumpy mashed potatoes, his with burned mushrooms and probably the smallest baked potato I had ever seen on a restaurant plate, no butter, no sour cream. We flagged down our waiter, who said, "What do you mean no sour cream? It should be there." Like we had pocketed it.
When he cut into the steak, my husband realized there was a huge piece of gristle that ran all the way down the center. And none of the gristle had been trimmed from the sides. After several failed attempts to catch our waiter, he ate what he could. When he got done, half of the volume was left on the plate, about 6 oz. of inedible gristle.
I left 2/3 of my meal, and without asking how it was, our waiter threw a to-go box on the table as he ran by. My husband asked to talk to the manager.
After a long wait, the manager, who had been hanging at the bar, came by and said shortly: "What do you want?" Hubby said. "I just wanted you to see this. It is so full of inedible gristle. You should consider a different meat supplier. I think it is the worst cut of New York strip I have ever had."
The manager began to argue, saying it was a "choice cut" and that a strip is always "well marbled" and that he "stood by their meat."
My husband refused to get into an argument and said calmly, "Well, bring us the check and we will not be back." The manager walked away without comment or apology and went back to hang out at the bar.
It then took another 10 minutes to catch the waiter to get our bill -- nearly $50 with tip, no drinks, for an absolutely inedible meal. In a noisy bar. With lousy service. I came home and tried to reheat my flavorless prime rib, then thought better of it and ate a peanut butter sandwich.
Oh Ray J's, you served us the worst meal we have had a in a long time. The absolute worst.
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