My wife and I were passing through the area last night (10/13/13) heading home from our weekend in Hilton Head. We were flying out of Charleston had have time to grab some dinner before heading over to the airport. We asked the front desk of our hotel for a recommendation. They offered us a coupon for a free appetizer at Big Billys Burger Joint across the street. We were not looking for anything upscale and wanted to try something local...this was our second mistake. Billy "Bobs" is definitely not upscale and if this is the best place to eat in Charleston, I feel very sorry for the locals.
After being seated, we informed the waiter we had a coupon for a free appetizer. The coupon said we could order any of the three appetizers listed however the waiter informed us that one they don't make any more and they were out of the second leaving us with only one selection. No a really big deal but not very accommodating. It was a free appetizer after all but all this told us was how poorly managed the restaurant was.
My wife ordered a soda and I asked for water without lemon. My wife saw the waiter pull out an already opened two liter bottle of Pepsi out of a cooler and poured her drink. Of course the soda was flat. My water arrived with a lemon on the rim. Again, I asked specifically no lemon.
My wife and I both ordered their "signature" create your own salads. According to the menu we were allowed to select up to five add-ons to our salads and could add meat for an additional charge. My wife and I both added meat. She added grilled salmon and I added grilled mahi mahi. My wife add the usual add-ons to a typical salad. I am on a very strict heath diet so I had to be careful of my selections. While the list to choose from is very extensive, unfortunately not a lot of "healthy" options so I had to double up on two of my selections. I asked for double hard boiled eggs and double cumbers. Mushroom was my fifth selection.
Prior to our salads arriving, the waiter topped off my water. While in another establishment this would be considered normal. However where the train derailed was when I went to take a drink of my new glass of water, I took a large gulp of watered down flat Sprite or Seria Mist. I asked my wife to take a sip to re-confirm my suspensions. She agreed, that the waiter had poured flat soda into my water. I did get a new glass of water to replace my water/soda mix, but I did not get an apology or anything to that defect. Actually, the non-verbal body language our waiter exhibited made us felt like we were asking for too much.
Our salads arrived. My wife's came out as she ordered. Mine did not. Remembered, I had to double up on two of my selections and I did NOT order tomatoes. Well, my salad arrived with a lot of tomatoes on it. Again, I did NOT ask for tomatoes nor can I eat tomatoes. I asked the waiter why my salad had tomatoes on it. He said because you ordered a salad. I told him that is correct but tomatoes was not one of my five sections. Again, the whole idea of allowing the customers create their own salad must have been missed somewhere in the process. My salad was picked-up and returned to the kitchen. That's when my wife and I observed who we later learned was a "manager" reviewing the contents of my salad against the waiters electronic hand held ordering device. The manager and waiter must have talked over my salad for about 5 minutes and then we saw it passed back through the window. The manager went on to prep other's food and deliver to other tables and the waiter went back to re-fill another customer's glass with flat soda out of a half empty two liter bottle. Another 10 minutes or so pass and my wife is now done her meal we see my salad get passed back through the window. It's received and the manager proceeds to place what I thought all of my selections on my salad. Finally my replacement salad arrived, the same now cold dried grilled mahi mahi on top. As I began to cut up my salad, I did not see my double selections of cumbers and hard bopiled eggs. My wife said they are probably on the bottom of the bowl. I finished cuting my salad and tossed it to mix it up. That's when I noticed that I did not come close to getting a single order of cumbers and eggs. At this point, we could not wait any longer and just wanted to get out of there and head to the airport. The waiter came back over and asked how our mean was and I told him that my salad was messed up again but don't worry about it. I don;t have time to wait for yet another one. He asked what was wrong with it. I reminded him that I ordered double cumbers and eggs. His immediate response was well I see some right there. I asked him if he was kidding. He went to get the manager. The manager came over and by that time I pulled out all of the cumbers that were in my salad and separate the egg to show the waiter and manager that I was right and they were wrong. The manager told me that me personally measured out the cumbers and I received double the portion as compared to what your wife got. I pointed out him the three slices of cumbers on my side plate and asked him three slices were a double portion was I correct to assume that a single portion would only be a slice and a half of cumbers. Believe it or not he response was "yes". My wife them told him that he must have put my double portion of cumbers and eggs on her salad because her single selection of each was a lot more than my double portion. Again, the actual manager told us nope he measured out everything himself and that what we got was correct. Without saying it we agreed to disagree with the "manager" and I continued to finish up my salad. As he walked away, my wife told him to please bring us our check and to make sure that my husbands salad was not on it. He followed back up to our table with two little paper cups. One had a "portion" of cumbers and the other had a "portion" of hard boiled eggs. The irony is that these two sing;e "portions" were more than my double "portion" that made it into my salad that both the waiter and manager argued with us about. By this point, we had enough, I ate what I could of my less than impressive salad and left the additional "portions" of cumber and eggs on the table. Again, by the time they arrived I was just about finished up eating my lettuce.
The bill finally arrived and to our surprise not only were we still charged for my salad, we were also charged for the "free" appetizer. At this point my wife jumped up and followed the manager back to the kitchen and told him that the salad was not taken off the bill and we were charged for our free appetizer. The manager actually told my wife that they were still charged for my salad since they made it right by giving me an additional portion of each and he said why do think you got a free appetizer. My wife then proceeded to tell the manger before that's what the coupon said. He said what coupon, she told him the one that we gave to the waiter. A few minutes later our revised bill arrived with our free appetizer. Needless to say, we ended up not paying for my salad because we did not tip a single penny.
I can assure you that with the attitude and arrogance the manager and wait staff displayed to my wife and I and other customers for that matter that were watching all of this unfold, this so called local business will fail and fail quickly.
BTW, my wife and I went back to our hotel and told the front desk manger about our experience. They gave us our first and only apology over the experience. I told them it was not their fault that Billy Bobs was poorly managed and had really bad service. She pulled out the stack of "free" appetizer coupons for Billy Bobs front her desk and threw them in the trash can. She assured me that they would NOT be sending anymore guest over to Billy Bobs.
See you in Chapter 11 Billy Bobs!!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.