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BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

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Surprise, Arizona
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BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

DO NOT go to House of Kebabs in Surprise!! We have tried 2 times and have had miserable experiences BOTH times! My husband, daughter and I went on Sunday for lunch. It took over 20 min to get a waitress to take our order. We both ordered gyros, chicken kebab for our daughter. Then we were told they didn't have the gyro meat ready and it would be an hour and a half if we wanted it. NO! So we asked what was ready now and picked from those. Almost and hour later they brought it out and brought soup for our daughter! No word on the kebabs! We ate what we could and left. Tonight friends of ours wanted to go--we are all fans of gyros, live in Surprise and have been waiting for months for this restaurant to open. One of the husbands was driving by there and we told him to go in and just make sure that the gyros was ready and available. They told him yes so he called us to all meet him over there. We did and when the waitress came we all put in our drink/food orders in right away. It took 20 min to get our drinks and things were not going well already--again! As we were there the 2 women at the table next to us called the owner over to complain about the wait time/service. After a while they still weren't happy and left. Then we asked about our food and they said they were almost done. Then after we had been there for an hour and a half another woman came up and demanded to talk to the owner. He came out from the back and she had similar complaints--waited an hour and a half and STILL no food, etc. He assured her it was on it's way and she went back to her table. When our food still wasn't coming the waitress came out and said they were working on the last sandwich and we were all set. Then the owner came over to see how everything was going. We told him it wasn't good, still no food and it was getting really late. He didn't seem to think there was a problem! He said he has gone to other restaurants and had to wait an hour for a table, then a half hour for food--so if we had been waiting about an hour and a half, it's the same thing!! HUH?? Not good business sense if you ask us! Then the food still didn't come and the waitress came again and said they now ran out of bread and were heating up more. ((We were told 20 min prior they were working on the last sandwich!!)) After she walked away we decided we could wait no more and were going to leave. We walked up to the bar/owner and told him. He got upset and said the sandwiches were ready and he could put them in boxes to take them to go and promised they would be out in 2 minutes. We agreed if it was only 2 min we would give him the chance. NOPE! He came out wth 2 sandwiches and again, we waited. In the meantime the other woman who had complained before came back up and in no uncertain terms told the owner she was leaving and the friends of theirs at the next table was leaving too--"they were done" and they just walked out. Then he went in the back to get the rest of the food and the waitress rang up our entire order and charged our credit card for $48. The owner came back out and said the sandwiches were on hold again--he just realized the fries were cold and he was having them make new ones. I then inquired if he was getting the food for the 2 kids (they had kebabs) and he said no-he was getting us 5 gyro sandwiches and that was it. (Again my daughter can't seem to get food at this place!) We told him we paid for the food for the kids and we didn't order 5 gyros sandwiches (we ordered 3 and a gyro plate) He said 5 sandwiches! He disappeared again and we decided enough was enough--we wanted our money back and needed to go! He came back out and we informed him--he got really upset and said he couldn't do that--the food was almost ready. He reached in the drawer and pulled out $10 and threw it on the bar and said that was a 20% refund and we could have that. We really got upset and told him we weren't going to wait anymore or pay for food we didn't order and food we weren't getting. Then he got mad that the waitress had rung us up!!! Finally he said he would refund the money and ran in the back to tell them to forget the fries!! He took the now cold sandwiches that had been sitting on the bar and ordered her to get rid of them. Now a waitress walks up and tells him that the older couple in the corner of the room were getting upset too and said they would wait 5 more min and if they didn't have their food they were leaving too! What a joke. He finally credited the card and we walked out. While outside the owner's cousin came out and apologized. She said they are having problems in the back--we thanked her for her concern, but tried to tell her they have more problems inside than they think--and the problems aren't just in the back!! Now it was after 8pm and we were all starving! As a last resort we headed over to McDonalds and called it a very frustrating night!!

DO NOT GO unless you have 3 hours of free time to eat!!

Surprise, AZ
4 posts
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1. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

I can't believe (well, really I can..) that someone else had a similar experience there and posted it. I googled "house of kebabs" and yours is the first in line. LOL Wow, what a trainwreck..

I was reading through your post and it all sounded so familiar. My wife and I spent 3 hours there on sunday from 5-8. We watched countless people leave after horrible, or no service at all. We were unfortunate enough to have been served by a young male w/ very apparantly, no prior service as a foodserver. Ever. But I digress, Right now begins the dichotomy for me which is House of Kebabs. Like you, we welcomed the owner with great hopes of success, and appreciation for a good gyro ;) In fact, my wife and I agree they may in fact make the best Hummus we've ever tasted. (In retrospect, I wonder if it was merely luck it tasted the way it did, given the rest of the horror story.) We waited 15-20 minutes for a drink order, 2 iced teas. Getting refills awhile later, we ordered hummus app, and more tea. Not wishing to make an allnighter out of this, we ordered entrees too; 1 gyro, and 1 beef kebab dinner. We'd been there an hour when the best hummus ever came (with cold pita??) We munched on that as diners around us grumbled and exclaimed their displeasure, some leaving without having eaten, others being served partial meals. There was a family at the bar discussing a large takeout order which had appearantly been FUBAR'd, it may have been you.. Finally, maybe 2 hours into this, my entree came out, the beef kebab platter, by itself. 4 smallish chunks of (while deliciously seasoned) overcooked sirloin sat next to a mass of rice. Plain, buttered rice. There was honestly something else on the plate, maybe tahini, but it was so forgettable, honestly, I forgot what it was. We polished off the kebab platter withut any tea, but were lucky enough to get more after the plate was taken away. It was at that point we got to, and did, inquire about the gyro we never got. "It'll be right out" owner guy told us.. I can't explain why, but shortly thereafter, a second dish of hummus was brought to our table, with 4 more pita pcs. We finished off the tea, and laughed as we bet each other who was leaving next, and to what level on the angry diner scale they were. My 8.5 mo, beautiful pregnant wife finally got up and made her way to the bar where the owner was engaged in a similar conversation with the previous folks. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the whole thing to him as best she could, and we left. Before doing so, we passed our hummus and cold pita chips to the family of 5, who were sat next to us nearly 45 minutes before, who'd still not had food at their table.

Surprise, AZ
2 posts
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2. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

Dear concerned consumers,

I would first like to deeply apologize for your bad experiences. It seems as if your visits were within our first few days of being open. I would like to explain that much of the staff was inexperienced not only at doing their jobs but also with the type of foods we offer. As time has gone by, we have gained the necessary experience in customer service and the restaurant business and made changes here and there in order to keep the business going smoothly.

To the first post, I am again deeply sorry for your bad experiences. Please keep in mind that it was our first few days of being open. I was deeply frustrated with the untimely serving of meals as well as mistakes being made by the staff. It is uncommon for me to act this way, and I would like to invite you back and allow me to personally apologize to each and every one of you. However, I am also offended that instead of bringing this to my attention, you posted this for everyone to see. I ask that any future bad experiences please be brought to my attention beforehand. One of the changes we have made is closing on Sunday afternoons in order to prepare everything that we are low on from the weekends, as it takes time to prepare this. We also no longer serve gyro sandwiches after 4 pm on ANY day due to the time and preparation that goes into these meals.

As for the second post, written by DBAX717, I would like to apologize to you as well. However, if the service was as horrible as you stated, why did your wife come back to try us again? I ask that you please have her write an article on the GOOD experience she had here. Also, please include the fact that I offered a free serving of hummos to you when your baby was born.

We have not had any complaints since those few days of opening occurred. I challenge every one of you to come and experience us first hand and write your experiences up here. Instead of writing ONLY the bad, let's write about the GOOD side of things. I thank you for writing the bad ones, however, because it has helped me to improve my ways of running the business.

Thank you for your time.


Tony (Owner of The Surprise House of Kebabs)

Surprise, AZ
4 posts
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3. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

Tony, I am sorry to have to reply to you here as unfortunately, I still have nothing good to say on your restaurants behalf, even after your (I'm sure) sincere apology to my wife. As I stated previously, your food is seasoned well, it's tasty. In fact, she was going in only to buy one (1) gyro, and some hummus on a saturday at 1:00. Then she would return home to prepare a meal of falafel, tabouleh, and of course your hummus to go along with it all. Of course, you met again, and offered to make it all good and she accepted your apology. First thing wrong (this time) was no gyros on a saturday afternoon? Told her it was only for the dinner menu that day? C'mon man.. That just won't fly. You must've realized by now, over 80% of the people who walk in there are there not for kebabs, or BBQ ribs, but GYROS. So she orders two(2) salads, one(1) beef kebab, and the hummus. The salads must've weighed 2# each and consisted of iceberg lettuce (past its prime), red onion,and underripe tomatoes. She must've mentioned her love of all things FETA too, as one salad was obviously laden with more than the other. Not sure if the salads are normally that big or if you were just getting rid of your old produce.. Next was the beef kebab. I realize you must've also added a few extra pcs of the meat, because the portion was again, bigger than the one I had in the store that night. I I were you Tony, and knew the people I was serving were unhappy with their first experience, I'dve handchecked, no, handcooked every part of their meal myself. The meat was completely overcooked, dry, and nearly impossible to swallow. The rice beneath the kebab meat was not hot either. While sitting there laughing at the food in front of me, it just seemed, that it was not worth giving your business a second thought after this. I quite frankly would've been mad at the thought of having to had paid for a second meal, it's just not worth it.

It really is horrible that I'm taking the time to write this. I never would've, if I/we (like so many others in this neighborhood) hadn't had such great hopes for your establishment. Your horrible failure, is a horrible dissapointment to many I'm sure. Personally, I wish you all the best, you seem like a nice enough guy, and thanks for the offer of hummus when the baby's born :) , but you will never know when that is, as we'll never return to your restaurant.

Good luck to you.

Los Angeles
1 post
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4. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

Contrary to your experience, we have friends that live in Surprise, and found the House of Kebabs there to be a wonderful place for lunch or dinner.

We visited this past weekend, 4/27/07 and enjoyed a fabulous friday night dinner with dancing entertainment that resembled the "lounge" years of yesterday.

The food was absolutely a knockout, fresh cuts of tender chicken and shrimp kababs, cooked to perfection and several side dishes prepared fresh.

Despite all the bad things you've mentioned, I think once the place gets opened, the new owner is better prepared for business. Tony is a nice guy that deserves another chance.

Surprise, AZ
1 post
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5. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

My husband and I first visited House of Kebabs about a week ago and today would have been our 3rd visit in just over a week had they been opened for lunch on Sunday. This place is AWESOME! My husband is an aficionado when it comes to gyros and he says this is the best gyro he has had in the 15 years we have lived in the Phoenix area. The best gyro is at Youssef's Deli in East Peoria, IL.

On our first visit we came in for lunch we were greeted, seated and had our drinks within a couple of minutes. The appetizer arrived shortly after and our sandwiches not long after. 3 hours for lunch, ridiculous. We were in and out within 45 minutes easily and everything was deliciously superb. My husband had the gyro and he said it was the next best one since we used to eat at Youssef's Deli in Peoria, IL, where he usually ate 2-3 times a week. I had the chicken kebab pita sandwich and it had a nice helping of seasoned chicken on a perfect piece of pita. The seasoned fries were wonderful. And, the waitress was very attentive and pleasant.

On our second visit we did carry-out, and again not one problem. We had all our food within 15 minutes after ordering and again all the sandwiches and fries were perfect.

Today we were hungry for a gyro, but soon found out they didn't open until 5 p.m. on Sunday. But, that's okay...everyone needs a little time off. We are looking forward to dining some evening and sampling the dinners, especially the shrimp kebabs.

It's too bad a few people had a couple bad experiences the first week they were opened, bad news usually travels faster than good and I believe this restaurant deserves a second chance.

We are looking forward to having this fine restaurant in our neighborhood for many years to come. I only hope others will overlook the negative comments, and I'm sure they will enjoy it as much as we have.

No, we are not relatives of the owner. In fact we don't even know who the owner is or have we met him. I just find it very offensive that some people have to give a new business such a hard time when first starting out. So, if you want consistency go to McDonald's, if you want decency go to House of Kebabs.

1 post
2 reviews
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6. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

Hmmm...unfortunately, I just had bad experience there. Today is July 2, 2007.

Here's a review I just wrote about the place:

I just visited the newly opened House of Kebab on Reems Road in Surprise, Ariz. and was disappointed over all. On my way there, I visualized a simple eatery with a visible rotisserie where I'd get something to go or eat on the run. Well, I was surprised to open the door and find a place with a rich ambiance -- amber covered lights, wood floors, warm-toned walls, some striking artwork with floral motifs.

There was one couple at a table finishing their meal and a waiter, a child, and someone I surmised was the waiter's girlfriend clustered at the bar. We navigated several dirty tables and a floor strewn with crumbs to arrive at a clean table.

Our appetizer arrived quickly, but the accompanying pita bread tasted like it had been pulled from the store wrapper. I asked them to toast it which made a difference.

My meal was brought to me about 20 minutes before my companion's meal. The waiter gave me something slightly larger than a demitasse spoon purportedly for my soup. I asked for a soup spoon and received one. I'd been wanting some pita bread while eating my meal, but there was no one around to ask.

When my companion's meal finally arrived, it was the wrong item.

We also noticed that the price tag was still brand-spanking new on my companion's entree plate. (Don't think it had been through the dishwasher even once by the looks of it...ewwwww...)

We had to go up to the bar to pay as the waiter avoided our eyes and seemed to hide in the kitchen.

When we mentioned any of the issues to the waiter, he seemed to deflect them with, well, what could he do. He said that the dishwasher hadn't shown up, the bus boy had gone and he was the only person there (for a period my companion and I were the only customers in the place --the most there ever were was four). --There was a dirty food bowl and utensils in open view in the bar that an employee had clearly been eating from. Next to the dirty bowl were two open wine bottles. And the little boy had been running in and out of the kitchen drinking soda. The young woman who'd been huddled with the waiter had left about 20 minutes after we arrived. He had spent quite a bit of time with her....seemed like he could have wiped a table or two and/or let the kitchen know to orchestrate our meal --even after she left --if not while she was there.

A father and son arrived as we were eating. I watched and noticed that the father's meal arrived, and the son had to wait. The son's meal finally arrived about 10 minutes after the father's. The father commented to me that it didn't seem like the waiter was very experienced.

I saw on the wall that a Mr. and Mrs. Hagopian own this place. Well --I think it looks like they've invested some good money into decorating the place, but they really need to work on training and supporting the staff they leave in charge --cooks, waitpersons, etc., to ensure their investment isn't for nothing. I am very disappointed. I had been so excited about this new place.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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60,942 posts
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7. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

Is this a conspiracy or what? You're all new posters (welcome to the forum) and the only thing seems to be criticizing good or bad for this place. Imo post a review on TA restaurant section.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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52,296 posts
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8. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

I agree tet, It looks very suspicious.

Surprise, AZ
2 posts
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9. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

And here we stand again, a few months down the road. I would first like to thank each and every one of you for your posts, as they have helped me grow. Your complaints on here and your compliments on here have helped me to make necessary changes in how I am continuing to run my business.

I would like to thank Eugene63 and ljo11 for their compliments in this forum. I would also like to reassure ALL of you that I am the only one writing on here. The other posts and other screen names are NOT employees of mine.

As for the post by Sonoranadvisor, I would like to touch on a few certain points. First, I would like to apologize for any dirty tables or dirty floors you may have seen when you were visiting us. Please know that as a rush ends, servers have time to begin the cleanup process. While there are customers in the restaurant, and the servers have more than two tables at a time, there is no time to stop and sweep the floor after every single customer, and sometimes it takes a moment to breathe before cleaning after the rush ends. I would like to assure you that any plates you ate off of during your visit WERE cleaned before we served food on them. We have had a health inspection and have received a gold star and a perfect score. Secondly, I would like to let everyone know that I do not allow husbands and wives, fiancées, or girlfriends and boyfriends on the same shifts. They must work separately so that distractions do not occur. The child coming in and out of the kitchen was my son, Jacob, whom I allow to work every once in awhile to give the servers help when we are busy. When we slow down, I send him home with my wife for the evening. Thirdly, I would like to apologize for the time in-between meals coming out. Some plates do not take as long as others to come out of the kitchen, and we do not have an area to keep the plates warm, as this takes away from the freshness of the meal. We run the plates as they are ready to be served, to ensure the food is warm and fresh. As for the server seeming inexperienced, the only way to properly train a server and allow them to gain experience is to allow them to work. How else will they get the experience needed? It is a long, tedious learning process for the servers as well as kitchen staff and anyone else involved. I, too, am learning new things everyday. Also, I am at work almost every single day, from opening until closing times. If there is ever a problem, do not hesitate to ask for me to come out and help to fix the problem. I apologize for your wife's order being incorrect, and had you said anything to your server, I would have remade the order for you and made sure you were charged for the meal you wished to receive. I would like to invite all of you back for another visit.

Again, I thank you all for your visits and your comments about your experiences. I encourage all of you to continue writing in this forum, and any others you may be members of, in order to help me better my business and my employees. Thank you for all of your time, and I look forward to seeing you in my restaurant for a second try, or for another visit. I ensure you that it will be pleasurable regardless of how many prior visits you have made and your past experiences. Please mention who you are when you come in; I would love to meet all of you. Thank you again.

2 posts
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10. Re: BEWARE-House of Kebabs-Reems/Greenway in Surprise, AZ

I dined at House of Kebabs tonight, August 4th. It is my 2nd time to visit. Both times that I visited, I was pleased with the meals and service. I had the beef kebabs both times and tonight I ordered an appetizer of tabouli. I think the place is decorated nicely, too. I woud recommend this place to a friend and I wish the owner luck. I hate to see the small guys fail!

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