This was my second visit to Garfrericks. The first of my visits was about a year and a half ago, and the service was excellent, and the food was very find.
I am giving Garfrericks the "poor" selection out of the five "dots"- because mainly, the service butchered what could have been a most lovely dining experience.
A restaurant that charges somewhat steep prices should be equipt with a knowing and more than comforting wait-staff. Our server, Mandy, was about the farthest thing from such a staff. There were two servers this evening, the other being a gentleman who was flighty, and prissing about the restaurant, catering to two ladies at the bar mainly, and perhaps sneaking off to the back to smoke, or snort or something- given his sketchy prance, and demeanor, and no attention to the patrons, he was certainly doing something other than his job.
I was joined with a friend this evening (two of us) and we waited (on a Wednesday 8:00 p.m. visit) for about five minutes at the door to a restaurant not very full at all. We were then seated, and waited about 10 minutes before we were asked if we wanted something besides the water, and if we already knew what we wanted. I assume Mandy's other male patrons were paying her for something else than serving.
In such a restaurant of decent stature, you would think the staff would know to take an appetizer/drink order first- however Mandy must've been in a hurry or thought we weren't worthy of her time. My dining partner ordered just water, I ordered a Knob Creek Manhattan, which was extremely small for the price, and overly sweetened, and filled with chunks of ice that overly bruised the bourbon.
For the appetizer course, my companion ordered a salad- not much to criticize there since it's hard to screw up a bunch of leaves.
I ordered the "grilled" oysters with garlic parmesan. They were fine- nice really, very small oysters. I expected nothing and basically got just that. The "cocktail" sauce turned out to be a bowl full of Tabasco sauce, and they were also served with a lemon slice. $8 for 6 small oysters, and she forgot the crackers- which I could've cared less for, however, she said she would bring them and forgot them- as with everything she forgot until we reminded twice. A most absolutely horrible server. I know that this restaurant may have been too busy for two servers, however, for the price- need I reiterate the sorry service?
My dining companion and I were both fond of the palette cleansing apple/celery treat- howevery "they don't do that much anymore" as Mandy said. I suppose they are cutting corners because their awful wait-staff.
My dining companion ordered some chicken dish, which he seemed to enjoy- it looked good.
I ordered the Pecan Crusted Grouper which Mandy said was on the list of "100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die"- list- well, it perhaps may be the dish that kills. What a wretched waste.
I ordered an $8.00 beer brewed in Gadsden- after I asked for a beer listing two times, and never was asked if I wanted a refill, I just had to command and tell Mandy what to do. I am beyond disappointed and livid by this point.
The Grouper arrives, there are no crusts of pecans, it is a decent piece of grouper, served with a plain gelatenous gravy with no flavor, sprinkled with pecan halves that have been burned- instead of toasted. The fish and dressing part were actually fine- if a little bit overcooked. The worst part of this $25.00 entree is that it is served with the sorriest description of rice tinged with some garbage of frozen vegetable overcooked mess of junk. It was disgusting.
Mr. Garfrerick was such a gentleman last time on my visit, and visited all the tables of the restaurant tonight, except ours. I wouldn't have commented negatively to him at the dining "experience" or lack therof tonight- because I try to be a kind patron.
$108.00 (with 20% tip) I hope bought Mandy some interest in her patrons- I am beyond disappointed, as I could've chosen a handful of great restaurants for my friend and I. I will never return here as long as Mandy and the jittery other waiter are servers there. I am most let down, as I was hoping for this to be the highlight of my dining on this trip as I live several hours away.
Let me also add, we had to ask for refills of everything and every visit was seperated by a hiatus of more than 10 minutes per visit with Mandy.
I think if anyone wants any kind of service that isn't lackadaisical or tedious in waiting, then, sit at the bar next to the open kitchen.
Very let down. Very disappointed. And beyond upset.
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