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“Save yourselves!”
Review of Starlite Diner and Lounge - CLOSED

Starlite Diner and Lounge
Cuisines: Diner
Restaurant details
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
“Save yourselves!”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

I normally don't write reviews because I'm: a) not that picky when it comes to restaurants (especially restaurant service in general) and, b) I usually have better things to do with my time (I happen to have free time right now). However, I feel I owe it to the Good People of Boulder to write this review to save themselves their souls and their hard earned money. The reason why I'm not so picky when it comes to restaurants is because I've worked in them for over 7 years, so I know how sometimes there can be an "off night" with the staff. I've been here twice, so my theory that last night was just an "off night" doesn't hold up when I consider the other just-as-bad evening I've had here. Thus, I've experienced two equally-bad services months apart from each other. Something is going on here, something very troubling my friends....

The story:

For starters, I walk into this place and promptly sit at the bar. I am the only one at the bar at this moment. A waiter sees me right away, but refuses to even acknowledge me, nor does he pretend to be in a hurry with whatever else he's got going on (he literally spent 5 minutes pouring 1 glass of white wine-no joke, five minutes). After FIFTEEN MINUTES does this dude finally come and approach me. At this point I was straight up ready to place my order, since I had plenty of time to check out the menu with my fifteen minute wait. So I order my drink--a corona (which he miraculously doesn't spend much time getting for me)--and he takes off again, without asking if I was ready to order any food. *Sigh* another ten minutes rolls around before I finally get to place my order.

The food itself came out in a timely-manner, in about 10 minutes, so I'll give them that. I ordered a chicken quesadilla, and when I got it, the entire bottom was greasy and soggy. It was barely edible. The thing was cut into like 10 tiny pieces rather than your typical 4-6 pieces like any other sane place is likely to do. So I was forced to eat the damn thing with a fork (I am a barbarian and usually eat my burgers and quesadillas with my bare hands). The server comes around and asks me if I'm "all set" while he points to my empty dish. I therefore assume he meant "am I done eating and thereby done with my plate," so I say yes. He then quickly gives me my bill, despite that I was planning to order one more quick beer before I was to go purchase my movie tickets at a theater nearby. Again, he disappears for about 10 minutes before I can get his attention to order my second beer. In addition, after I basically chug this beer, another 10 more minutes comes and goes before get my final, updated bill. As I gathered by the chat from servers nearby, apparently there had been a bartender that was missing in action who was supposed to be there. Which at this point, I realized that may account for my shoddy service and all of this may not have been the poor waiter's fault after all; he's just a cog in a wheel and there seemed to be a missing cog.

Now is where things got ridiculous. The bartender, a cool Spanish guy shows up, supposedly 2 hours late into his shift. He seems happy as can be (after a brief exchange with the apparent owner of the establishment), and I too became happy because I realize I might be able to finally pay my check after all and would be able to leave this dreaded place once and for all. Nope.

At this point, I had my second, updated bill ready to go, with my crisp $20 sitting neatly on top. The Spanish bartender guy grabs my money and literally disappears for FIFTEEN MINUTES. I need to catch a movie, so I'm getting really worried at this point. I'm not sure if he was assuming that that was all in the tip (my bill was about $15), but protocol is to give exact change back and let the guest determine the tip value, right? Anyhow, I finally see this bartender again after fifteen minutes and he explains that someone ELSE will be back with my change. So, he gave my money to somebody else for some reason--the original waiter in fact. At this point, I was about to blow up, because I just wanted my change back. *A longer sigh* -TEN more minutes strolls by before this other person hands back my change. This is after I had personally yelled at him to get attention to ask for my money. Twenty-five minutes to get change back is pretty good, right? I was simply amazed, especially since the owner and the bartender were standing directly in front of my having a casual conversation about God knows what only two feet away from me as I sat there waiting for 25 minutes.

Time elapsed of the entire ordeal:
15 minutes before acknowledged by the staff
10 minutes later I get to place my order after initial the acknowledgment
10 minutes later I receive my food (so 35 minutes after sitting down I am finally staring at food)
10 more minutes to order my second beer
10 more minutes to get my correct version of the bill
15 minutes after I give the bartender my money do I get a second response to its whereabouts
10 more minutes before my change is given back to me
_____________________________________________
Total time at this establishment: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

I showed up an hour and a half before my movie was going to start just to be safe. I had 10 minutes to spare when it was all said and done, and luckily for me my movie wasn't sold out, so it actually wasn't that big of an inconvenience in the end. Yet, what WAS an inconvenience was the headache the Starlite Diner and Lounge gave me that proceeded to gain tract as I sat through my movie when I started to recall the horrors of that service I had just received. Never again will I return and I hope chef Gordon Ramsey takes it upon himself to accept a real challenge and try to turn THIS establishment around, because I can't imagine how this place could last another year or two, unless the owner enjoys hemorraging money like its nobody's business. After all, I saw three other parties walk out before they even tried to order their food, as they too had been easily ignored.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Nathan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

10 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    0
    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Denver
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Won't last long”
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Stopped in for a late lunch on a Saturday and found the place almost empty (bad sign). They were out of the soup of the day so we ordered a club and split it. My wife also ordered a side salad. Her salad came out on a hot plate with wilted lettuce, old tomatoes and the cheese melted to the plate. The club came on stale Texas toast that you couldn't get your mouth around. The bread was stale and disintegrated more and more with each bite. The bacon was clearly left over from breakfast and was cold and the lettuce was warm and wilted. The only good experience was the tater tots. The service was efficient and friendly. The cook had dread locks that were loose and not under a hat or hair net which really grossed us out. To top it off the staff were taking their smoke break right outside our window. I will not frequent this establishment again.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mingman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Probably the worst hamburger in Colorado”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We went to the Starlite prior to catching a movie around 2pm. The place was empty (Sunday afternoon). That should have been the first clue. Waitress was pleasant enough and given that all we wanted were 2 burgers (and this was after all, advertised as a good old fashioned diner) we thought the meal would be good. We both asked for "medium"

Mine came out rare - and only warm in the center. Two slices of tomato, some red onion and a wilting lettuce leaf on a stale bun. The manager came over to take our plates, I made a comment about the rareness of the meat pattie and he agreed that it wasnt medium - but "medium rare"

I heard him make a comment to the kitchen staff - and then to his credit he offered a 15% discount on the final check. I thanked him - but I still find this inexcusable. $20 for 2 hamburgers which were inedible.

Save yourself the trouble - avoid Starlite altogether and head to the Golden Arches if you feel hungry prior to the movies. This place surely hasnt got long left in a market of foodies like Boulder.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank eightblack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Terrible Experience”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

Raw burgers, greasy, over priced. Service was okay and frankly the shoestring frys were fresh We will not go back. Next time will go to Lark Burger or Smash Burger.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank SeattleRocket13111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CO
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Not the best place in Boulder”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

This establishment is listed on tripadvisor as "Starlight", despite the picture on the page with the sign "Starlite" and the website being starliteboulder.com. At any rate, it is rather disappointing. I visited this place once with the intention of both eating and earning some flight miles through the Delta SkyMiles Dining program. The decor is lovely - funky paraphernalia and memorabilia. It may be a little over the top. The place itself is HUGE! This is important considering what I am about to write.

I was one of 2 people in the restaurant, and the other person there was finishing his food. I ordered french toast, eggs, and sweet potato tots. The only reason why I ordered the french toast was because the waffle iron was broken. Ultimately, I was charged the "french toast" price of $6.49 instead of the waffle price of $5.99 ... no big deal, but something to keep in mind. The food took 20 minutes to come out. During this time, I could see the chefs being relaxed and leisurely. It was quite surprising. The waitress was lovely - a little too nice, though, and that's probably because I was one of 2 people there. This place seems either like it's dying or hasn't quite found a hook/draw. The eggs were okay, the tots were delicious but way too hot (temperature) compared to the other food, and the french toast was made with cheap bread, and was way too eggy. They did put in the effort to find my real maple syrup, though, and didn't charge extra for it.

I do not think I will return to this place. Furthermore, they recently put up a groupon, which almost is never a positive thing for a restaurant to do.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ughughCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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