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“Bad food and worse service”

New England Moorings
Ranked #11 of 464 Restaurants in Cape Coral
Price range: $7 - $14
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: A few lines to introduce myself. My name is Al Whelan, I am from Boston and worked at a famous "waterfront dive" known as Kelly's Landing. A seafood business in a Catholic community with lines down the street, literally. I worked there for five summers and enjoyed every minute of it. My first date with the counter girl (she couldn't resist a man in a paper hat), my first kiss, etc. One rule was demanded, cooking with clean oil! In those days it was lard! Today we use canola oil both on the grill side and on the fry side... Most of our dinners are on the grill side. Fish shrimp, scallops, steaks, ribs, chicken and pork round off our menu. Our Irish Connoli is like a little piece of heaven and our homemade bread pudding is to die for. Both topped off with sweet whipped cream. We've added a 6000 square foot patio surrounded by trees. A truly private and romantic spot. Also some added features such as, a basketball cage, beer pong table and corn hole court.
Reviewed March 11, 2011

While driving down Del Prado Blvd. this afternoon looking for dinner, I saw a sign that stated, "AYCE Fish and Salad Bar - Moorings Restaurant". I decided to give it a try since I like a good fish dinner.

My first impression after walking into the place was that it was decorated like a cheesy Key West or island bar with hand painted murals covering every wall, fish nets and toy dolphins hanging from the ceiling. But it did put you in a vacation state of mind, I guess what the owner was trying to accomplish. My second impression was of the owner and it wasn't very good, since he tried to steer me to sitting at the bar as I was dining by myself even though I told him I wanted a table for dinner. He made it quite evident that he didn't want a party of one taking up his valuable table space since every table in the small place was set up for either four or six people. When I told him the second time that I preferred a table so I didn't have to eat at the bar, he said in a gruff voice, "Fine. Sit wherever you want and I'll find you." I should have taken that as a hint of things to come, but apparently left my brain at home.

A young waitress approached me within seconds, dropped a menu and silverware and asked what I wanted to drink. When I told her a soft drink, she acted dejected. I later realized that she was doubling up as both a server and the bartender, so I am sure it would have been in her best financial interest if I had purchased a bar drink of some kind. For whatever reason, it took her almost ten minutes to bring me a can of Coke and a glass of ice. I told her it was my first time dining there and when she asked me what I wanted to eat, I told her I had seen the sign on the road about the all you can eat fish and salad bar. I asked her what kind of fish they served and was told scrod. Since I enjoy either scrod or cod, I felt comfortable that this would be a good meal. She told me I could help myself to the salad bar. I didn't realize at that point in time that this visit to my table would be her last.

The salad bar was where I encountered my first problem with the food - there wasn't any lettuce to make a salad. There was slaw, macaroni salad, tomatoes and an empty bowl that used to contain lettuce. I waited for about ten minutes and a new bowl was brought out, giving me enough time to fill a plate, sit down and have the owner deliver my entree. That's okay, I said to myself, since all I received was fish nuggets and fries for my meal; a bit of a surprise since most ayce fish dinners also come with slaw. But then, that's why there is slaw on the salad bar, I guess. I ate my salad along with the dinner.

As soon as the dinner was delivered, I began looking for my waitress so I could ask her to bring me some lemon for my fish since the only condiment given was tartar sauce. She flitted by me many times on her way to other tables, but never once looked my direction or stopped to ask if everything was all right. I called her over one time as she was passing by and asked her if she could bring me some lemon and was told, "I don't have time right now. Give me a few minutes and I'll see what I can do."

The first bite of fish that I took told me it wasn't scrod, cod, haddock or any other white fish. The flesh was dark; darker than bad spots on catfish but not nearly as tasty. The breading was light and had a good flavor, but that is the only good thing I can say about this entire meal. The fish was dry, had a poor taste, was not firm, and although I do not know what kind it was, I know for a fact that it was not what I was told.

When I was finished (there was no way I was going after seconds), I sat for another three or four minutes waiting for my waitress to stop, clear the table and ask if I wanted anything else. Since she had not given me any service other than to drop off my can of soda (no free refills, by the way) and take my order (the lemon never arrived, she never checked back and didn't even deliver the food), I had already decided that she would receive less than my standard 20% gratuity, something in the 10-15% range depending on the change coming back to me. When she finally arrived and asked if I saved room for a cannoli, I told her all I needed was the check and asked if I should pay her or up front. She said I could pay her and went to get the check, which took another five minutes, dropping it off only after getting second drink orders for three other tables. I had plenty of time to calculate the final bill with tax to the penny and therefore, was quite surprised when the bill with which she presented me was higher. She added $11.49 and .69 tax and came up with a total of $12.99 instead of $12.18. Innocent mistake? I guess we'll never know since I looked for her again, couldn't find her, laid $12.20 on the table and walked out. I am in the restaurant business and it is very difficult for me to stiff a server, regardless of how poor the service has been. But adding an additional 81 cents to the bill, mistake or not, is inexcusable. So instead of getting a small tip for her lack of service, she got no tip at all for her attempted robbery.

I won't go back to the Moorings again. I will, instead, tell all my friends, relatives and acquaintances to stay as far away as possible. Sort of like, "When you're walking down Del Prado, use the other side of the street."

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8  Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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844 - 848 of 871 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2011

This is an old and very unique restaurant but the my wife got sick from one peice of shrimp which caused her to barf for hours and could not move. I plan on sending this information to the state and have spoken to others who have suggested they would never eat there again.

1326 SE 16th Place, Cape Coral, FL 33990
Tel: 941.772.9900

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7  Thank Live-Experience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2011

I have NEVER been so insulted by an owner in his establishment. 3 of us went to NE Morrings for the first time. Not impressed at all. We were asking ?'s as this was our first time and the server came back & told us the owner said to stop asking him ?'s. Long story short we decided on the special...Lobster and Scallops in a cream sauce casserole. The 3rd party in our group ordered the Shrimp, Scallops and Crab Cakes. Our entrees came. The 2 casseroles had NO sauce on them and were dry. The 3rd party got Shrimp, Scallops and Fish. He does NOT like fish. Asked the server where the cream sauce was. She went to check and the owner, Al, comes to our table and says "Who told you there was a sauce?" The server replies "I did" He grabs my dish out from under me as he slams a crab cake down by my husband & asks very rudely what else do you want. I was speechless. He goes "Nothing, Right?" Looks at my friend and asks "So do you want yours?" She shakes her head and he grabs her entree, looks at my husband and throws the crabcake dish on top of his entree and says "You don't want yours either, I can tell" and takes everything away from us and walks away. If you are looking for lousy food and very bad behavior by the owner no less then go to this restaurant. I will let everyone I know about this and steer them away. This man is horrible and has the manners of a baboon.

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12  Thank Marycritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2010

My wife and I have enjoyed Moorings numerious times since moving to the Cape. We've took most of the family (Bristol,Tn) when they visit and they loved it. The owner and waitstaff were friendly and visited our table numerious times to insure everything was too our liking. If I were to make any suggestions to the Restaurant it would be:

1. Offer freshly brewed tea and coffee,not premix
2. Serve fresh salads from kitchen,or update salad bar to include fresh ingredants

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4  Thank weaver69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2010

I am visiting Moorings in Cape Coral since over 9 years now and have always been very satisfied with the food, it is delicious, fresh and comes with reasonable prices. It is a small restaurant and if crowded the freshness demands waiting times. I have also tried other restaurants but the value is here the best. Starting with the samplers to find out what you like, and also the very small but also very fresh salad bar .

If you have time, try the weekly specials.
I was here yesterday, my bill was clearly and absolutely correct (like always)

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3  Thank bigtkoch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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