Having read the stellar reviews, I stopped in at 3:00pm on a Saturday afternoon... was warmly greeted.. and my server suggested the lunch fish specials. I ordered fish & chips and my companions went with spaghetti w/meat-sauce and the crab cake sandwich. SO FAR SO GOOD! The food was prepared quickly and now it was time to eat!
UH OH!!! The Bassa fish (from Vietnam so I was told )was rubbery and bland and was accompanied by the smallest container of coleslaw I have ever encountered! Perhaps one tablespoon of slaw! and what slaw it was! Overly sweet and fruity! Thank goodness there was only 1/4 of a mouthful! This also came with sweet potato fries which were a bit greasy but good. Entree # 1 FAIL
The crab cake sandwich was served on a large kaiser bun and came with the same awful slaw and traditional fries. My friend passed the crab my way for a taste."" Not too good" thought I! Entree # 2 FAIL
Next up was the spaghetti. (by this time we were discussing the great reviews seen here and our profound disappointment as I was again offered a taste) IT WAS REGULAR PLAIN SPAGHETTI AND SAUCE without any character or excitement. The garlic bread that one must order separately was hard and overly seasoned! Entree # 3 FAIL
I slumped in my comfortable diner seat! What had just happened? Was it the lunchtime staff in the kitchen forgetting everything Phil had taught? Was it me and my friends over expecting? SIGH...
Our server asked if we enjoyed the food and we met her smile with blank gazes...she saw our unfinished meals and inquired again about the quality of the food. I finally said that we hadn't enjoyed the meal at all. Now it was her time for a blank gaze. She brought the check ..( sadly not the manager who might have repaired the situation with a reduction of the bill or a free dinner next time) We paid and left.
Was this meal an anomaly? Perhaps.... Is Phil's 41 the best restaurant in Punta Gorda? Perhaps.... will I return?
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