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“Awful, awful, awful!”
Review of Fire Fly

Fire Fly
Ranked #47 of 316 Restaurants in Traverse City
Price range: $6 - $23
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Large groups, Bar scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Located in downtown Traverse City, on the banks of the Boardman River, Fire Fly specializes in small plates, sushi, and martinis. Dine inside or riverside on the patio! Fire Fly offers daily specials including Happy Hour every day from 3pm to 6 pm. Fire Fly is proof that great food doesn't have to be expensive. We offer a wide selection of local, national and international wines, and our craft beer selection is extensive. Our knowledgeable staff can help pair the perfect wine or craft beer with your dinner!
Reviewed September 18, 2013

I can go on and on about what a disappointment this restaurant was but I won't bore you. Food was beyond gross, service was mediocre at best, the ambiance and location are about the only thing this place has going for it. Do yourself a favor and walk across the street and have a good meal at Om Cafe.

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2  Thank Ken-Marilyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biff_Condor, Owner at Fire Fly, responded to this reviewResponded September 20, 2013

Please bore me. Give me the gory details. jeff@tcfood.com.
Amazing that I can't see what you see. I see an amazing restaurant with a hardworking crew. Help me from being so blind. Being that you loved the Vegan restaurant across the street, did our love of meat really get you mad? tell me what you had in our hardworking restaurant that was so awful that you have to tell the world how bad you think we are.
You summer in TC? did you work in TC?
Tell me about the axe you are grinding here, please

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216 - 220 of 343 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2013

Our son who lives in this area recommended this restaurant. We arrived at the dinner hour to a very crowded place, but were seated fairly promptly even though we had been told it would be a longer wait. The food was good. My son and I split the 'small plate 3/$33' and a salad which was plenty of food for both of us. My husband had the pecan crusted walleye which was very tasty. Would enjoy returning.

Thank PamC54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

The outdoor patio near the river was great, but that was the only good thing about it. We sat on the patio for lunch, then waited a long time for someone to come out. The young waiter was courteous enough, but you could tell he didn't want to be there. He rushed us when we were ordering, then we waited a long time for our food. The menu was mediocre. My husband ordered a pulled pork sandwich, which was way too sweet. I couldn't get excited about anything so I ordered the soup & sandwich combo. By the time we got the food, nothing was hot and the soup was tasteless. The server didn't come back to our table, and we had to track him down to get iced tea refills. I can't recommend this place to anyone: poor food and bad service. But at least it had a lovely patio with a river view.

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Thank shar100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biff_Condor, Owner at Fire Fly, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Thank you for taking time to review Firefly. It is always difficult to take reviews from all different kinds of people without knowing who they are or what their expectations are based on.

Nevertheless poor service is poor service. I am very sorry to hear about having that experience in my restaurant. The manager on duty has no excuse for not ensuring that your service was up to par. I am an Iced Tea drinker and hate to have to wait/ask for my Iced Tea. I am very sorry about that.

The poor food comment is very dissappointing to hear from you. We are known for our Sushi and Small plates. Our menu is very extensive, in fact too extensive if anything. Our biggest selling items are General Tso Chicken, homemade Potstickers and our Seafood fondue. So for you not to find anything exciting tells me that you may have been in the wrong type of restaurant for the food you normally like.

It is hard when someone gives a scathing review when I know all the hard working people that are trying to make a living at Firefly. If the young waiter doesn't want to be there, he is screwing it up for a bunch of families that depend on the success of all their efforts at firefly.

I am very sorry that you had a bad experience. I wish you the best.

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Reviewed September 7, 2013

My husband and I went there because it is a tapas style restaurant. The food was alright. It did not have a lot of flavor. We went for happy hour so had inexpensive drinks which was good because the food was not that good. The atmosphere is a bit lacking as well.

Thank Mikeandlaurie_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biff_Condor, Owner at Fire Fly, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Thanks for taking time to review our restaurant. It is always helpful to let the restaurant know specifics so they can improve. We are a very busy successful restaurant with many regular guests. Our menu is always changing, if you email me at Jeff@tcfood.com with what food you had that you did not think was spectacular I will be more than happy to compensate you.

I am intrigued that you didn't like our atmosphere.........I, personally, am in love with our 25 foot high windows that overlook boardman river. Some have said that they don't like places with high ceilings?

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Reviewed September 6, 2013

Wifey and I hadn't been to the Fire Fly in a few years. We're local TC people.In the past, we always thought the Fly was a good balance of quality, cost and ambiance. So when we needed to grab some grub earlier this week, we thought we'd re-visit.

When we got there, we found out that it was 'happy hour' for another 20 minutes, 'Ladies Night' and 'Burger Night'. Woo Hoo! We thought we'd stumbled into something cool.......

We were greeted by a very friendly waiter (Ben?). We ordered a cocktail. When we got the bill, we found out that 'happy hour' meant $1 off of an $11 cocktail. For this cocktail to have qualified for 'happy hour' for me, it would have been something like 50% off of a $5 - $8 price. Not a deal, for an average quality/quantity cocktail.

Wifey ordered the small filet mignon, and enjoyed it. At 'ladies night' prices, it was a deal.

Since it was 'burger night', I went for a burger. In the past, the Fire Fly's burgers were always superb. The menu didn't state what the 'deal' was for ordering the burger, but from memory, I thought it was 30% (or was it 50%?) off. I decided to splurge for a bacon burger.

My burger was no better than OK. Bun was thick white bread that was dry (slightly stale?). I tossed the bun aside and focused on the meat. Bacon was obviously cooked hours earlier, and was cool and stiff. All of the meat was covered in a nice slab of cheddar cheese. Try Slabtown Burger for a much better bacon burger, at a much better price.

When the bill came, it didn't include any 'burger special' discount. Ben told me that the 'burger special' only covered the plain burger, not any of their signature special burgers. Whoa...that seems to be against the spirit of 'burger night'! I wish that I would have known that when I ordered. To Ben's credit, he volunteered to give me the discount anyway. Nice, but why doesn't the menu state this - or the waiter inform the patron when ordering?

The setting at the Fire Fly is very nice. Overlooking the Boardman River, along the recently urbanized Cass Street.

Over all, it was a so-so experience. In a 'foodie' town like Traverse City, I think the Fire Fly needs to step up their game if they want to remain viable.

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Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biff_Condor, Owner at Fire Fly, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Thanks for taking time to critique your experience. The best deal on Happy Hour is our $1.75 Highballs and $2 pints. If you order a premium Martini that is poured into our 9.25 oz martini glasses, you do just get $1 off for happy hour. We are known for our Martinis, and they range from $10 to $15 depending on what you choose. I do not know of any reputable operation that offers half off premium drinks. Maybe I need to go to Nigeria?

Because of your comments about the Burger deal, we have changed our policy to do a blanket discount for all the burgers. I am very sorry that you had to go through your experience to help us learn that we were goofing up.

As far as competing in this foodie town......We have been doing business as Firefly in Traverse City for 12 years. We are known for our Sushi and our small plates. Our hamburgers are made with Shooks Farms Beef, freshly ground for Firefly. It is a lean, local beef with a much different flavor profile than most burgers. It is not the burger that Slabtown uses. I am familiar with their product and I understand that if you think that is a superior burger that you would definitely be on a different playing ground than what Firefly's burger is all about. We bake our buns for our burgers ourselves. I am sorry to hear yours was not up to par.

As with any dining experience, please let the restaurant know when you are not happy with something right when you are there. I guarantee that we will take care of any complaint you have happily right in the moment without question.

Thanks again for taking time to help us out.

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