On New Year’s Eve, my cousin and I decided to go to a restaurant. We were in Monroe, NJ, and Italian food sounded good. We went to Antonio’s. It was crowded and we had to wait 15 minutes, but given that was New Year’s Eve and we didn’t have reservations, we figured that was pretty good.
When we got to our table, we were immediately given a basket with warm, freshly baked rolls. Yummy. The waitress came by 2 minutes later and barked “Do you know what you want?” I ordered chicken noodle soup and spaghetti Bolognese. My cousin ordered a big roasted veggie and green salad, and a gluten-free and cheese-free pizza. She made that very clear. My soup arrived 30 seconds later and the salad came 5 minutes later. It might have been nice to have had them both arrive together, but they were busy. OK.
As soon as we finished the soup and salad, the spaghetti and pizza came, surprising, given how busy they were. Unfortunately, the pizza had cheese. We complained. The waitress apologized and took the pizza back. About 10 minutes later, a gluten- and cheese-free pizza arrived. It met my cousin’s requirements. It just didn’t taste good so she didn’t eat it. When the waitress came by, she asked if we wanted a “doggie bag.” My cousin said: “no.” The waitress was taken aback and asked what was wrong. She was bluntly told: “It doesn’t taste good.”
Before we could leave, the owner, Antonio, showed up and seemed genuinely concerned. He wanted to know what was wrong and how he could fix it. In addition, he didn’t charge us for the pizza and furthermore gave us two coupons good for free frozen yogurts at a yogurteria three doors away. We went there and had two great, free, yogurts.
So why three stars? The salad, rolls, and spaghetti were fine, but they are hard to mess up. The mistake about putting cheese on the pizza is understandable, especially when the place was overflowing. Many people like cheese on their pizzas. But having the dough be inedible is poor. Still, the owner’s concern was very unusual. So if we average 1 star and 5 stars, we come out at 3 stars.