We were excited to eat here after reading a review in a small local newspaper from North Padre Island (The Island Moon.) We tried to come earlier in the week but they were closed. Another day or two later, we came by after eating elsewhere (just to check the place out and pick up a menu) but they were again closed.
Third times the charm, so, we made a special effort to check the hours and went on our last full day a little less than an hour before they closed.
As we walked in, the atmosphere was nice with warm tomes and lots of plants. There were ten to twelve tables (many needing to be bussed) and one or two that were empty so we started over to one. That’s when we realized that Eats is not full-service... So, we went to the counter to order… no big deal… we were just hoping for a little more since the review we read was so positive. That was the first small disappointment. Little did we know that there would be many more and they’d get bigger…
The menu was more limited that I’d hoped but my wife was happy with an order of gingerbread pancakes. I would have liked an omelette or perhaps Huevos Rancheros but neither were offered. Lunch was available (chicken salad on a croissant sounded promising), but, we were in a breakfast mood, so, I ordered the two-egg breakfast which came with bacon, hash browns and a biscuit or toast. Not what I would have ordered had I an alternative, but, it would have to do. Second disappointment.
A short stack with two eggs and bacon for my wife and mine as described above with regular coffee and a glass of milk was over $22 before tip. Third disappointment.
I had been directed to get my own milk from the bright Coca Cola cooler (the one really bad décor item) and when there wasn’t any, I was told they’d bring it out. We went and sat and the milk came- in a clear plastic to go cup with cover and straw. I opened it and took a sip… It was just starting to turn sour… Another disappointment…
By this time, there was one person waiting for a to-go order and one couple waiting for their food at a table. Both had ordered before we even came in as there was no one in line at the counter when we walked up. Everyone else had already been served. We watched as the to-go person became increasingly agitated at the wait while the couple seemed content at their table as we were at ours.
After nearly twenty minutes, two boxes finally came out to the counter and were bagged and the to-go lady briskly left. Five more minutes and the two orders for the other table came out. That couple ate (rather quickly, I thought) and left before we even received our food. (I remember being agitated myself and thinking this better be worth it…)
Finally, our plates came and that was the greatest disappointment. My two over-easy eggs were over-cooked but nicely nestled in the COMPARTMENTALIZED PAPER PLATES we were served on! They were the smallest I’d ever seen and were dwarfed by being alone in the large compartment of the plate. The “Hash-browns” were a small scoop of over-cooked, over-salted/ seasoned deep-fried and greasy potato cubes. The third compartment had an equally small scoop of sugar cubed-sized cut watermelon (not ripe) with, I kid you not, ONE cube of cantaloupe! The bacon strips were those very small, restaurant-style ones and the biscuit looked like it came from a can. But, at least I had spoiled milk to wash it down (not really… I never took another sip after the first…)
I couldn’t believe it and understood why the couple left so quickly as I unwrapped my prison-issue silverware (our inside joke for the cheapest-possible tableware some restaurants choose to use. May as well have been plastic- to go with the plates!) We literally thought about walking out but didn’t want to be rude or questioned. We also talked about having it boxed (which we would discard on the way to eat elsewhere), but, we felt that would lead to questioning which we weren’t in the mood for by that time. So, we went ahead and ate.
The disappointments didn’t stop as one of the young staffers decided that waiting a few more minutes to sweep would be too long and proceeded around our table and with the rest of the seating area. That was bad enough, but, the owner came out and they began talking loudly across the restaurant about her (evidently) hung-over boyfriend. They talked about him getting sick and throwing up- WHILE WE WERE STILL TRYING TO EAT! Then, the owner in his booming voice described how his wife was "PROJECTILE-VOMITING" once when she ate something that disagreed with her and he had to take her to the hospital! I even looked over and said “really?”, but, he didn’t hear as he was so engrossed in his story…
Bottom line: nice décor (almost enough to get them a second star), but, though this place has potential, it’s just another disappointing, over-priced, low-service Island joint designed to rip off tourists.
We’ve been coming to Port A for over forty years and bought our house on the Packery Channel side of the Island ten years ago. We diligently try every new place and were excited after the review in the Moon. We were more disillusioned with Eats than we have been in any of the new places in a very long time.
Without improvements, I don’t believe they’ll survive… They certainly won’t see us again.
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