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“Excellent Sunday brunch”
Review of The Public House

The Public House
Ranked #63 of 713 Restaurants in Norfolk
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: American, Gastropub
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Norfolk, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Excellent Sunday brunch”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Sunday brunch was excellent. No wait, fast service, and very tasty food. Had the skillet and it was delicious + very filling. Coffee was pretty good for a restaurant and the service was great. It was also very reasonably priced for brunch. We will definitely be back.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank jhud3232
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Willoughby, VA
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“I really, really wanted to love it here.”
Reviewed December 3, 2013

I've been debating this review for the last several days. I have contacted the restaurant manager and will be providing her a copy with this review.

Normally, when I am this disappointed in a restaurant, I will pretty much just let them have it - the good, the bad and the ugly. But there were some positive points to this place and with improvement, I'm sure for someone else, it'll be a positive experience.

First - I started a social dinner group where we meet at a restaurant and dig in and see what local places have to offer. When I called to make a reservation for our party, it made me leave a voice mail. I could not find a direct number to call anyone. Finally after not hearing from anyone, I used e-mail. E-mail didn't work, so I found them on Facebook and sent a message that way and a lovely girl named Amy took our reservation for Tuesday, Nov 26th. Amy told us since our reservation time was at 7:30 that would be after the trivia crowd ordered food and it would put us in a great time slot without a lot of waiting. After it taking so long to actually reach someone, I really should've chosen someone else for our inaugural event. Amy was pleasant and lovely to work with. Hence, that's one of the two stars.

When we arrived, we were seated in a room away from all the Tuesday night trivia madness (thank goodness!). We were seated at tables scooted together and had plenty of room. After a wait, our drink order was taken and delivered. But getting refills took forever. During a lot of our visit there, we all felt ignored and forgotten.

Our appetizers came out quickly. There are the food items that also earned another star. It took me a lot to even give this place 2 stars because of the service I am about to describe. We tried the duck fat fries (yum!), the fried pickles (double yum!) and the bacon wrapped tater tots (wow!). What a great start, right?

This is where it goes downhill. And bad. At 8:00 our entree orders were taken by our server. He was hard to find. Our drinks constantly ran dry. He didn't come around often at all. I noticed all the other booths in this room filled up but had another server for those (female). I noticed as time went on, everyone at these booths had their food, the server was working her tail off, running around and filling drinks and keeping her people taken care of. Our guy? I don't know where he was.

Fast forward from 8:00 to 9:40. Yes. 1 hour and 40 minutes later our entrees BEGIN to come out. All in different order and finally we had 8 of the 10 and 2 people left out. Those of us with food awkwardly started eating while waiting for the other 2 folks to get their food. It took several minutes for their food to arrive after ours.

Keep in mind during this 1 hour and 40 minutes, our server didn't even address with us the wait. He didn't explain, apologize - I mean nothing. The food that came out was mediocre at best. I'm being too generous with that honestly. The pork belly, one of the last to arrive, was not warm. Can you imagine eating a fatty pork belly that's not warm? It is not appetizing. I can tell you that. And it didn't look appetizing at all. And w Everyone at the table was so tired from just waiting and watching people around us that no one was excited about food anymore. We had a guy celebrating his birthday at the table - he didn't even eat his dinner and he took his birthday cake home - not a bite gone from it. He said his hunger had come and gone and it was past his point.

I am just so embarrassed and mortified that with our first event I chose this place only to have it be a nightmare. Hopefully my friends trust me again. We were intrigued by some of the good reviews, the location, the menu - when I got there, the menu was a riot! It says they expect good tips, but also if you get bad service to let them know.

Well, I'm letting them know. I've debated this review for a few days and thought on it before I posted so I could calm myself. It may sound like first world problems to be this upset over a bad meal, but I don't know what was worse - the server not even addressing the wait or being mortified I chose this place and everyone's food was either not hot and just simply lukewarm and unappetizing. It was not what I expected.

To make matters worse, I was double-charged for an appetizer that was charged on another ticket. We worked it out with cash because when you void a transaction it's still going to leave a pending charge and all that mess. So, he gave me cash to make up for it. Which was nice of him. I tipped generously because I'm not a jerk. Plain & simple. But, their servers need a lot of training. Whatever young lady was working those booths that night - maybe she can train folks because she had her business handled.

I can't say I'll be back. Ever. Parking is difficult which is normal for Ghent so I really can't hold it against them - but

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MsCarrie75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Duck fat”
Reviewed November 25, 2013 via mobile

Ive been looking for duck fat fries for a while now and thankfully found the ones here. The food is good and the atmosphere is chill. The best part is the service. Some of the nicest folks working here to make sure you enjoy yourself. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

1 Thank swetfam4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Sunday Brunch”
Reviewed October 20, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Visited on a Sunday afternoon... some had breakfast some had lunch... all meals were delicious and filling.

Visited July 2013
Thank Wondosi327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“'The Poor House' is more like it.”
Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

This place is trying to be Ghent trendy but fails badly.
Food is far overpriced for its quality. Waitstaff is between
bored and uninterested. Just a pretentious, overpriced,
dull mediocrity. Skip it.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank deco-one
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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