Tubby's is local color indeed...off the tourist beaten path, well worn in, and unchanged for years... with the exception of the menu. I often take out of town clients there for a relaxing lunch on the porch away from the bustle of tourists downtown, Although it's on the main Thunderbolt thoroughfare, any hoped for view of the river is occluded by several story high condos and Spanish moss a plenty. It still has it's charm and pull, but is nothing the least bit fancy or fresh in atmosphere or décor. I prefer to eat outside either on the large, two story main porch/ bar area complete with rocking chairs amid the product of someone's amazing green thumb or the much smaller porch off the dining room. They also have a sizeable indoor bar popular for casual sports viewing and an area tucked away for larger, commercial crowds, plus the smaller dining room for the regular diners. There's plenty of parking in the adjacent lot too.
I dined there this summer with a Japanese client and both of us enjoyed an amazing, seared fresh tuna with jasmine rice. Unfortunately, it's no longer on the menu, seasonal I guess? This dashed my hopes for something other than the usual fried faire when I returned there for brunch with friends last weekend en route to the Coastal Conservation Association's on water poker run. Breakfast was the targeted menu although we were provided one for lunch as well.
The food was pretty darned good, but the front porch server was not. Promised to bring my husband a fresh cup of coffee as his bore a previous sipper's lipstick remainders and it wasn't his shade!! She apologized for someone else having brought him the original cup promising had she, it would never have happened. The cup was removed and a steaming cup replaced it. The only problem was, it was the same, not so fresh, lipstick laden cup. Idle, thoughtless promises! Third time was a charm.
My friend to the right was disappointed to discover the scrambled egg and bacon biscuit ordered came fried. The waitress was summoned repeatedly to replace it with what was ordered and she returned with the original plate in tact, fried egg and all, and an additional plate with the scrambled egg, and some cheese. If my friend had wanted to disassemble and reassemble with replacement parts, she would have "engineered" breakfast at home. Manager time and she just didn't get it. Not sure if she was saving cash by recycling the bacon and greasy biscuit , saving the cook the honors of doing it up right, or saving face being a no show at our table. If she had bothered to become personally involved it would have been far better. Plate removed a second time for the correct order after my friend had to go inside to find the invisible manager, however the waitress decided to chat it up with others at great length before disappearing into the building to correct time three. All was eventually resolved, however, my friend was now forced to bolt the biscuit as the rest of us were finished and the departure clock was ticking. She begrudgingly chugged what was to have been a leisurely breakfast that should have been served right the first time and not the third. Glad she didn't order lipstick free coffee or we might still be there.
I don't think my friend or my husband were being particularly picky. After all, they were prepared to enjoy the morning meal hassle free. They are not new to Tubbys and I am sure all of us will return. There are some good things on the menu but they need to, in this health conscious world, add some less expensive, non-fried selections other than the pricey freshly caught items.
But, in all fairness, Tubbys has built a popular reputation on the low key atmosphere and the fried fish items everyone seems to love and continues to eat heartily, all hearts aside.
I do enjoy my occasional visits. An icy cold beer on the porch with friends is a great ticket on a sultry Savannah summer night. My brunch which included scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuit was yummy in spite of all the confusion, but it's pretty hard to mess that up unless you get the order wrong. I do prefer to eat a meal with friends with outside breeze prevailing rather than outside issues. I sincerely hope the next time should a similar problem occur, the manager is gracious enough to, at the very least, comp the botched biscuit or the "three times a charm" java!
Manager take heed! Take pride in your position. Do your job right the first time, not the third and get personally involved. Train your servers to gladly take responsibility and your customers will be appreciative of the effort.
There will always be a next time, but I will be wary.
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