Thursday, July 5, 2012

Let Down

This is somebody's photo they posted on Google
My work took me to Camden a lot in the last couple of weeks.  

I sold an adorable house in the historic district and this past Tuesday was "inspection day."  For me this means I go, I meet the inspectors, I open the door, I sit around and wait.  So, I took my best buddy, The Vivver, with me.  What better companion to accompany me than the Wunderkind?

 During the time we waited for the inspections to be done, we perused for places that both of us might enjoy, because after all was done, we were both hungry. We decided on a place called Carolina Cafe because its "I Like It" percentage was 91%.  It only had one review, but I wasn't overly concerned about that, especially since it was a positive review.  We ventured downtown, found a parking place right in front of the building, only to learn that it wasn't there.  As we walked along Broad Street looking for an alternative, we spotted it.  Across the street, different address, but same name, so I naturally concluded that they'd simply relocated.  We crossed the street.

Frankly, I wish we hadn't.

As we entered, we were "greeted" by a sign asking us to wait to be seated.  We waited.  We waited.  We waited. My 7-minute limit was reached.  A waitress entered the room, served some food, saw us, and promptly turned around and went away.  Later this same girl reappeared and picked up some menus and called to us from the other end of the restaurant, "Two for lunch?"  No duh, Einstein.  She didn't move from her position, which was approximately 50 feet from us, but merely waved to us to come to  her and just take a table right next to where she stood.  I immediately was warmed by this greeting...warmed by my blood pressure rising.  I was about to tell Viv we were going to split, but I realized this would be a big disappointment to a child and probably not worth the trauma. I gritted my teeth and decided to relax and give it a chance.

We ordered a club sandwich to split which came with chips and I got a side of the pasta salad.  The waitress said it was "ranch and Italian dressing-based."  I couldn't resist.  I have never heard of this flavor combo before.  The club came out looking like most clubs.  However, as I was removing the tomatoes from Viv's I realized the bacon was burnt and reduced to chunks of burned-ness rather than strips of bacon.  Dammit!  Why didn't I just go with my gut and leave?  Y'all know how I love my bacon.  To burn it is serve it that way, criminal.  I must admit that the pasta salad was interesting, although nothing to write home about.  As we ate, I noticed that my most pleasant (not) waitress was really cool and the locals that she knew.  Ohhh, so that's how it works here.  If you're new to town, visiting or don't frequent this joint often enough, they don't give a rat's _ _ _ if you have a good experience.  To take this to the extreme, when I walked up to the register to pay, I had to stand there for about 45 seconds as the lady who appeared to be in charge had some completely non-professional conversion with some dude. When she finally looked at me, with her hand extended for the bill, she didn't even bother with a "hi" or "how are you", "how was your burned bacon sandwich" or "think you'll ever come back here again?"


I hate to give negative reviews of restaurants, especially ones that I know are locally owned. I want locally owned businesses to succeed.  But, I also want them to be good.  Goodness usually translates into success.  This place was sloppy, unfriendly, mediocre and lackadaisical, at best.  I won't be back, I won't ever recommend it and I won't ever forget the crummy experience.  

I voted on Urbanspoon.  They are now at 90%.  I think that's high.  The wait staff must be voting often. 
Carolina Cafe on Urbanspoon

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