Neighborhood: Hell’s Kitchen
Venue: Burger Joint
Foursquare Check-in: http://4sq.com/133CMxx
Rating: 0 Stars
I hate to do this to a place that, from what I can tell, is the creation of a sole proprietor looking to get his or her foothold in the New York City restaurant game and hamburger sub-culture. However, the zero-star rating of this place is well-deserved, and that’s before you ever even try the food! And what I am about to tell you is probably why I can never be a legitimate food-critic.
On the day I happily decided to cross “Mother Burger” off my Summer To-Do List, it was raining and a little chilly, so instead of eating in the venue’s outdoor space, I had to settle for going inside. This was very unfortunate, because part of the reason for me putting Mother Burger on my to-do list was the buzz that I heard when I walked by its carefully staked-out al fresco dining area in Hell’s Kitchen. Unfortunately, the rain was neither mine nor Mother Burger’s biggest problem that day.
Once I walked inside the establishment, I legitimately had no idea where to stand. First, I’m not sure whether I walked in the front or back door, as the entry I came through was very confusing and I saw nothing but waiters and waitresses walk in and out of it. Second, upon walking in, nobody in the establishment wanted anything to do with me. There was a lady at a cash register counting money, and two waiters walked by me, and into me as well, without so much as a hesitation. So there I was, in the midst of the restaurant, watching other patrons sitting at their over-crowded tables, and no one at Mother Burger was paying me any attention whatsoever.
But listen, I’m not above asking for some help. The place is called “Mother Burger,” so it is not as if I was expecting to be wined and dined. So I turned to the lady at the cash register, who I assumed was either a waitress or hostess, and I asked her how do I go about getting a table. She responded to me about 30 seconds after I uttered, “Excuse me,” and she then told me that it would be an hour before I could site sit, and that someone would be right with me to take my name down on the list.
So I waited, and in the process of waiting, two waiters were buzzing back and forth past me, acting as if I’m in the way, constantly asking me to step aside, not as if I’m a customer in this not-so-fine establishment, but as if I’m a bum begging for change and I’m standing between them and the subway car door. So finally, I got in one of the waiter’s walking paths to ask him when I could put my name on the list, and he told me that the lady at the cash register would take my name down. I turned back to her, but she was gone, no where to be found.
So I tried the other waiter, and it should come as no surprise, that he too was a waste of my time, and it appeared as if I was a waste of his time as well and that he had better things to do than help a customer get a seat.
Obviously, I walked right the hell out of there at that moment. I proceed down the walkway to Blockhead’s and got knee-deep in some margaritas and a wonderful burrito.
And that is why I can never be a legitimate food critic. A real food critic would have put up with the restaurant’s crappy service and would have professionally wrote about and made the distinction between a “place with great food and bad service” and a “place with bad food and bad service.” I on the other hand, have no such patience when it comes to, not just bad customer service, but horrible customer service. In my opinion, there is never an excuse for a staff to be so incredulously horrible, and no customer should ever feel as if they are getting on the nerves of the staff.
Now, there are exceptions to every rule, and I have certainly seen and befriended people that can act like an #asshole in their treatment of waitstaffs. But I wasn’t obnoxious at all. I was on a date, well-tempered and on my best behavior. Mother Burger simply has a lackluster, disorganized and attitudinal waitstaff, and I wasn’t going to stick around to see just how bad they can be. I just wasn’t having it. And I won’t be having a “Mother Burger” ever. It’s an awful place, with awful service, and if that’s any indication of the burger, then that is probably awful, too! The best thing that will ever come of Mother Burger’s existence is the next restaurant that takes over that building after Mother Burger is thrown a top the heap of failed New York City restaurants.