Monday, August 25, 2008
Return to the Chop Shop
I had eaten at the Chop Shop Restaurant in Deltona, FL once before just after they opened. The restaurant was up to par last time with decent service and good food. Tonight I returned to the Chop Shop to eat dinner for a second time and it seems the restaurant has developed some problems.
It initially took a while for the drinks to be brought to the table, and then took an even longer time for the waitress to come back to take our food order. I ordered their Jambalaya. Another person dining with me ordered something called the Seafood Trio, which included shrimp, scallops, and mahi-mahi. Someone else at the table ordered a mahi-mahi dinner. The waitress was asked if some substitutions could be made in the meal involving the side dishes. These involved replacing a baked potato for French fries and changing the vegetable side from zucchini to broccoli, both of which were on the menu as sides. The answer was a firm no. According to the waitress, the owners made it very clear that there are absolutely no substitutions on their new menu.
After an insane amount of time, the food finally came. Someone at the table noted the time after we had already waited a while. It took our food an hour to come from that point.
I had no complaints with my Jambalaya. It was actually really good coming from a restaurant that didn't specialize in Cajun food. There were nice big shrimp and a generous amount of sliced andouille sausage. It wasn't so spicy where it would leave you wanting a drink, but it wasn't bland either. There was a nice heaping portion on the plate, almost too much to eat.
My Jambalaya may have been good, but there was another issue at the table. Remember the Seafood Trio that was ordered and the whole no substitutions thing? It turned out that the Chop Shop was all out of scallops, so they substituted the scallops with a few extra shrimp. Instead of doing the right thing by telling the customer that the restaurant was out of a major component of the meal, they made this substitution without asking. It seems a bit hypocritical to me that customers don't have the right to ask for a substitution on a side item, but the restaurant can substitute a major component of the main dish without asking first. The person that ordered this Seafood Trio, which was actually an unannounced Seafood Duo for the night complained about this stating that scallops were the highlight of the meal, and the waitress was vaguely apologetic. She agreed that what happened was wrong, but she passed the blame on to the kitchen and said something should have been done about the situation. The manager/owner of the restaurant was requested, and the waitress announced that she was the manager. She did not offer to do anything about the situation...
I don't think I'll return to the Chop Shop anytime soon. My food may have been good, but the service was pretty bad...