Monday, August 25, 2008

Return to the Chop Shop

Chop Shop Restaurant
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...

Chop Shop on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

To Whom This May Concern :

Hello my name is Neil Covert and I own the Chop Shop Steakhouse. After reading the blog “Return to the Chop Shop” I felt a response was extremely necessary! The good thing about these blogs are you find out what issues we need to address. The bad thing is that they are a little one sided and definitely not typical of my restaurant. 95% of our customers are happy with the food and service they get when they come to our restaurant as valued guests. We do have our problems and we do make mistakes but we are working hard to minimize them.
I would like to give everyone a little background on our place before I go farther. My wife, Peggy, and I have invested all of our time and everything we own into the Chop Shop. We are not a chain we are and independent restaurant, and are trying in a difficult time to make the Chop Shop successful! Every concern or word of advice, we try to listen and fix. I'm normally working at the Chop Shop over 90 hours a week and Peggy works 60 hours. The problems that occurred are not typical or acceptable to me! After 4 months, that happened to be one rare times one of us wasn't there. It was also your Waitress who is also one of my new Manager 1st time as manager by herself. We have a 6 year old that were trying to raise also which takes the rest of our time. All these things are still no excuse for the service. Believe me your concerns in your blog will be addressed by the entire staff with regards to the service you received.
In connection to the substitutions and being out of scallops, I would like to address this. Everything that is put on a plate at the chop shop is 1st quality. I give all of our customers a 5 star product at a reasonable middle level price. I hand cut the steak every morning, our pasta is De Cecco which is imported directly from Italy intern is 4 times more expensive than anything you would get in a grocery store or pizza place. I charge about the same you would pay at a pizza restaurant for what ever pasta they use. I wish that you could have had the scallops before because you would have known how rare it is to find the size and quality that they are. We strive to keep everything fresh. The rare time we run out of them seems to be at the end of the week or just cannot find a supply of them. Presently I have only found one company that carries the type of scallops that I carry and even when I am able to acquire them they are very expensive. Yet that is no excuse, they should have told you when you ordered them that we where temporarily out of them!
I have no problem making a substitution for the same type side, for example mashed potatoes, for a baked potato. The same for the vegetables with the exception for Broccoli and Asparagus which are listed on the menu as “additions” sides which are more costly. We “steam these to order”. Most of the vegetables on the menu are used in our dishes and thus are cooked as the dish is cooked. When you steam them to order this is more time consuming and expensive. That is why I have an additional charge for those 2 vegetables.
I also would like to apologize for how you where disappointed with the service you received, the situation could have been handled better and we will be working on fixing this. I don't want you or anyone else to feel that this is how we typically deal with our valued guests. In an attempt to improve the service we have instructed our staff that if there is any problems that can't be resolved by them or the manager on duty if we are currently not on the premises to call us immediately and to take down the guests name and number so that we can contact as soon as possible must likely the next day. I hope you will contact Peggy or myself so we can see if there is anything else we can do so as to encourage you to come back to our restaurant as a valued guest. As I stated before we are an independent restaurant and we want it to be a place were we have direct and open contact with all our valued guests because you are all very much appreciated.

Sincerely Neil & Peggy Covert

Dave Barkan said...

I heard from an ex-employee of The Chop Shop that they haven't had scallops in stock for weeks, yet they still advertise them on the menu and substitute shrimp! The least they could do is tell their custermers!

Anonymous said...

My family's first visit to The Chop Shop was on October 16th and we have since returned two more times after that and it's only the beginning of November. First time we went I had the bbq chicken breasts and it was wonderful. Second time I had the chicken cordon bleu and it was almost as good as the bbq chicken. The last time we went we all had the filet. I will never order anything but that ever again. The filet mignon was the best I have ever had. No more Outback for me. Also, each time we went we had great service, the last two times Peggy was our waitress, and everything came out quick and hot. The prices are very reasonable, especially for the quality of the steaks we had. The only drawback that we can see about this place is the outside, it doesn't do it any justice. I highly recommend this place, I think everyone would be very surprised how good it is.

manders said...

I went to the Chop shop with a friend and we had an excellent experience - food was great, service was great!I think the restaurant gives off the impression of being a higher end restaurant .. the only thing I didn't like were the paper napkins and the plastic salad plates .. other than that, we really enjoyed it!

Future Awesome People said...

I would just like to point out to the manager that urban spoon suggests 77% not 95%. Also I received almost identical service as mentioned in the blog. I was really wanting to find a nice local place to become a "regular".


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